Saturday, July 31, 2010

SIA Looks At Paperless Cabin To Reduce Weight, Costs


Aviation Daily Aug 02 , 2010 , p. 14
Neelam Mathews

Singapore Airlines says it will progressively introduce an electronic version of its three inflight magazines as part of a trial conducted with Singapore-based SmarttPapers Aviation.

SIA will be one of the first carriers in the world to offer this feature on its aircraft equipped with the Panasonic eX2 inflight entertainment system (IFE), starting with two Boeing 777-300ERs. Next in the trial will be two Airbus A380s, followed by other aircraft fitted with the eX2 system.

The move will be not only environmentally friendly but also have economic benefits. In mid-2008, at the height of the recession, CEO Chew Choon Seng told The DAILY in Cairo that efforts were underway to reduce the size of the inflight magazine to reduce weight.

Each 25-pound weight reduction saves $440,000 a year. Airlines have been looking at ways to cut soaring fuel bills. Delta and Air France, for example, are considering lighter seats, and others are carrying less water in faucets.

SIA aims to extend the paperless initiative to other publications, including menu cards and the more-than-100 international and local magazines it carries systemwide. It also plans to introduce e-newspapers and e-books on board, using the same technology.

The SmarttPapers application uses a patented technology to compress and transform magazine and newspaper content into a digital format for integration into the IFE.

"This opens a wide range of opportunities to benefit our customers and at the same time results in less weight in the aircraft. E-books and e-magazines have gained popularity, and we want to offer these to our customers, says SIA Senior VP-Product and Services Yap Kim Wah.

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