Air India has invited bids for 150 iPads to replace defective video screens on some of its planes.
The tender is for new tablets for 18 aircraft in Air India's fleet and is for the period of one year.
The bid document seeks to lease new iPads (Pro 10.5 ) with preloaded content by using the current IFE (in-flight entertainment) content for service recovery on board its aircraft."
An airline official said on the condition of anonymity that these iPads are a backup option and will be provided to passengers in premium classes whose IFE screens are unserviceable.
He added that these tablets would be used for Air India s Boeing 777 planes.
Air India CMD Pradeep Kharola had said in a media interaction last month that in order to woo premium travellers and improve its seat occupancy in business class, the airline would look at offering them better services.
"In our long haul flights business class can be a money spinner for Air India. Our passenger load factor is only 50 per cent on these flights. We will try to see how to increase that, perhaps offer better quality of services. If our in-flight entertainment is not doing well, then we are thinking of alternatives. Laptops to business class passengers is a possibility," Kharola had said.
He added that nearly half of the seats in business class go vacant on international flights.
As per the tender document, the bidder will have to provide a set of high quality compatible headsets, customised case cum stand and a replaceable battery with each iPad. It will also have to provide docking stations for charging these iPads at Air India premises in Delhi & Mumbai.
The bidder must be in the business of providing portable hardware solution for in-flight entertainment, have at least two airlines as its customers and an annual financial turnover of USD 2 million during last two financial years.
It should also be registered with Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).