Qantas puts an iPad behind every 767 seat

Qantas has made yet another Apple-related announcement this week, saying it would be using iPads to stream its inflight entertainment on its 767 fleet
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Qantas has clocked up an Apple trifecta this week, announcing that it will roll out iPads to its 767 fleet to stream its entertainment.

The tablets will be placed in the pocket before each seat.

Qantas 767 plane
Qantas will begin providing iPads to passengers on its 767 planes. Image credit: Simon_sees/Flickr

As of May this year, there were 23 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, according to the Qantas site, each with between 229 and 254 seats, meaning that more than 5,000 iPads would be required to kit out the fleet. However, Qantas said it was currently reviewing retirement options for a few of the aircraft.

"Following the successful trial of our QStreaming service this year, we will partner with Panasonic and use their eXW solution to provide over 200 hours of on-demand in-flight entertainment content via iPads to every passenger in Business and Economy travelling on our B767 fleet," Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi said in a statement.

The system will roll out to the first aircraft in the fourth quarter of this year. Most of the flights offering the service will be on Australia's east coast routes, with some also flying to Perth. The service will be free of charge.

The airline was still assessing whether it will extend the system so that customers can use their own tablets to access the entertainment.

This is the third Apple-related announcement in the last week for Qantas. Last Friday, Qantas announced that it would be rolling out iPads to its pilots to cut down on the amount of paperwork they needed to lug on board. Earlier this week, the airline said that it would be grounding its BlackBerry fleet in favour of iPhones.

Embracing Office 365

It was also revealed this week that Qantas has decided to roll out Microsoft's Office 365 product. The company chose Microsoft after what it called an extensive analysis and testing process, which also took Google into account.

The enterprise agreement covers more than 30,000 users, with specific features to be available to different users depending on their role.

The rollout will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and continue until mid next year, ultimately reducing the requirement for machine-based installations of Office.

Qantas CIO Paul Jones said that it had been a close decision. "Ultimately we felt that that the Office 365 product was more easily integrated into existing Qantas infrastructure and better matched our future needs," he said in an emailed statement.

The company is planning a rollout of Windows 7 by the end of next year. Jones said that Windows 8 "forms part of our future thinking", but said that no firm decisions had been made as to whether the company would migrate from Windows 7 to the newer operating system.

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