- Long-term relationship expanded to include 100 additional aircraft equipped for Wi-Fi
- Airline to use Intelsat’s new Electronically Steered Array (ESA) antenna
MONTREAL, September 5, 2023 – Air Canada and Intelsat, operator of one of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial networks and leading provider of in-flight connectivity (IFC), today announced an agreement for Intelsat to provide connectivity systems for nearly 100 additional aircraft across the airline’s fleet, including Intelsat’s new multi-orbit electronically steered array (ESA) antenna for aircraft in the airline’s regional jet fleet.
“The efforts and the commitment of Intelsat’s team and their service partners made the difference for us. 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, Marketing and Digital, and President of Aeroplan. “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.”
“Intelsat has been delivering reliable in-flight connectivity to Air Canada and its passengers for 14 years,” said Dave Bijur, Senior Vice President Commercial for Intelsat Commercial Aviation. “Air Canada’s leadership will continue for decades to come thanks to this investment in 2Ku connectivity for the 737 MAX fleet and the decision to install Intelsat’s innovative multi-orbit service across their regional jet operation.”
Intelsat currently operates in-flight internet on 240 aircraft spanning the Air Canada, Rouge and Air Canada Express. The new program includes IFC installations on three types of Air Canada aircraft:
- Boeing 737 MAX aircraft – the fleet of 40 aircraft will be equipped starting this year with Intelsat’s 2Ku IFC system.
- Embraer 175 and Mitsubishi CRJ-900 aircraft (currently installed with Intelsat’s air-to-ground system) – The 55 aircraft are currently flown by Air Canada’s Jazz regional partner and will be upgraded with Intelsat’s new ESA antenna starting in 2024.
Air Canada’s flag carrier and its regional partner Jazz together operate over 300 aircraft and they offer more Wi-Fi equipped flights than any other airline in Canada. The relationship with Intelsat will serve as a key enabler as Air Canada seeks to offer its customers the fastest and most consistently available Internet connectivity in the industry, throughout its global network.
Intelsat’s 2Ku solution is the industry’s leader due to its combination of a low-profile, fuselage-mounted antenna and its reliable on-wing performance. The smaller aircraft in the airline’s regional jet fleet will benefit from Intelsat’s new ESA which is less than three inches tall and interoperates on both Intelsat’s family of geo-stationary satellites and on OneWeb’s constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. This strategy enables Air Canada to deliver the highest quality inflight internet experience available to airlines, wherever it flies.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled service directly to more than 180 airports in Canada, the United States and Internationally on six continents. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is Canada’s premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world’s largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada’s passenger and freighter aircraft. Air Canada aims to achieve an ambitious net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OTCQX in the U.S.
Intelsat’s worldwide team of professionals is focused on providing seamless and secure, satellite-based communications to government, NGO and commercial customers through the company’s next-generation global network and managed services. Bridging the digital divide by operating one of the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructures, Intelsat enables people and their tools to speak over oceans, see across continents and listen through the skies to communicate, cooperate and coexist. Since its founding six decades ago, the company has been synonymous with satellite-industry “firsts” in service to its customers and the planet. Leaning on a legacy of innovation and focusing on addressing a new generation of challenges Intelsat team members now have their sights on the “next firsts” in space as they disrupt the field and lead in the digital transformation of the industry.
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