The CEO of Frontier Airlines says the company had meetings and discussed the potential of having Wi-Fi from SpaceX for their inflight internet.
SpaceX inked a deal to provide wireless internet on flights with Hawaiian Airlines earlier this year.
Adding Starlink’s Wi-Fi for the budget carrier would be huge, as they currently do not offer inflight internet services.
CEO Barry Biffle says skipping Wi-Fi for now allows the carrier to be more “green” because it limits weight on board.
Representatives for SpaceX didn’t immediately comment.
“The challenge is I don’t want the weight and I don’t want drag,” Biffle said in an interview on the sidelines of an aerospace conference in Washington, D.C. “I don’t carry business travelers.”
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is currently building its Starlink broadband network, which includes over 3,000 satellites in orbit so far and has around 500,000 total customers. Most of these customers are individual customers.
In June, the FCC authorized SpaceX to provide mobile Starlink internet service to boats, planes, and trucks. SpaceX recently signed a deal with the massive cruise line Royal Caribbean.
Denver-based Frontier has explored adding Wi-Fi on board before and frequently talks with other providers but, so far, hasn’t been able to justify the cost. That’s changing, Biffle said.
“We’re more hopeful now that with Starlink coming in there’s going to be some rationalization of cost and pricing,” Biffle said. “When the price gets cheap enough, I’ll put it on.”
Biffle said Frontier would likely charge for Wi-Fi on board, when the service eventually rolls out.
“I have no ancillary products that don’t make money,” he said.
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