Emirates' unveiled its new business class seat at ITB Berlin . Image credit: Emirates.

Emirates’ unveiled its new business class seat at ITB Berlin. Image credit: Emirates.

Here are the most-read stories from this week’s APEX Daily Experience newsletters. To receive breaking passenger experience industry news in your inbox on a daily basis, subscribe here

Sporting a New Look: Emirates to Unveil New Boeing 777 Business Class Seats


Emirates is set to unveil a new business class seat for its Boeing 777 at this week’s ITB Berlin travel trade show. The Gulf carrier says the new seat is inspired by the interior of a sports car and will make its debut inside a new 777-300ER aircraft, which it expects to receive in November 2016. The new fully lie-flat design has a pitch of 72-inches and will feature a light grey full leather cover and an ergonomically designed headrest. Additional amenities include a minibar and a 23-inch touchscreen display connected to Emirates’ ice in-flight entertainment system.

Room For More: United Confirms 10-Abreast Seating on Some 777s 96 


United Airlines says it will retrofit 19 of its 74 Boeing 777 aircraft to increase passenger capacity by 20 additional seats on some domestic and long-haul international flights, in addition to adding in-flight Wi-Fi. The US carrier will begin adding 10-abreast seating in the economy cabins of the wide-body jets, following yesterday’s announcement that it plans to phase out its fleet of Boeing 747s by 2018. United also confirmed an order of 25 new Boeing 737-700s in addition to the previously announced order for 40 of the narrow-body jets in January.

FAIR Fees Act Seeks to Prohibit “Unreasonable” Airline Charges


Yesterday, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) introduced legislation intended to regulate airline fees. The Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act would prohibit airlines from imposing fees for checked bags, ticket changes and cancellations that are not deemed to be reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services provided. APEX CEO Joe Leader weighs in.

Panasonic Says HTS Will Bring Down In-Flight Connectivity Costs


Panasonic Avionics says the introduction of High Throughput Ku-band Satellites means the industry is “past the tipping point,” and will result in reduced costs to passengers for in-flight Wi-Fi. After confirming capacity deals with Intelsat, SES and Telesat, David Bruner, Panasonic Avionics’ VP of Global Communications Services says: “All this capacity means we can offer [connectivity] at a lower price to airlines – they will then be able to offer either complimentary Internet access or a reduced price point for passengers.”

Spoilt for Choice: Qatar Airways Ramps Up IFE Content Options


Qatar Airways has expanded its in-flight entertainment content portfolio from 2,000 up to 3,000 options via its Oryx One IFE system, including movies, TV shows, audio and games. Among the additions is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spectre and the full box set of Marvel films. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group chief executive, said: “With our on board content, we aim to offer something for passengers of all ages, and now with this increased content, our customers will be able to experience new entertainment options every time they travel.”

App in the Air: Flyover Country Wants to Make Your Next Flight a Seat of Learning


A new smartphone app called Flyover Country hopes to provide a new kind of in-flight entertainment. Using maps and data from several geological databases, Flyover Country identifies and provides information about the topography 35,000 feet below an aircraft through a phone’s GPS connection. Flyover Country doesn’t require an in-flight Wi-Fi connection – it uses a list of cached Wikipedia articles to provide information on landscape features like glacial formations. “The airplane seat is sort of a planetarium for the Earth – it’s a great way to inspire people to learn about the sciences,” says Amy Myrbo, a geologist and co-founder of the app.