A rendering of El Al’s forthcoming Dreamliner business-class cabin. Image: El Al

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


[IMAGES] El Al Reveals Brand-New Interiors for Its Upcoming Dreamliners

THE DESIGNAIR | JUNE 13, 2017

El Al has unveiled the cabin interiors for its upcoming fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The Israeli flag carrier worked with PriestmanGoode to update its livery and brand identity across its newly designed business, premium economy and economy interiors. The business-class cabin includes 32 fully lie-flat Recaro seats with direct aisle access, featuring 16-inch Panasonic LCD touchscreen displays. The premium economy cabin includes 32 seats in a 2-3-2 layout with 38 inches of pitch and 13-inch seatback touchscreen displays. “This is the first time that El Al has invested so heavily in design, which is testament to its commitment to its customers, and to the value of design in creating outstanding passenger experiences,” said Nigel Goode, director at PriestmanGoode.


[PHOTOS] Airbus Rolls Out Delta’s First Painted A350

USA TODAY | JUNE 14, 2017

Delta Air Lines’ first Airbus A350-900 has rolled out of the manufacturer’s paint shop in the carrier’s blue, white and red livery. The wide-body, which Delta says will be its “flagship international aircraft,” is scheduled to enter service in October on transpacific flights. The airline will configure its A350s with 306 seats, including 32 in business, 48 in premium economy and 226 in economy. Delta has firm orders for 25 A350s, with 15 expected for delivery by 2019 and the remainder arriving at regular intervals until 2022. The new aircraft will replace Delta’s aging Boeing 747-400 fleet, scheduled for retirement by the end of the year.


APEX TECH 2017: Takeaways From Day One

APEX MEDIA | JUNE 14, 2017

APEX TECH took off yesterday in Los Angeles. Speakers from Qatar, United and Delta presented on NFC technology, what it’s like balancing multiple connectivity providers and how to provide a better passenger experience through advancements in bag tracking and airport wayfinding. A panel dedicated to the electronics ban addressed short- and long-term solutions, from offering Google’s Chromebook as a loaner device for passengers to implementing biometric pre-checks. Among the other topics addressed throughout the day were the accessibility of cabin announcements and disruptive innovations, like next-generation batteries and 5G wireless. Gogo, Panasonic Avionics, Smartsky Networks, ViaSat and Inmarsat each laid out their connectivity roadmaps, and five entrepreneurs showcased their creations, which ranged from an artificially intelligent travel-booking employee to an airport mobile commerce platform.


[PHOTOS] PAL Introduces New Airbus A330 Cabins

THE DESIGNAIR | JUNE 15, 2017

Philippine Airlines has introduced new cabins on eight of its Airbus A330s, after working with Tokyo-based LIFT Strategic Design to redesign the interiors. The Southeast Asian carrier converted the wide-bodies from a 414-seat single-class layout into a 309-seat three-class configuration. PAL’s new 18-seat business-class cabins were retrofitted with Thompson Vantage XL fully lie-flat seats and feature Lantal’s Pneumatic Comfort System, the first Asian airline to do so. The premium economy section has been equipped with 24 Zodiac 5810 seats, each offering 38 inches of pitch. Zodiac also supplied the 267 seats in economy, which offer 32 inches of legroom. All three cabins were fitted with Zodiac RAVE IFE systems and onboard connectivity.


Passengers Expect In-Flight Wi-Fi to Match Experience on the Ground

AIR TRANSPORT WORLD | JUNE 12, 2017

Passengers expect in-flight Wi-Fi to match the on-the-ground connectivity experience, according to an industry panel at last week’s Global Connected Aircraft Summit in Arlington, Virginia. Panelists were divided as to whether connectivity providers and airlines should aim to live up to such expectations. “When we say we’re never going to be what we are on the ground, I get that. I get it, but I still don’t agree with it,” said United Airlines IT director Jon Merritt. However, Panasonic Avionics’ senior director for Corporate Sales and Marketing, Jon Norris, thinks it’s an unrealistic goal. “It’s always going to be better on the ground,” he said.


Panasonic Avionics: IFC Profitability Remains an Open Question

SPACE NEWS | JUNE 16, 2017

Panasonic Avionics says the long-term profitability of in-flight connectivity remains an open question. David Bruner, the company’s vice-president of Global Sales and Marketing, said lower capacity costs are acting as a double-edged sword, thinning profit margins despite unprecedented demand for IFC. “Prices are falling rapidly, but if you are a service provider like ourselves, you’ve got to position yourself so that you make a penny or two on every megabit you deliver,” he said. “Otherwise, the business is not sustainable … Growth: not a problem. Profitability: a real problem.”

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