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December 1, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


What Does Netflix’s Offline Playback Mean for Airlines and IFE?

Yesterday’s Netflix update for iOS and Android allows subscribers across the world to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing on smartphones and tablet devices. Brian Richardson, American Airlines’ director of In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, doesn’t think airlines and IFE vendors should be worried about this fundamental change to Netflix’s service offering: “There are limitations [to offline viewing] because it still requires passengers to plan ahead and have enough storage space on their devices.” Éric Lauzon, Air Canada’s manager for In-Flight Entertainment, foresees Netflix increasing pressure on Hollywood studios to access early-window content. “The game is not completely lost to Netflix, but this certainly marks the beginning of a new IFE era,” he says.

APEX Media | Related In-Flight Entertainment to Go: Before, During and After Your Flight – APEX Media



United Launches Polaris Business Class With Shiny New Lounge at Chicago O’Hare

Today's opening of the United Polaris lounge at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) coincides with the soft launch of its new business class and first class on international routes. While the United Polaris seat is expected to launch in early 2017, beginning today, passengers will be treated to the rest of the in-flight experience, including Saks Fifth Avenue custom-designed bedding and products from Soho House & Co.'s Cowshed Spa. “The idea behind United Polaris was conceived completely from customer and employee input,” said Maria Walter, managing director, Product and Brand Strategy at United Airlines, as she welcomed media to the press event at ORD yesterday. “We conducted over 12,000 hours of research to craft this experience.”

APEX Media | Related United Takes the Airport Experience to Higher Grounds – APEX Media



EU Backs Norwegian Air Shuttle in Open Skies Dispute With US

The European Union today accused the United States of violating the transatlantic Open Skies agreement, following the ongoing dispute between US legacy carriers and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Norwegian has faced strong opposition regarding its plan to use its Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International, to operate long-haul flights to Asia and the US – something which requires approval from the country’s federal regulators. Norwegian filed its application nearly three years ago and has yet to be granted final approval. The EU says that under the Open Skies agreement, the US should have granted Norwegian’s application without delay. The accusation by the EU will now trigger an arbitration process, the first time either side has invoked the measure under the accord.

Mail Online | Related From Inauguration to Arbitration: Norwegian Air International’s Brief, Entangled History – APEX Media



Lufthansa Makes a New Offer to Striking Pilots

Lufthansa has presented an offer to German pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) with the hope of resolving the ongoing labor dispute and strike action. The airline is now offering a two-phase 4.4-percent wage increase and a one-off payment to end the strike action that is costing the German carrier $16 million per day. The proposal means salaries would be raised by 2.4 percent for 2016 and by a further two percent next year, but would still be below the retroactive 3.66-percent annual increase across five years through April 2017 that VC is seeking. “We want to urgently avoid any further damage to our company and finally return to offering our passengers the kind of service they can expect from us,” says Lufthansa’s chief officer of Hub Management, Harry Hohmeister.

Air Transport World | Related Lufthansa: Pilot strike has now disrupted 525,000 fliers – USA Today



Ryanair Edges Closer to Becoming “The Amazon of Air Travel”

Ryanair is one step closer to achieving its goal of becoming “the Amazon of air travel.” The low-cost carrier this week announced that tour operator Logitravel and accommodation service World2Meet will form the backbone of the new Ryanair Holidays service. The companies will create vacation packages for Ryanair customers in the UK, Ireland and Germany, before expanding to other markets. The move follows the overhaul of the airline’s accommodation-only service Ryanair Rooms, which was relaunched in October in partnership with Expedia-owned and Hotelopia.

Tnooz | Related Airlines Wear Hotelier Hats to Accommodate Pax and Boost Profits – APEX Media



Loganair Plans to Rebrand as Scotland’s Flag Carrier in 2017

Loganair has announced plans to create a national airline for Scotland after ending nearly 25 years of flying under franchise agreements with other carriers. The Glasgow-based airline says it will operate under its own name with a newly branded Scottish identity once its agreement with Flybe expires on August 31, 2017. Loganair plans to operate more than 1,000 flights per week across 46 routes. “We believe the time is right for Scotland’s airline to now spread its wings once again, and are delighted to be introducing a bold new corporate identity to accompany this important move,” says Peter Simpson, chief executive of Airline Investments Limited, Loganair’s parent company.

Travel Week | Related Loganair makes progress on reliability – BBC News



Fare Harmony: Air France and KLM Standardize Short-Haul Economy Tickets

Air France and KLM will introduce three new standardized economy-class fares – Light, Standard and Flex – in January 2017, for all international flights within Europe and to North Africa and Israel. The cheapest fare, Light, includes only carry-on baggage but allows checked items to be purchased separately. The Standard fare includes one item of checked baggage and the ability to change tickets for free, while the Flex fare includes no change fees, a refund at no extra charge and complimentary SkyPriority services at the airport.

Business Traveller | Related Air France-KLM Plans a Budget Airline to Fight Costs – APEX Media





Anything but ORDinary. Captured by @kvel (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

This drink made by @adamseger in the @united #Polaris Lounge was *life* kids! Thanks Adam! … #PaxEx

Benét J. Wilson @AvQueenBenet


Association News

Register Now for the Plug and Play Winter Summit

Plug and Play’s Winter Summit will take place from December 14 to 15 in Sunnyvale, California. Fifty startups will present on topics ranging from travel and hospitality to mobility and the Internet of Things. Register now with the promo code "APEXGuest” for reduced rates.


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.


> Quote of the Day

"We’re going to take you to the edge of space, where the sky gets darker, where you can see the curvature of the Earth."



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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