Air New Zealand adding free in-flight Wi-Fi with Starlink

Air New Zealand adding free in-flight Wi-Fi with Starlink
Air New Zealand has announced it will introduce free internet onboard its aircraft by working with working with Elon Musk's satellite internet service provider, Starlink.

The airline will begin rolling out the service by installing Starlink connectivity on two aircraft in late 2024.  If the initial trials are successful, Air New Zealand will look to roll out Starlink internet on other aircraft in its domestic fleet in 2025.

The Starlink connection will provide reliable high-speed connectivity, fast enough for streaming video content, or messaging friends and family. The airline says customers will be able to access internet as if they were in their lounge at home.

But if you’re a frequent international flier, you may have to wait a little longer. The service will only be on domestic routes during the initial roll-out, with no indication when Wi-Fi might be extending to the airline’s global routes.

Don’t expect to carry out long overdue catch-ups via phone calls or FaceTime on those flights across New Zealand either, as current aviation rules prohibit those features being used on flights.

“We’re always looking at how new and innovative technology can deliver improved customer experiences and with the world’s largest satellite constellation, exploring in-motion connectivity on our aircraft with Starlink was a no brainer,” says Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Nikhil Ravishankar of the new service.

“Whether travelling for work or leisure, we know maintaining seamless internet connectivity is something that will transform the travel experience for customers. Our free and accessible WiFi onboard international flights has proved incredibly popular among customers, so we can’t wait to bring connectivity to domestic flights.

Ravishankar pointed out there will still be plenty of opportunity for travellers who love some downtime while in the air.

“You’re under no obligation to connect and can still use the time to switch off from the world below!”


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