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Hawaiian Airlines teams up with Elon Musk company for in-flight internet

SpaceX Starlink Launch
John Raoux/AP
/
AP
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a batch of 53 Starlink internet satellites lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, April 21, 2022. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines said Monday that it will offer free wireless internet service from SpaceX's Starlink satellite network on flights between Hawaiʻi and the U.S. mainland, Asia and Oceania.

The airline said it is in the early stages of putting the service in place on some aircraft next year.

Honolulu-based Hawaiian said it's the first deal between Elon Musk's space company and a major airline, although charter operator JSX announced a deal with SpaceX last week.

Starlink is SpaceX’s network of satellites in low-Earth orbit, and the deals indicate SpaceX's interest in gaining a foothold in the in-flight Wi-Fi market.

Hawaiian said the service will allow passengers to stream content or play online games with people on the ground without having to go through registration pages or payment portals. The airline did not indicate plans to offer the service on flights between islands in Hawaiʻi.

Hawaiian flies between the islands and 16 mainland U.S. cities plus Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and American Samoa.

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