Alaska Airlines will offer “streaming fast” Wi-Fi on its E175 fleet, beginning in 2024. The carrier plans to upgrade those aircraft, extending its longstanding partnership with Intelsat.
Low Earth Orbit
Cellular-based air-to-ground technologies brought inflight internet to thousands of aircraft and millions of passengers, first in North America, then in Europe and beyond. And while the technology continues to grow in some markets, some suppliers are more skeptical of its continued value, at least for commercial airlines.
As OneWeb moves to deliver its near-global internet services by the end of the year, another aircraft type is now flying with a test version of the Stellar Blu hardware on board.
Inflight WiFi is coming to airBaltic. The carrier will fit its fleet of A220-300 aircraft with the SpaceX Starlink system, providing complimentary internet services in the sky.
Sure, United’s mega Dreamliner order is good news for Boeing. But what other suppliers are set up to win with the fleet refresh coming?
The first JSX aircraft carrying the SpaceX Starlink inflight internet service entered service last week. The carrier confirmed that the FAA certification for the installation was received earlier in the week and SpaceX noted that the kit is active.
Business aviation solutions provider Satcom Direct will serve as the preferred provider for Stellar Blu’s Sidewinder antenna systems as the companies roll out the next generation of inflight connectivity for business jets. The Stellar Blu Sidewinder electronically steered array (ESA) terminal will offer a link to OneWeb’s LEO constellation.
AirAsia selected the AirFi wireless platform to boost inflight retail sales and entertainment options on board. The carrier has long offered a digital on-board experience across parts of its fleet. Plus, a few other airline customers coming online.
The first plane is fitted and flying. The new SpaceX Starlink inflight connectivity system on JSX works, and the companies are excited to deploy it fleet wide. Alas, it does not appear they will meet the target timeline of having the system fully installed before the end of the year. The necessary Supplemental Type Certification (STC) remains pending with the authorities.
Last week Panasonic Avionics finally confirmed low earth orbit constellations are officially part of its product road map, in partnership with OneWeb. This week at the APEX EXPO conference in Long Beach, California the company is offering up additional details on how the new capacity will fit into its offerings, and how it expects planes will be connected to the new satellites.