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Air Canada to start offering Wi-Fi on North American routes

Air Canada is the latest airline to roll out technology on its planes to ensure your boss will be able to contact you at any time.

The airline said Wednesday it’s set to introduce an in-flight Wi-Fi service to its fleet of aircraft across North America, with installation starting next month. The aim is to equip 29 of its jets with the technology by the end of this year, with a targeted completion date slated for December 2015 for its 130 narrow-body aircraft.

Partnering with Gogo for the service, the carrier has been testing out Wi-Fi on a number of flights between Canada and the US for several months now, offering it for free till the end of June. After that, use of the service will incur a fee, with pricing promised to be “competitive with other in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity offerings.”

While Gogo’s service will start by utilizing slightly slower air-to-ground technology, the airline said the two companies will next year begin testing much faster satellite-based technology, bringing with it faster connection speeds similar to mobile broadband services on the ground.

“Air Canada continually seeks to enhance the travel experience and that is why we are pleased to be the first airline in Canada to offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity to customers flying over continental North America,” Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s executive vice-president and chief commercial officer, said in a release.

He added, “In today’s connected world, our customers want to access email, mobile device applications and the Internet wherever they are, both to increase their work productivity and expand their leisure options.”

How important is in-flight Wi-Fi for you these days? Is it now a factor when it comes to booking a flight? Sound off in the comments below.

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