UK-based WestJet is removing ‘seat back’ video screens to cut weight. WestJet will still ‘broadcast’ video entertainment, and provide streamed content including satellite-delivered WiFi and broadband, except that the signals will go the passenger-owned tablets, smart-phones and lap-top devices.
The airline, which flies passengers to and from Canada, says it can save around 1500lbs of weight from each aircraft by dumping the screens, and benefit from “significant” fuel savings as a consequence.
Richard Bartrem, a VP at WestJet, told The Times of London, that more than 80 per cent of passengers brought some sort of hand-held device on board. These could, from next year, link into WestJet Connect service and access some 450 movies and TV shows as well as connect to the Internet.