Latvian airline airBaltic will be equipping its entire Airbus A220-300 fleet with the SpaceX Starlink internet connectivity system.
The high-speed internet access will be complimentary for passengers during all airBaltic flights. Starlink began offering its in-flight connectivity to the commercial aircraft market last year and has satellites positioned in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 550 km, over 65 times closer than conventional geostationary satellites. It can deliver up to 350 Mbps to an aircraft and latency as low as 20 ms. Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic commented: “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 on board our flights within the airBaltic network in Europe and beyond.”
“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 in-flight internet solution on this fleet.”
SpaceX Vice President of Starlink, Sales Jonathan Hofeller noted: “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.
“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.”
airBaltic will work with SpaceX to achieve the required supplemental type certification approval and is expected to start installations on board this year.