Canada becomes the first airline in North America to expand
and offer on-board Email and Internet Services to its
passengers on all its aircrafts starting in the fall of 2001.
Canada's in-flight email and Internet services allow customers
to send and receive emails and to browse a selection of
business and general lifestyle focused web content, uploaded
from the Internet several times an hour, via their own laptop
computer. Travellers access the service through Bell
Mobility's existing on-board communications system available
in all classes of service.
making the aircraft an extension of their office environment,”
Air Canada spokesperson Laura Cooke said. “The service is
targeted at business customers, who want to be able to keep in
touch while they are travelling and make good use of their
ago, Air Canada and Tenzing signed their first memorandum of
understanding to test the system. In November 2000, Air Canada
became the first carrier in the world to offer the system to
its customers on a free trial basis.
8,000 people registered for the free trial, which was set up
on five of the airline's Boeing 767s. Air Canada surveyed
about 500 of them to get their opinions on content and pricing.
very pleased with the customer feedback from our trial. Our
passengers were very enthusiastic about the service and told
us that they considered onboard email and Internet a key
element in determining their choice of airline,” said Calin
Rovinescu, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and
you're a business traveller, having the ability to keep in
touch while you're in the air does have value,” said Mark
Quigley, an analyst with the Yankee Group in Canada.
kinds of services might very well cause someone to choose an
airline (which) offers them over one that doesn't."
true especially on long overseas flights, he said.
has signed a letter of intent with Seattle-based Tenzing
Communications Inc., a global communications provider, to
install the system, which will be compatible with PCs, Macs
and some personal digital assistants or hand-held computers.
congratulate Air Canada for becoming the first North American
carrier to deploy email and web services over the next few
years,” said Alan Pellegrini, President and Chief Operating
Officer at Tenzing Communications Inc. “Tenzing provides
both airlines and their passengers with the most economic and
comprehensive in-flight connectivity service and we are
pleased to help Air Canada's customers make their flight more
productive with access to email and web content.”
has made similar announcements with a number of airlines
around the world including Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Singapore
Airlines and Varig of Brazil.
Atlantic's service, to begin this year, will be provided on a
pay-as-you-go basis. The company said it would cost “a
couple of dollars” for each e-mail message.
hasn't yet set its pricing plan, but expect something similar.
Cooke said Air Canada's e-mail will be “competitively priced”
and browsing Web content will be free.
though, the test system in five jets is still up and running
and it's free.
can access the system by registering for the service on the
Air Canada website at www.aircanada.ca/tenzing. The end of
2003 will complete the deployment of the system.