A lovely little nugget just emerged from US Airways’ third quarter earnings conference call (and it has nothing to do with the airline’s massive net loss or its new financing agreement with Airbus and others).
CEO Doug Parker revealed the carrier is working with TWO vendors on a seat-back in-flight entertainment (IFE) system to replace drop-down IFE that on 1 November will be turned off and subsequently ripped out of the domestic Airbus A320 family fleet (the carrier’s Boeing 737s are not equipped with IFE).
As previously reported here, US Airways has been working with Lumexis to trial the company’s fiber-to-the-screen IFE system. Last month that trial – which was scheduled to begin by the end of this month – was put on hold after Lumexis ran into a flammability issue on one of the items in the system’s installation.
Doug did not mention Lumexis specifically today, but he said two vendors are involved. Hmmm, I wonder who else is involved? Or did Doug mis-speak? He says trials will begin in the first quarter.
Regardless of the IFE system selected by US Airways for its domestic aircraft, I think it’s safe to say you won’t be getting any freebee IFE in economy class.
US Airways asked that the Lumexis 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.
And today the carrier championed its ancillary revenue gains, saying it added nearly $60 million in additional revenue from such programmes as food/drink sales – including its popular water charge - during the third quarter.
(Lumexis graphic from www.lumexis.com)