Budget airline Scoot Pte’s switch to using Apple’s iPad for its in-flight entertainment helped the company cut two tons of televisions and related equipment from its airplanes. Business class fliers will borrow the iPads for free, while economy passengers will rent them for $22 USD.
The airline, a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, removed the entertainment equipment while outfitting planes it had received from its parent company, according to a Bloomberg report. Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson told the publication that his company had managed to cut 7 percent of the planes’ weight, while simultaneously increasing seating by 40 percent.
In place of the television service, Scoot Pte will offer customers iPad that are pre-loaded with “movies, music, games, and television shows,” says the report. The airline also plans to install a wireless system for providing content to customers on its planes.
The iPads will be used in the airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft. Currently the airline has four 777s, with plans to expand the fleet to 14 within the next few years.
JP Morgan Chase & Co. transportation research analyst Corrine Png said the switch to iPads was a “smart move” because lightening the plane will “help improve fuel efficiency.”
Competing airline Qantas claims to be the first to have launched iPad-based in-flight entertainment. The airline began testing their service in December.
The Scoot Pte use of iPads is part of a continuing trend of adoption of the iPad across the aviation industry. After receiving FAA approval last year, several airlines have begun using the tablet as an electronic flight bag.