US carrier Delta Air Lines has tested SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet on aircraft, The Wall Street Journal reports .
Delta Air Lines director Ed Bastian speaks of exploratory tests. He declined to provide details, but it appears that at least one of the major US carriers is interested in billionaire Elon Musk’s internet service.
SpaceX said it was already in talks with several airlines in July 2021 and trying to “get the product ready for use on airplanes in the very near future.”
Several months earlier, the company applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approval to make the service available to moving vehicles, such as airplanes, boats and trucks. According to Musk, the equipment is too large to fit on passenger cars.
The FCC allowed this, but emphasizes that SpaceX still needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to actually offer the service to an airline.
Delta Air Lines is one of the largest airlines in the United States. The company works closely with KLM in the Netherlands. This means that travelers sometimes fly in with a Delta aircraft and return with a KLM aircraft, or vice versa.
Space company SpaceX aims to put tens of thousands of satellites into orbit around the Earth in the coming years. They are used to provide internet connections. Thousands of such satellites already revolve around the Earth.