Air Canada (Montreal) became the first Canadian carrier to offer customers in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity. The carrier plans to begin rolling out connectivity across its North American fleet in May under an agreement with Gogo®. The agreement will also provide for future type-testing of Gogo satellite solutions for Wi-Fi on international flights.
Air Canada presently has two Wi-Fi-equipped Airbus A319 aircraft operating in Canada and the United States 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 CRJ705 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.
In other news, Airline Route is reporting Air Canada has delayed the introduction of the new Boeing 787-8 due to delivery delays. The Toronto (Pearson)-Zurich route has been delayed from May 18 to May 25. The Toronto (Pearson)-Tel Aviv route will also be delayed from July 1 to July 15. The Toronto (Pearson)-Tokyo (Haneda) route remains unchanged for July 1. There will be a single domestic roundtrip on May 21 between Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) to introduce the new type.
Copyright Photo: Air Canada.
Video: The Air Canada 787: