In a partnership with Gogo, Air Canada has announced that in-flight Wi-Fi will be available to customers on flights across North America beginning May 2014. The agreement will also provide future testing for solutions on international flights.
Benjamin Smith, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer says, "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."
Subject to a final agreement with Gogo, Air Canada plans to begin outfitting its fleet of aircraft with Air-To-Ground Wi-Fi connectivity. Installations are to start in May for a designated 130 planes, with a target completion date of 2015. Connection speeds are to be comparable to on-ground broadband services. Cellular voice communication will not be offered (due to current prohibited regulations – IMHO, regulations that should stay in place). Air Canada states "Pricing will be competitive with other in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity offerings.”
Only two Airbus 319 aircrafts are currently equipped with Wi-Fi. Pending the final agreement it will be installed on the remaining Airbus A319, as well as the A320, A321 and Embraer 190 fleet types, and Air Canada Express CRJ-705 and Embraer 175 aircrafts.