Can you believe it? The year 2018 is almost over! In case you missed them, here are the most clicked on APEX Daily Experience newsletter stories from throughout this year.

Panasonic Avionics Unveils Third Generation Satellite Communications Network at CES

Image: Kristina Velan

January 9 | APEX Media

Panasonic Avionics introduced its third generation satellite communications network at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The network will offer bandwidth up to 20 times greater than previously available. A number of Panasonic’s airline partners, including United and Southwest, will begin installing the third generation system on aircraft during the first quarter of this year.

Lufthansa Unveils New Livery

Image: Lufthansa

February 2 | Business Traveller

Lufthansa has unveiled its new livery, followings weeks of speculation. The new design retains the crane motif but the yellow coloring has been replaced by a “Lufthansa Blue” design. The livery was revealed to media at an event in Cape Town by the CEO Carsten Spohr. He said it will take eight years to paint all 330 of the carrier’s aircraft, with 40 receiving the livery by the end of 2018.

Qatar Takes Delivery of First Airbus A350-1000, Featuring Qsuite

Image: Stephanie Taylor

February 20 | APEX Media

Qatar Airways took delivery of the first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft in Toulouse, coinciding with Fabrice Brégier’s last day in the role of Airbus CEO. It’s the first Airbus aircraft – and the 16th in Qatar’s fleet – fitted with Qsuite seats, offering the first-ever double bed in business class. The aircraft is configured with 327 seats – 46 in Qsuite and 281 in economy – all equipped with Thales’ seatback in-flight entertainment systems.

Two Sisters Are Suing Transavia After Being Kicked Off Over Fart Fight

Image: Transavia

February 20 | Newsweek

Two sisters sued Transavia Airlines for wrongfully throwing them off a flight from Dubai to Amsterdam. The pilot made an emergency landing in Vienna after a fight broke out over a passenger who allegedly refused to stop passing gas. The incident occurred after two Dutchmen sitting next to the flatulent passenger reportedly asked the man to stop, but he refused. Nora Lachhab, 25, and her unnamed sister, said being associated with the brawl was “humiliating.” She added: “We had no idea who these boys were, we just had the bad luck to be in the same row.” Transavia claims the sisters were also involved in the altercation.

Panasonic Avionics Announces Major Partnerships at AIX

Image: Maxim Sergienko

April 10 | APEX Media

Panasonic Avionics chief technology officer David Bartlett unveiled what he described as “the full story” of its NEXT in-flight entertainment and connectivity platform at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. Additionally, he announced partnerships with companies such as Amazon and gategroup. APEX Media caught up with Jon Norris, Panasonic Avionics’ senior director, Marketing, to learn more about how and why it is using NEXT, cloud-based data and new partnerships to expand the company’s passenger experience footprint.

SAS Launches Viasat Connectivity on Short-Haul Fleet

Image: Seth Miller

May 15 | APEX Media

Scandinavian Airlines launched its short-haul in-flight Wi-Fi service. The 1-Mbps connectivity, provided by Viasat, was installed on seven aircraft and the full rollout is scheduled for completion in 2020. SAS’s EuroBonus Diamond and Gold passengers and travelers buying the SAS Plus premium economy tickets will have complimentary access to the service.

Emirates Will Offer Premium Economy on Airbus A380s

Image: Vance Walstra

May 31 | Arabian Business

Emirates announced it will launch a premium economy class in 2020. The airline’s president Tim Clark said the new cabin will be available on the 20 Airbus A380s it ordered this year. “We will be installing premium economy into those and it will be an Emirates premium economy, so it will be special,” Clark said. “We have already ‘spec’d out’ the airplanes; we know exactly what we’re going to do, [and] where we’re going to place these seats and how we’re designing the product.”

Lufthansa Will Deploy Snack Box Vending Machines at Departure Gates

Image: Lufthansa

August 30 |

Lufthansa announced it will deploy self-service snack box vending machines at departure gates. The “Delights to Go” concept is intended for status frequent flyers who do not have enough time to visit a Lufthansa airport lounge. The vending machine will allow passengers to scan their boarding pass and choose from a selection of snack boxes such as the “Connoisseur Box,” which contains an apple, a nut bar, a slice of cake, a bottle of water and a refreshing towel.

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics Announce Strategic Collaboration

Image: Inmarsat

September 20 | APEX Media

Inmarsat became the exclusive supplier of Ka-band satellite capacity to Panasonic Avionics, under the terms of a 10-year deal. Inmarsat will offer Panasonic’s portfolio of services and NEXT solutions to its commercial aviation customers and the two companies will collaborate on the development of a next-generation GX Aviation terminal.

Customer Service Has No Impact on Airline Profits, According to New Study

Image: University of Nevada, Reno

October 12 | Business Traveller

Airlines pay no financial penalty for poor customer service, according to a study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno. Jeffrey Wong, a professor and department chair of the university’s College of Business Accounting Department found no link between customer satisfaction and an airline’s financial performance. “Airlines don’t seem to place a priority on customer service despite the fact that they advertise to the contrary,” said Wong. “And yet, some airlines are still profitable.”

Air New Zealand to Help Launch Autonomous Electric Taxi Service Down Under

Image: Zephyr Airworks

October 16 | FlightGlobal

Air New Zealand signed an agreement with Zephyr Airworks to bring Kitty Hawk’s Cora vertical take-off and landing vehicle to New Zealand and launch the world’s first autonomous electric air taxi service. “We’ve been impressed with Zephyr Airworks’ innovative and considered approach and our core values are aligned when it comes to delivering reliable, convenient and sustainable air travel that will benefit all New Zealanders,” said Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon.

CR929 Mock-Up Unveiled With Cabin Interior by Tangerine

Image: Tangerine

November 6 | APEX Media

Mock-ups of the CR929’s cabin and flight deck were unveiled at Airshow China. The new long-range, twin-aisle aircraft is being developed by China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC), a joint venture between the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).The CR929 mock-up was designed by COMAC and the Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI), and manufactured by Bloecker Aircraft Interior Design & Engineering (BAIDEG). London-based design firm tangerine, which has a long-term working relationship with COMAC, proposed concepts for the bar area, first- and business-class seating and galley division.

United Technologies to Separate Into Three Companies After Rockwell Collins Acquisition

Image: Collins Aerospace

November 27 | Reuters

United Technologies Corp (UTC) announced it will separate into three companies comprising its aerospace, elevators and buildings divisions. The decision followed UTC’s $30-billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins. “Our decision to separate United Technologies is a pivotal moment in our history and will best position each independent company to drive sustained growth,” said Gregory Hayes, UTC’s CEO.

Air France Appoints Its First Female CEO

Image: Air France

December 12 | Air France

Air France appointed Anne Rigail as its new CEO, following the resignation of Franck Terner in September. Previously Air France’s EVP Customer, Rigail assumed her new role on December 17, reporting to Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith, who has also been serving as Air France’s acting CEO. “Anne is a strong professional in the airline industry. Throughout her career, she has always paid particular attention to employees while implementing the many projects and transformations she has led, and placed the customer at the heart of everything she does,” said Smith.