Australian air carrier, Qantas, are ditching their in-flight entertainment systems on many flights and providing each passenger with an iPad to pass the time. To me this seems like a great idea and I suspect this probably works out cheaper and easier than the bloated in-flight systems that most long-haul carriers use. How many times have you been on a flight where the screen doesn’t work or the buttons are broken?!
Now I am guessing that Qantas will be tethering the iPads to the seat somehow and at the very least having some branding on them to distinguish from those that their customers bring on board, maybe mounting them in the seat-back where LCD screens would typically be.
According to reports, the airline will put Apple’s tablet in all 23 of its Boeing 757 planes, making a total of 5,842 iPads. I hope they are getting a good deal on those!
Qantas has partnered with Panasonic to stream content wirelessly to the iPads from a central storage unit on the plane.
“We’re now looking at ways to evolve this technology platform even further with our partner Panasonic to bring new standards of in-flight entertainment to our customers,” said Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi in a statement. This could include the addition of internet access, live television, and the ability to order food, drinks and duty-free goods via the iPad.
Qantas’ total fleet size extends to a total of 137 aircraft with over 60 more on order so that’s a lot of iPads if it goes to the full fleet!
Posted by: Matt