Nearly every conversation about in-flight connectivity at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022 in Hamburg this week includes mention of the SpaceX Starlink offering. Company executives are wandering the show floor carrying an antenna panel that they hope will soon be certified to fly, while airlines and competitors alike debate the unique path the company has chosen for nearly every facet of the offering.
Some of the conversations are reasonable debates on technology, pricing, and regulatory hurdles. Some are clearly efforts to confuse the market and cast doubt on the company’s viability.
And, somewhere in the middle sits reality.
Perhaps most notable were murmurs that Hawaiian Airlines already cancelled its plans to put Starlink on board. Backing out of an announcement just seven weeks old would, indeed, be a major shift.
Kris Tanahara, Hawaiian’s Managing Director of Corporate Communications says that’s not at all the case. The carrier continues in its “initial stages of implementation and expects to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year.”
How such a cancel could happen, however, is far different with Starlink than with other providers.
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These challenges for Starlink are very real. And maybe the service will not be as perfect as promised at the get-go.
Still, one North American airline suggested the easier relationship terms and the sky high promises are too good to ignore. “Even if it works just a quarter of what they’re promising, it is still better than what we can get from anyone else.”
Certainly a bit of hyperbole there, but it shows that airlines are very much taking the Starlink offering seriously. Even – or perhaps especially – those who already have service on board and know what can be realistically delivered.
More on Starlink:
- Is Starlink finally ready for commercial flight?
- JSX selects Starlink for in-flight WiFi
- Hawaiian Airlines gets online with Starlink
More news from Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022
- AERQ brings Welcome Board to Stelia’s Opera business class cabin
- Bluetooth pairing coming to Delta’s long-haul fleet
- Carlisle, Gilat partner for ESA mount kit
- Burrana secures power line-fit access for A320 family
- OneWeb, Stellar Blu confirm successful LEO in-flight connectivity tests on 777
- Inflight Dublin expands deployments with Wideroe, Drukair
- Euphony promises top-quality sound without headphones
- Astronics boosts cabin WiFi, power offerings
- Starlink Scuttlebutt: Skepticism and Support
- Airbus advances 5G ATG connections in China
- Air Canada selects Intelsat 2Ku for A321 internet service
- DLD 389: Back at AIX
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