In-flight films could be axed on long-haul journeys in favour of smartphones and tablets

Films and TV programmes will instead be streamed to travellers' handheld devices

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 22 October 2015 15:07
Removing in-flight entertainment systems will ultimately reuce the cost of flying
Removing in-flight entertainment systems will ultimately reuce the cost of flying

In-flight films could soon be axed from long-haul flights out of the UK because passengers prefer to watch films on their smartphones and tablets.

WestJet, a low-cost airline, has said it will launch transatlantic flights out of London's Gatwick Airport next year without entertainment systems fitted on the back of seats.

Instead, they will stream films and TV programmes to travellers' handheld devices using a superfast wireless network system provided by satellites.

Removing in-flight entertainment systems will reportedly take more than 1,500lbs from each plane, allowing them to burn less fuel, ultimately reducing the cost of flying.

Richard Bartrem, vice-president of WestJet, told The Times: "Today, more than 80 per cent of our guests are boarding with a device.

"The new system will allow us to provide a better, more relevant service to our guests while continuing to offer low fares."

Instead of the traditional in-flight entertainment system, WestJet will offer passengers more than 450 films and TV programmes through its own entertainment system, WestJet Connect.

The content will be available for free.

To access the system, passengers will download WestJet's app on their smartphone or tablet, which will allow their device to access the airline's server.

The airline has said it will fit power sockets and USB points to each seat for passengers to charge their devices.

It is hoped that other airlines will follow suit if removing the standard entertainment systems allows for greater fuel savings.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments