Elon Musk-led SpaceX has secured its first deal to provide in-flight internet service on airplanes using its Starlink constellation of broadband satellites.
According to Space.com, the service will be available later this year to customers of JSX, a charter airline company that plans to equip 100 planes with Starlink-provided inflight Wi-Fi.
“The service will be offered to all JSX customers at no charge, and will not require logging in or other complexities associated with legacy systems,” JSX representative was quoted as saying in an emailed statement.
Delta Airlines told the Wall Street Journal, however, that it recently conducted “exploratory tests” of Starlink’s internet technology in a bid to potentially reach business users.
Neither SpaceX nor its founder and CEO has commented on the JSX deal on Twitter to date, although Musk said in 2021 that SpaceX was targeting different airplane types for Starlink.
“Schedule driver there is regulatory approval,” Musk tweeted earlier, alluding to the Federal Aviation Administration that oversees the airline industry.
“Has to be certified for each aircraft type. Focusing on 737 & A320, as those serve most number of people, with development testing on Gulfstream,” he added.
JSX’s Embraer ERJa-aircraft were not on Musk’s list from that time, the report said.
The regional jets, however, cater to business users as they are low-volume (30 seats each) and fly point-to-point between several high-population cities, mainly in the western US and Texas.