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Mon, Sep 25, 2023

Flexjet Launches Starlink Inflight Connectivity

A Different Way to Communicate

Private jet flight provider Flexjet, Inc. has collaborated with broadband satellite internet provider and SpaceX subsidiary Starlink for purpose of providing the former concern’s aircraft owners in-flight Wi-Fi access commensurate in quality to that of the best terrestrial services.

Flexjet is the first fractional-ownership aircraft travel provider to offer in-flight connectivity supportive of data-intense functions the likes of voice and video calls, video-streaming, gaming, internet browsing, and online commerce. The introduction of airborne Starlink service occasions the culmination of an 18-month effort comprising extensive evaluations of extant broadband technologies and close collaboration between Flexjet, Nextant Aerospace (Flexjet’s engineering arm), and Starlink.

Flexjet Global Maintenance and Product division lead Jay Heublein stated: “We are committed to providing the finest possible travel experience for our owners, and this includes high-quality internet access from takeoff to arrival. Through Starlink, SpaceX has created the most significant technology advancement for private jet travel that we’ve seen in the last two-decades. Reliable connectivity is vital to our owners and, for the first time, the technology exists to deliver on this expectation.”

Engineered by boffins in the employ of SpaceX founder, tech-genius, and world’s wealthiest man Elon Musk, Starlink operates upwards of 4,500 satellites in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) which, in the aggregate, provide Internet access in even the remotest environs.  

SpaceX’s vice-president of Starlink Business Operations Chad Gibbs set forth: “As the first global business jet operator to adopt Starlink, Flexjet is leading the way in bringing a truly reliable high-speed internet solution to its aircraft owners. Our focus from day-one was to solve for the shortcomings of existing in-flight technology and ensure that Flexjet could offer a seamless connectivity solution from ground to flight and back.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has certified Starlink’s broadband technology compatible with Flexjet’s Gulfstream G650 large-cabin business jets. Upon completion of requisite modifications to its Gulfstream fleet, Flexjet intends to pursue certification and installation of Starlink connectivity services aboard its super-mid-size Embraer Praetor 600 and Bombardier Challenger 350/3500, mid-size Embraer Praetor 500, and light-jet Embraer Phenom 300 fleets.

Designed specifically to circumvent persistent reliability issues by which legacy connectivity solutions have been plagued, Starlink features a phased-array antenna with no moving parts. Subject antenna eliminates susceptibility to environmental variances by which the performance of older systems is adversely impacted.

Once installed aboard the company’s aircraft, Flexjet passengers, rather than having to wait until reaching cruise altitude, will be able to access the Internet during any phase of ground or flight operations. Moreover, users will retain connectivity as the host aircraft descends from altitude, remaining contentedly about Zoom meetings and Call of Duty deployments.

Mr. Heublein concluded: “Internet access is as indispensable to modern life as electric power, and providing seamless high-speed access is vital for a superior travel experience. Flexjet is proud to have identified and adapted the most advanced technology to keep our aircraft owners connected no matter where in the world they are.”

FMI: www.flexjet.com

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