Australian airline Qantas are set to provide Apple iPads to use as in-flight entertainment, the move follows a successful test run from late-2011. Qantas would put iPads in their entire Qantas 767 fleet starting from Q4 this year, starting on flights based on Australia's east-coast routes.
Qantas have 23 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, meaning the company is looking at providing at least 5,000 iPads, without including units for spare tablets in case of one malfunctioning. The in-flight content is set to be provided by Panasonic's eXW solution dubbed Qstreaming. Qstreaming uses an onboard server to stream over 200 hours of on-demand entertainment to the iPads via strategically placed Wi-Fi access points.
Part of the test run late last year included the suggestion that Qantas would allow customers to use their own iPads with the service, but the company is still assessing whether or not to allow the option. I don't see why they should hold back, just allow them to download the app itself onto their iPad.
This new in-flight entertainment deal is on the heels of a separate Qantas announcement that suggests pilots would be issued with iPads to reduce paper-based flight documents. Specific apps have been built for pilots, who will receive 2,200 64GB iPads as Qantas aims to reduce the amount of paper pilots carry onboard by up to 45 pounds. Also, on Tuesday, Qantas mentioned they were to replace all 1,300 corporate-sponsored BlackBerry devices with iPhones, saving the company millions of dollars per year.
Should we get ready to call them iQantas?