Some carriers are renting iPads and offering downloads
The cost of jet fuel is up 36% in two years, slashing airline profits. Some airlines are getting around their fuel bills by hedging contracts. Low-cost operator Southwest Airlines has done this successfully for years, according to this blog entry on The Motley Fool website, while American Airlines has not.
Singapore Airlines’ new budget unit Scoot allows passengers to rent an iPad full of movies, music, games and TV shows for $17. This reduces the weight of Boeing 777s by 7%, resulting in less fuel. Qantas Airways’ low-cost offshoot Jetstar has started offering iPads for a rental cost of $10-$15. Delta Air Lines recently launched tests for video downloads on US routes.
Passengers will be able to download movies and TV shows to their laptops (and other devices by the end of the year) for prices ranging from $0.99 to $6. This means the airline does not have to supply any kind of device at all. Ejecting seat-back displays, inflight entertainment equipment and wiring can result in huge savings. However, some airlines are actually expanding screen sizes and inflight entertainment equipment.
The Motley Fool
[pictured: Jetstar pilots in A320 flight deck; courtesy Jetstar]