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Game-changer: Hawaiian Airlines first to onboard super-fast Starlink internet

Hawaiian Airlines is the world’s first major carrier to offer SpaceX’s Starlink technology, deploying the high-speed, low-latency inflight internet aboard a Honolulu-Long Beach flight on one of its Airbus A321neo aircraft on 8 February 2024.

Hawaiian Airlines is the world’s first major carrier to offer SpaceX’s Starlink technology, deploying the high-speed, low-latency inflight internet aboard a Honolulu-Long Beach flight on one of its Airbus A321neo aircraft on 8 February 2024.

The airline will progressively roll out the free Wi-Fi service on select A321neo aircraft across its long-haul fleet over the coming months.

Until it is available fleetwide, the service will “surprise and delight” passengers as they board their flights.

The fast Wi-Fi allows everything you can do on your home internet in the sky.

With one-click access, passengers can use the complimentary Wi-Fi as soon as they step on board the aircraft without registration pages and payment portals.

The game-changing, high-speed inflight internet service allows streaming, gaming and other connected experiences even while crossing the Pacific Ocean.  

How it works

Hawaiian Airlines A321neo aircraft with Starlink terminal attached.
A321neo aircraft with Starlink antenna.

A Starlink aviation terminal antenna installed on the top of the aircraft allows planes to receive strong, fast internet signals from satellites orbiting above Earth.

The terminal seamlessly switches satellite connections as the plane crosses the Pacific for uninterrupted inflight internet.

A special charter flight between Honolulu and Hilo allowed HA employees to test the Wi-Fi using their various personal devices followed by FAA approval before the public launch.

Team members tested gaming connectivity on a special charter flight.

HA Senior Director of Engineering Chris Liebertz said: “During these tests, employees streamed shows and movies, played video games with friends, downloaded and uploaded large files, worked in real-time and scrolled on social media.”

“In marrying this best-in-class technology with our authentic hospitality, we are offering our guests a travel experience unlike any other airline flying to and from the Hawaiian Islands.”

The carrier expects to install Starlink on all 18 A321neo aircraft by mid-year, on its A330s by the end of 2024 and then aboard its new Boeing 787-9 flagship aircraft.

Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways have also announced plans to add the high-speed internet service. 

For more info, head to hawaiianairlines.com.au