Even though US Airways has been testing Lumexis' fibre-to-the-screen IFE system on a single Airbus A320 flying between Orange County, Phoenix and Atlanta - and, by all accounts, the trial has been a success - the carrier has made known that it does not intend to equip its domestic fleet with IFE any day soon. Indeed, US Airways reiterated that very point last week in its employee newsletter (look at the pic below and tell me you wouldn't rather see this over the carrier's current domestic offering).
US Airways says its plan for bringing IFE to domestic passengers is "on hold" because financing for hardware installs has dried up due to the current economic slump.
But surely the carrier must also be considering if it would be more prudent to offer in-flight broadband since most of its rivals have committed - on one level or another - to keeping passengers connected in US airspace. AirTran last week became the latest US operator to join Aircell's robust list of in-flight broadband customers.
In any case, despite a lack of commitment from US Airways, Lumexis would like you to know just how well its system is performing on that A320.
Now in its tenth week of testing, the system is proving both extremely popular with users and exceptionally reliable, according to Lumexis.
Key quote from Lumexis CEO and industry veteran Doug Cline:
"I have been manufacturing major avionics systems for over thirty years and this is without a doubt the most impressive record for a sophisticated new system entering service. We have never delayed a single flight and have never even required a system reboot. That is truly unprecedented for any high performance, multi-user AVOD system.
"As a result of this achievement, a number of airlines have had key managers on the aircraft and we are currently in negotiations with them for future installations."
The Lumexis system is built around an advanced fiber optic technology which "is far simpler than legacy AVOD systems" offered by other IFE manufacturers, claims Lumexis.
The California-based firm says the extensive flight demonstration on US Airways' A320 gives evidence that fewer boxes yields an inherently more reliable system.
But is a launch customer forthcoming? Cline tells Runway Girl:
"Since our FAA-certified product, currently in daily revenue service with a major airline, has now demonstrated our claims of dramatically lower weight, lower cost of ownership and greater reliability, Lumexis is rapidly gaining wide recognition among the major OEMs and airlines around the globe.
"Thus, we are absolutely confident that we will secure a new launch customer within the very near future as we continue negotiation with several of the world's major airlines on upcoming projects. Moreover, our company is exceptionally well-backed financially and thus has the long-term resources to weather the broad effects of recession on our potential customers."
Well now, that IS interesting.