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Delta equips 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 tablets

In a move not without controversy, pilots will get the Surface 2 this year, with the airline going paperless by the end of 2014.

In quite a coup for Microsoft, Delta will deploy the Surface 2 as an "Electronic Flight Bag" (EFB) across its entire fleet by the end of 2014 — although reports suggest that pilots may not be happy about the move.

(Credit: Delta Airlines)

The initial roll out is across 11,000 pilots on the Boeing 757 and 767 fleet, with all planes expected to be paper free by the end of 2014.

The Surface 2 tablets, not the Pro model, will come with custom apps for the pilots, including reference documents and checklists. According to Delta, the airline will save around US$13 million a year in fuel and other cost reductions from the tablets.

However, some reports are suggesting that the roll out is causing friction between Delta and its pilots. Delta began testing the use of tablets as an EFB back in 2011, although at the time, it was with the Apple iPad.

A Delta pilot told AppleInsider that "we fought hard for iPad". He described the deal as being about money and flight contracts, rather than finding the best device for the pilots.