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November 7, 2016



Today's Top Stories



Industry News | Comfort & Ambience | Entertainment & Connectivity | Catering & Services


Panasonic Partners With Newtec for Global Satellite Network

Panasonic Global Communications, a division of Panasonic Avionics, today unveiled a new, high-bandwidth satellite modem that offers 20 times the bandwidth of its current solution. Developed in partnership with satellite communications specialist Newtec, the broadband modem is capable of surpassing 400 Mbps, and can support increasing bandwidth made available by the ongoing introduction of high-throughout satellite (HTS) and extreme-throughput satellite (XTS) services. “We are constantly looking for new pieces of critical technology that will enable our customers to take full advantage of HTS and XTS technology,” said Panasonic CEO Paul Margis. “Newtec’s broadband modem … allows us to access much larger blocks of frequency and better support high-bandwidth platforms across all of our vertical markets.”

Runway Girl Network | Related APEX EXPO: Panasonic Avionics News Roundup – APEX Media



Meridiana and 15below Join Forces to Overcome Travel Disruption

Italy’s Meridiana has become the first airline to deploy 15below’s new disruption notifications service. The platform integrates SITA’s reservations system to send passengers customized messages about flight changes and cancellations via SMS and e-mail. Passengers flying with the Italian carrier can now accept itinerary changes or apply for refunds directly on personal devices and updates will be automatically recorded in the reservations system. “Travel disruption is unfortunately a predictable pain point for all airlines across the world,” said Teodora Brabete, Meridiana’s call center manager. “We wanted to find better ways of managing the process – to support our customers with open, honest communications and to build long-term customer loyalty.”

Airline Software | Related Qatar Airways Expects to Finalize Meridiana Deal by January – Bloomberg



Iran’s Airbus Purchase Makes Headway Following Lease Finance Deal

Iran has reportedly secured a deal with a foreign leasing company to finance the first 17 aircraft it plans to purchase from Airbus. Under the terms of the deal, the lessor would take over part of the country’s jet order and then lease the aircraft to the country's national carrier, Iran Air. The deal would represent a significant achievement amid financial and political opposition in the United States and Iran following the lifting of government sanctions. An Iranian official told Reuters, "We have a deal to finance the first 17 aircraft," but declined to name the leasing company involved.

Reuters | Related Boeing’s Iran Air Deal May Contribute to Thaw in US-Iran Relations – APEX Media



SITAONAIR White Paper Reveals Evolving Drivers for In-Flight Connectivity

Passenger connectivity remains the key driver for airlines looking to adopt Internet technology, with 46 percent of airlines surveyed for SITAONAIR’s latest white paper indicating that they view passenger experience as the main benefit of the connected aircraft. But solutions for crew empowerment and efficient operations are growing in popularity among connected airlines, and could have the potential to sway holdouts into bringing connectivity on board. “We’re starting to see airlines look more holistically at connectivity in their business cases from the start, where as more mature airlines are now looking at what else they can do with connectivity,” said Katrina Korzenowski, SITAONAIR’s regional vice-president, Asia Pacific.

APEX Media | Related SITAONAIR develops AIRCOM FlightTracker – Arabian Aerospace



Shape-Shifter: NASA and MIT Design Morphing Aircraft Wings to Improve Flight Efficiency

The hard metal surfaces of aircraft flaps, ailerons and winglets generate avoidable turbulence and noise, say a team of NASA and MIT engineers working on a design for a morphing airplane wing. NASA and MIT have jointly unveiled a flexible aircraft wing made of composite materials that they say could result in smoother, quieter and more efficient air travel. The ultra-light wings are composed of eight carbon fiber blocks of varying levels of stiffness assembled into a specific pattern that can reduce aerodynamic drag, fuel use and aircraft noise. “One of the things that we’ve been able to show is that this building block approach can actually achieve better strength and stiffness, at very low weights, than any other material that we build with,” says NASA’s Kenny Cheung, one of the project's leaders.

Wired | Related NASA's Bug Repellent Aims to Save Airlines Millions in Fuel Cost – Bloomberg



Sri Lankan LCC Ceases Operations to Usher in New Beginning for National Carrier

Sri Lankan low-cost carrier (LCC) Mihin Lanka has ceased operations, with its routes now being serviced by SriLankan Airlines. The state-owned LCC, which operated a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft primarily within the Indian subcontinent, hasn’t generated profit since its launch in 2007. The decision to close Mihin Lanka’s doors was made by the government as part of a long-term plan to strengthen its local aviation industry. “All routes in Mihin Lanka's route network will now be serviced by SriLankan Airlines, thus marking a new beginning for the national carrier and building a strong, efficient and competitive airline that will be a force to be reckoned with in the region,” Mihin Lanka and SriLankan Airlines said in a joint statement.

Air Transport World | Related SriLankan Airlines launches Seychelles service to attract Indian, Chinese tourists – Hindustan Times



Sleeping Beauty: Qantas Updates Coveted Business-Class PJ’s

Qantas’ redesigned business-class pajamas are now available on select international routes. The sleepwear has been updated to match the airline’s brand revamp and now features Qantas’ new logo in navy, rather than in its customary black, and the airline’s name printed on the back of the raglan-style pajama top. “They’ve become part of the in-flight dress code with about 95 percent of people not only wearing them on board, but also taking them home,” said Qantas’ head of Customer Product and Service Development, Phil Capps.

Vogue | Related Qantas unveils Dreamliner cabins and updated logo – Business Traveller





Cold landing in Tallinn, Estonia ❄️ Captured by @lgrmc (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Based on the success of #APEXEXPO 2016 we are already planning even more for APEX 2017 in Long Beach, USA



Association News

Join the APEX Media Team!

Spafax is looking for a managing editor and deputy editor to oversee the APEX media platform, which includes a bi-monthly magazine (APEX Experience), a daily e-newsletter (APEX Daily Experience) and the news sections of APEX Media is the official news source for the Airline Passenger Experience Association, and creates a wide range of properties to help educate its membership on key issues and emerging trends.


Access APEX EXPO Education Day Presentations Online

Over 2,400 professionals committed to providing a world-class airline experience to passengers around the globe attended APEX EXPO in Singapore from October 24 to October 27. The event opened with Education Day sessions, where industry thought leaders including Pekka Vauramo, CEO of Finnair, and Ryanne Van Der Eijk, SVP, Customer Experience, KLM, covered airline passenger experience topics ranging from in-flight content streaming and artificial intelligence to passenger health and ancillary revenue opportunities. Click here to access the presentations online.


> Quote of the Day

"I know there is no straight road, no straight road in this world. Only a giant labyrinth of intersecting crossroads.”

Federico Garcia Lorca


Until tomorrow



The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members are improving every aspect of the airline experience, from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. Visit for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.


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