Jetstar Airways has become the first airlines to make the
iPad available as an in-flight entertainment option for passengers. The
Australian carrier (a subset of Qantas) will rent the tablet computers to
interested fliers for AUD $10 ($8.40 in U.S. dollars) during a two-week trial
at the end of June.
The iPads will be equipped with movies, TV shows, eBooks,
games and more.
“Based on demand for the iPads as part of the trial, we’ll
be looking to roll out the devices across our entire domestic and international
network later in the year,” Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan told Australian
It’s just one trial, but if this becomes something that
catches on with the airline industry, it could be a big win for Apple and
media companies. Rather than being forced to choose from a limited
selection of films, passengers would conceivably have the entire iTunes library
at their hands – assuming the flight has wifi.
A captive audience buying or renting films? That could give
a notable boost to studio revenues – and help Apple get the iPad into the hands
of people who might not normally be interested in one, further increasing
demand for the product.
We’ll see who the first U.S. carrier to try this will be.