Could electric jets revolutionize regional air travel? Image: Zunum Aero

Could electric jets revolutionize regional air travel? Image: Zunum Aero

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

And the 2017 Crystal Cabin Award Winners Are…


The 11th Crystal Cabin Awards were presented last night at the historic Hotel Atlantic Kempinski during a ceremony hosted by director of APEX Media Maryann Simson. The award show, an initiative by Hamburg Aviation, was more international than ever before this year, with 85 submissions from 21 countries. Delta Air Lines’ Delta One Suite was the winner of the especially competitive Cabin Concepts category, which also had United Airlines’ Polaris and Bombardier’s C Series in the running. Click for the full list of winners and nominees across the seven categories.

[PHOTOS] Hawaiian Airlines Reveals Airbus A321neo Cabin Interior


Hawaiian Airlines today revealed its new Airbus A321neo interior at the Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg. Designed by London-based JPA, the cabin features the same earth, sky and sea color tones as in Hawaiian’s new A330 interiors. The design firm said it drew inspiration from Hawaii’s past and present, using symbolism from the island’s history throughout the aircraft interior. Seating across the aircraft’s three cabin classes was supplied by B/E Aerospace, and each seatback features a ledge that passengers can use to prop up their tablets and mobile devices. “Together with JPA Design, we have created an emotionally satisfying, aesthetically rich in-flight experience that will transform guests in every cabin of our A321neo aircraft,” commented Avi Mannis, Hawaiian’s senior VP of Marketing.

AirAsia X Boosts roKKi System With Inmarsat’s GX Aviation


AirAsia X has announced that it will upgrade its roKKi in-flight entertainment system with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation. After signing a memorandum of understanding with Inmarsat, the Malaysia-based long-haul budget carrier says the connectivity service will not only boost in-flight Internet speeds and provide seamless streaming, but will also help increase passenger spend on board. The MoU with Inmarsat covers AirAsia X’s A330 and A320 fleets, subject to final contracts. Installations begin later this year, with GX Aviation connectivity expected to go live first on A330 aircraft in 2018. “Today marks a significant milestone for AirAsia and roKKi,” said AirAsia X CEO Ben Ismail. “This next-generation connectivity solution represents a major infrastructure upgrade that signals a long-term commitment in transforming AirAsia into a truly digital airline.”

Rockwell Collins Exits In-Seat Video to Focus on In-Flight Connectivity


Rockwell Collins is leaving the in-seat video marketplace to focus on in-flight connectivity and plans to launch a new audio-video-on-demand cabin wireless solution in the near future. According to Richard Nordstrom, Rockwell Collins’ senior director for Global Marketing, the decision to exit the in-seat video marketplace had as much to do with the competitive environment as the conclusion of the soon-to-be-finalized B/E Aerospace deal. “We find that a lot of people are driving prices down just to get the order and not to run a business. We’re here to run a business – that’s why we’ve been in business for 80 years,” said Nordstrom.

Recaro Secures Major Deals With Alaska Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines

RECARO | APRIL 5, 2017

Recaro has announced that Alaska Airlines will be the launch customer of its new domestic first-class seat, the CL4710. The seat will be installed on the airline’s Boeing and Airbus aircraft. It is designed specifically for domestic and short international flights, with flexible equipment options. “Our discerning flyers can look forward to a top-of-the-range new first-class seat that offers them greater comfort and premium features,” says Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ CEO. Recaro has also received a major order from Shenzhen Airlines for CL5710 business-class seats and BL3530 economy-class seats to be linefit on 37 Boeing 737 MAXs and retrofit on 14 Airbus A320s.

An Electric Future for Regional Air Travel?


Boeing and JetBlue Technology Ventures are investing in an electric-powered aircraft startup that hopes to one day transform short-haul air travel. Named after the Mayan word for hummingbird, Zunum Aero is planning to build a fleet of hybrid electric passenger jets that could appeal to airlines servicing densely traveled regional routes and could drastically lower operating costs without the need for fueling. The Kirkland, Washington-based company plans to initially launch an aircraft in the early 2020s with capacity for 10 passengers and a range of 700 miles on a single charge. As electric battery technology improves, Zunum hopes to build larger aircraft with capacity for 50 passengers and a 1,000-mile range.

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