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July 18, 2024
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airBaltic is set to become the first airline in Europe to use the SpaceX Starlink satellite communications system onboard its Airbus A220-fleet, offering Wi-Fi even for free. But exactly when it is available to passengers depends on when regulators certify the system for the A220. airBaltic has high hopes for high-speed internet.

The airline of the Baltic states announced earlier this week that it has selected Starlink for its fleet of currently 39 A220s, which will eventually grow to fifty aircraft. CEO Martin Gauss told the author in a video interview that his airline has been looking long and hard for the right communications system. When it placed its first order in 2012 for what was back then the Bombardier CSeries, the airframer offered a Panasonic system. But airBaltic couldn’t get the business case right and continued looking and doing tenders again and again. “None of the business cases we were doing were working out for us.”


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Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.