ZIPAIR is first Asian airline to provide SpaceX in-flight internet

A ZIPAIR Boeing 787 in flight.
Masakatsu Ukon, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Japanese low-cost carrier ZIPAIR has selected SpaceX’s Starlink system to bring higher-speed and lower-latency internet to all passengers in-flight.

The carrier effectively becomes the first Asian airline to work with Space Exploration Technology Corp (SpaceX).

Starlink’s innovative satellite technology will revolutionize the flying experience, providing ZIPAIR passengers with seamless connectivity and enabling an in-flight internet connection as good as or better than what they are used to at home.

Starlink is a satellite-based internet service that utilizes a network of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide global coverage.

This cutting-edge technology will allow passengers to enjoy smooth streaming, faster downloads, and lower latency communication during their entire flight. SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Sales Jonathan Hofeller explains:

“Once integrated, all ZIPAIR passengers will be able to seamlessly connect to Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency network anytime onboard – enabling real-time video conferencing, streaming, and gaming for all passengers.”

“As the first Asian airline to implement Starlink, ZIPAIR is setting a new standard for in-flight connectivity, and we’re excited to work with the company to provide this modern in-flight connectivity experience.”

Photo Credit: Melv_L – MACASR, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

ZIPAIR statement

“We are committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in air travel and are excited to be a part of that future,” said ZIPAIR President Shingo Nishida.

“We believe that our work with SpaceX is very important to increase the speed of in-flight Internet communications and achieve a new standard in the industry.”

ZIPAIR and SpaceX are now working through the engineering review and regulatory certification process for ZIPAIR’s fleet for Starlink installation.

About ZIPAIR Tokyo, Inc.

ZIPAIR – officially ZIPAIR Tokyo – is a Japanese low-cost airline headquartered at Tokyo Narita Airport.

Initially founded in 2018, the airline is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines, from which it leases its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

ZIPAIR is Japan’s first medium-to-long-distance international LCC (low-cost airline), established with a 100% investment by Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. It currently operates flights from Narita to Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and San Jose California.


The provision of in-flight Wi-Fi services for connectivity and entertainment has become a major drawcard for airlines customer service recently.

Many carriers are making the move towards providing free in-flight connectivity services for their customers. Many people ask just how Wi-Fi can operate in over 30,000 feet above the earth. Put quite simply, it works as something of a hybrid system.

The aircraft Wi-Fi system will switch between air to ground, and satellite connectivity. The major limitation with an air to ground system is during the times and aircraft passes over water. In that instance, satellite connectivity takes over.

With the recent moves of carriers towards offering an in-flight service, with many offering free Wi-Fi in-flight, it is highly likely we will progressively move towards a universal free service from airlines.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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