Dutch airline to deploy thousands of iPads to pilots and cabin crew

by Doug Drinkwater

June 25 2013

KLM expects to complete the tablet deployment in the fall
KLM expects to complete the tablet deployment in the fall

In a bid to reduce its reliance on paper and to improve in-flight customer service, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has started issuing iPads to around 5,000 pilots, senior pursers and pursers.

Having started using iPads for a pilot project back in late 2011, the airline has now confirmed on its website that it is going ahead with the full roll-out in order to replace paper manuals and to improve customer service.

“Our customers greatly appreciate the personal service KLM offers on board. The iPad enables staff to offer passengers even more personal and can, for instance, be used to update them more quickly on last-minute operational changes”, said KLM CEO Peter Hartman.

“Even in economically challenging times, it is very important to keep investing in our customers and personnel. Innovation is high on KLM’s agenda. Via this project we are investing in our customers and crew.”

The company expects to complete the iPad deployment in the fall and believes that the tablets will help to replace all documentation and in turn “reduce weight and therefore fuel consumption”, advantages which have already been seen by American Airlines.

KLM’s pilot project saw 100 cockpit and cabin crew use the iPad on board.

Cabin crew concluded that Apple’s tablet allowed them to respond quicker and more effectively to passenger demands, while pilots said that the iPad enabled them to quickly share flight plans and generally ensure smoother flight operations.

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