Air Canada has begun trials to offer its customers Gogo Inflight Internet service on board select flights on the carrier’s Toronto-Los Angeles and Montreal-Los Angeles routes.
“Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to begin offering customers access to the internet while they are flying,” says Louise McKenven, senior director, marketing at Air Canada. “With this service, our customers will be able to email, work and surf the net while flying, and more fully enjoy what is already a superior travel experience that includes complimentary seatback entertainment and access to standard power outlets.”
The airline says that following the test period, which runs until January 29, it will analyze usage and customer feedback before it proceeds with introduction of the service on other routes.
“This initial phase is intended to get our customers’ feedback about this exciting new service. The ultimate rollout of our inflight internet service will be finalized pending the outcome of the trial period as well as obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and the development of ground infrastructure in Canada to provide a domestic network,” says McKenven.
Customers can access the service using their own standard, Wi-Fi equipped laptop at a cost of US$9.95 per flight or Personal Electronic Device (PED) at a cost of US$7.95 per flight.
Initially, Air Canada’s Gogo system will be powered by Aircell’s existing network and will only be available in the continental U.S. in order to make the airline’s roll-out of the service fast, economical and simple.
However, Air Canada says it intends to extend the system on other routes in North America with the deployment of the Canadian Air-To-Ground (ATG) network. The airline says Aircell plans to collaborate with the Canadian ATG licensee in supporting the establishment of a Canadian ATG network and in facilitating the fleet-wide deployment of Air Canada’s onboard connectivity service.