Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Apple iPads for Airline Entertainment to Save Fuel

Following up on this CD post, here's another example of how high oil prices and innovation are driving companies to find substitutes for oil and gasoline, from Bloomberg:

"Singapore-based Scoot Airlines is ripping out aircraft entertainment systems weighing more than two tons to save fuel, and instead offering Apple iPads to passengers, loaded with movies, music, games and television shows. It eventually intends to have users access content via a wireless system onboard planes.

Offering iPads helped the carrier cut 7% off the weight of planes and cope with fuel prices that have jumped about 36% in two years. The budget carrier will  offer the iPads free to passengers in its business-class seat and  will charge economy passengers $17 per trip to rent the tablets." 

HT: John Sturges

11 Comments:

At 6/05/2012 10:14 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

color me skeptical, but there is simply no way that these entertainment systems were that big a part of the weight reduction.

a 777 weighs over 300,000 pounds dry and takes off at over 600k lbs.

it seats about 400.

an ipad weighs 1.4 pounds.

even if every seat tv weighed 10 pounds (a very questionable assumption) then you're talking about 4000 pounds, 0.6% of takeoff weight, less once you add in the weight of the ipads.

it seems incredibly unlikely to me that the change in entertainment systems was a big part of the weight change. it sounds like they also redid the seats. that's where the weight loss came in.

the reason for the ipads is to save money and to get to charge $17 in coach.

 
At 6/05/2012 10:15 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

that's save money on the price of seats, not fuel.

 
At 6/05/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Oh my, more jobs killing iPads on the loose!!

 
At 6/05/2012 10:50 AM, Blogger Chuck said...

@morganovich
i too was skeptical about the weight issue. thx for analysing it for me. i suppose they did this for many other reasons but not for weight.

 
At 6/05/2012 11:00 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

chuck-

i think they did it to make each new seat they put in the plane cheaper and to get $17 a head from coach passengers.

i suspect it's also a far more flexible platform than the OEM stuff in seats and can evolve rapidly for new offerings.

i suspect it's an excellent idea from a business standpoint (so long as the ipads don't get stolen) but, like you, i doubt weight was the consideration that drove the decision.

 
At 6/05/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Morganovich,

I have a friend who's a pilot and owns a charter program. He said there was no way in hell that would come close to 7%, even if the hardware (that runs the system) was huge.

Good catch.

 
At 6/05/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Morganovich,

I have a friend who's a pilot and owns a charter program. He said there was no way in hell that would come close to 7%, even if the hardware (that runs the system) was huge.

Good catch.

 
At 6/05/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger Henry H said...

They must have a placed the decimal in the wrong place. 0.7% is about right.

 
At 6/05/2012 5:37 PM, Blogger Mike said...

You think they would have still printed the story with a possible savings of .7%? I'm not saying that isn't something to the airline, but it's hardly interesting.... I'd guess they still don't realize that their facts are wrong.

 
At 6/05/2012 6:43 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

henry-

i think the issue is that they did a major remodel of the planes (including seats and the whole interior layout). THAT might have been 7%, but the entertainment system was only a small part of it.

 
At 6/06/2012 2:27 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paul: "Oh my, more jobs killing iPads on the loose!!"

LOL thanks for the reminder, Paul. I haven't seen that one for a long time, and needed a refresher.

No matter how many times I've seen it, it never fails to leave me speechless and confused.

 

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