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Qantas will equip some planes with iPads later this year

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Australian airline Qantas will be equipping some of its Boeing 767 planes with iPads that will stream 200 hours of content.

Electronic devices in-flight iPad
Electronic devices in-flight iPad

Australian airline Qantas has followed the lead of some other airlines in cutting traditional in-flight entertainment systems in favor of tablets. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2012, selected Boeing 767 planes will include an iPad in every seat. Unlike other airlines, which generally choose to pre-load content, Qantus will give customers streaming access to 200 hours of audio and television, using an in-flight wireless system it's been testing since early this year. Qantas says that one plane is already fitted with the iPads, and The Canberra Times reports it will be expanded mostly on domestic east coast flights and flights to Perth.

As with Scoot and Alitalia, Qantas is likely making the change in part for a very practical reason: fuel savings. Removing bulky entertainment systems can significantly cut the weight of an aircraft, making it more efficient. For now, most of these companies are phasing in tablets gradually, but it's becoming less unusual to see them adopted.