WestJet to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi in October 2014

by Istvan Fekete on December 20, 2013

Calgary-based WestJet CEO, Gregg Saretsky, says the company is one step away from making email at 40,000 feet a reality. The company aims to become the first airline to offer an in-flight Wi-Fi service in Canada.

“We haven’t signed a contract yet, but we’re getting very close to the short strokes on that,” Saretsky said to the Calgary Herald. “If we can get the last of the contract terms resolved quickly, it might be announced before Christmas. Otherwise, it will be early in the year.”

Canadian airlines are a bit behind compared to the US and many international carriers, which already offer in-flight Wi-Fi. Air Canada does offer an Internet connection from Montreal and Toronto to Los Angeles, but the interesting part is that passengers can only access the wireless network when the planes are in US air space.

Gogo made its name offering inflight Internet services to carriers such as Delta, Virgin America, American Airlines, and United, and its services are also used by Air Canada for its Los Angeles flights – that’s the reason for the limited connectivity over US air space only.

Now the Internet provider is aiming to enter Canadian air space as well: Gogo has obtained Industry Canada’s approval to launch its services in the country. The company is now busy building its network of cell towers across the country. Also, there are inflight Internet providers offering connectivity via satellite: this could be the best option for airlines that spend most of their time flying over water.

“We’ve been working hard with them on this, because obviously if we get to a place where we have connectivity, we want people to be able to use their devices,” Saretsky said.

According to WestJet’s CEO, it will take up to eight months for the company to complete the certification process, which means the first Wi-Fi-equipped planes will take off in October, or maybe November, 2014.

Did you like this post? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: