New Singapore carrier uses iPads to cut fuel cost

Jun 05, 2012

Singapore's new long-haul budget carrier Scoot has taken off for the first time, using a novel way of saving fuel -- by replacing its in-built TVs with iPads.

The airline set off on its maiden voyage to Sydney from the city-state late Monday as part of its parent Singapore Airlines (SIA) bid to tap Asia's growing demand for no-frills travel while battling surging .

Business class passengers were handed iPads pre-loaded with movies, TV shows and games, while those in economy were given the option of paying Sg$22 ($17) to use the .

"One of the reasons for using for in-flight entertainment is that they are lighter than the traditional inflight entertainment systems and hence saves on fuel," a spokesperson told AFP.

Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for the and carriers including SIA and Dubai's Emirates have blamed rising oil prices as a major factor for slumping profits.

SIA launched Scoot in November 2011 as a budget alternative to regular airlines offering fares that would be up to 40 percent cheaper.

A day after the maiden flight Scoot said it would expand its network, with two new daily flights to Tokyo and , which are scheduled to start from the third quarter.

It has a fleet of four Boeing B777-200 aircraft and currently offers flights from Singapore to Australia's Gold Coast, Sydney, Bangkok and China's Tianjin city.

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