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March 3, 2017

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

 
 

Gilat and Hughes to Unveil Hybrid Ka- and Ku-Band Antenna

Gilat and Hughes are set to unveil a new dual Ka- and Ku-band antenna at the Satellite 2017 show. The hybrid hardware supports both Ka- and Ku-band connectivity that will enable airlines to deliver uninterrupted coverage across transoceanic and continental regions. The companies are now pursuing supplemental type certificates, with the new antenna meeting requirements for linefit installations on both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. “With this new antenna, airlines will now be able to enjoy uninterrupted connectivity for even the most challenging air routes that span geographies that are not served by a single satellite frequency band,” said Paul Gaske, Hughes’ EVP for North America.

Get Connected | Related Gilat and Air Esurfing collaborate on in-flight connectivity in China – Get Connected

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CoKinetic Systems Sues Panasonic Avionics

In-flight entertainment software and services company CoKinetic Systems has filed a lawsuit against Panasonic Avionics after the companies recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of their software licensing partnership. The company is seeking damages exceeding $100 million, alleging that Panasonic knowingly engaged in a series of anticompetitive practices aimed at forcing CoKinetic out of the market. “CoKinetic has worked every day on behalf of airlines and their passengers to open the in-flight entertainment market to free and fair competition. This lawsuit is an unfortunate but necessary step towards accomplishing that goal,” said Todd Higgins, managing partner of Crosby & Higgins LLP and CoKinetic’s lead attorney. “Without competition, airlines pay too much, wait too long and struggle to innovate.”

Inflight Online | Related Panasonic Avionics and CoKinetic Systems Mark 10 Years of IFE Innovation at APEX – PR Newswire

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Virgin Holidays Brings Vacation Voice Searches to Amazon Alexa

Virgin Holidays has launched a new “skill” for Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa, allowing users to search for vacation packages using voice commands. The integration means Amazon Echo and Echo Dot users can conduct hands-free holiday searches in a database of three million dates, outbound airports and destinations. A member of Virgin Holiday’s web team developed the AI booking functionality in his spare time following a visit to AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Service’s cloud developer conference in Las Vegas. “Following my trip to AWS re:Invent, I was inspired to bring some of this incredible technology to travel, so I started working on it at home,” said Declan Newman, senior developer at Virgin Holidays.

Breaking Travel News | Related The Amazon Echo can now track your flights – The Verge

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Lufthansa Brings SXSW to 35,000 Feet

A special South by Southwest (SXSW) Lufthansa flight will take off from Frankfurt to Houston on March 9. Passengers on board the one-off “Flying Lab SXSW” Airbus A380 flight will have the opportunity to listen to a series of 15-minute talks given by digital experts on topics including, transportation of the future, smart cities and a SXSW survival guide. Passengers will be able to stream the live video via in-flight Wi-Fi and can pose questions to speakers using their smartphones, tablets or laptops. “FlyingLab creates a dialogue on board that participants can then continue with their seat neighbors,” said Torsten Wingenter, senior director of Digital Innovations at Lufthansa.

Inflight Online | Related Lufthansa Takes New York Fashion Week to New Heights – APEX Media

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IATA Chief Calls for Open Borders During Washington Visit

IATA’s CEO and director general, Alexandre de Juniac, called for open borders and reduced government interference in airline product distribution while speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Summit on Thursday, in Washington DC. “We are deeply concerned at recent developments that point to restricted borders and protectionism,” de Juniac said. “It’s undeniable that in totality the world has grown more wealthy through open borders.” He also spoke about a new US government regulation that dictates how and where airlines display their fares and products, claiming that it “could lock consumers into the old and less transparent distribution mode.” Later in the day, de Juniac met with Elaine Chao, Trump’s newly appointed transportation secretary.

Air Transport World | Related Transportation Secretary Chao Calls for Private Infrastructure Funding – Bloomberg

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Airlines Up Their Game: Could In-Flight Console Gaming Take Off?

The highly anticipated Nintendo Switch console, which has been marketed as an ideal travel companion, launches today. Time will tell if the technology will take the in-flight gaming market to the next level. Jörg Schiffmann, GUE Tech’s manager of Sales and Marketing, says the current priority is to find the game version that works best on a particular IFE system: “For passengers, it is more important to have the best game experience on board than playing the latest game version.” According to Schiffmann, Garfield Kart was played nearly 5,000 times during its first month of service on Air Europa, while the most popular in-flight movie title, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was watched 16,000 times, showing that passengers are attracted to popular video games.

APEX Media | Related Will Nintendo Switch Bring In-Flight Gaming to the Next Level? – APEX Media

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Icelandair’s New Amenity Kits Celebrate 80 Years of Flying

Icelandair is celebrating its 80th anniversary with the launch of new business-class amenity kits this spring. The airline has collaborated with Skysupply to create the onboard kits for Saga Class passengers. The kits come in the form of branded tin boxes, available in four designs featuring images of Iceland’s landscapes. The boxes include skincare products from Iceland’s Blue Lagoon cosmetics company, in addition to dental items, earplugs, socks and an eye mask. “We are very delighted to be part of Icelandair’s jubilee celebrations and compliment the national carrier on its long-term success,” said Wolfgang Bücherl, managing director of Skysupply.

PAX International | Related Icelandair Launches the Airline Industry’s First Facebook Messenger Booking Bot – APEX Media

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
Photo of the Day
 

Góðan daginn Reykjavík. Captured by @maggaelin (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Happy #WorldWildlifeDay! Cabin Crew member Matt is all smiles with one of our favourite furry friends 💕

Qantas @Qantas

 
 
 

Association News

APEX MMM: Draw for Free Accommodation Extended

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 Friday, March 10 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

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”

Jules Verne, A Journey to the Center of the Earth

 
 

Until next week

 
 

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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