Jetstar Airways has become the first airlines to make the iPad available as an in-flight entertainment option for passengers. The Australian carrier (a subset of Qantas) will rent the tablet computers to interested fliers for AUD $10 ($8.40 in U.S. dollars) during a two-week trial at the end of June.
The iPads will be equipped with movies, TV shows, eBooks, games and more.
“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,” Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan told Australian Aviation.
It’s just one trial, but if this becomes something that catches on with the airline industry, it could be a big win for Apple and media companies. Rather than being forced to choose from a limited selection of films, passengers would conceivably have the entire iTunes library at their hands – assuming the flight has wifi.
A captive audience buying or renting films? That could give a notable boost to studio revenues – and help Apple get the iPad into the hands of people who might not normally be interested in one, further increasing demand for the product.
We’ll see who the first U.S. carrier to try this will be. Any predictions?