Lufthansa’s A350 is the first Airbus aircraft to be equipped with onboard jetlag-busting LED lighting technology. Image: Lufthansa

Lufthansa’s A350 is the first Airbus aircraft to be equipped with onboard jetlag-busting LED lighting technology. Image via Lufthansa

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

Panasonic Under US Fed Investigation; CEO Replaced


Panasonic Avionics is under investigation by US authorities over allegations that it has broken bribery and securities laws. The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are probing whether the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A statement by the Osaka-based company’s in-flight entertainment and communications systems subsidiary said that it is cooperating with the agencies, and evaluating the potential financial impact of the probe. In a separate piece of news, Panasonic Avionics announced a senior management change, with Hideo Nakano being appointed CEO with immediate effect, replacing Paul Margis who has left the company. Nakano was, until now, deputy CEO of Panasonic Avionics.

Lufthansa Unveils Its First Airbus A350 and Upgraded IFE System


Lufthansa took delivery of its first Airbus A350 at a private ceremony in Munich on Thursday evening. The wide-body aircraft is scheduled to enter commercial service on February 10 when it takes off from Munich to Dehli. Lufthansa’s A350 is the first Airbus aircraft to be equipped with onboard jetlag-busting LED lighting technology designed to sync with passengers’ body clocks. The aircraft is Wi-Fi equipped and is the first to feature the airline’s upgraded in-flight entertainment system, which allows passengers to personalize their entertainment choices up to six weeks before a flight via a companion app.

The Role of Materials and Lighting in Defining an Airline’s Holistic Brand Identity


PriestmanGoode recently tested the limits of new materials with the introduction of a polystone surface table in the United Polaris business-class cabin. “It’s the first time this material has been used on a commercial aircraft,” says Luke Hawes, director at PriestmanGoode. “It allows us to create the look of marble, but with less weight, as well as facilitated maintenance. The result is a luxurious feel that ties in with what premium passengers would expect.” According to LIFT Strategic Design CEO Daniel Baron, lighting offers airlines many new design possibilities as well, but the basics still matter: “Mood lighting has come a long way … however, it will never negate the visual and tactile qualities of textiles, decorative laminates and hard plastics, with their infinite possibilities in color, finish, pattern and texture.”

WOW Air to Add Premium Economy Seats on Airbus A330s


WOW air has announced it will introduce a premium economy-style cabin on flights connecting Reykjavik to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami as of June 1. The low-cost carrier’s Airbus A330-300s will be equipped with the new “Big Seats,” which offer 37 inches of pitch, as part of a bundled fare that also includes priority boarding, carry-on baggage, checked baggage and complimentary in-flight dining. The announcement follows a similar move by Norwegian Air International, which already offers a Premium cabin with five rows of roomier seats on transatlantic flights.

US Immigration Order Causes Havoc for Global Airlines


Airlines around the world were caught off guard by an executive order signed by President Trump on Friday that temporarily prohibits entry into the US for people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Emirates announced today that it has made “necessary adjustments” to its crew rosters to comply with the requirements and that its 11 daily flights to the US would continue to operate as scheduled. Lufthansa said Sunday that it was too early to comment on the effects of the ruling, while Japan Airlines announced it had begun “screening passengers from the countries affected before their departure for the United States.” The International Air Transport Association told its members that the ban does not apply to dual nationals holding a valid passport from countries other than those covered by the order.

[PHOTOS] SAA Shows Off South African-Inspired Airbus A330-300 Interior


South African Airways has rolled out new business- and economy-class cabins on the first of three new Airbus A330-300s. The aircraft interior was designed by PriestmanGoode and features South African-inspired weaves, prints and colors. The business-class cabin is equipped with 46 Thompson Vantage XL seats in a staggered 1-2-1 layout, allowing for all-aisle access. In economy class, the A330 features 203 newly designed slimline seats, 10.1-inch seatback screens, individual USB charging ports and access to shared PC power points. “The interior design is upmarket and resembles the elegant surroundings of SAA’s airport lounges, where warm neutrals invite customers to feel at home,” said SAA in a press release.

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