Air Canada to introduce free inflight messaging

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Air Canada has announced a new partnership with communications firm Bell to offer its passengers free inflight messaging.

From May 15 members of the carrier’s Aeroplan loyalty programme will be able to avail of the service when travelling on wifi-equipped Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express aircraft.

Customers will be able to send and receive text-based messages via apps including iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber and Messages by Google.

The benefit will also be extended to Air Canada’s “strategic partner airline loyalty members”, including United MileagePlus, Lufthansa Group Miles and More and Emirates Skywards members when their account numbers are associated with an Air Canada booking.

As part of the agreement, complimentary Bell mobile SIM cards will also be made available on selected international flights bound for Canada, which customers can activate in flight “allowing them to walk off the plane and be connected”.

In addition Air Canada and Bell will collaborate on other customer experience initiatives, “including the development and offering of Aeroplan promotional rewards, as well as building upon Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight entertainment offering with the expansion of Live TV service on flights to the US, expected later this summer”.

The introduction of free inflight messaging follows similar moves by Etihad and Turkish Airlines in recent weeks.

Commenting on the news Mark Nasr, executive vice president, marketing and digital, and president of Aeroplan at Air Canada, said:

“Canadians are at the centre of this exciting new partnership. We’re so proud to join with an iconic brand to deliver real value to customers across the country, and, importantly, to those new to our country. “This multifaceted partnership with Bell will allow Air Canada customers to keep in touch with friends, family, or colleagues wherever they travel. What’s more, we’re elated that Bell will be joining as the latest Aeroplan partner, creating another way for members to travel more, and travel better.”

aircanada.com