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February 28, 2017

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

 
 

SoftBank-Backed OneWeb to Merge With Intelsat

SoftBank today announced it will invest $1.7 billion to facilitate a merger between US satellite startup OneWeb and Luxembourg-based Intelsat. The Japanese technology conglomerate said it expects to acquire a 40-percent voting stake in the combined entity, helping to reduce Intelsat’s debt by $3.6 billion, in a deal that is subject to approval from bondholders. The merger between OneWeb and Intelsat could help save on costs as they look to develop a satellite network that can one day deliver affordable Internet access to remote parts of the world. “We are in the midst of a technological revolution … provided we receive the necessary cooperation from Intelsat bondholders,” said Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank.

Bloomberg | Related Intelsat announces successful launch of Intelsat 32e – get Connected

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United Airlines Announces Major Expansion of Its Route Network

United Airlines today announced a major expansion of its network, with the launch of 22 new routes and the augmentation of 15 existing ones. Subject to government approval, United will launch a seasonal route between San Francisco and Munich, while its daily service between Newark and Tel Aviv will be upgraded with a new Boeing 777-300ER, featuring the airline’s Polaris business-class seats as of May 5. "We've been shrinking, and our competitors have been growing at our expense," said Scott Kirby, United’s president. “We're going back on offense.” In total, the Chicago-based carrier is increasing service to 31 destinations across the US and Europe – four of which it does not currently fly to.

Condé Nast Traveler | Related United Polaris: The Story Behind the Airline’s New Business-Class Seat – APEX Media

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The Disappearing Act: Is the First-Class Cabin Becoming Obsolete?

First-class products were conspicuously underrepresented at this year's Business Travel Show, which took place last week at Olympia London. Although airlines haven't publicly declared the demise of first class, it’s effectively disappearing through the process of fleet replacement. United, Qantas and Lufthansa are among the airlines that are eliminating first-class suites in favor of ever-improving business-class cabins. All-aisle access, lie-flat seats and sliding doors are some of the features that are trickling from first to business, begging the question: Does first class remain economically viable when the comfort, ergonomics and connectivity dials in business class are turned all the way up to 11?

APEX Media | Related The Millennial Business Traveler – APEX Media

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Trump Hints at DOT and FAA Budget Cuts

Ahead of his speech to the US Congress later today, Donald Trump has given a preview of his budget priorities for the federal government, hinting at major spending reductions in areas outside of military, law and immigration enforcement. Ahead of the formal budget proposal, which will be submitted to Congress in March, the US president has promised a $54-billion increase in the Department of Defense’s budget, offset by spending reductions in other agencies. While nothing has been said regarding the budgets assigned to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, speaking to US state governors yesterday, Trump said, “We’re going to do more with less … We’re going to make the [federal] government lean.”

Air Transport World | Related Trump meets with airline CEOs, vows to fix "out of whack" ATC system – Air Transport World

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Heard Through the Grapevine: British Airways Adds English Sparkling Wine to First-Class Menu

When John Lennon said, “French rock is like English wine,” he was neither complimenting Gallic harmonies nor praising the subtle flavors of “la cuvée anglaise.” But a lot has changed since then. British Airways will begin offering English sparkling wine for the first time on board, with the addition of West Sussex-based Bolney Wine Estate’s Vintage Blanc de Blancs to its first-class menu. “This is the first time we have offered an English sparkling white wine on board and we think our customers are going to love it,” said British Airways’ head of Catering, Colin Talbot. “All of our wines are blind tasted by experts to ensure we serve the very best, and this English sparkling wine came out on top.”

Business Traveller | Related Hidden Prints: Amenity Kits That Represent Airlines’ Native Cities – APEX Media

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LAX Breaks Ground on 12-Gate Concourse Terminal Extension

Los Angeles International Airport has begun construction on a new 12-gate concourse that will serve as an extension to its Tom Bradley International Terminal. The $1.6-billion project will be called the Midfield Satellite Concourse and is scheduled for completion by April 2020. The building will add more than one million square feet to the terminal space, including the addition of two gates designed for Airbus A380 aircraft. The project’s design firm, Gensler, says departure gates will be grouped together in an “urban neighborhood concept,” surrounded by retail shops, restaurants, work counters and conversation pods.

Travel Weekly | Related Delta, American swap gates at LAX in ramp-up to terminal upgrades – Air Transport World

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Bangkok Airways Recertified to ICAO Standards

Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT) announced yesterday that Bangkok Airways has been recertified to the ICAO’s international safety standards. The airline is the first in the country to receive recertification of its air operator’s certificate, with another eight carriers still undergoing the process, which is jointly administered by CAAT and the International Directorate of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). “This is a significant milestone for CAAT, the Thai aviation and tourism industry,” said Ben Alcott, international director of the UK’s CAA.

eTurbo news | Related Bangkok Airways to expand in Vietnam with new exclusive service to Phu Quoc island – CAPA Centre for Aviation

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
Photo of the Day
 

Cleared for takeoff. Captured by @ahmad_thoyyib (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Did you know #SingaporeAir was the first airline to provide headsets? Celebrate #SQ70years & share your memories: http://goo.gl/MplMsX

Singapore Airlines @SingaporeAir

 
 
 

Association News

Airline Members: Register for APEX MMM by Tomorrow & You Could Win Free Accommodation!

APEX MultiMedia Market, the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers, will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. Registration is complimentary for APEX airline members and includes access to the educational program, the networking event and the exhibit hall, where top global distributors will be showing off an extensive library of new content specifically licensed for airlines. Lunch and coffee will be provided each day. APEX airline members who register by March 1 will be included in a draw for a complimentary three-night stay at the Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin, where APEX MMM will take place (some restrictions apply).

 
 

Sponsorship Opportunities at APEX Events

Are you looking to gain extra exposure for your company at APEX events like APEX MultiMedia Market, APEX TECH and APEX EXPO? APEX has the right marketing opportunity for your company. Contact Desiray Young, dyoung@apex.aero, to discuss the best ways to raise your company’s profile. For more information, see the 2017 Sponsorship and Advertising Kit.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”

Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 
 

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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