Step on board a plane flying with the SpaceX Starlink satellite network and you’re online immdiately. There’s no capture portal, no extra clicks. And that approach may also limit Starlink’s reach into the market, in a somewhat unexpected way.
Of course it works; this was a media demo flight, after all. But the fact that the Starlink internet service works so well on the JSX fleet was never a sure thing; the program had a few hiccups along the way. But the overall performance was impressive, and in a couple ways that were true differentiators from competing solutions.
Japanese long-haul airline Zipair plans to fit its fleet with inflight internet from Starlink. The company announced it would become the first Asian airline to offer the service, fitting out its 787s.
Unlike other recent long-haul start-ups Premia is not a low cost carrier. The company presents as a “value” carrier option, with more customer-friendly allowances, but still lower prices than the legacy operators.
When ZIPAIR finally starts carrying passengers they’ll have a familiar option for inflight connectivity on board. The company announced its selection of Panasonic Avionics to power IFC on the 787-8 fleet.
Japanese long-haul low cost carrier startup ZIPAIR sees challenges on the horizon, but it continues to push forward with its plans to launch service this year, including between its Tokyo hub and Honolulu later this Fall.
Fully flat beds are coming to the Asian LCC market in mid-2020. But that’s about the only thing exciting in the new ZIPAir cabin configuration unveiled last week. And some of the finer details straddle the line between disappointing and concerning.