US Airways puts Lumexis IFE test on indefinite hold: source

UPDATED to include new Lumexis comment

Last week Lumexis’ fibre-to-the-screen in-flight entertainment (IFE) system was heralded as a potential gamechanger for AVOD. This week the picture looks fuzzier.

US Airways has put on indefinite hold its trial of the Lumexis system.

A source tells Runway Girl that Lumexis informed the carrier that it cannot meet an installation deadline. As such, there are no dates at present for when a test will occur.

US Airways could not provide immediate comment. However, Lumexis CEO Douglas Cline told me today that about three weeks ago the company ran into a flammability issue on one of the items in the installation kit, which is not part of the actual system. US Airways has since opted to wait until all FAA approvals are in place, he says. 

“We’ve already got a slightly different design [on the item] so that flammability issue has passed and it’s a matter of grinding out the paperwork,” says Cline, who remains hopeful of installation on a single US Airways Airbus A320 in October.

Lumexis last week unveiled an impressive full-scale prototype of its IFE system, which uses military-proven fibre optics as the basis for its platform.

Describing the system’s durability, the company said at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition that the fibre has to pass through all the same environmental testing as copper does.

US Airways asked specifically that the seat-back screens include a credit card swipe so that it has the ability to sell pay-per-view movies, drinks and food, and possibly initiate catalogue sales.

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2 Responses to US Airways puts Lumexis IFE test on indefinite hold: source

  1. John S. September 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    He said the carrier asked specifically that the seat-back screens include a credit card swipe so that it has the ability to sell pay-per-view movies, drinks and food, and possibly initiate catalogue sales.

    Video Poker, anyone?

  2. Mary Kirby September 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    I have heard some in the industry jokingly refer to these swipe-equipped systems as “seat-back cash registers” and slot machines.

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