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SpaceX's Starlink signs first in-flight Wi-Fi deal

Starlink's services will be used on up to 100 planes chartered by JSX

Starlink, the low orbit satellite-based broadband service established by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has signed its first in-flight Wi-Fi deal.

Its services will be used on up to 100 planes chartered by JSX, which announced the partnership on Thursday night over Twitter.

JSX is the first air carrier to adopt SpaceX’s Starlink Wi-Fi in-flight, with the service expected to become available “later this year” at no extra cost to passengers.

Commenting on the announcement, JSX co-founder and CEO Alex Wilcox said that the aircraft carrier’s customer’s had “repeatedly asked” when JSX would start offering in-flight Wi-Fi:

“We’ve said that we’ll do it when we find the best product in the world. Today, I’m proud to say, we’ve found it and the wait for Wi-Fi on JSX is nearly over,” he added.

Originally founded as JetSuiteX in April 2016, the company operates 30-seat Embraer ERJ aircrafts for semi-private flights between select locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona.

The in-flight Wi-Fi service will allow JSX passengers to simply log in without requiring additional portals, nor login processes, according to SpaceX VP of Starlink commercial sales, Jonathan Hofeller. 

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“With Starlink, we’re able to provide an internet experience similar to or better than what passengers experience at home. We are creating a future that, when all customers walk on to the plane, the internet just works – no hassles, no logins. By being the first air carrier to adopt Starlink, JSX is setting this new standard for air travel,” he said.

Established by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Starlink launched its first 60 low orbit satellites in May 2019, providing high speeds with low latency while eliminating the need to install physical cabling, which is especially difficult to install in rural and remote areas.

The announcement comes eight months after SpaceX secured a licence to establish a ground station on the Isle of Man with an aim to expand Starlink’s coverage to the entirety of the UK. The company was also involved in talks with the UK government to attempt to solve the UK’s connectivity crisis, particularly the widespread concerns that more remote parts were being left behind.

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