INTERIORS: FlyDubai picks new entrant Lumexis for IFE

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Lumexis, a new entrant in the in-flight entertainment (IFE) sector, is poised to break the duopoly of Panasonic Avionics and Thales, after revealing that Middle Eastern low-cost operator FlyDubai will launch its high-bandwidth, fiber optics-based IFE system.

The agreement will see FlyDubai equip its eight-strong fleet of Boeing 737s with Lumexis' unique fiber-to-the-screen (FTTS) seat-back platform, as well as all future 737 deliveries.

Retrofit on the first FlyDubai aircraft will occur in October in Seattle after the carrier takes delivery of a new 737. The post-delivery modification will take five days to complete. Jamco is handling the engineering and certification work, says Lumexis chief Doug Cline.

"We believe the Lumexis system is the future of the industry," says FlyDubai chief executive Ghaith al Ghaith, noting that, at an installed weight of 2kg per seat, the FTTS is as much as 50% lighter than traditional IFE solutions.

Cline, who previously headed up Sony Trans Com and developed the Passport audio/video on demand system, says the "one singular mission" of start-up Lumexis was "to reduce the cost of ownership by half".

Lumexis' FTTS uses fiber optic cables to connect each seat-back display directly with a head-end server. The FTTS boasts a data rate of 1Gbit/s, which allows for high-capacity functionality. Cline says that up to 51 languages are currently supported by the system.

Recaro Aircraft Seating has applauded Lumexis' entrance to the market. Recaro is supplying its BL3510 seats for FlyDubai's 737s.