airBaltic equips A220 fleet with Starlink internet

Aviation Updates Philippines – Latvian airline airBaltic announced today that it will equip its entire Airbus A220-300 fleet with SpaceX’s Starlink internet connectivity system, becoming the first European airline to implement the service fleetwide.

Photo from airBaltic

Starlink, developed by SpaceX, provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet in over 40 countries around the world and began serving commercial aircraft last year. The system uses satellites positioned in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 550 km, over 65 times closer than conventional geostationary satellites, which results in significantly lower latency and higher transmission speeds for end users.

Starlink can deliver up to 350 Mbps to aircraft, and with latency as low as 20 ms, it allows passengers to engage in activities previously not possible during flight, including online gaming, virtual private networks, and other high data rate activities.

"This marks a historic moment for our airline and the industry as a whole," said Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic. 

"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 onboard our flights within the airBaltic network in Europe and beyond.”

Every passenger on an airBaltic flight will have free access to high-speed internet without any hassles or login pages. Passengers will have internet access as soon as they board the aircraft.

"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,” said SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Sales, Jonathan Hofeller. 

“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 STC (supplemental type certification) approval and is expected to begin installing the product on the entire airBaltic Airbus A220-300 fleet this year.

airBaltic connects the Baltic region with over 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS. Established in 1995, airBaltic employs over 2100 employees and is responsible for more than 2.5% of the Latvian GDP. The airline operates 39 Airbus A220-300 aircraft.