US Airways extends IFE trial; says connectivity also a priority

Remember how I was yammering on the other day about US Airways’ plan to conduct a meager one-month trial of Lumexis’ fibre-to-the-screen IFE system? Well I have just learned that US Airways intends to extend the trial by another month to 60 days with an option for an additional 30. A three-month trial? That’s a little more like it guys.

US Air A321 cool.jpgDuring an earnings conference call today, US Airways president Scott Kirby told me the carrier wanted to start the trial quite a bit earlier than this and had “hoped to have it on a larger portion of the fleet by now”. But installation and certification took a bit longer than planned “as new products go”.

A US Airways spokesman clarifies, however, that the trial is still slated to occur on a single Airbus A320 at this point. Dates are forthcoming.

But the big news, I suppose, is that US Airways management assures it wants to bring both IFE AND C onboard its aircraft. Remember it has shut off (and pulled out) the drop-down IFE on its A320 family.

Asked by this ever-eager lass whether US Airways is going to meet its competitors head on with installed IFE and/or in-flight Internet, Kirby said: “We would certainly like to and are working on both projects.” From one Kirby to another, bravo!

Is the “C” being offered by Aircell? If so, that would make number six in Aircell’s portfolio.

Now I have a quandary. I may have to make a return to the dreaded Philly airport if US Airways makes good on its strategy. Bugger.

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