Zipair Tokyo Inc. will become the first airline in Asia to provide SpaceX Starlink internet to its passengers. The Japanese airline is in the process of equipping its fleet of airplanes with Starlink hardware soon. “Once integrated, all Zipair passengers will be able to seamlessly connect to Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency network anytime onboard – enabling real-time video conferencing, streaming, and gaming for all passengers,” stated SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Sales Jonathan Hofeller. “As the first Asian airline to implement Starlink, Zipair is setting a new standard for in-flight connectivity, and we’re excited to work with the company to provide this modern in-flight connectivity experience,” they stated in a press release on January 30.
Zipair operates four Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes and has plans to add eight more to its fleet. The airline was founded by Japan Airlines in 2018 and commenced operations until June 2020 as a cargo-only airline amid the COVID-19 pandemic, then it started to fly passengers in October 2020. Zipair provides cost-effective long-haul flights from its base at Tokyo Narita and flies passengers and cargo to airports located in Bangkok, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Jose, Singapore, and Seoul.
“We are committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in air travel and are excited to be a part of that future,” stated Zipair President Shingo Nishida. “We believe that our work with SpaceX is very important to increase the speed of in-flight Internet communications and achieve a new standard in the industry.”
Japan became the first country in Asia to have access to SpaceX's Starlink internet service in October 2022, as previously reported by TESMANIAN. The company also partnered with KDDI, the second-largest telecommunications company in the region to provide high-speed satellite internet to rural communities in Japan. SpaceX operates around 3,500 Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit. KDDI says it is using Starlink’s "low-latency broadband internet to KDDI's 1,200 remote mobile towers as its network backhaul provider.” According to SpaceX's official Starlink Coverage Map, around 95% of all of Japan has Starlink satellite coverage.
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Featured Image Source: Zipair
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.