PICTURE: New fiber optics-based IFE system flying on FlyDubai 737

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A potentially revolutionary new in-seat in-flight entertainment system that uses lightweight fiber optic wiring has entered revenue service with low-cost carrier FlyDubai.

California-based Lumexis' fiber-to-the-screen audio/video on demand (AVOD) system has been retrofitted to a new FlyDubai Boeing 737-800. The aircraft also boasts Boeing's new 'Sky Interior' for the narrowbody.

The lightweight AVOD system, embedded into Recaro seats, represents an integration project between the two parties.

"This first-of-type installation for both AVOD system and aircraft was accomplished in an unprecedentedly short 11 days from receipt of aircraft at the mod site to delivery of the aircraft back to the customer with its supplemental type certificate," says Lumexis CEO Doug Cline in a statement.

"Obviously, that required strong support from our customer and extremely close cooperation between seat manufacturer Recaro, installation/certification contractor JAMCO, and installation services provider Aviation Technical Services. Since follow-on aircraft will not require further certification, FlyDubai's future installations can be reduced to less than five days."

FlyDubai chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith calls the fiber optics-based system "revolutionary" and says he is certain "it will be very well received by our passengers" and that "other airlines will be quick to follow us once they see what the system can do".

The airline's next Lumexis IFE-equipped aircraft will go into service in just about a week after this first one, and two more in rapid succession before 2010 year's end, then roughly one per month until all their 44 new 737s are delivered.