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January 18, 2017

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

 
 

Gilat and Air Esurfing Launch China In-Flight Broadband Partnership

Gilat Satellite Networks has signed a partnership with Air Esurfing, a subsidiary of Air Media Group, with the aim of delivering domestic in-flight broadband connectivity over mainland China. The partners plan to use China Satcom’s Ka-band capacity, scheduled to launch later this year, to offer a broadband solution with data speeds exceeding 100 Mbps. Gilat and Air Esurfing will jointly pursue supplemental type certification for the system and are planning to launch commercial trials by early 2018. “We are honored to have been selected by Air Esurfing, a key player in the domestic Chinese in-flight entertainment and connectivity market, to jointly deliver on the promise of high-quality connectivity for airline passengers throughout China,” said Jun Xiang, Gilat’s general manager for China.

Get Connected | Related Asia-Pacific’s In-Flight Connectivity Landscape – APEX Media

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Underwater Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Called Off

The underwater search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been suspended indefinitely, leaving the case unsolved almost three years after the aircraft’s disappearance. A joint statement on Tuesday by China, Malaysia and Australia announced the suspension of the operation, with the last vessel having left the 45,000-square-mile underwater search area in the southern Indian Ocean. Voice370, a group representing the families of passengers and crewmembers on board missing MH370, accused the governments of being closed to the possibility of extending the search. “In our view, extending the search to the new area defined by the experts is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interest of aviation safety,” said the group.

The Guardian | Related Missing flight MH370: a visual guide to the parts and debris found so far – The Guardian

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DOT Proposes Rule Requiring Airlines to Include Baggage Fees in Base Ticket Prices

The US Department of Transportation proposed a rule on Tuesday that would require airlines, ticket agents and third-party sellers to disclose fees for carry-on and checked baggage from the beginning of a fare inquiry. If implemented, the rule would prevent airlines from displaying baggage fees separately from the initial ticket price. "Displaying the fees for transporting carry-on and checked bags alongside the fare will make the cost of travel more transparent," said outgoing DOT secretary Anthony Foxx. Airlines and interested parties now have 60 days to comment on the proposal.

Travel Weekly | Related White House report calls for eliminating growth in industry “hidden fees” – Air Transport World

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Watch This Space: ViaSat and Boeing Discuss Upcoming ViaSat-2 Satellite Launch

ViaSat’s newest Ka-band satellite will soon be on its way from the Boeing Satellite Development Center to the Arianespace launch pad in French Guiana. APEX Media was invited to see ViaSat-2 at Boeing’s El Segundo facility, where Keven Lippert, ViaSat’s executive vice-president of Corporate Development, and Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International, explained how the satellite’s launch will affect the passenger experience. “It’s going to bring better service to the passengers, better pricing to the airlines and better coverage,” said Lippert. “We take great measures to work as one integrated Boeing, whatever our customers may want,” added Spiwak.

APEX Media | Related ViaSat, Boeing Complete Preliminary Design Review for ViaSat-3 Satellites – ViaSat

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Cathay Pacific Selects Avionica for Second Generation of Its Connected Aircraft System

Cathay Pacific has chosen Avionica as the supplier for the second generation of its e-Enabled airborne connectivity program. The system will be deployed across the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleets, providing a common set of hardware across Boeing and Airbus aircraft types. Avionica’s solution includes the satLINK MAX Iridium satellite communications system, a 4G cellular data device and an automated global data transfer network between aircraft and the airline's operation center. “Avionica offers Cathay Pacific an integrated airborne hardware solution for e-Enablement and full-time global connectivity,” said Rob Saunders, head of Engineering Cost Management and Business Improvement at Cathay Pacific.

Inflight Online | Related First 10 Iridium NEXT satellites delivered to low-earth orbit – Get Connected

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Boeing Details Plans for Stretched 737 MAX 10X

Details have emerged about Boeing’s latest addition to its 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft family, the 737 MAX 10X. The new stretched variant reportedly won approval from Boeing’s board of directors in late 2016, and could launch as early as 2020 if enough airlines express interest in the jet. Boeing is aiming the new model at airlines prioritizing seat capacity over transatlantic crossings. The design consists of a 66-inch fuselage stretch, smaller than the 132-inch extension originally discussed at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow. The increased length would allow airlines to fit an additional 12 seats, a total of 189 seats, in a two-class configuration, or 230 in an all-economy layout.

Airways Magazine | Related Boeing snags $11-billion order from India's SpiceJet – CNN

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Edelweiss Air Chooses SR Technics for Wide-Body Interior Upgrades

Edelweiss Air has selected SR Technics to upgrade the cabins on four of its Airbus A340-300s. The retrofitting process will take place at the company’s Center of Excellence for Cabin Modifications in Zurich over the next two years. SR Technics started work on the first aircraft in October 2016 and completed the refurbishment after 37 days. The interior features three classes – economy, economy max and business – and includes new seats and galleys, modified lavatories, Panasonic’s eXLite in-flight entertainment system and programmable LED mood lighting. “The first A340 modification was the biggest project that Edelweiss has carried out to date,” says Lorenz Thöni, CTO at Edelweiss. “SR Technics has proved yet again that they are the right partner for this kind of project.”

Inflight Online | Related Edelweiss Air takes delivery of former SWISS A340-300 – Air Transport World

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
Photo of the Day
 

Vegas sunset. Captured by @i_p_x_k (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

When your in-flight chef's seasoning skills are as good as #SaltBae... 😎

Etihad Airways @EtihadAirways

 
 
 

Association News

Speak Up! Submit Your Session Proposals for APEX Events

APEX is accepting proposals from members to speak at its events: MultiMedia Market, EXPO, TECH and regional conferences. APEX is looking to strengthen the industry and foster business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition. Session proposals will be reviewed based on their merit and relevance to APEX’s strategic mission, vision and objectives. Click here to submit a proposal.

 
 

Register Now for #APEXMARKET in Berlin

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017 will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. #APEXMARKET is the only global industry event focused specifically on bringing together IFE buyers with the leading worldwide vendors of TV, movies, GUIs, games, audio and applications. Register now to join us at the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.”

Oscar Wilde

 
 

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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