SpaceX's Starlink Will Offer Free Wi-Fi to Hawaiian Airlines Passengers

Elon Musk's fleet of SpaceX satellites will provide Wi-Fi to passengers as early as next year.

Sarah Lord Writer
Sarah Lord covers TVs and home entertainment. Prior to joining CNET, Sarah served as the tech and electronic reviews fellow at Insider, where she wrote about everything from smart watches and wearables to tablets and e-readers. She began her career by writing laptop reviews as an intern and subsequent freelancer at Tom's Hardware. She is also a professional actor with many credits in theater, film and television.
Expertise TVs | Home Entertainment | Streaming | Computers Credentials
  • Member of Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association
Sarah Lord

Hawaiian Airlines will offer free Wi-Fi on flights using Starlink. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Elon Musk is having a big week, and it's only Monday. In addition to Musk reaching a deal to buy Twitter, his space exploration company, SpaceX, is also making waves. Hawaiian Airlines will offer free Wi-Fi on flights across the Pacific, including to the continental US, Asia and Australia, through SpaceX's Starlink satellite system, the airline said.

Starlink is a collection of about 2,000 low Earth orbit satellites designed to offer fast Wi-Fi around the world. The deal with Hawaiian Airlines is the company's first with a major airline, though carrier JSX recently signed on to use Starlink, too.

Hawaiian Airlines passengers will be able to use Starlink on certain flights from the Hawaiian islands to the continental US and other countries when the service launches sometime next year. Flights between Hawaii's islands will not have the service. 

In an emailed statement, a representative for Hawaiian Airlines said Starlink is already being tested in aircraft, and it's expected to offer better bandwidth and latency than current in-air Wi-Fi options. 

"Historically, we've looked at our market and not seen great options over the Pacific. We actually don't have any connectivity on our fleet today," Avi Mannis, Hawaiian's chief marketing officer, told CNBC. "The options have been improving over time, but we have waited until there was a product offering ... that we thought would live up to the expectations of our guests."

Starlink didn't responded to a request for further comment.

Watch this: Testing Out SpaceX Starlink Satellite Internet