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November 21, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


DOT Revokes American Airlines–Qantas Joint Venture

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively blocked Qantas and American Airlines’ application to expand their joint venture for routes between the United States and Australasia, citing competition concerns. The carriers submitted the application in June 2015, a few months before American launched flights between the US and Australia. The DOT said in a statement that the scale of the joint business – which would account for 60 percent of all seats on flights between the countries – meant air travelers would have few remaining competitive airline alternatives. American said it would file an objection, mentioning the department's "significant departure" from prior decisions.

Reuters | Related United Airlines and Air New Zealand Expand Cooperation to Form Joint Venture Partnership – PR Newswire



BA to Spend $110 Million on US Airport PaxEx Investments

British Airways has unveiled a five-year plan to invest $110 million to improve the passenger experience at its US airport facilities. The upgrades will include refurbishing the UK flag carrier’s first- and business-class lounges, in addition to its check-in, security and boarding facilities. More than $65 million will be spent on BA’s ground infrastructure in Terminal 7 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, with the remaining funds going to improvements at airports in Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Seattle. “We have already introduced the newest aircraft in our fleet onto many of our popular routes in the US, and we want to ensure the lounge facilities match that premium experience,” says Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO.

Travel Pulse | Related British Airways Plans to Add Extra Seats in Economy Class – Fortune



Aer Lingus Could Rejoin oneworld as Early as Next Year

Aer Lingus could rejoin the oneworld Alliance as early as next year, depending on how long it takes to integrate the Irish carrier’s back-end systems with those of the global airline network. Willie Walsh, CEO of Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group (IAG), said, “We don’t have a specific timeline. We’re working as quickly as we can, but these issues aren’t always as simple as they might appear.” The Dublin-based airline was a oneworld member until 2007, when it left as part of a strategy to operate as a low-cost carrier, but has since reversed course after last year’s $1.25-billion buyout by IAG.

USA Today | Related Aer Lingus CEO on US growth plans, oneworld frequent-flyer alliance – USA Today



Lufthansa Introduces Part-Pay Option for Its Frequent Flyers

Lufthansa is now allowing its frequent-flyer members to partially pay for flights with earned miles. Miles and More members that have collected at least 7,000 award miles can now use the part-pay option to purchase flights with Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and Eurowings. The service, which can be applied to all classes, was made available last Thursday for customers in Germany, with launches in Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy planned for early 2017.

Business Traveller | Related Virgin offers frequent flyer points for startup investment with OnMarket – ZDnet



Airbnb Pushes to Become a More Complete Travel Brand With Trips Platform

Airbnb has launched a new platform that it says will allow it to move beyond accommodation booking into catering to “every aspect of the trip.” The home-sharing company’s Trips platform will allow users to choose from types of experiences and places, with flight booking and additional services expected in the future. Around 500 experiences in 12 cities are currently offered by Airbnb hosts, such as making violins in Paris and marathon running in Kenya. “Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do and the people you meet all in one place,” says Airbnb CRO Brian Chesky. “We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.”

The Economist | Related Delta Partners With Airbnb to Offer Bonus Miles to Guests and Hosts – Travel + Leisure



Airlines Wear Hotelier Hats to Accommodate Pax and Boost Profits

Airlines are entering the accommodations space – either through big money investments or expanded booking platforms – in a bid to meet passengers’ evolving needs, and to alleviate the strain of otherwise too narrow profit margins. Ryanair has officially entered the online travel agency sphere with digital low-cost hotel booking platform Ryanair Rooms; HK Express launched U-FLY Holidays, a travel platform offering flights, hotels, tours and ground transportation; and Chinese conglomerate HNA Group last month announced that it had purchased a 25-percent stake, valued at $6.5 billon, in Hilton Worldwide Holdings.

APEX Media | Related A Chinese company on a buying spree just took a 25-percent stake in Hilton – Business Insider



Qatar Airways Goes Live With AeroDocs

Qatar Airways has started using Arconics’ AeroDocs automated documentation management platform to host its operational and non-operational company manuals. The new system has been fully integrated into the Gulf carrier’s existing systems and gives employees real-time access to synchronized documents through web browsers, laptops and electronic flight bags. “We invest in technology that will integrate our teams and create efficient platforms that cut across time zones and barriers,” says Ashish Jain, Qatar Airways SVP of Group Safety and Security. “The web-based functionality created especially for Qatar Airways allows us to maintain consistency, regulatory compliance and quality control.”

Arabian Aerospace | Related ViaSat Acquires Arconics for Connected Aircraft Software and More – Via Satellite




Photo of the Day

Awesome scenery during an approach into Denver. Captured by @americanair_spotter (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Celebrate World Hello Day by practising different ways you can say 'HELLO'! What are some cool ones you've learnt?

Singapore Airlines @SingaporeAir


Association News

#APEXMARKET: Berlin, April 2017, Register Now!

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017 will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. #APEXMARKET is the only global industry event focused specifically on bringing together IFE buyers with the leading worldwide vendors of TV, movies, GUIs, games, audio and applications. Register now to join us at the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers.


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.



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

"The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."

Bertrand Russell


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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