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Qatar Airways Reveals More Details About Plans to Aggressively Install Elon Musk’s Starlink Inflight Wi-Fi Across its Fleet

Qatar Airways Reveals More Details About Plans to Aggressively Install Elon Musk’s Starlink Inflight Wi-Fi Across its Fleet

a large airplane on a runway

Qatar Airways has revealed further details about its plans to install Elon Musk’s Starlink inflight internet across its aircraft fleet, promising free video streaming quality Wi-Fi across with speeds of up to 500 Megabit per second.

The deal was first announced last October, although at the time, Qatar Airways wasn’t able to say how many aircraft would feature the gate-to-gate Starlink Wi-Fi service and no timeline for the installation process was provided.

During an event at the Aircraft Interior Expo in Hamburg on Wednesday, however, Qatar Airways was finally able to flesh out some of those details, promising to aggressively install the new service across its entire aircraft fleet within just two years.

The first two aircraft to have Starlink installed will be three Boeing 777-300 airplanes which will provide the high-speed, low-latency Wi-Fi at some point in the last three months of 2024.

Qatar Airways currently has two inflight WiFi providers, SITA OnAir is a particularly slow service offered on Airbus A380 aircraft and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, while Inmarsat’s GX satellite service on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A350, Boeing 777s and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners is much faster and more reliable.

With the latest deal, Qatar Airways will bring Wi-Fi to its single-aisle fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft and Boeing 737MAX planes.

Starlink is a division of Musk’s SpaceX program that provides high-speed broadband service via a ‘constellation’ of more than 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.  Starlink was specifically designed to provide broadband service to remote regions with limited access to the internet.

Hawaiian Airlines became the first carrier to seal a deal with Starlink back in April 2022, while Qatar Airways is one of six major airlines to have signed up to the Starlink service.

In December, Air New Zealand said it planned to install Starlink on regional turboprop aircraft, while rumours abound that United Airlines could also be eyeing the Starlink service steal a competitive edge over its rivals.

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