Onboard iPads for Jetstar passengers

iJet, you Jet...
Content, sorted into genres. Note Australian content.

UPDATED: Jetstar iPad users will not be able to use the internet, as the Jetstar aircraft have neither wifi nor internet capability. It is worth noting that other carriers, such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, do have onboard internet capabilities - though these do come at an additional (and sometimes high) price.

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As reported by NBR yesterday, selected Jetstar flights will carry iPad-based inflight entertainment systems from today.

The 3,000 iPad 1 and iPad 2s will be rolled out across the Australian domestic, trans Tasman and short haul international services from Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks, for between $10 and $15.

Rollout, pricing details

The iPads (v1 and v2) will be available on selected trans-Tasman, Australian domestic and short-haul international routes from November. They will be fully available in December across all Australian and New Zealand domestic, trans-Tasman, short haul international and long haul routes serviced by the A320, A321 and A330 aircraft.

The iPads are only available on flights longer than two hours.

Pricing ranges from $10 to $15, depending on flight (hiring onboard the A330 is more expensive) and whether customers choose to pre-book or hire the technology onboard.

Content

Jetstar appears to have secured some early window content, with available movies including Horrible Bosses, Friends With Benefits, and the arguably more more child-friendly Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2. Australian and Japanese content is also available.

Television content appears to have a eye towards the technologically-inclined, with comedy offerings including spy show Chuck and geek-featuring The Big Bang Theory. Drama offerings include Harry's Law and Human Target, sport enthusiasts can watch the saling World Cup, and children can watch the Wiggles or Disney Channel content.

Australian content is a noticeable theme throughout.

Gaming content includes GT Racing, Let's Golf 2 and N. O. V. A. (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance).

But those in search of reading material may be disappointed. ACP magazines has a selection ranging from Rolling Stone to the Australian Women's Weekly. But the only e-books available are 50 works written and illustrated by children.

A full list of content is below.

Hollywood movies
- Beginners
- Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 1
- Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2
- Horrible Bosses
- Friends with Benefits
- African Cats
- Larry Crowne
Australian movies
- Little Sparrow
- Bran Nue Dae
Japanese movies
- Bunny Drop
- Paradise Kiss
 

Gameloft video games
- Real Football
- Ashphalt 5
- Shrek 4
- Uno
- Shrek Kart
- GT Racing
- Brain Challenge
- Blokus
- Real Tennis
- Let’s Golf 2
- The Settlers
- N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
ACP e-magazines
- Australian Women’s Weekly
- Madison
- Real Living
- Rolling Stone
- Wheels
Child Writes e-books
- 50 books, written and illustrated by children for children
 

TV
Comedy
- Chuck
- The Office
- Thank God You’re Here
- Big Bang Theory
- Summer Heights High
Drama
- Pretty Little Liars
- Nikita
- Human Target
- Harry’s Law
Classic
- The Adventures of Superman 4
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Reality and Lifestyle
- Trinny and Susannah’s Makeover Mission
- Tackling Peace
- Talking Heads Ahn Do
- Build it Bigger
- My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
- Man vs. Wild
- Jamie’s 30-minute Kitchen
Sport
- Boarding Pass
- The Official Olympic Series
- The Sailing World Cup- Sail Melbourne
Kids
- Wiggles
- Bindi the Jungle Girl
- Bananas in Pyjamas


Jetstar will tomorrow launch an onboard iPad-based entertainment system. NBR understands the iPad will cost passengers $10 to rent for the flight.

Jetstar’s iPlans have been the topic of media conversation since at least June last year. At the time, Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the company was looking to roll out the devices across its entire domestic and international network later in 2010. But the original December 2010 launch date was delayed due to non-technical challenges – understood to be issues during collaborations with Apple.

Stellar Inflight and Bluebox Avionics are the two companies working with Jetstar to implement the iPad. They presented at a US travel conference in February earlier this year (PDF of the presentation available from here).

Stellar Inflight chief executive Michael Reilly and Bluebox Avionics managing director David Brown attributed “introduction slippage” to the challenges of “implementing design in a new technical environment for IFE [inflight entertainment]” i.e. working with a technology not previously used as inflight entertainment.

Another challenge listed was “working with a very different organization in terms of support and approach (Apple, not Jetstar!)” (sic). A subsequent slide citing benefits of the initiative included “Great project team with mutual trust and high level of communication (Jetstar, Stellar, Bluebox).”

But the implementers also said Jetstar was “unwavering” in its commitment to using the device.

Tech – but no iTunes

Media reports have said the airline will be using the first generation iPad rather than the iPad2. The conference presentation said the iPad would include the following features

  • promised content includes games, magazines, ebooks, music, music videos, tv shows and newspapers
  • no iTunes (“Loading does not involve the Apple ecosystem (iTunes).)”
  • advanced RFID anti-theft protection
  • no firm commitment to "early window content" - film and TV content available inflight prior to DVD release (as of February, the status was: "process underway with Hollywood studios but no approvals as yet. EWC [early window content] naturally desirable, though not necessarily critical to launch due to content alternatives.")

A custom encryption algorithm will be applied to all content. Mr Reilly and Mr Brown said this had satisfied all content creators and/or distributors who had currently tested the security solution.

No Android, thanks

In a presentation earlier this year, Android alternatives to the iPad were dismissed. The iPad, it was said, had a “screen/image quality and interface [that was] second-to-none – in our opinion significantly better than Android powered devices.”

The iPad’s “superb battery life” of 20+ hours was also listed as an advantage over other models.

Rollout

February plans were for “imminent rollout” to commence on Jetstar’s A320/A321 (just under 50 aircraft) with a widebody rollout through 7 A330s by mid-2011. The A320/A321 fly between New Zealand and Australia, in addition to other routes.

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1 Comment & Question

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Flying JetStar 'business' class to Singapore at the end of the year .. This makes me a bit more excited that the plane makes it off the ground ..

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