With the iPad, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost airline Scoot combines high-tech and low-cost, whilst saving on fossil fuels.

How Apple’s iPad can generate $500,000 a year in savings 

With Singapore Airlines launched its budget subsidiary, Scoot, the introduction of lightweight iPad 2s to replace the usual, heavier IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) systems, not only gave the airline a modern, high-tech image, but saved on kerosene (which accounts for 40-50% of the cost of a flight), thanks to the reduced weight (up to 7%).

This deployment will cut fuel costs, resulting in some $500,000 worth of savings a year, whilst increasing the number of seat space by 40 %, according to a press release issued by the airline.

With Scoot, which operates long-haul flights to Australia, Thailand and China, the tablets come free in business class, and can be rented in economy. Passengers who bring their own iPad, meanwhile, can fit it in the holder of a seat in front.

Tablets conquer the airlines

Scoot isn’t the first airline to offer its passengers tablets: even though they were not primarily concerned by saving on fuel, Australian carrier Qantas were pioneers in the trend, offering iPads to its business class customers back in 2011, as did British Airways’ OpenSkies, whilst American Airlines and Virgin Australia have opted for the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

But the most significant benefits delivered by this technology are for the pilots and cabin crew: the professional flight planning applications, as used by Alaska Airways since 2011, mean crew can save up to 10 kg of paper documents, and update flight information more quickly. The digital cockpit therefore offers a number of environmental and technical advantages: CorsairFly, Swiss and British Airways, among others, recently announced they have issued their cabin crew with iPads.