airBaltic will equip its fleet with Starlink

Latvian airline, airBaltic, announced plans to equip its entire Airbus A220-300 fleet with Starlink internet and give passengers complimentary access to the in-flight, high-speed, low-latency broadband internet. Connectivity will be available to passengers who won’t have to visit a login page. Instead, they’ll connect directly to the network and use the service.

The company noted that it plans to work with SpaceX to achieve the necessary supplemental type certification (STC) approval. It is expected to begin installing Starlink on its fleet this year.

Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic Martin Gauss gave a statement, calling the moment a historic one for the airline and the industry as a whole.

“This marks a historic moment for our airline and the industry as a whole. Soon airBaltic will become the first airline in Europe to launch high-speed, unlimited, and free-of-charge satellite internet on board. We are excited to further improve our service to our passengers who will soon benefit from this internet connectivity onboard our flights within the airBaltic network in Europe and beyond,” Gauss said.

“We are glad to have found the right connectivity provider – SpaceX’s Starlink – that fits our needs and meets our wishes. Having the most modern aircraft type on the market, it was the next logical step for airBaltic to implement the most modern available inflight internet solution on this fleet,”  Gauss added.

Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Sales, also gave a statement.

“By becoming the first European airline to implement Starlink fleetwide, airBaltic is setting a new standard in ensuring its passengers have an internet experience that they have come to expect in our modern age,” said Hofeller.

“With Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency internet, airBaltic passengers will have internet similar to or better than what they experience at home. Customers will walk on the plane, and the internet will simply work, making the stress of login pages and downloading large files before takeoff a thing of the past,” he added.

Starlink is providing its high-speed, low-latency broadband internet service in over 40 countries and now has over one million subscribers globally. In recent news, Starlink opened offices in Azerbaijan with plans to begin services sometime this year.

In 2022, Starlink launched several variations of its services connecting users in several modes of transportation, such as aviation and maritime. Starlink, which can deliver up to 350 Mbps to aircraft with latency as low as 20 ms, will enable airline passengers to engage in online activities that weren’t available while in the air. These activities include online gaming, virtual private networks, and other high-data-rate activities.

Teslarati reached out to airBaltic for additional comments. We’ll let you know when/if we receive them.

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