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December 15, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


Will Different Work? Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Merger Finalized

Alaska Air Group announced yesterday that it has closed its acquisition of Virgin America. Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will now work to secure FAA certification to operate as a single carrier, a process which they expect to complete in early 2018. While the two airline brands differ, they’re setting out to prove that unlikely pairings can result in something even better. “Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are different airlines, but we believe different works — and we’re confident flyers will agree,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. ”We plan to make this the most customer-friendly merger ever, and we will have much more to announce over the coming weeks.”

APEX Media | Related Justice Dept. OKs Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger – USA Today



DOT Grants Final Approval of Delta-Aeroméxico JV

The US Department of Transportation has granted final conditional approval of anti-trust immunity for Delta Air Lines and Aeroméxico’s planned US-Mexico joint venture (JV). The DOT mostly upheld its earlier proposed conditions, but required slightly fewer slot divestitures from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The DOT had earlier proposed that divested slots go to low-cost carriers, but decided that JetBlue and Interjet were ineligible to receive slots at JFK and Mexico City airports, because of their sizeable existing presence at the airports. "The Department found these conditions necessary to prevent harm to consumers that would result from the carriers’ dominant positions at MEX and JFK and the inability of new entrant carriers to access slots at the airports," said the DOT.

FlightGlobal | Related US government tentatively approves Delta-Aeromexico JV – FlightGlobal



EgyptAir Flight 804 Investigators Detect Traces of Explosives on Crash Victims

Egypt’s civil aviation ministry says traces of explosives have been identified on the remains of passengers on EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris, which crashed in the Mediterranean Sea in May. The announcement provides strong evidence to support the theory that the crash, which killed all 66 people on board, was the result of an explosion. In July, investigators examining the cause of the crash revealed the word “fire” was audible from the Airbus A320’s cockpit voice recorder. The retrieved black box also confirmed that smoke alarms had been triggered before the incident. Following today’s announcement, Egypt said it would now proceed with a criminal investigation.

The Guardian | Related The Losses of EgyptAir Flight 804 – TIME



Dubai Seeks Investors for $36-Billion Plan to Build the World’s Largest Airport

Dubai is planning to spend $35.7 billion to develop the city’s Al Maktoum International Airport into the world’s biggest air transport hub. Bloomberg reports that the project is dependent on the Dubai government securing financial backing from outside investors. Upon the project’s completion, Al Maktoum would become the world’s largest airport with a maximum capacity exceeding 220 million passengers per year. With Dubai International Airport approaching maximum capacity, the government also plans to move Emirates to Al Maktoum by 2025.

Bloomberg | Related Hub Sweet Hub: Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways – APEX Media



Brussels Airlines to Join Eurowings After Lufthansa Completes Takeover

Brussels Airlines will become part of Lufthansa Group’s Eurowings subsidiary as of 2018. Carsten Spohr, chairman and CEO of Lufthansa, confirmed the announcement today at a press conference. Under the Eurowings umbrella, Brussels Airlines will continue to fly to its existing 23 long-haul destinations in addition to 79 European destinations. “Operating under the umbrella of Lufthansa will help us to further strengthen our competitiveness within a tough market environment and develop our long-haul and short-haul operations,” said Étienne Davignon, chairman of Brussels Airlines. “Furthermore, the Lufthansa Group power enables us to expand our reach in Africa, by positioning Brussels as the sub-Saharan African hub of the Lufthansa Group.”

Business Traveller | Related Lufthansa to introduce world's most modern long-haul aircraft – ETURBONEWS



Stansted Airport Unveils $162-Million Expansion and Modernization Plan

London Stansted Airport has unveiled plans to build a new $162-million arrivals building, which will be able to support up to 35 million passengers per year. Subject to planning approval, the 366,000-square-foot space would span three levels and include a larger immigration and baggage reclaim area, new retail spaces and a public forecourt. Following the three-year construction period, Stansted’s terminal would subsequently be reconfigured into a dedicated departures facility. “Our investment will boost competition and enable the airport to play a bigger role in supporting economic growth, jobs and international connectivity across the East of England and London,” says Stansted Airport’s CEO, Andrew Cowan.

Business Traveller | Related Manchester, Gatwick and Glasgow are the airports where passengers are most likely to be delayed over the festive period – Mail Online



PNG Air Brings Live IFE to the Skies Over Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea-based PNG Air this week launched a live in-flight entertainment program for the holiday period. The regional airline, which last month celebrated its first anniversary, will host performances from aspiring artists who were featured on Vocal Fusion, a Papua New Guinean singing competition TV series, on select flights for the next two weeks. “We’d like to help people get into the Christmas spirit and also say thanks to all those who have supported us in our first year of operation,” said Paul Abbot, COO of PNG Air.

Inflight Online | Related PNG Air Welcomes Fifth ATR aircraft – EMTV




Photo of the Day

Airplane spotting in London. Captured by @szyymcio (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

World first Bombardier CS300 of @airBaltic with passengers on board at Schiphol!

Schiphol @Schiphol


Association News

APEX 2017 Events Are Just Around the Corner!

APEX events offer unique and valuable forums for airline passenger experience industry experts and newcomers alike to gain technical knowledge, acquire professional development skills and explore the latest industry trends. APEX EXPO, MultiMedia Market, regional conferences and technology conferences are just some of the industry events that bring together airlines, buyers and suppliers in order to improve the passenger experience. Click here for more information on upcoming APEX events.


#APEXMarket: Book Your Booth

Meet with influential airline decision-makers and content service providers at the 2017 APEX MultiMedia Market in Berlin, from April 24 to 26. From movies and games to GUIs and apps, this exclusive members-only event covers the entire spectrum of content and in-flight entertainment. Click here to reserve your booth; if your language category is full, be sure to add your company to the waitlist, or book a non-appointment booth.


> Quote of the Day

“If you fly for the joy of flight, it will be the greatest career imaginable.”

Captain Eric Auxier


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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