Everyone remember Lumexis? They’re the guys that showed me their new very light and kind of awesome inflight entertainment system that US Airways tested awhile back. Earlier this week, Lumexis announced that they had signed up their first customer, and I’ve been trying to figure out who it is ever since. Let’s see if you guys have any ideas. Here’s what we know.
- That announcement said that they had “been awarded a large order for its FTTS™ (Fiber To The Screen™) Audio-Video-On-Demand, In-Flight Entertainment Systems for installation on the new customer’s fleet of 737-family aircraft.”
- This new customer will have entertainment but will also use the system to “support in-seat purchases by travelers of an array of products and services.”
With this information, Runway Girl started a conversation trying to figure out who it might be. I’ve uncovered an additional piece of info that dramatically narrows the field.
I asked Lumexis for further detail, and while they wouldn’t tell me much, they did say that “it is a full fleet installation.” Aha! So it can’t be an airline with just a large 737 fleet. It has to be an airline with a large fleet made up only of 737s. There are four possible suspects that come to mind.
Of these three, I would say Southwest is least likely. They don’t offer an “array” of products and services to sell onboard, so that seems suspect unless it’s part of a massive change for them. Gol is possible, I suppose, but I don’t have a feeling either way. Alaska and Ryanair, however, both would have good reason.
We know that Alaska likes to offer a good product onboard, and they aren’t shy about charging fees for things. We also know that they’ve been fighting Virgin America really hard, and this would help them get toward product parity. They also have a growing long haul network and a significant Hawai’i presence that can’t use live television because it’s outside of the service area. This would seem like a perfect solution.
On the other hand, nobody knows how to sell like Ryanair. If this system could somehow let them increase their onboard sales, it might be a rock star for them. They can, of course, charge for the entertainment itself, though when they tried to use portable units for sale before, it flopped and they removed them quickly.
Who else has a large 737-only fleet that could be in the running? I eliminated WestJet already since they have LiveTV. What am I missing? Anyone else?
What say you?