September 7 2023  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Air Canada expands inflight Wi-Fi service to more aircraft

By Alex Preston

Air Canada's fleet of 40 737MAX aircraft will be among those kitted out with inflight Wi-Fi provided by Intelsat

Intelsat is to provide connectivity systems for nearly 100 additional aircraft across Air Canada’s fleet, following an extension to their existing contract.

Intelsat currently operates inflight internet on 240 aircraft spanning the Air Canada, Rouge and Air Canada Express. The new program includes IFC installations on three types of Air Canada aircraft:

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft – the fleet of 40 aircraft will be equipped starting this year with Intelsat’s 2Ku IFC system.

Embraer 175 and Mitsubishi CRJ-900 aircraft (currently installed with Intelsat’s air-to-ground system) – The 55 aircraft are currently flown by Air Canada’s Jazz regional partner and will be upgraded with Intelsat’s new Electronically Steered Array (ESA) antenna starting in 2024.

Intelsat’s 2Ku solution combines a low-profile, fuselage-mounted antenna and a reliable on-wing performance. The smaller aircraft in the airline’s regional jet fleet will benefit from Intelsat’s new ESA which is less than three inches tall and interoperates on both Intelsat’s family of geo-stationary satellites and on OneWeb’s constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. This strategy enables Air Canada to deliver the highest quality inflight internet experience available to airlines, wherever it flies.

“The efforts and the commitment of Intelsat’s team and their service partners made the difference for us. We’re confident Intelsat provides proven technology, an extensible platform and network, and the right vision for the future of inflight connectivity,” said Mark Nasr, Air Canada’s Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital, and President of Aeroplan in a September 5 statement. “Through our Bell partnership, equipment installation schedule, and strong conviction around the importance of inflight connectivity, we seek to offer our customers the best and most consistently available offering in the industry.”

“Intelsat has been delivering reliable inflight connectivity to Air Canada and its passengers for 14 years,” added Dave Bijur, Senior Vice President Commercial for Intelsat Commercial Aviation. “Air Canada’s leadership will continue for decades to come thanks to this investment in 2Ku connectivity for the 737 MAX fleet and the decision to install Intelsat’s innovative multi-orbit service across their regional jet operation.”

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