iPad Air: Gulf becomes the latest airline to carry iPad electronic flight bags

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Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s flagship air carrier, has become the latest airline to participate in an iPad-based electronic flight bag program. The program will see Gulf Air purchase 355 iPads, to be distributed throughout the airline’s fleet.

“We are proud of our existing strategic relationship with VIVA Bahrain and pleased to extend this partnership to include the provision of iPad devices as part of Gulf Air’s Electronic Flight Bag project,” says Gulf Air Acting CEO Maher Salman Al Musallam. “This is an essential component of our ongoing commitment to all new technology that provides integrated solutions for managing information in the air and on the ground.”

The iPads will be used to replace heavy kitbags traditionally carried by pilots and crew — thereby saving weight and, therefore, fuel.

“At Gulf Air we always endeavor to leverage the latest technologies in order to improve the efficiency of the airline’s operations and provide better services to our passengers,” says Gulf Air Director Information Technology, Dr. Jassim Haji. “This collaboration ensures we deliver the latest technology to our team and, as a result, to our passengers.”

As noted, Gulf Air isn’t the first airline to use iPads in this way.

Following the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to allow airlines to use tablets as electronic flight bags, in 2011 Delta became the first airline to issue iPads to its pilots for in-flight access to equipment manuals, flight charts, and Wi-Fi.

The U.S. Air Force is also using iPad EFBs to cut down on fuel costs, and estimates that this will result in saving the branch’s cargo unit around $750,000 in fuel and $5 million in printing costs per year.

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Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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