WestJet announces plan to offer Wi-Fi on flights

A WestJet plane. (MARCEL CRETAIN/QMI Agency)

A WestJet plane. (MARCEL CRETAIN/QMI Agency)

Nicole Feenstra, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:51 PM ET

Canadian airline WestJet has announced it will offer Wi-Fi to passengers during flights and will remove seat-back televisions in favour of delivering in-flight entertainment directly to personal devices.

The airline inked a multi-year deal with Panasonic to deliver content such as live streaming television and on-demand movies to personal devices like smartphones and tablets. Flyers will also be able to purchase data packages to surf the web and access email in-flight.

Tablets will be provided for guests travelling without a personal device.

"We were proud to be the first Canadian airline to offer live television on board our aircraft beginning in 2004, and today we are announcing a completely new system designed to offer WestJet guests a broader selection of entertainment options than ever before," said Marshall Wilmot, WestJet Vice-President, Product and Distribution, in a press release. "We know that roughly 75% of our guests are bringing their own devices on board today. They tell us they want the opportunity to connect to check their email, put the finishing touches on a presentation or keep in touch with family and friends."

WestJet plans to begin installing and testing the new in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment system on airplanes by the end of 2014.