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News & Advice

European airline to roll out iPads for in-flight entertainment

Air Baltic is to become the first European airline to provide iPads for passenger use, the airline confirmed over the weekend.

Passenger will be able to watch movies, cartoons, music and games or read newspapers on the devices on board select flights with Latvia's flag-carrier.

The scheme will be rolled out over the coming season, said Air Baltic, although no prices have been announced and a spokesperson was not available to comment on the likely cost or availability of the units.

In June, Qantas-owned budget carrier Jetstar became the first airline in the world to offer the portable units for inflight entertainment, for AUD10 (€6.85) per flight.

However, despite some theories that iPads could one day kill inflight movies, the units have received some criticism from industry commentators and bloggers.

The use limitations imposed by the product's battery life, along with its perceived fragility compared to a seat-back screen and the logistical difficulty loading content on a large scale were among the most frequently-cited reasons for the reluctance of other airlines to offer the devices.

No doubt airlines and passengers will be watching closely to see if Air Baltic's experience is going to prove anyone wrong.