Qatar Airways taps Starlink for complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi

Qatar Airways becomes first leading airline in MENA to introduce in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity via Elon Musk firm

A trio of Boeing 777-300 aircraft belonging to Qatar Airways are to be the first of the airline’s planes to receive Starlink low-latency satellite Wi-Fi connectivity, with the entire modern fleet being upgraded with technology from the Elon Musk company over the next two years.

Hailing the first-ever service of its kind in the MENA region, Qatar Airways said the collaboration with Starlink, the satellite internet constellation engineered and operated by SpaceX, marks a new milestone for the national carrier of the State of Qatar, further elevating what it said was the company’s “unparalleled” onboard experience.

Founded in 1993 and owned by the Qatari Royal Family, Qatar Airways began operations in January 1994. It provides air transportation that links nearly 170 destinations worldwide, connecting through its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, with a 146-aircraft fleet.

The airline prides itself on the levels of service and hospitality it offers passengers, and is one of the seven airlines awarded Skytrax 5-Star Airline status.

It has begun to offer one-click-access to complimentary Wi-Fi of up to 500 Mbps per plane to passengers on the selected aircraft so that they can use a variety of internet-based services, such as streaming of entertainment and sports videos, online gaming and enriched web-browsing among other applications.

Qatar Airways is the largest airline to partner with Starlink, and it believes the strategic move solidifies its commitment to elevating the passenger experience onboard, with plans to progressively extend SpaceX-powered technology across its entire modern fleet in the next two years. The airline said that as a globally recognised leader in innovation, it was “consistently delivering advanced technologies to redefine the inflight experience for passengers”.

“This exciting collaboration with Starlink is a testament to our customer-first mindset and commitment to elevating our passengers’ experience to unprecedented heights, as we continue furthering our innovative offerings to meet and exceed passengers’ expectations throughout their journey with Qatar Airways,” said Qatar Airways group chief executive officer Badr Mohammed Al-Meer.

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Starlink engineering vice-president Mike Nicolls said: “High-speed, low-latency internet is the future of aviation connectivity, and we’re excited to work with Qatar Airways to start flying Starlink on their fleet by the end of this year.

Soon, all Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the world’s best in-flight connectivity from the comfort of their seats.”

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