Air Canada to provide in-flight internet service

August 28th, 2008 - 10:55 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Aug 28 (IANS) Air Canada may soon follow American Airlines in providing in-flight internet service for its passengers. WestJet, Canada’s biggest private airline, is also likely to follow suit.

American Airlines, which is the world’s largest airline, offers in-flight internet service on its long-haul flights - New York to Los Angeles, New York to San Francisco and New York to Miami - within the country.

The service, which was introduced Aug 20, costs a passenger about $13 for the duration of the flight.

Air Canada, which faces an extra burden of $1 billion this year because of high fuel costs, expects that user-pay internet service may generate some revenue for the airline.

Reports quoted an Air Canada spokesperson Wednesday as saying that the national carrier was in talks with some in-flight internet service providers.

Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur told a news channel: “We are actively engaged in discussions with in-flight internet providers and are expected to make further announcements later this autumn.”

But a high-level official with US-based AirCell, which provides broadband in-flight internet service for American Airlines, confirmed that the company had held talks with Air Canada and WestJet.

The official said Internet was “one of those things that travellers are going to expect and airlines will feel the need to provide.”

However, the American internet service provider will have to first secure a licence from the Canadian government to operate here.

America’s Delta Air Lines has also announced to soon provide in-flight internet access on all its 330 planes.

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