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November 11, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Coming to Austrian Airlines

Inmarsat has secured a deal to supply Global Xpress (GX) in-flight connectivity to Austrian Airlines’ short-haul fleet as part of a 10-year strategic agreement announced last month between the satellite company and Austrian’s parent company, Lufthansa. The agreement means more than 30 Airbus A320s in Austrian’s fleet will be equipped with GX Aviation broadband. “We are delighted to welcome Austrian Airlines as our latest GX Aviation customer,” says Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat. “This announcement is particularly special for us, as it comes soon after we unveiled that the service is now live after five years of development.”

Get Connected | Related Now Boarding: Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Prepares for Takeoff – APEX Media



Flying the Big Jets: Emirates Transitions to All Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 Fleet

Emirates has retired its last Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, making the Dubai-based carrier the world’s first airline to operate a fleet consisting of only Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. Since January 2015, Emirates has phased out 18 A330s and five A340s from its fleet after an average of 16.5 years in service. “Emirates’ fleet homogenization around the A380 and B777 fleets has helped the airline to benefit from fuel cost reduction through bigger economies of scale,” says Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

Business Traveller | Related Emirates Skywards partners with Careem – Arabian Aerospace



January Debut for Alaska Airlines Premium Economy

Alaska Airlines will debut premium economy seating on January 5 after launching the new fare structure on its website yesterday. Called Premium Class, the new product offers passengers 35 inches of legroom, which is three to four inches more than in Alaska’s economy cabin, in addition to priority boarding. The carrier says approximately half its Boeing 737 and Embraer E175 fleets will be reconfigured with the seats by January, with the remainder to be retrofit in 2017. The cabin refit will also enable Alaska to increase first-class legroom from 36 inches to either 41 or 42 inches.

Travel Weekly | Related Delta gives first look of premium economy cabin, set for 2017 debut – USA Today



IAG CEO Sees Open Skies Ahead of Trump Presidency

International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh has called on the US government and the aviation industry to pursue a UK-US open skies deal similar to the existing EU-US agreement. Speaking one day after the US presidential election at the International Aviation Club, Walsh expressed optimism about the aviation industry’s prospects during the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. “When I listened to Donald Trump’s victory speech, I was impressed because if he delivers on promises to grow employment and to strengthen the economy, aviation is going to be a key facilitator in achieving those goals,” said Walsh. “It is in both countries’ interest that a UK-US agreement ensures that consumers and businesses continue to benefit from the improved competition, choice and value.”

Air Transport World | Related US Travel encouraged by Trump's vow to rebuild infrastructure – Travel Weekly



Say Hello (or Hallo) to Lufthansa’s Facebook Messenger Chatbot

Lufthansa has launched a chatbot that helps customers search for the cheapest fares within the next nine months. Called Mildred, the current beta version of the service is based on a natural language processing platform and can be used in German or English. Users can narrow their search results to specific dates, detail departure and arrival destinations and yield results across all cabin classes. Customers who want to buy a ticket are redirected to Lufthansa’s mobile website to complete the flight-booking process. “The production depth of Mildred is already significant, but it is important for us to launch a beta version to give her the chance to learn,” says Torsten Wingenter, head of Digital Innovation at Lufthansa.

Breaking Travel News | Related Icelandair Launches the Airline Industry’s First Facebook Messenger Booking Bot – APEX Media



Boeing 777X Offers Custom Cabins Without Customization

Boeing has secured more than 300 firm orders for its enhanced 777, slated for delivery in 2020, but mock-ups for the aircraft’s cabin interior have been kept mostly under wraps. Boeing’s Sky Interior (BSI) philosophy, originally developed for the Dreamliner but first deployed on 737 aircraft, will be applied to the 777X, which will adopt a similar modular approach, but boast wider interior fuselage compared to its predecessors. “Architecturally, the 777X is new; philosophically, it is the same,” says Kent Craver, Boeing’s regional director of Cabin Experience and Revenue Analysis. “That is key for us because the philosophy is solid.”

APEX Media | Related What Passengers Want: Boeing Delves Deep Into Pax Psychology – APEX Media



Waste Opportunity: BP Invests $30 Million in Biojet Fuel Producer

BP has invested $30 million to acquire a stake in a California producer of low-carbon jet fuel. Two divisions of the UK-based oil company – aviation fuel provider Air BP and investment arm BP Ventures – will enter into a strategic partnership with Fulcrum BioEnergy, which manufactures sustainable biojet fuel from municipal solid waste. As part of the deal, BP will have annual access to 50 million US gallons of biojet fuel from Fulcrum’s planned plants across North America. “We have a deep understanding of our customers’ challenges to achieve their lower carbon goals,” says Air BP CEO Jon Platt. “This agreement gives Air BP guaranteed access to product that will help meet these challenges.”  

Air Transport World | Related JetBlue to Burn Renewable Biofuel Mix on Some New York Flights – Bloomberg




Photo of the Day

The sun sets, but the airplane rises. Captured by @xposure_photography (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!


> Tweet of the Day

Thanks, Tom, for your service & sacrifice! #ThankAVet #VeteransDay

Rockwell Collins @RockwellCollins


Association News

Save the Date: APEX MultiMedia Market 2017

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017, the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers, will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26, 2017. We caught up with Éric Lauzon, manager, Multimedia Entertainment, for Air Canada and co-chair of the event, to discuss what’s on the docket at APEX’s second-largest annual event. Click here to register.


APEX's Official Airline Ratings

APEX will soon launch its Official Airline Ratings program, in partnership with TripIt from Concur. The ratings initiative, which will allow passengers using the TripIt app to rate their flights on a five-star scale, is designed to offer the airline industry a unique platform to collect passenger ratings and verify data in order to measure the passenger experience. Ratings collected through to July 2017 will be used to determine award winners for outstanding performance in five categories: seat comfort, Wi-Fi, entertainment, cabin service and food and beverage. Ratings and awards will be announced annually at APEX EXPO.



The proposition manager will be engaged in defining a state-of-the-art passenger experience for in-flight connectivity and entertainment, tailored to the specific needs of each airline client. The role will act at a cross-functional level, integrating technical input and commercial objectives from across Inmarsat with the requirements of the client airline. Click here to apply and view all job listings.
> Inmarsat: Airline Proposition Manager


> Quote of the Day

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

Leonard Cohen, 1934 – 2016


Until next week



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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