Latest News

Latvian Airline airBaltic Tests SpaceX’s Starlink Internet

By Rachel Jewett | March 29, 2024

airBaltic tests Starlink internet. Photo: airBaltic

Latvia’s flag carrier airBaltic is testing SpaceX’s Starlink internet, with plans to equip its entire Airbus A220-300 fleet with the in-flight connectivity (IFC) system. airBaltic announced March 28 that it conducted an initial ground test of SpaceX’s Starlink internet connectivity system onboard an aircraft in Riga, Latvia, with a full cabin of airBaltic and Starlink employees.

airBaltic said it is working with SpaceX for the required supplemental type certification (STC) approval and is expected to begin installing the product on the airBaltic Airbus A220-300 fleet by the end of this year. The airline plans to provide passengers with IFC that can support online gaming, virtual private networks, and other high data rate activities.

airBaltic President and CEO Martin Gauss said the airline plans to offer unlimited and complimentary in-flight connectivity, and that the first test provided good insights. 

“We are grateful to our partners at SpaceX’s Starlink for their unwavering support throughout this transformative journey. Their shared ambition and dedication perfectly complement airBaltic’s values. As we operate one of the most modern aircraft types on the market, it was the next logical step for airBaltic to introduce the cutting-edge Starlink in-flight internet solution onboard this fleet,” Gauss said.

SpaceX is pursuing aviation as a market for Starlink connectivity and its other customers include Qatar Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and JSX.