Australian air carrier Qantas announced today that it plans to use Apple’s iPads as in-flight entertainment options, giving passengers on flights access to more than 200 hours of selected movies, music, and television.
Qantas began trialling the iPad as an in-flight entertainment device back in the fall of 2011, using the tablet on a single Boeing 767–300. Every passenger that flew on the plane was given an iPad 2 that offered Qantas’ Q Streaming system, serving up all kinds of content.
In July of last year, Qantas announced that the trial had been entirely successful and that it would roll out its on-demand iPad entertainment service during the fourth quarter of 2012. The iPads weren’t quite ready in December, but the company is finally ready to debut its tablet-based entertainment options.
As in the trial, Qantas’ in-flight iPads will integrate with Q Streaming, the airline’s existing in-flight entertainment system, and they will also offer the plane’s onboard Wi-Fi. Passengers will be able to use the iPads to watch movies and TV shows, and listen to music.
In the future, Qantas’ iPads will be able to be used for gaming and reading. Qantas also plans to offer a variety of travel and business apps for passengers to use. The iPads will be available for all classes flying between Sydney and Honolulu on the airline’s 767 aircraft.
Earlier this week, Missouri senator Claire McCaskill proposed legislation that would allow the iPad to be used during both takeoffs and landings, calling the restrictions against using the tablets below 10,000 feet “preposterous.” Such a legislation change could boost the popularity of Apple’s tablets even further, prompting other airlines to switch to the iPad for in-flight entertainment.