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Qatar Airways introduces free Starlink WiFi

In October 2023, Qatar Airways announced an exciting development when it comes to in-flight Wi-Fi. However, there were no details on the rollout schedule at the time. There’s a big update now as we now have a timeline, so let’s get into all the details.

Qatar Airways will offer free high-speed Wi-Fi

Qatar Airways plans to introduce Starlink Wi-Fi, making it the largest airline in the world to collaborate with SpaceX on Wi-Fi. Not only will Starlink offer speeds of up to 500 megabits per second for gaming, VPN access, sports streaming and more, but Qatar Airways plans to offer this Wi-Fi for free, with one-click access.

Qatar Airways is one of many airlines working with Starlink on inflight connectivity. It is also available on airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines, and will soon be available on airBaltic and Air New Zealand.

Here is how Qatar Airways CEO Badr Mohammed Al-Meer describes this development:

โ€œThis exciting partnership with Starlink is a testament to our customer-centric mindset and commitment to taking our passenger experience to unprecedented heights, as we continue to advance our innovative offerings to meet and exceed passenger expectations throughout their journey with Qatar Airways.โ€

For context, Qatar Airways’ fleet is currently primarily equipped with Inmarsat’s GX aviation technology, which the airline calls “Super Wi-Fi.” This typically costs $10 for a flight, with no data limits. Some other Qatar Airways planes have OnAir Wi-Fi, which is quite slow.

Qatar Airways is upgrading its onboard WiFi

Until now, we knew almost nothing about the actual rollout schedule for Starlink Wi-Fi on Qatar Airways, although that has finally changed, and we should see the first Qatar Airways plane flying with Starlink Wi-Fi before the end of the month. year.

Specifically, three Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be equipped with Starlink by the fourth quarter of 2024. Qatar Airways then plans to install Starlink across its entire fleet over the next two years. The way the press release is written suggests this will happen within two years (so let’s call it May 2026), although I wouldn’t be surprised if the airline really means it will take two years from the start of the project (which is late would be 2026). ).

It’s exciting to think that Starlink Wi-Fi can be installed so quickly. On the one hand, that seems like an ambitious timeline, given the variety of aircraft Qatar Airways flies and each aircraft requiring a different certification. On the other hand, installing Starlink is one of the easier aircraft projects out there, and it helps if the government owns the airline and does the certification. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Starlink will be installed from the end of 2024

In short

Qatar Airways plans to introduce SpaceX’s Starlink Wi-Fi. Not only should this mean we’ll see very fast Wi-Fi, but Qatar Airways also plans to offer this for free. This will be a very nice competitive advantage for Qatar Airways when it is rolled out. Expect the first 777s to be equipped with Starlink by the end of 2024, and all aircraft to do so within two years.

What do you think about Qatar Airways introducing free Starlink Wi-Fi?

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