australian aviation logo

Air New Zealand to trial Starlink Wi-Fi on domestic flights

written by Jake Nelson | December 13, 2023

An Air New Zealand A320 (Australian Aviation archives)

Air New Zealand is planning to roll out free Starlink Wi-Fi on its domestic flights, including – in what the airline bills as a “world first” – on ATRs.

The carrier, which already offers Immarsat Wi-Fi on international services, will test out the technology on a domestic A320-family jet and an ATR in late 2024, with a broader launch in 2025 pending a successful trial run of four to six months.

According to Air New Zealand chief digital officer Nikhil Ravishankar, the partnership will enable reliable high-speed internet on domestic flights with latency as low as 30ms.

“We’re always looking at how new and innovative technology can deliver improved customer experiences and with the world’s largest satellite constellation, exploring in-motion connectivity on our aircraft with Starlink was a no-brainer,” said Ravishankar.

“Whether travelling for work or leisure, we know maintaining seamless internet connectivity is something that will transform the travel experience for customers.


“Our free and accessible Wi-Fi onboard international flights has proved incredibly popular among customers, so we can’t wait to bring connectivity to domestic flights.”

Customers during the initial trial period will be advised if their domestic flight is Wi-Fi enabled, with the information to be added to Air New Zealand’s app, as with international services, should the airline proceed with the wider rollout.

Qantas began its own domestic Wi-Fi service in 2017 using ViaSat and the NBN’s Sky Muster satellites, with some international flights also offering Wi-Fi starting this year, though the connection is only available while flying over Australia and within Sky Muster’s coverage area.

The Flying Kangaroo plans to make Wi-Fi available on its Project Sunrise flights upon their launch in 2025, making use of the ViaSat-3 constellation which will comprise three satellites, each covering one-third of the Earth’s surface. Qantas has noted that many of its existing long-range aircraft will also be upgraded to support satellite Wi-Fi.

Virgin Australia and Rex have since launched their own inflight Wi-Fi services, while Bonza has Wi-Fi connectivity only for its own entertainment and menu offerings.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.