updated 04:26 pm EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
Move will see 5000 iPads put into Boeing 767 fleet
Qantas will be giving customers iPads to use for in-flight entertainment, following successful tests late last year. The Apple tablets will be rolled out to the entire Qantas 767 fleet, from the fourth quarter of this year onwards, starting with flights based on Australia's east-coast routes. Adding iPads to all 23 Boeing 767-300 craft would require at least 5,000 units, excluding spare tablets for repairs.
In-flight content will be supplied by Panasonic's eXW solution called Qstreaming. The service uses an onboard server to stream over 200 hours of on-demand entertainment to the iPads via strategically placed Wi-Fi access points. It was suggested as part of last year's test to allow customers to use their own iPads with the service, but the airline is still assessing whether or not to allow the option.
The in-flight iPad entertainment confirmation follows a separate Qantas announcement that suggests pilots will be issued iPads to replace paper-based flight documents. Specific apps have been created for the pilots, who will receive the 2,200 64GB iPads as the airline aims to reduce the amount of paper pilots carry onboard by 45 pounds. On Tuesday, Qantas mentioned it was to replace all 1,300 corporate-sponsored BlackBerry devices with iPhones, potentially saving the airline millions of dollars per year. [via ZDnet]