Conversations with Our Customers

Air Canada Takes Customer Experience to New Heights Using Future-Proof Network Infrastructure

An interconnected digital backbone helps deliver a better experience for airline passengers

Tara Risser
Air Canada Takes Customer Experience to New Heights Using Future-Proof Network Infrastructure

Today is Customer Experience Day, a global day to celebrate great customer experience and the brands that deliver it.[1] The theme for CX Day 2023 is “Good CX delivers better outcomes for customers, employees and organizations.”

At Equinix, everything we do is in service to our customers. We’re dedicated to providing a better experience for them, which in turn empowers a better experience for their own end users. Today, we bring you a look at how we’re helping one customer, a leading airline, deliver a better experience for its passengers around the globe. 

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, today’s airline customers expect more from their experience. From the moment they start planning a trip all the way through to the trip itself, travelers are looking for airlines to offer care and support that extends beyond the airport.

To respond to these needs quickly and seamlessly, airlines need ways to connect in and around hundreds of airports throughout the world—which is where digital infrastructure plays a pivotal role. For airlines to engage with today’s travelers (who rely on the technology that moves with them in their pockets) they must prioritize digital transformation so they can meet their customer’s needs, wherever they are in the world.

One such example of a digital leader in the airline industry is Air Canada. I recently sat down with Kelly Shubert, Air Canada’s Senior Director of Core Technologies, to find out more about how the company modernized its network infrastructure with the help of Platform Equinix®, and the impact it’s had with customers. Read the highlights below, and be sure to watch our full conversation to learn more:

Air Canada Builds Network Infrastructure for a Better Customer Experience

Watch how Air Canada has architected critical IT systems infrastructure that keeps their passengers, partners and governments connected for the best end-user experience possible.

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The background: Kelly emphasized that Air Canada takes its responsibility to passengers very seriously, and the company uses technology to help make passengers’ experience as frictionless as possible. It started out with a traditional network infrastructure built around centralized private data centers, but recognized more robust interconnection as an opportunity to transform its digital capabilities.

The challenge: Air Canada’s customer experience efforts rely on critical IT infrastructure; with travelers en route or at cruising altitude literally 24/7, an unreliable connection isn’t an option. That’s why the company benefits so much from being able to plug into a global ecosystem of cloud providers on demand, which gives them access to a vast network of always-on services.

The transformation: With the help of Equinix, Air Canada built what Kelly calls its “digital backbone”—the virtual runway between the company’s regular network and its cloud and partner zones. Having easy access to cloud services has helped Air Canada implement advanced AI and machine learning capabilities, as well as AR/VR—all of which it now uses to enhance the customer experience.

Platform Equinix has certainly been a win for us. We find more and more of our partners are meeting us at Equinix locations, which is easier for us, more secure for us, and frankly, we’re quicker to market by doing that.” - Kelly Shubert, Senior Director of Core Technologies, Air Canada

The benefits: Transitioning from private data centers to Platform Equinix and our ecosystem of cloud providers has helped Air Canada take advantage of much higher economies of scale than it could achieve working alone. And these benefits extend beyond the digital aspects; the sustainability efforts of Equinix and its partners have also helped Air Canada make its own operations more sustainable.

The future: Air Canada plans to continue leveraging Equinix services as it evolves its own. For example, it expects to use Equinix interconnection capabilities to enable joint ventures with other travel companies, as well as partners in retail and financial services. What might this look like in action? By connecting to an app-based ridesharing service, for instance, Air Canada could offer its passengers last-mile ground transportation options after landing at their destination. In so many ways, a robust digital ecosystem allows for a more thoughtful, intuitive and personalized customer experience.

Check out the video of my full conversation with Kelly to learn more about how we’re helping Air Canada future-proof its network and take its customer experience to new heights.


[1] CX Day, Customer Experience Professionals Association.

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