Air Canada now offering satellite internet services on international flights

The service is now available on international Boeing 777-300ER and Air Canada Rouge narrow-body aircraft

Air Canada plane

International airline and Canadian flag carrier Air Canada has announced that it is now rolling out satellite internet service on international flights.

According to a June 7th, 2018 media release, passengers flying on Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER and Air Canada Rouge narrow-body aircraft can now access in-flight satellite internet provided by Gogo.

Wi-Fi prices start at $5 CAD on 777-300ER aircraft, until August 31st, 2018.

Additionally, the entire Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge wide-body fleet will be equipped with satellite coverage by mid-2019.

“The speed and reliability of Air Canada Wi-Fi will also make it an excellent productivity tool for business travelers, who will be able to keep in touch and work during their journey so they can stay up-to-date and arrive fully prepared for any meeting or event,” said Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s president of passenger airlines, in the same June 7th media release.

While 777-300ER passengers will be able to use satellite internet, Air Canada and Air Canada Express passengers flying on Airbus A319/320/321, Ebraer 175/190 and Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft travelling within North America will be able to access Wi-Fi through a “ground-based system.”

The core difference between ground-based and satellite internet is latency. Whereas satellite service is considered high-latency — meaning it takes a long time for individual packets of data to move from a device to a server — ground-based services are low-latency.

In effect, this means that satellite internet services can often be slower than ground-based internet.

However, in the case of international flights — where airplanes often fly at around 35,000 feet — ground-based services are simply unable to connect to airborne devices. As such, satellite internet is the only feasible solution.

Passengers looking to find out if their flights support Wi-Fi can do so by visiting the Air Canada Wi-Fi website.

Source: Air Canada