Air Canada Taps Intelsat to Equip 100 More Aircraft With IFC
Air Canada is expanding its in-flight connectivity (IFC) deal with Intelsat, ordering Intelsat’s IFC solution for nearly 100 more aircraft, the companies announced Tuesday.
Intelsat and its IFC predecessor, Gogo, have worked with the flagship Canadian air carrier for 14 years. Intelsat currently operates in-flight internet on 240 aircraft on Air Canada, Rouge, and Air Canada Express. The new program includes IFC installations on three types of Air Canada aircraft including 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which will be equipped starting this year with Intelsat’s 2Ku IFC system.
The deal also includes 55 aircraft flown by Air Canada’s Jazz regional partner, Embraer 175 and Mitsubishi CRJ-900 aircraft. These planes currently have an air-to-ground system and will be upgraded with Intelsat’s new electronically steered array (ESA) antenna starting in 2024.
Air Canada offers free messaging for its Aeroplan members on all Wi-Fi equipped flights through a partnership with Canadian telco Bell, announced earlier this year.
Intelsat’s 2Ku solution includes a low-profile, fuselage-mounted antenna that is less than three inches tall. The antenna interoperates on both Intelsat’s family of Geostationary (GEO) satellites and on OneWeb’s constellation of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
“We’re confident Intelsat provides proven technology, an extensible platform and network, and the right vision for the future of in-flight connectivity,” said Mark Nasr, Air Canada’s executive vice president of Marketing and Digital. “Through our Bell partnership, equipment installation schedule, and strong conviction around the importance of in-flight connectivity, we seek to offer our customers the best and most consistently available offering in the industry.”