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Air Canada to provide in-flight internet service

Air Canada may soon follow American Airlines in providing in-flight internet service for its passengers.

business Updated: Aug 28, 2008 13:12 IST

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 on 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 on 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.