Digital Transformation

Aer Lingus replaces paper manuals with iPads

Citrix – providers of software for on-demand access – has helped Irish airline Aer Lingus to create a paperless cabin, by swapping the bulky flight manuals previously used by pilots for digital copies on Apple iPads.

This new paperless approach removes the need for pilots to lug around heavy flight manuals on their way to planes – all they now need is an iPad and their aviation licence. This has a knock on effect – as pilots can get to their planes more quickly, faster passenger boarding is allowed and a reduction in waiting times in the departure lounge can be seen.

Cabin crew will also be given iPads to carry out a range of tasks, including seat upgrades.

Director of IT service management at Aer Lingus, Derek Monahan, explained that the airline equips its jets with backup devices, in order to avoid situations where a faulty iPad could result in flight manuals not being displayed and thus the plane not being able to take off. Each plane’s cockpit contains a Panasonic Toughbook, connected directly into the aircraft’s network, to act as a backup to the iPads. He said: “Basically the iPad you see in the front end looks nice, sexy and glossy, but there are other systems as well.”

The airline won Citrix’s Innovation Award at Synergy 2015 for the use of Citrix’s XenApps – which enable the airline’s IT team to manage iPad security and ensure that digital manuals are up to date.

As traditional flight manuals add extra kilos to each flight, the use of iPads is set to influence Aer Lingus’ bottom line positively over the course of the next year, due to less fuel being required to keep planes in the sky.

Monahan also added that Aer Lingus is currently working on plans to implement radio-frequency identification (RFID) in the airports that it operates from, to streamline the check-in process for customers. He said: “When you arrive at the airport the RFID technology will pick up your [smartphone] and automatically check you in at the desk and produce the baggage tag to make the journey seamless.”

Clearly, this is another step in the right direction for the digital quest. If you would like to find out more about the advantages of going paper-free, please get in touch for an informal chat about your requirements: