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December 14, 2016

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

 
 

Southwest Partners With GEE and Panasonic for Faster In-Flight Connectivity

Southwest Airlines says it will bring improved in-flight entertainment and faster Wi-Fi to more than 700 aircraft starting next year. The Dallas-based carrier will continue using Global Eagle Entertainment’s Airconnect system, while upgrading technology on its existing fleet to increase bandwidth and offer connectivity speeds that are three to four times faster than currently available. Southwest also announced a partnership with Panasonic Avionics to equip satellite-based Wi-Fi hardware and live television services on aircraft including the upcoming Boeing 737 MAX fleet scheduled for the end of 2017. The airline says the changes won’t impact pricing on its in-flight offerings, which include live television, movies and Internet access.

Dallas News | Related Global Eagle Entertainment reports record aircraft-connectivity installations – SpaceNews

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AeroMobile Announces In-Flight Roaming Partnership With Ghana-Based Cellular Network

AeroMobile has struck a partnership with Airtel Ghana to introduce in-flight roaming services for the cellular network’s post-paid customers. The deal is the first of its kind in the West African nation and allows Airtel customers to access onboard data services, send SMS text messages and make phone calls on any AeroMobile-connected flight across 170 countries. “This latest partnership with AeroMobile is a game changer that empowers our post-paid customers to stay in touch with their significant others even when they are in flight, virtually anywhere in the world,” says Rosy Fynn, Airtel Ghana’s marketing director.

Inflight Online | Related AeroMobile has connected over one million flights since its launch – Arabian Aerospace

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Boeing Scales Down 777 Production Amid Lower Demand

Boeing announced this week that it will be cutting production of its 777 aircraft. Current output at its Everett facility will be decreased from seven to five aircraft per month as of August 2017 and then down to 3.5 per month in 2018. Boeing said the reduction was necessary because the manufacturer no longer receives enough orders of the best-selling passenger jet to maintain current operations. In a message to employees on Monday, Elizabeth Lund, Boeing’s VP of the 777 program, said the manufacturer expects to cut jobs in Everett next year.

Airways Magazine | Related United adds latest generation Boeing 777 aircraft to its fleet for 2017 – ETURBONEWS

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Aer Lingus Introduces Visual Guides for Travelers With Autism

Aer Lingus has launched three online visual guides to assist travelers with autism as they prepare for upcoming flights. Each guide details a stage in the typical passenger journey – pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight – using color photographs and easy-to-understand first-person language. The guides were developed in partnership with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “We understand traveling can be a stressful experience for both the individual, families and caregivers and we noticed a need for increased support in this area,” said Declan Kearney, director of Communications at Aer Lingus.

Inflight Online | Related Making Air Travel Accessible to Pax with Autism – APEX Media

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Qatar Airways Mulls Switching A320neos to A321neos

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says he is considering switching some of the airline’s current order for Airbus A320neos to the larger A321neo variant. The Gulf carrier currently has orders placed for 50 A320neo-family aircraft, consisting of 34 A320neos and 16 A321neos. The airline refused to accept four A320neos earlier this year because of a start-up restriction with the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan engine, despite the manufacturer’s claim to have resolved the problem. According to Reuters, Akbar Al Baker also said he was considering changing the A320neo engine choice to the rival CFM International LEAP-1A engine.

Air Transport World | Related Akbar Al Baker: Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways – APEX Media

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An ApPEELing Partnership: Banana Republic and United Airlines Give Passengers a Surprise Gift

United Airlines teamed up with Banana Republic to surprise passengers, who were flying to and from Newark, San Francisco and Los Angeles yesterday, with cashmere blankets. The branded gifts were part of the clothing retailer’s #BRMakeItMatter initiative, which aims to “make a difference with acts of comfort and kindness.” Judging from passenger feedback on social media, it appears that Banana Republic succeeded. “It's always nice getting a little surprise gift,” one Twitter user wrote yesterday.

US Magazine | Related Airline Partnerships With Nonprofits Trickle Into PaxEx – APEX Media.

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Beyond Basic: Lounges for Economy Travelers

Many airlines allow economy passengers to buy a day pass that provides access to basic lounge benefits – just last month, Swiss International Air Lines began selling business lounge access to economy passengers. But some airlines, including Porter, Air Canada and Bangkok Airways, offer their economy passengers complimentary lounge access in select airports. According to Tyler Dikman, CEO of LoungeBuddy, “The cost of providing an amenity on the ground is significantly cheaper than providing it on the flight.”

APEX Media | Related LoungeBuddy and Lufthansa Partner To Offer Airport Lounge Bookings to Lufthansa Lounges – PRWeb

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
Photo of the Day
 

Architecture by Helmut Jahn. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Captured by @iamjonmelo (Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Alaska Airlines and @VirginAmerica have joined forces, and you might be wondering what that means. http://bit.ly/2hlcX83 #DifferentWorks

Alaska Airlines @AlaskaAir

 
 
 

Association News

#APEXEXPO 2017: Join us in Long Beach

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!

 
 

Save the Date: APEX MultiMedia Market 2017

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017, the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers, will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26, 2017. We caught up with Éric Lauzon, manager, Multimedia Entertainment, for Air Canada and co-chair of the event, to discuss what’s on the docket at APEX’s second-largest annual event. Click here to register.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“Aviation is the branch of engineering that is least forgiving of mistakes.”

Freeman Dyson

 
 

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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