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Airlines Increasing Fuel Efficiency By Adopting The iPad As An Entertainment Device

Airlines Increasing Fuel Efficiency By Adopting The iPad As An Entertainment Device

Bloomberg reports today that startup airline Scoot Pte (their maiden flight is today) will save fuel and have increased profits by deploying the iPad as the passenger entertainment device. By cutting out old entertainment systems weighing more than two tons, they've saved fuel while still flying older airplanes and even expanding traditional seating capacity by 40 per cent. Increasing profit, the post-PC way.

The tablets helped the carrier cut 7 percent off the weight of planes obtained from parent Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA) even after a 40 percent increase in seating, Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson said. The savings will help Scoot, which makes its maiden flight today, cope with fuel prices that have jumped about 36 percent in two years.

Scoot Pte will rent the iPads for $17 a flight to economy-class passengers and offering them for free to those in business class. It follows moves by other airlines such as Jetstar, AirAsia and Qantas which have deployed the iPad in trials and small test runs since late last year.

Cutting costs and finding new sources of revenue will be key for Singapore-based Scoot as it seeks to make a profit flying older planes than other low-cost carriers and selling tickets as cheap as S$158 one-way to Sydney, a flight of more than seven hours. Singapore Air formed Scoot after budget operators led by Jetstar and AirAsia Bhd. won 26 percent of the city’s air-travel market.

By reducing fuel costs, parent company Singapore Airlines hopes that it can turn over a new leaf with Scoot after it tumbled 28 percent this year, exceeding the 14 percent decline for the Straits Times Index. It's really crazy to think that something like the iPad can have such a huge impact on fuel efficiency of airplanes - today's story is on top of  the existing trend of airlines replacing flight manuals with iPads that Tim Cook gladly shared earlier this year.

Scoot plans to increase its fleet to as many as 14 777s by the middle of the decade. The carrier will be able to pare maintenance costs by working with its parent, Wilson said.