[Avionics Today April 9, 2014] Air Canada plans on rolling out Gogo's in-flight connectivity service across its North American fleet in May, according to Gogo CEO Michael Small.
Currently Air Canada operates two Wi-Fi equipped Airbus A319s, and plans on adding connectivity to its remaining Airbus A319, A320 and A321 narrow-body and Embraer 190 fleet types, as well as its Air Canada Express CRJ-705 and Embraer 175 aircraft, with Gogo's Air-To-Ground (ATG) and next generation ATG-4 technologies.
Under the agreement, Air Canada will also receive "future type-testing" of Gogo satellite solutions for Wi-Fi on international flights starting with trials in 2015, Gogo said.
"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," said Benajamin Smith, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Air Canada.
The Canadian airline is also upgrading the in-flight entertainment and communications systems on its fleet of Boeing 787s with the eX3 system from Panasonic Avionics.
Under the agreement, Panasonic will line fit install the eX3 to Air Canada's 37 new 787s. In 2014, the airline is scheduled to receive six new 787-8s, with deliveries of the larger 787-9s beginning in 2015.
Craig Landry, vice president of marketing for Air Canada, says the new systems will bring a "deep portfolio of applications" to bring passengers a "next-generation in-flight experience." The eX3 features more than 600 hours of in-flight entertainment content and higher definition touch screens than the previous generation eX2 system.