According to the CEO of Frontier, prospective inflight WiFi from SpaceX or other suppliers has been considered.
Currently, the low-cost carrier’s aircraft don’t have in-flight Wi-Fi.
Earlier this year, SpaceX signed a contract with Hawaiian Airlines to supply wireless internet.
The carrier’s CEO told CNBC on Thursday that the company “recently” held talks with SpaceX about bringing the company’s Starlink satellite internet service to its aircraft and is more optimistic about doing so than in past years.
The low-cost carrier would change course by incorporating Starlink’s Wi-Fi because it now doesn’t provide in-flight internet access. According to CEO Barry Biffle, cutting out Wi-Fi for the time being enables the airline to be more “green” because it reduces weight on board.
SpaceX representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Biffle remarked in an interview conducted on the sidelines of an aerospace symposium in Washington, D.C., “The difficulty is that I don’t want the weight and I don’t want drag. I don’t transport travellers on business.
The majority of significant U.S. airlines charge a fee for Wi-Fi on board, however several are working to raise the service’s calibre and cut its price.
The Starlink broadband network, which is currently being built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has over 500,000 total users, the majority of whom are individual consumers, and currently has more than 3,000 satellites in orbit.
Frontier Airlines and SpaceX discussed Starlink Wi-Fi
The FCC granted SpaceX permission to offer mobile Starlink internet service to trucks, boats, and aeroplanes in June. Recently, the business entered into a contract with Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Denver-based Frontier had previously considered bringing Wi-Fi on board and often consults with other carriers but hasn’t been able to justify the expense thus far. It’s changing, according to Biffle.
With Starlink’s entry, “we’re more optimistic that there will be some rationalisation of cost and pricing,” Biffle added. “I’ll put it on when the price is low enough.”
He explained that the carrier has no timetable for bringing internet service on board and mentioned that it might eventually collaborate with a rival provider.
Hawaiian Airlines, a major airline, and Starlink inked a contract in April to offer inflight internet. Hawaiian Airlines claimed the service would be free for passengers.
When the service eventually launches, Frontier will probably charge for Wi-Fi onboard, according to Biffle.
I don’t have any ancillary items that aren’t profitable, he claimed.