MONTREAL, Sept. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada intends to begin offering live internet service to customers inflight starting next spring under an agreement announced today with Aircell. "Air Canada prides itself on connecting Canada and the world and an important element of staying connected today is having use of the internet. That is why Air Canada is taking a major step forward to becoming the first Canadian airline to provide its customers inflight, online access through Gogo. In cooperation with Aircell, and pending Canadian regulatory approvals, we plan to eventually offer internet access system-wide so customers can email, work and surf the net while flying, and more fully enjoy what is already a superior travel experience," said Charles McKee, Vice President, Marketing, at Air Canada.
"Air Canada has long been recognized as a leader in cabin merchandising and we are pleased to have Gogo selected as part of that marketing strategy," said Jack Blumenstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aircell. "Adding Air Canada as Aircell’s newest airline partner and our first international customer will be yet another milestone for our company. As we continue to grow our U.S. network and explore our international expansion plans, Air Canada will have the distinction of being the first."
Air Canada intends to begin operating Gogo by spring 2009 aboard Airbus A319 aircraft on select flights to the U.S. west coast and will be accessible by customers with a standard, wi-fi equipped laptop or Personal Electronic Device (PED). Initially, the Gogo system will be powered by Aircell’s existing network and only available in the U.S. in order to make Air Canada’s rollout fast, economical and simple. Upon successful completion of the initial phase, Air Canada plans to extend the system throughout its North American and International markets as Aircell’s coverage network expands. Aircell looks forward to the licensing and rollout of a Canadian Air-to-Ground network to make Gogo available in Canada and facilitate Air Canada’s future fleet-wide deployment.
About Air Canada
Montreal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is the 14th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 34 million customers annually with a fleet consisting of 335 aircraft. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network.
Aircell is the world’s leading provider of airborne communications. As winner of an exclusive FCC frequency license in 2006, Aircell(R) has built a revolutionary mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, Gogo(TM), revolutionized the commercial airline passenger flight experience by delivering a robust Internet experience at 35,000 feet. In addition, the Aircell Network provides airlines with connectivity to operations and a path to enhanced cabin services such as video, audio, television and more. A similar feature set is available to Business aircraft operators. Aircell has facilities in Broomfield, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois. Aircell’s vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flight(R). For more information about Aircell, please visit www.aircell.com
Gogo(TM), powered by Aircell, turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true inflight Internet access. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, can surf the Web, check any e-mail, Instant Message, access a corporate VPN and more. For more information about Gogo, please visit www.gogoinflight.com
Source: Air Canada
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