SpaceX Will Connect Airplanes to the Internet with the Starlink System

SpaceX is preparing to offer high-speed internet service to passenger planes with the Starlink satellite system, which is still being installed. According to the plan, in this system, satellites will not need to establish a connection with the ground and data transfer between each other will be provided directly by laser beams. Thus, a much faster and more stable internet opportunity will be offered to aircraft compared to the current one.

SpaceX states that they are in contact with some airlines on this project. It is also said that five business jet aircraft will be used to test the system.

The antenna and other equipment to be placed on the aircraft will also be developed by SpaceX.

The history of internet use on passenger planes actually goes back over 20 years. On April 27, 2000, Boeing introduced the service called “Connexion by Boeing”. A year or so later, Lufthansa announced at 2001 Paris Air Show that it would be the first customer of this service. However, the account at home did not match the market, this service, which was both expensive and slow, was canceled in late 2006.


In the following years, some companies offered internet service to planes via satellites and some via stations on the ground. However, both the slowness of the connection speed and the inability to provide any connection in some parts of the world are the most prominent problems of the service that continue today. In addition, the high costs cause travelers to avoid it unless it is free.

Who knows, maybe with the Starlink project, a high quality and cheap internet connection will be possible on passenger planes.

Within the scope of the Starlink project, more than 1,600 satellites have been placed in the low orbit of the Earth in the last three years. The entire system will consist of 12,000 satellites. It is stated that around 4,400 satellites will be sufficient in the first stage to provide global coverage. Amazon from the US and OneWeb from the UK are working on similar systems.

In addition, it is noted that established satellite companies such as Intersat and ViaSat will continue to compete by updating their existing systems.

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