Jetstar hopes to offer passengers the option to rent an iPad for $10 per flight in April, pending finalisation of licensing agreements with Apple.
A spokeswoman for Jetstar told Australian Business Traveller that the airline is "working towards any early April release of the in-flight iPad entertainment systems", adding that "Jetstar is working closely with Apple on all licensing arrangements."
The touchscreen tablet will become a 'personal in-flight entertainment system' preloaded with movies, music, magazines, books and games.
As reported last year by Australian Business Traveller, the low-cost airline originally intended to launch its in-flight iPad program before last Christmas following a mid-2010 trial, during which Jetstar said the rental price would be $10 per flight.
"The trial went very well, very well" Jetstar corporate relations chief Simon Westaway told Australian Business Traveller in November last year, "but we're still in the contract negotiation stage and we won't see (the iPads) until after Christmas, until early 2011".
Trials in June 2010 saw 30 iPads tested for two weeks on domestic aircraft where the flight time exceeded one hour.
The eventual aim is for the iPad to be available on Jetstar's A320s in Australia and Asia Pacific as a de facto in-flight entertainment system.
"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" Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan predicted earlier this year.
"If the trial works, we want to put them on every aircraft because they're so much slimmer and lighter than our existing units" explained Jetstar marketing general manager David May. "It means we'll be able to get more on and it means more people will be able to have the entertainment service."
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.