Emirates to fly paperless superjumbo
High oil prices have spurred Emirates to make its Airbus A380 superjumbos into paperless aircraft, GN reported.
The Dubai-based airline will remove all seat-pocket paper - in-flight magazines, entertainment guides and shopping catalogues - when the giant aircraft go into service.
Tim Clark, Emirates' President, said banning paper would lighten the aircraft by a tonne. "It's two kilogrammes per seat, and 500 seats - a worthwhile saving," he said. "We are doing it because of fuel prices and because of the environment."
The printed matter will be replaced by content shown on the aircraft's seat-back television screens.
Clark said Emirates had also begun a project with Airbus to reduce the weight of the A380 by five tonnes by 2012.
This would allow the airline to use the plane on extra-long routes, such as non-stop from Dubai to Los Angeles and San Francisco on the west coast of the US.
Emirates will take delivery of its first A380 next week. The plane will make its first commercial flight to New York on August 1.
Clark said high oil prices had not dented its aggressive expansion plans - "We will deploy all the aircraft we have on order" - but said the industry was facing a crisis that could send weaker players to the wall.
Emirates has been a strong opponent of Britain's plan to raise A?2.5 billion (Dh18.5 billion) from a per-plane flight tax that will replace the air-passenger-duty regime.
"What we are saying to governments around the world is that this is not the right thing to do," said Clark.
"If you drive airlines out of business, you will suddenly find out what a vital part of a modern economy they are and that life is difficult without them. These things need to be said".