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November 15, 2016

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Industry News | Comfort & Ambience | Entertainment & Connectivity | Catering & Services

 
 

Unexpected Reversal: Buffett Bets $1.2 Billion on US Airline Industry

Warren Buffett once called the airline industry “a death trap for investors,” but the billionaire business magnate disclosed Monday that he spent in excess of $1.2 billion for stakes in four US carriers. The announcement by Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, caused sharp share price rises for United Continental, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. The investments mark an unexpected reversal for Buffett, who as recently as 2013 said, “Investors have poured their money into airlines for 100 years with terrible results.” Buffett had avoided airline stocks for nearly two decades, following a troubled investment in USAir.

Reuters | Related Easyjet profits tumble after year of challenges – BBC News

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LATAM CEO Urges Latin American Governments to Make Air Travel Less Taxing

Growth in Latin America’s air travel industry will be hindered unless the region’s governments reduce taxes on passengers and airlines, according to LATAM Airlines Group CEO Enrique Cueto. Speaking at the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association’s Airline Leaders Forum in Mexico City, Cueto said that while the region’s airlines had made big improvements in efficiency, safety and pricing, further growth wouldn’t be possible without a change in government aviation policies. “We don’t want governments to give us subsidies. But more than 50 percent of the price of an airline ticket in some Latin American countries is made up of government charges,” says Cueto.

Air Transport World | Related Brazil says LATAM, IAG airline deal could pose competition problems – Reuters

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Tape’s Rolling! Sony Resumes Production of Hi8 Cassettes

Sony has decided to reinvest in the manufacture of professional Hi8 tape to ease pressure on airlines still invested in tape technology. When an earthquake and tsunami flooded Sony’s Sendai, Japan-based factory in March 2011, Sony had to shut down Hi8 operations. Although the airline industry was scrambling for the cassettes used in early-generation in-flight entertainment systems, Sony decided not to restore operations, assuming that airlines would be adopting new technologies. While the market for Hi8 tapes has shrunk, Sony’s decision to revive manufacturing of the tapes was made to meet continuing demand – American Airlines’ fleet currently contains three or four aircraft with Hi8 tape players.

APEX Media | Related The History of Format Wars and How Sony Finally Won... For Now – Paste Magazine

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United and American Open Automated Security Lanes at O’Hare

United Airlines and American Airlines have introduced automated security screening lanes at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. United says its Terminal 1 automated lanes are the first in the US dedicated exclusively to a PreCheck security checkpoint. American says its two automated lanes in Terminal 3 reduce screening time by 30 percent by using bins that are 25 percent larger than those in regular screening lanes. The move toward automated security screening by both carriers comes as part of a TSA-led effort to safely speed passage through airport checkpoints.

Travel Weekly | Related A pat down by robots coming soon to airport security? – Tnooz

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Back to the Future: Branson Backs Prototype of Supersonic Passenger Jet

Richard Branson and Colorado-based startup Boom have brought the reintroduction of supersonic passenger jets a step closer to reality. The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing arm, and Boom are working together to build a supersonic passenger aircraft capable of flying between London and New York in around three and half hours. Boom CEO Blake Scholl, a pilot and former Amazon executive, today unveiled the prototype, called the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, in a hangar in Denver, Colorado. “As an innovator in the space, Virgin Galactic’s decision to work with Boom was an easy one,” says Branson. “We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes.”

The Guardian | Related The audacious plan to bring back supersonic flight – Vox

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Watch This Space: Arconics Introduces Smartwatch App

Aircraft software company Arconics is now bringing its Wi-Fi-enabled cabin management application to smartwatches, thereby allowing flight attendants to manage customer requests from anywhere in the cabin. Announced at this year's APEX EXPO, Arconics’ fully integrated app suite – accessible on a variety of devices – promises to connect passengers, flight attendants and pilots to ensure increased efficiency, responsiveness and ease. “Arconics’ vision of a seamless, end-to-end aviation experience requires adoption of all new technologies,” says Ultan O Brien, VP Sales, Arconics. “We expect flight attendant wearables will be common in business-class cabins quite soon and in all aircraft in the near future.”

APEX Media | Related ViaSat Acquires Arconics for Added Aircraft Operations Capabilities – AviationPros

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Runway Unveiling: Hawaiian Shows Off New Employee Uniforms

Hawaiian Airlines has become the latest US carrier to unveil new uniforms for frontline staff. The Honolulu-based carrier officially unveiled its redesigned outfits at its “Runway to Runway” event held last Friday during Honolulu Fashion Week. The uniforms, which feature a mix of bold colors and floral patterns, are the result of a collaboration between Hawaii-based design firm Sig Zane Kaiao and a committee of 40 of the airline’s frontline employees. “It was very important for us to create something that would represent Hawaii wherever we fly,” says Avi Mannis, SVP of Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines.

USA Today | Related Hawaiian Airlines partners with celebrity chef for select in-flight meals – Pacific Business News

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
Photo of the Day
 

Fly me to the supermoon. Captured by @gc_media (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Polling the #CAPAsummit audience: are airlines using data to improve the customer experience? No: 27% A little: 59% A lot: 14%

Centre for Aviation @CAPA_Aviation

 
 
 

Association News

Join Us in Long Beach for #APEXEXPO 2017

APEX EXPO 2017 will take place in Long Beach, California, from September 25 to 28. Join thousands of aviation professionals from around the world, all committed to improving the airline passenger experience, and reunite with the peers you connected with this year in Singapore!

 
 

Join the APEX Media Team!

Spafax is looking for a managing editor and deputy editor to oversee the APEX media platform, which includes a bi-monthly magazine (APEX Experience), a daily e-newsletter (APEX Daily Experience) and the news sections of apex.aero. APEX Media is the official news source for the Airline Passenger Experience Association, and creates a wide range of properties to help educate its membership on key issues and emerging trends.

 
 
 

Jobs

The proposition manager will be engaged in defining a state-of-the-art passenger experience for in-flight connectivity and entertainment, tailored to the specific needs of each airline client. The role will act at a cross-functional level, integrating technical input and commercial objectives from across Inmarsat with the requirements of the client airline. Click here to apply and view all job listings.
> Inmarsat: Airline Proposition Manager

 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“When cooler heads prevail, we can talk and realize we're all human beings and we can all stick together and we can all pull for this country in our own way."

A United Airlines pilot defusing a heated post-election argument on a flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta

 
 

Until tomorrow

 
 

ABOUT APEX

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members are improving every aspect of the airline experience, from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. Visit apex.aero for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.

 
 

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