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December 20, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


AVIC Buys Thompson Aero Seating for Undisclosed Sum

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has acquired Thompson Aero Seating for an undisclosed sum. The Northern Ireland-based aircraft seat manufacturer, which counts Qantas, American Airlines, JetBlue, SWISS, Air Canada and Aer Lingus among its customers, is best known for its Vantage business-class seat. “Being underpinned by a strong industrial backer in AVIC will serve to consolidate our continued growth in Northern Ireland. The company expects to expand its current capacity to fulfill its fast-growing order book,” said a Thompson Aero spokesperson. The deal follows AVIC’s acquisition of England-based aircraft interiors company AIM Altitude last March.




ViaSat and Boeing Reach Ka-Band Satellite Milestone

ViaSat and Boeing have completed the preliminary design review for the first two of three ViaSat-3 Ka-band satellites. The milestone, which was reached on November 16, confirms that the ViaSat-3 satellites will satisfy performance specifications and requirements once in orbit. The companies will now begin detailed design work on the satellites ahead of their scheduled launch in 2019. “Almost one year into the ViaSat-3 program and we are on schedule with a solid satellite design," said Keven Lippert, executive vice-president, Satellite Systems and Corporate Development, ViaSat. “The ViaSat-3 satellite platform will provide enough capacity to deliver an affordable, high-speed, high-quality Internet and video streaming service across the globe.”

ViaSat | Related American Swaps Gogo Wi-Fi on 500 Planes for ViaSat Alternative – Skift



Airbnb Is Developing a Flight-Booking Tool, Reports Bloomberg

Airbnb is developing a web-based booking tool for air travel called Flights, as part of an effort to compete with Priceline Group and Expedia for a share of consumer online travel spending. Bloomberg reports that the feature is in early stages of development and that the accommodation-rental service is also exploring whether to acquire an online travel agency or license data from a provider, such as Amadeus or Sabre. Airbnb reportedly plans to launch the booking platform within the next 18 months. However, Nick Papas, director of Public Affairs PR for Airbnb, declined to comment on the flight-booking plans.

APEX Media | Related Airlines Bunk Up With Airbnb to Appeal to Key Demographics – APEX Media



Brazil to Lodge C Series Complaint With the WTO Over Alleged State Aid

Brazil’s government has decided to initiate World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement proceedings against Canada, over alleged subsidies provided to Bombardier for its C Series program. The move comes after Brazil-based Embraer released complaints that the Quebec provincial government’s $1-billion investment, for a 49-percent stake in the program, has had a market-distorting effect. Embraer said the alleged subsidies have “allowed Bombardier to offer its aircraft to customers at artificially low prices, distorting the commercial aircraft market and violating Canada’s WTO obligations.”

Air Transport World | Related Bombardier delivers first CS300 to Air Baltic – FlightGlobal



Delta and Alaska Air to End Partnership in Spring 2017

Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines have announced the end of their codeshare partnership, effective as of April 30. The dissolution comes after years of competition on routes from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. As of May 1, the carriers will stop selling tickets for each other, and customers will no longer be able to earn and redeem frequent-flyer miles on flights operated by the other airline. “This [dissolution] should come as no surprise, as our relationship has become increasingly competitive over the last few years,” said Charles Breer, managing director of Alaska Airlines' Alliances. “With the recent acquisition of Virgin America, we’re now the fifth largest airline in the US.”

Air Transport World | Related Alaska Airlines lowers thresholds for reward travel – Travel Weekly



Airlines Alleviate Holiday Hubbub With Festive Flying Initiatives

Carriers are tempering travel woes caused by the upsurge in passenger volume this time of year by surprising passengers with festive cheer. While United Airlines made holiday wishes come true for 5,000 sick children by taking them on a Fantasy Flight to the North Pole, WestJet threw a party for Fort McMurray residents, many of whom lost their homes in the wildfire earlier this year. Emirates is serving roast turkey and Yule log cakes this holiday season, as part of a special Christmas menu across all cabin classes, and Qantas is making gift giving easy by allowing buyers to earn five Qantas Points per dollar spent on vouchers for friends and family.

APEX Media | Related United Airlines "Fantasy Flight" takes kids to the North Pole – The Denver Channel



Lufthansa Launches Prepaid International SIM Cards in Partnership With Naka Mobile

Lufthansa has launched a mobile prepaid card in partnership with Switzerland-based Naka Mobile, allowing passengers to avoid expensive roaming charges in more than 180 countries. The service will allow customers flying with the Star Alliance member airline to use voice, SMS and data services around the world. “In a connected world, flexibility and mobility is high on the agenda for both businesses and consumers alike,” says Achilles Rupf, CEO of Naka Mobile. “Working with global brands such as Lufthansa, we can connect pre- and post-paid subscribers to the most convenient network provider in each country without a requirement to switch SIMs or alter phone settings.”

Real Wire | Related AeroMobile has connected over one million flights since its launch – Arabian Aerospace




Photo of the Day

A look at the trees from the sky. Captured by @illustrator_fanyang (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Broadband is rewriting the future of the passenger experience – but it’s also changing the way pilots fly #BringItOn

Inmarsat @InmarsatGlobal


Association News

#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

"Unlike the boundaries of the sea by the shorelines, the "ocean of air" laps at the border of every state, city, town and home throughout the world."

L. Welch Pogue, American aviation attorney


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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