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December 7, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


Pakistan International Airlines ATR 42-500 Crashes in Northern Pakistan

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ATR 42-500 turboprop aircraft carrying 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer crashed en route from Chitral to Islamabad. PIA says domestic Flight PK661 went down in northern Pakistan near the capital city, but a spokesperson said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash. A government official at the scene said there are unlikely to be any survivors. Among those on board was Junaid Jamshed, a former Pakistani pop star turned evangelical Muslim preacher.

Al Jazeera | Related Head of Chapecoense crash airline detained – CNN



Air NZ Selects Inmarsat’s GX Aviation to Deliver Fleet-Wide In-Flight Connectivity

Air New Zealand has confirmed that Inmarsat will provide Global Xpress (GX) in-flight connectivity across the airline’s long- and short-haul fleets. The first GX-equipped aircraft are expected to begin proving flights in the second half of 2017, before being progressively rolled out on Tasman, Pacific and long-haul fleets toward the end of next year. The Kiwi flag carrier’s Panasonic in-flight entertainment system will be integrated with Inmarsat’s GX during installation. “We believe we will be able to offer broadband on board in innovative ways that will further set Air New Zealand apart as one of the world’s leading airlines,” said the carrier’s chief digital officer, Avi Golan.

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



Strings Attached: DOJ Approves Alaska Airlines Acquisition of Virgin America

Alaska Air Group has secured antitrust approval from the US Department of Justice to complete its $2.6-billion takeover of Virgin America. The DOJ’s green light is conditional on Alaska Airlines scaling back its codeshare agreement with American Airlines, so that competition is preserved on routes operated by both AA and Virgin America. The merged company would be the fifth largest carrier in the US, after American, Delta, United and Southwest airlines.

The New York Times | Related DOJ Set to Approve Alaska Air Merger; Virgin America Shares Fly – TheStreet



Trump Tweets, Boeing Responds: President-Elect Criticizes Air Force One Renewal Costs

US President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to call on the government to cancel its $4-billion order with Boeing for two Air Force One aircraft, saying the costs were “out of control.” Bloomberg reported that Boeing’s executives responded by telling Trump’s transition team that costs could be lowered if the government would agree to reduce its requirements. The Pentagon is looking to replace its aging fleet of Boeing 747-200s, which were built in the 1980s and will reach the end of their planned 30-year service in 2017.

Bloomberg | Related How does Donald Trump’s private jet match up to Air Force One? – The Guardian



El Al and JetBlue Select Five Air Travel Startups for Joint Accelerator Program

El Al’s and JetBlue’s venture arms have selected five startups from 25 applications to participate in a jointly run international accelerator program for air travel technology firms. As part of the Navigator program, one British, two Israeli and two US startups will each receive $50,000 and complete a four-month itinerary including 12 weeks in Israel and four weeks in Silicon Valley. During the program, the startups will be able to test their products and services through established travel and aviation companies.

Tnooz | Related Sky-High Tech: JetBlue Technology Ventures Will Foster Travel Innovation – APEX Media



China’s UnionPay Now Accepted by Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is now accepting flight booking payments made using UnionPay credit and debit cards on its website. The international bank card network, which is the preferred method of debit and credit payment in mainland China, can now be used to make payments with the Gulf carrier in currencies including the Chinese yuan, the British pound sterling, euros and US dollars. The announcement comes one week after Qatar Airways’ addition of Apple Pay as a payment method. “Our partnership with UnionPay, one of the world’s most popular bank card issuers, provides our global customers with more flexible payment options when they choose to book with Qatar Airways,” said the airline’s chief executive, Akbar Al Baker.

Arabian Aersospace | Related Airlines Accept China’s Alipay, But What About Tenpay and UnionPay? – APEX Media



Heads in the Clouds: Airplane Seat Headrests Get a Facelift

Airlines, designers and manufacturers have made significant headway in addressing sleep challenges during long-haul economy flights. Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350 economy seat features a proprietary six-way headrest that can be adjusted to wrap around the passenger’s head and offers twin lean-to cushions, while Etihad Airways’ Economy Smart Seats offer a fixed-wing headrest that lets passengers rest their head to the side. TU Delft student Manon Kühne won a Crystal Cabin Award this year for a folding hammock headrest, supported by Zodiac Aerospace, that keeps passengers from sliding onto a neighbor’s shoulder.

APEX Media | Related Blue Alert: Research Illuminates Effects of Aircraft Cabin Mood Lighting – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

Chasing contrails under the ? in Issy. Captured by @lazydaycool (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Happy International Civil Aviation Day to all our partners and friends in this amazing industry, from all the #avgeek crew at Arconics.

Arconics @Arconics


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.


#APEXEXPO 2017: Join Us in Long Beach

APEX EXPO 2017 will take place in Long Beach, California, from September 25 to 28. Join thousands of aviation professionals from around the world, all committed to improving the airline passenger experience, and reunite with the peers you connected with this year in Singapore!


> Quote of the Day

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.”

Zadie Smith, novelist


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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