ORLANDO: Citrix has helped Irish airline Aer Lingus to swap the bulky flight manuals used by pilots for digital copies on Apple iPads to create a paperless cabin.
The paperless approach removes the need for the heavy flight manuals that pilots are often seen lugging through airports on their way to a plane, meaning that all they need is an iPad and their aviation licence.
This means pilots can get to their planes more quickly, leading to faster passenger boarding and a reduction in waiting times in the departure lounge.
Cabin crew will also be given iPads to carry out tasks such as seat upgrades.
Derek Monahan, director of IT service management at Aer Lingus, explained that the airline equips its jets with backup devices to avoid situations where a faulty iPad means that flight manuals cannot be displayed and the plane cannot take off.
Every plane's cockpit contains a Panasonic Toughbook connected directly into the aircraft's network and acting as a backup to the iPads.
"Basically the iPad you see in the front end looks nice, sexy and glossy, but there are other systems as well," he said.
Aer Lingus won Citrix's Innovation Award at Synergy 2015 for the use of Citrix's XenApps, which enables the airline's IT team to manage iPad security and ensure that the digital manuals are up to date.
Traditional flight manuals add extra kilos to each flight, and the use of iPads influences Aer Lingus' bottom line over the course of a year as less fuel is needed to keep a plane in the sky.
Monahan also explained that Aer Lingus is working on plans to implement radio-frequency identification (RFID) in the airports it operates from to streamline the check-in process for customers.
"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," he said.
Aer Lingus also makes extensive use of other Citrix products, including XenDesktop and XenMobile so that 2,500 of the company's 4,500 strong workforce can access virtualised desktops and apps from a tablet with a cellular or wireless connection.
The video below details the extent to which Citrix products are used in Aer Lingus' operations.
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