After iPhone application, Air Canada introduces BlackBerry application to provide real-time information on flights

Saturday, October 17, 2009, 19:30 by Jose Philip

Air Canada, the flag-carrier airline of Canada, has launched an application for BlackBerry, about two months after the carrier having done so for iPhone. Through this new service, the customers can get real-time information on Air Canada flights.

The BlackBerry application also will provide information on flights of Jazz Airlines, Air Canada’s regional subsidiary airline based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The free application for BlackBerry will, like in the case of the iPhone application, help the passengers track flights; retrieve electronic boarding passes and itinerary as well as be informed, in real-time, of possible changes to Air Canada flights; book flights using an Air Canada Flight Pass; and rent a car or access other suitable travel links.

In a statement, Ben Smith, chief commercial officer of Air Canada, said the new BlackBerry application is available at BlackBerry App World or on the airline’s mobile website.

Air Canada, the biggest Canada-based airline, claims that it is the first carrier in North America to offer the BlackBerry application, and that the new service is yet another step by the company to help “customers on the go” who wish to manage their travel.

IBM Canada developed the BlackBerry application for Air Canada.

The airline also said that it is planning to offer Wi-Fi services on some of its flights to the west coast of the United States.

According to the official website of BlackBerry App World (which is an application distribution service by Research In Motion (RIM) for selected BlackBerry devices), Air Canada’s BlackBerry application provides the following:

Find Flight: Finding and tracking any flight of Air Canada or Jazz Airlines by flight number or the cities of arrival and destination. Use the BlackBerry Menu button to sign up to Flight Notification, to check-in, or add flights to My Flights.

My Flights: Keeping track of all flights of Air Canada from a single location. Use the BlackBerry Menu button to check-in, sign up to Flight Notification, or refresh flight status.

Check-In: Accessing Air Canada Mobile Check-in to retrieve electronic boarding pass, to select seat, etc.

My Messages: This is a single location for all Flight Notifications that the customer has registered and also links to the customer’s electronic boarding passes as and when they are available.

Air Canada said in the statement that it has also restructured its mobile portal http://mobile.aircanada.com in order to reflect the features of the carrier’s BlackBerry application.

In recent months, the enhanced competition in the passenger-aviation sector has prompted airlines to provide more and innovative services with a view to attracting customers, especially those booking flights via wireless systems.

Air Canada was the world’s first carrier to introduce – in 2007 – 2-D electronic boarding passes.

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