Service offers email, internet and access to mobile device apps
TORONTO, April 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - AC 107 (35,000 FEET, EN ROUTE TO CALGARY) - Air Canada, the first Canadian carrier to offer customers in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity, plans to begin rolling out connectivity across its North American fleet in May under an agreement with Gogo®, the airline announced in a release issued today from one of its Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft. The agreement will also provide for future type-testing of Gogo satellite solutions for Wi-Fi on international flights.
"Air Canada continually seeks to enhance the travel experience and that is why we are pleased to be the first airline in Canada to offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity to customers flying over continental North America. In today's connected world, our customers want to access email, mobile device applications and the internet wherever they are, both to increase their work productivity and expand their leisure options. The introduction of Wi-Fi across our narrow-body North American fleet will be another welcome amenity for customers, who already enjoy the award-winning service of North America's Best Airline," said Benjamin Smith, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer.
Air Canada presently has two Wi-Fi-equipped Airbus 319 aircraft operating in Canada and the U.S. and, subject to a final agreement with Gogo, plans to begin outfitting its remaining Airbus A319, A320 and A321 and Embraer 190 fleet types, as well as its Air Canada Express CRJ-705 and Embraer 175 aircraft, with Air-To-Ground Wi-Fi connectivity. The installations are to begin in May with the goal of equipping 29 aircraft in 2014 and a targeted completion date of December 2015 for the designated 130 narrow-body aircraft. The system offers peak connection speeds comparable to mobile broadband services available on the ground. Current regulations prohibit the use of cellular phones for voice communication. Pricing will be competitive with other in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity offerings.
Gogo has also provided Air Canada the opportunity to type-trial two satellite-based systems, using Gogo 2KU and Inmarsat GlobalXpress KA-band solutions. These tests are expected to be conducted in 2015. The results will help determine future connectivity options that can be considered as the technology continues to evolve.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2013 served more than 35 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 72 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,269 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax that ranked Air Canada in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers as Best Airline in North America in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com.
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SOURCE: Air Canada
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