Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Jetstar Airways, a Qantas owned Australian low-cost airline, has announced plans to trial Apple iPads as an in-flight entertainment option. This trial would make Jetstar one of the first airlines in the world to offer the iPad.
Starting later this month, Jetstar plans to begin a two-week trial, during which passengers will have the option to rent iPads for $10AU on domestic flights longer than an hour. Thirty iPads would be available on each test plane. These devices would be preloaded with games, e-books, music and video content. Internet access however will be disabled as per Jetstar’s policy on internet connected devices, said spokeswoman Andrea Wait.
The iPads offered by Jetstar, will be specially customized by Bluebox Avionics. Bluebox Avionics, at present, is the only company to offer iPads as part of an in-flight entertainment system. Jetstar will be the first to offer the Bluebox Avionics iPad based systems, though, Bluebox Avionics has said the system will be available to other airlines soon.
Shortly following the initial release of the iPad, Jetstar chief information officer Stephen Tame speculated that the iPad “may lead in the future the end of airline in-flight entertainment systems”. Depending on the results of the trial, iPads may replace existing Jetstar in-flight entertainment systems.
Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said he expected the iPads to be very popular during the trial. If the trial is successful, the airline would “be looking to roll out the devices across our entire domestic and international network later in the year”, said Buchanan.