Qatar Airways to be first airline in Middle East to introduce Starlink Wi-Fi 

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Qatar Airways has announced that it will become the first major airline based in the Middle East to offer complimentary Starlink-based Wi-Fi onboard its services. By the fourth quarter of 2024, the carrier plans to introduce Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency Wi-Fi on three of its Boeing 777 aircraft as part of the company’s initial phased rollout strategy. 

The announcement of the deal between Qatar Airways and SpaceX-owned Starlink took place on the second day of the Aircraft Interior Expo being held in Hamburg, Germany between May 28 and May 30, 2024. Present at the announcement were Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, and Mike Nicolls, Vice President of Starlink Engineering at SpaceX. 

Through the new connectivity offering, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to benefit from complimentary ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi of up to 500 Megabits per second using a ‘one-click’ facility to access a variety of internet-based services such as streaming of entertainment and sports videos, online gaming, and web browsing.  

Three of the carrier’s 57-strong fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will first receive Starlink Wi-Fi connectivity by the end of 2024, with the airline’s entire fleet being upgraded with the technology by the end of 2026.  

Qatar Airways

According to a statement issued by the airline, “This strategic move solidifies the airline’s commitment to elevating the passenger experience onboard, with plans to progressively extend SpaceX-powered technology across its entire modern fleet within the next two years.” 

“As the first-ever service of its kind in the MENA region, the collaboration with Starlink, the world’s largest satellite internet constellation engineered and operated by SpaceX, marks a new milestone for the national carrier of the State of Qatar. This strategic initiative will further elevate the airline’s unparalleled onboard experience,” the statement adds. 

“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 Al-Meer.  

“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,” said Starlink’s Mike Nicolls. “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.” 

Qatar Airways is the largest airline to partner with Starlink to date and adds to a growing list of customers for the inflight connectivity platform. Other airlines already partnering with the technology company include Hawaiian Airlines, Air New Zealand, airBaltic, Zipair, and Delta Air Lines.  

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