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January 11, 2017

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

 
 

Southwest’s Gary Kelly Relinquishes President Role, Tom Nealon Appointed

Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines' CEO and chairman, has announced he will relinquish his role as the airline’s president. Executive vice-president of Strategy and Innovation Tom Nealon has been promoted to the post, after previously serving on the company’s board from 2010 to 2015 and as Southwest’s chief information officer from 2002 to 2006. As president, Nealon will report to Kelly and will be tasked with overseeing much of the Dallas-based carrier’s daily operations including commercial, finance, technology, corporate delivery and corporate strategy departments. Kelly will continue to serve as CEO and chairman, focusing on Southwest’s external activities including its political, governmental, industry and community affairs and investor relations.

Air Transport World | Related Sweet 16 for Southwest Airlines as passenger traffic tops 2015 mark – Dallas News

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Lufthansa Aims to Become “Most Digital Aviation Group” in 2017

Lufthansa Group companies gathered at Frankfurt Airport for the Digital Aviation Forum yesterday. Digital innovations on display included Avegant Glyph headsets, an artificial intelligence-driven chatbot named Mildred and one of five Inmarsat GX radome-equipped Airbus A319s, ready for take off. Lufthansa’s FlyNet Internet service, powered by Inmarsat Ka-band satellite connectivity, is now online and will be available in three service packages. Carsten Spohr, chairman and chief executive officer of Lufthansa, affirmed that the group’s digital ambitions will not threaten jobs. “We don’t believe that digitalization will create job losses, but rather we believe that it will create additional jobs because it will make Lufthansa bigger and more successful.”

APEX Media | Related Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines going online on short-haul and mid-range flights – Lufthansa

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Apps Inside Apps: WeChat’s New Service Could Benefit Airlines

Akin to the “dream within a dream” premise behind the movie Inception, WeChat has launched a new “app within an app” initiative. MiniProgram will enable airlines and other travel-related third-party businesses to build in-app services that operate within the messaging platform. The initiative could allow WeChat users to search and book flights from within the smartphone app, without the need for further installations. Users can access third-party in-app services by scanning QR codes or searching for service names on WeChat. Tnooz suggests that the added functionality may resonate with smartphone users who don’t want to fill devices with apps that they rarely use.

Tnooz | Related The Chinese Millennial Traveler – APEX Media

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Qatar Airways Partners With Gulf Cinema Chain for First-Class Movie Theater Experience

Qatar Airways has launched a partnership with Novo Cinemas to offer moviegoers in Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE the opportunity to sample something akin to the airline’s first-class passenger experience. The so-called “seven-star” cinemas come equipped with fully reclining leather seats and iPads offering a selection of film titles. Services will include valet parking, luxury lounges, a gourmet food menu and in-theater butler service. “This partnership is a reflection of our shared commitment to the highest quality entertainment and standards of customer care,” said Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, CEO of Novo Cinemas. “We offer a continuation of the first-class service found on board Qatar Airways.”

Luxury Launches | Related Anticipation Builds for the Unveiling of Qatar Airways’ Super Business Class – APEX Media

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DOT Lifts Galaxy Note 7 Pre-Boarding Warning Requirement, But Ban Remains

The US Department of Transportation has lifted the requirement for airlines to inform passengers about the ban on bringing recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7s on board. A press release from the Federal Aviation Administration stated that the DOT removed the pre-boarding requirement “due to the high degree of public awareness of the ban since issuance of the emergency restriction/prohibition order.” The FAA also highlighted the efforts by Samsung and US cellular providers to make all Note 7 users aware of the in-flight ban on US aircraft. The South Korean electronics manufacturer says that over 96 percent of Note 7 devices have been returned so far.

The Verge | Related FAA Issues Emergency Order Banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Smartphones on Airplanes – Forbes

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Saks Fifth Avenue Unveils United Polaris-Inspired Storefront Window Display

Saks Fifth Avenue today unveiled a United Polaris-inspired storefront window display including a re-creation of the airline's new business-class experience, which launched this past December. Since research conducted by United Airlines revealed that sleep was the most important priority for international business-class travelers, the airline aims to provide a sleep-enhancing experience with Polaris. ”Through our relationship with Saks, our passengers now have access to luxury, custom linens, pillows and blankets to help them relax and get the rest they need,” said Mark Krolick, vice-president of Marketing at United. The luxury bedding will contribute to passengers' comfort when sleeping in the Polaris fully lie-flat seats with 6-foot-6-inch bed space, which are set to debut in flight in February.

APEX Media | Related United Launches Polaris Business Class With Vibrant ORD Lounge Opening – APEX Media

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Jeju Air Orders Boeing 737-800s, Worth $300 Million

Jeju Air has placed an order with Boeing for three Next-Generation 737-800s, valued at nearly $300 million at list prices. The three single-aisle aircraft will come linefit with Boeing Sky Interior cabins, featuring decorative sculpted sidewalls, larger window reveals, LED mood lighting and more spacious pivot overhead bins. The order will become the South Korean low-cost carrier’s first direct purchase from Boeing and will help it expand within Asia’s fast-growing air travel market. “This acquisition is a major step in our growth strategy,” said Ken Choi, CEO of Jeju Air. “We are confident that this order will enable Jeju Air to further strengthen our position as a leading low-cost carrier in Northeast Asia.”

Breaking Travel News | Related What Passengers Want: Boeing Delves Deep Into Pax Psychology – APEX Media

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
Photo of the Day
 

Cathay red. Captured by @rainhards (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

LCY celebrates its 30th anniversary this year! Take a look at the last 30 years in pictures #LCYTurns30

London City Airport @LondonCityAir

 
 
 

Association News

#APEXMarket: Book Your Booth

Meet with influential airline decision-makers and content service providers at the 2017 APEX MultiMedia Market in Berlin, from April 24 to 26. From movies and games to GUIs and apps, this exclusive members-only event covers the entire spectrum of content and in-flight entertainment. Click here to reserve your booth; if your language category is full, be sure to add your company to the waitlist, or book a non-appointment booth.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

"On a windy day, let's go flying There may be no trees to rest on. There may be no clouds to ride. But we'll have our wings and the wind will be with us. That's enough for me, that's enough for me."

Yoko Ono – Song for John

 
 

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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