Delta Pilots Will Use Surface 2 Tablets Instead of Flight Bags. Delta Air Lines announced Monday that it would purchase up to 11,000 Microsoft Surface 2 tablets to replace pilots’ flight bags.
Starting with Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft, pilots on 700 planes will leave behind their 35-pound flight kit in favor of the second generation of Microsoft’s tablet product. The move to tablets will help the airline save on fuel costs, as well as cut carbon emissions by 26 million pounds, according to the airline. Delta also said that all cockpits will be paper-free by the end of 2014.
In Delta’s news release and corresponding video announcing the purchase, the company touted the tablet’s ability to multitask as a selling point. “Pilots will be able to open two applications side-by-side, offering, for example, the opportunity to assess weather information alongside proposed flight paths,” the company said.
This is the first good news for the Surface in what has been an otherwise poor first year on the market. The Microsoft Surface product has been a relative failure for the Windows maker, leading it to write down $900 million in losses in the last fiscal year and slash prices in half to attract customers, which has yet to happen. Analyst estimates point to 1.5 million sales of the Surface in its first eight months, as opposed to 57 million iPad sales during the same period.
Neither Delta nor Microsoft revealed the price of the tablets and whether it was less than the fire-sale prices being offered to consumers.