July 2010 | On the same day (23 July) the Apple iPad went on sale in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific launched one of the world’s first customised airline applications for the device. In April 2009, Cathay Pacific also was one of the first airlines to develop its ‘CX Mobile’ application for multiple mobile platforms, such as BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, besides the iPhone. In addition to the functionality of the existing CX Mobile app, the iPad application now also enables users to make bookings for their Cathay Pacific flights from the device.
The iPad app also provides users with flight schedule information and lets them manage their flight booking, check the status of their flight, and check-in. The CX Mobile app provides information on the airline’s frequent flyer program, and contains more than 70 Cathay ‘City Guides’, as well as the airline’s latest ‘Meet the Team’ advertising campaign, which stars real Cathay Pacific staff instead of actors.
Cathay’s iPad-based service follows Malaysian Airlines, which recently introduced the world’s first airline kiosk that uses the iPad. Malaysian has installed so-called MHkiosks in its ticket office at Kuala Lumpur’s central station. Passengers can use the kiosk to search and book flights and check-in online. The interface and functionality of the MHkiosk is similar to the airlines’ MHmobile app for the iPhone.
The iPad is also making its way into aircraft and airline lounges. Jetstar, the low-cost subsidiary of Qantas, offered iPads for rent on select domestic routes in a two-week trial in June 2010. Passengers could rent an iPad for AUD10 (USD8.50, EUR7.00) for the duration of their flight. KLM, meanwhile, just installed 16 iPads for use in its Amsterdam Schiphol Airport lounge.
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