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Hawaiian Airlines to offer iPad minis for in-flight entertainment on 14 planes

Starting September 1st, people flying Hawaiian Airlines will get the chance to spend some R&R time with an iPad mini thousands of feet in the air. It's all thanks to the company contracting Blue Avionics to switch its existing in-flight entertainment systems (IES) with 1,500 miniature iPads on 14 Boeing 767-300 planes. Business class passengers can stream movies and shows for free, but unlike American Airlines' Galaxy Tab program available only to premium seats, anyone onboard can rent a teensy tablet. Sure, it'll cost them $15 for the perk -- $17, if they decided to do so on a whim while already on the plane -- but the existing system will cost them the same amount anyway. iPads on planes aren't anything new -- AA and Alaska Airlines have both ditched flight manuals for their digital counterparts, while Qantas and Jetstar Airways have been renting them out for years. However, HA is the first U.S. airline to offer iPads for in-flight entertainment, and some patrons might see that as a welcome change.

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Hawaiian Airlines to Offer Personal Electronic Tablets on B767 Routes

HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai'i's largest and longest serving airline, will lift its award-winning in-flight service on September 1 when it becomes the only U.S. carrier to offer the Apple iPad mini on all of its wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

The airline has contracted Bluebox Avionics, a global provider of portable In-flight Entertainment (IFE) solutions to airline carriers, to deploy 1,500 iPad minis on 14 B767 aircraft serving 14 routes between Hawai'i and the U.S. Mainland, Asia and South Pacific. The iPad minis will replace all current portable entertainment systems on all of Hawaiian Airlines' B767 routes.

"Hawaiian Airlines' signature on-board hospitality is already very popular with travelers, but we wanted to go even further to ensure our customers' travel experience is more enjoyable," said Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian Airlines vice president of product development. "With the help of Bluebox Avionics, we're building on our acclaimed inflight service by incorporating the latest in popular consumer tech products to enhance our in-flight entertainment options."

With the iPad mini, Hawaiian Airlines travelers can enjoy more than 100 hours of the latest Hollywood releases, television shows, and a variety of exciting interactive games at their fingertips. The iPad minis are complimentary in Business Class on all B767 routes and available for rent in Economy Class for $15 if reserved at departure gate prior to boarding ($17 if purchased in-flight), subject to availability, on North America, Brisbane, and Pago Pago routes.

"We are delighted to be working with Hawaiian Airlines as our first U.S. client to deploy the Bluebox Ai IFE solution on the iPad mini," said David Brown, joint managing director of Bluebox Avionics. "At Bluebox Avionics, we understand the importance of the need for high-quality passenger experience aboard the aircraft, and we are also well-tuned to providing capabilities that are simple and efficient for our airline partners to manage."

Hawaiian Airlines currently operates the wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 aircraft between Honolulu and Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, Phoenix in the U.S.; Fukuoka and Sendai, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Brisbane, Australia; Papeete, Tahiti; and Pago Pago, American Samoa. In addition, Hawaiian Airlines B767 routes also include service between Kahului, Maui and San Jose, Oakland and Seattle.

Hawaiian Airlines is also the only carrier flying between the U.S. Mainland and Hawai'i to offer complimentary meals in Economy Class. Adding to the enjoyment of the travel experience on Hawaiian Airlines is the carrier's signature onboard hospitality program, Mea Ho'okipa (translation: I am host). Travelers will enjoy island-style complimentary meals and made-in-Hawai'i snacks to go along with Hawaiian Airlines' engaging presentation of the islands' culture, people and Aloha Spirit throughout the flight.