Istanbul, Turkey | April 8, 2013– Leading international air carrier Turkish Airlines, winner of the coveted Best European Airline Award from Skytrax for two consecutive years, announced that it has selected Lumexis Corporation’s Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS) fiber optic IFEC system for installation into two of its existing A330 fleet aircraft.

Dr. Temel Kotil, President and Chief Executive of Turkish Airlines, explained that his airline seeks to offer an unequalled, highest quality passenger experience in all its cabins. “Whether cuisine, seat comfort or In-Flight Entertainment, we are always striving to improve every element of our cabin and service. We had heard good things about the Lumexis system, regarding not only its unique ability to reliably provide every passenger his or her own in-seat HD movie, but as importantly, its ultra-light installed weight. So, when these two aircraft became available on very short notice, it offered us an opportunity to evaluate the system performance while, at the same time, verifying promised weight savings and reduced fuel burn.”

“Dr. Kotil and his entire organization are strongly committed to protecting the environment” responded Douglas Cline, Lumexis CEO. “By reducing the installed weight of existing, legacy IFEC on these aircraft by more than a full metric ton, Turkish Airlines will reduce fuel burned into the atmosphere by approximately 50,000 U.S. gallons per aircraft per year. The Lumexis team is honored by the opportunity to join Turkish Airlines in not only creating a superior entertainment experience for its passengers, but also to support its efforts to significantly reduce hydrocarbon emissions from its aircraft.”

Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline with a fleet of 215 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 221 cities around the world, comprised of 36 domestic and 185 international destinations. One of the fastest growing airline companies, Turkish Airlines has received several “Passengers Choice Awards” from the consumer ranking group, Skytrax. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, Turkish Airlines has been chosen as the winner of “Best Airline Europe”, “Best Premium Economy Seats” for its Comfort Class seats and “Best Airline Southern Europe”. It has also received awards for its catering and holds a coveted 4-star designation, putting the airline in a small group of top quality carriers. Turkish Airlines was also given the Skytrax designation of “World’s Best Economy Class On-board Catering” in 2010, and Skyscanner’s “Best On-board Food 2011”. Long haul Business Class passengers also enjoy the Flying Chef service on-board.

– Addition of NBCUniversal makes airline the first in the world to show high definition films from all six major producers

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | December 04, 2012–
flydubai, Dubai’s innovative low cost airline, has reached yet another milestone, having become the first airline in the world to show high definition (HD) movies from all six major Hollywood studios.

The airline introduced its In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system in December 2010 with HD films from Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Now, two years later, the HD debut of The Bourne Legacy from NBCUniversal has brought the full spectrum onboard. flydubai also has HD titles from Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said: “From day one, we have aimed to offer our passengers the best in-flight experience and the IFE is a significant part of this. The team has worked incredibly hard to forge relationships with these studios to bring the widest variety of entertainment to flydubai, ensuring our customers have unparalleled choice and viewing quality.”

As the launch customer for the ‘Fiber-To-The-Screen®’ (‘FTTS®’) system by Lumexis, flydubai became the first airline in the world to show HD movies simultaneously to every seat back. The feat was achieved thanks to the system’s fibre optic technology, which provides a much higher bandwidth and faster data transfer than copper networks.

Doug Cline, CEO of Lumexis, said: “We have consistently worked with flydubai, our launch customer, to keep setting new benchmarks. The FTTS system is the most technologically advanced on the market and it brings us great pleasure to support this innovative airline in providing its passengers with the very best in movie quality and choice.”

flydubai offers 25 HD films including new titles The Bourne Legacy, The Dark Night Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man. In total, the airline has 198 movies from Hollywood, Bollywood, Russia and the Arabic film world, in addition to 162 TV episodes, 324 audio albums and 36 games, with more titles introduced every month.

The improved IFE content comes one week after flydubai received two Mercury Awards, which were held in conjunction with the International Travel Catering Association’s exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The airline took home both the Systems and Process Development award along with an additional trophy for Environment / Sustainability in recognition of the benefits of its IFE. In total, through choosing the Lumexis model over a legacy system, flydubai currently saves $2.37 million on fuel and reduces carbon emissions by 7.5 million kilos every year.

Al Ghaith said: “Winning these two awards is a wonderful achievement for us. Our IFE continues to set new standards in the industry, which enhances customer experience while also streamlining processes for our cabin crew. To have received the sustainability award shows that airlines do not have to compromise on service quality to maintain a commitment to reduce fuel burn and associated carbon emissions.”

This week, we feature the Lumexis Single-Aisle Solution in our Hot Topic and the image above is the Lumexis team members who are in town this week. While we often picture hardware, we thought it time for IFExpress give a tip o’the hat to the folks who brought the product to life. Additionally, be sure to check out this link for a terrific hardware, installation, and block diagram slide show from Rich Salter first!

As the second in the “Single-Aisle Solution” feature, Lumexis hit the narrow-body market with kickoff customer flydubai, a story we covered earlier. If you aren’t too clear on “narrow-body aircraft” check out the link. Further, companies like Bombardier are holding up the lower end of the (60 to 150 seat) single-aisle market. The bigger Boeing 737-MAX and Airbus A320neo definitely do not have an exclusive on the market either. In fact, a large number of the growing single-aisle market purchases will occur in China and it would be a mistake to rule out the future Chinese 168 – 198 seat contender, the Comac C919. To get the ball rolling, we asked the affable and well known CEO of Lumexis, Doug Cline, a few loaded questions which we must say, he answered with great candor:

Q: Tell our readers a little about the Lumexis Single Aisle offering, screen size, weight, capability, network etc.

“Our single-aisle offering is the same as our regional jet and the same as our twin-aisle except that the latter has Passenger Service System interfaces (reading light and flight attendant call), widescreen, HD monitors up to 23 inches (so far . . .) and touchscreen controllers. We’ve been flying with flydubai for over a year and have accumulated more than 7 million seat available hours with 99.5% availability. I would point out an advantage of our fiber optic system is that a B747 would have the same basic architecture as a narrow-body in that they both take advantage of the same redundant network path. This is very helpful in installation and crew training.”

Q: Which airlines and airplanes are you installed on and why did they choose Lumexis?

Cline: “Narrow-body launch customer: flydubai, now 13 Boeing Sky Interior, 189 seat airplanes in daily revenue service; 31 more deliveries averaging about 1 per month for installations taking less than three days downtime.

Wide-body launch customer: Transaero (Russia’s second largest airline), first B777-300 delivered in early December, three more this year; followed by 4 B747- 400s (522 seats!) in Q1 2012; we expect to continue to work through their entire fleet over the next several years. Two additional unannounced customers have A320 and A330 fleets being installed in 2012 and 2013.

These leading edge airlines chose FTTS® due to highest system capability, lightest weight per seat of any system now flying (or on the horizon), highest reliability, customer maintainable user software and resultant lowest-possible cost-of-ownership.”

Q: What single-aisle configurations seem popular now (inseat video, overhead monitors, seatback video, etc)?

Cline: “Uniformly, full aircraft, widescreen HD AVOD at every seat; supplemental overhead monitors for maps and broadcast videos as required. Our display compliment already includes original 8.9” seatback units, continuing with the 15.4″ as well as the gigantic 23″ for Transaero. We recently added a 10.1″ and a 12.1” into the offerings.”

Q: Lumexis and other IFE hardware vendors are not standard OEM offerings as BFE or SFE – they are not delivered on the aircraft, but rather, installed later. Why? Should you be?

Cline: “With some 98% of the existing in-seat IFEC being controlled by only two suppliers, it is an obvious challenge to get airlines to break away from the security of buying the legacy product and risking obviously improved, but new, product (and supplier) until it’s proven in airline service. Understandably slow to begin, now our new customer sign-ups are accelerating rapidly as a result of the very visible successes of flydubai and Transaero.  Moreover, we will soon gain line-fit with the major OEMs as our current customers already have many B737-800s, B747-8s and A380s (700 seats!) on order and want to receive their aircraft with FTTS fully installed.

Newcomers like Lumexis represent a risk to existing, “stable” production lines – You can understand their angst – but after both narrow-body and wide-body in-service successes with different carriers, we are able to much more aggressively pursue line-fit on new aircraft!”

Q: What kind of per seat system weight does Lumexis claim?

Cline: “Flydubai’s full coach installation – including every nut, bolt screw, bracket, every mm of copper power wiring, all LRUs and fiber – is about 2.3 kg per seat – a little over 5 pounds.  Quite simply, this is the weight of the aircraft when it delivered minus the weight when it arrived. (I am being so specific as most competitors like to cite only the weight of their boxes, which is very misleading as to true cost of carriage implications.)  FTTS is proven handsdown to be the absolutely lightest system flying – today or on the horizon.”

Q: What are the installed airlines saying about Lumexis?

Cline: “Our customers – from passengers through flight attendants, maintenance people, content and marketing managers, all the way up to senior management – uniformly love our product, our people and our support. Uniform appreciation of the reliable delivery of high definition movies, unmatched quick GUI response, and simplicity of interface are also passenger pleasing features that get high marks.”

Q: Does Lumexis have an overhead solution and how about inseat (with arm) display?

Cline: “We do not have a standalone overhead product, but many options for supplemental overhead, very large, HD monitors. In-arm mounting is easy and available.”

Q: Reliability is a good issue with single- aisles that see upward of 6 emplaning-deplaning cycles (or more) per day…How’s the Lumexis hardware doing?

Cline: “We’ve been flying with flydubai for over a year (four emplaning-deplaning cycles per day) and have accumulated more than 7 million seat available hours with 99.5% availability. (As reported independently to Boeing by the COO of flydubai.) Not too shabby, and an honest, “not-doctored-with-contract-documentation-rules” number!”

Q: We can’t resist – does Lumexis have a Wi-Fi solution in work?

Cline: “It might be nearer than you’d think . . .”

On a sad note, IFExpress acknowledges the passing of a longtime IFEC member. Airborne camera innovator and IFE industry veteran Tom Henderson, 68, passed away on November 14th after a long battle against cancer.

Tom entered the inflight entertainment world in 1980 when he joined EECO (the “E” in “B/E”) as Director of Marketing for the Air Transport Products division. In 1988 Tom founded Airborne CCTV, which started from a systems design sketched on the back of a restaurant placemat in Irvine, CA. Tom took Airborne CCTV and led the development of the first successful airborne camera systems for commercial and business aviation. Airborne CCTV eventually became part of Thales Inflight in 1999. In recent years Tom was involved with developing other avionics and high-technology products.

An inventor at heart, Tom held several patents for his ideas. He was also an accomplished award-winning woodworker having created many beautiful hand-made chairs and other furnishings. He is survived by his wife and three sons.