Jetstar to trial iPad portable IFE player

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Qantas low-cost subsidiary Jetstar plans to trial a new portable in-flight entertainment (IFE) system that is based on Apple's highly-popular iPad tablet.

Jetstar says it will trial "the newest and hottest new gadget in the world, the iPad, for onboard entertainment" beginning later this month on select domestic routes across Australia.

"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," says Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan.

Flightglobal's ACAS fleet database shows that Jetstar operates a mixture of Airbus A320s, A321s and A330s, and has standing orders for 15 Boeing 787s.

The system will provide movies, TV programmes, eBooks, music videos, games and CDs to Jetstar passengers, according to Jetstar.

The trial is being carried out in partnership with portable IFE firm BlueBox as well as Stellar Inflight, which specialises in film and television programming/licensing.

"We are really excited to commence the trial of the iPads, as we're always looking for ways to enhance our customer's Jetstar experience. Given the demand for the iPad so far, I anticipate it will have strong appeal amongst our passengers," says Buchanan.

Known for its commercial off the shelf (COTS) portable IFE players, BlueBox launched its iPad-based bluebox Ai portable IFE player at the recent Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. Several other IFE specialists, including IMS, are offering their own versions of iPad portables.