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December 23, 2016



Today's Top Stories



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


Iran Air Finalizes Much-Anticipated Airbus Deal, But Drops A380s From Order

Iran Air has finalized a long-awaited firm order with Airbus for 100 aircraft, following the lifting of international sanctions last January. The contract, which includes 46 Airbus A320s, 38 A330s and 16 A350s, will see the European aerospace company begin deliveries in early 2017 – a process that was bogged down by legal restrictions on exports containing 10 percent or more components manufactured in the US. However, Iran’s state-owned carrier removed 18 jets, including 12 A380s, from the tentative $25-billion agreement signed in January. “ The real value of the deal will not exceed $10 billion,” said Iran Air chairman and CEO Farhad Parvaresh.

Air Transport World | Related Iran seals $17-billion Boeing deal, close to Airbus order – CNBC



Hostages Released After Libyan Hijackers Divert Aircraft to Malta

Hijackers who forced a flight operated by Libyan state-owned Afriqiyah Airways to land in Malta by threatening to detonate hand grenades have allowed all passengers and crewmembers to disembark in batches, after having initially kept several hostages. The Airbus A320 was hijacked on a domestic route between Sabha and Tripoli. The four-hour standoff ended with the surrender of the hijackers who were then taken into custody. The hijackers’ demands haven’t been made public, although a Libyan television station, which claimed to have interviewed one of the hijackers, said he wanted to promote a new pro-Gaddafi political party.

The Guardian | Related Libyan plane hijackers surrender, all passengers and crew safe – USA Today



Bad News Travels Fast on Live In-Flight Television Channels

In-flight news viewership went up in unprecedented numbers this year, says David Bruner, vice-president of Global Communications Services for Panasonic Avionics, whose eXTV global television service delivers live programming to 11 airlines. From May to June, news events such as the Brexit vote, the Orlando nightclub shooting and the terrorist attack at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul contributed to a doubling in the number of viewers, compared with the preceding period. Passengers also dwelled on news channels longer. “This was so different from last year, where we’d see a lot of people pop into the news channels, stay 20 minutes or even less, and then go watch sports,” says Bruner. “What we’re seeing now is sustained news viewing.”

APEX Media | Related Top PaxEx Headlines of 2016 – APEX Media



Vistara Stakeholder Asks Whether Better-Than-Economy Cabins Are Worth the Premium?

The board of Vistara’s largest stakeholder Tata Sons wants the airline to discontinue its premium economy service if it remains unviable. According to newly released minutes from a board meeting in June, directors of Tata Sons asked Vistara CEO Phee Teik Yeoh to review the viability of the three-class configuration on the airline’s domestic flights. Nitin Nohria, a non-executive director on the Tata Sons board, said Vistara should discontinue premium economy if occupancy rates don't increase over the next 12 months. However, a Vistara spokesperson said, “Demand for our premium economy has been steadily increasing since the time we introduced it ... We don’t have any plans to discontinue the three-class configuration.”

Business Standard | Related Vistara aims to be profitable by 2020-21 – The Economic Times



Safer in 2016: Past 12 Months Saw Fewer Air Crashes

Despite a series of high-profile airplane crashes, 2016 has been one of the safest years in aviation history. While more than 3.5 billion passengers are estimated to have flown this year, statistics from the Aviation Safety Network show 18 civilian airplane accidents, resulting in 320 deaths worldwide in 2016. The only year with fewer fatalities was 2013, with 265. The US Federal Aviation Administration says the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, a government co-op formed in 1998, reduced the commercial aviation fatality rate in the US by 83 percent within 10 years.

Condé Nast Traveler | Related 2016 PaxEx News Year in Review Quiz – APEX Media



Gogo Invites Hackers to Find Bugs and Security Flaws

Gogo has launched a bug bounty program to encourage hackers and security researchers to discover security flaws and vulnerabilities on its website and in-flight Wi-Fi systems. Through a partnership with crowdsourced security platform Bugcrowd, the company’s scheme will pay between $100 to $1,500 per bug reported on and “Being proactive rather than reactive to emerging security issues is a fundamental belief at Gogo. Every day new security issues and attack vectors are created,” said the company. “Gogo strives to keep abreast on the latest state-of-the-art security developments by working with security researchers and companies.”

HackRead | Related In-flight entertainment hack: Panasonic rejects cybersecurity report – CTV News



Added Baggage: Oman Air Announces 30 Kg Checked Luggage Allowance

Oman Air will introduce a new baggage policy in January to allow all passengers to travel with one 30 kg item of checked luggage, measuring up to 158 cm in linear dimensions. Business- and first-class customers will be permitted to bring an additional checked bag weighing up to 20 kg, with this figure increasing to 30 kg for passengers holding valid Gold and Silver Sindbad cards. The airline will also introduce pricing for specialist luggage, such as pets, sports equipment and anything above the stated dimensions of 158 cm. Oman Air says the updated policy will help standardize and reduce charges for additional luggage.

Zawya | Related Baggage’s Baggage: From Checked Bag Fees to RFID Tracking – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

Best. Christmas tree. Ever!!!! ✈️?✈️ Captured by @lairdkay (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Did you know KLM Cargo and Santa team up at Christmas time? Find out more in our blog:

Royal Dutch Airlines @KLM


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.


> Quote of the Day

“Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings


Until Wednesday. Happy Holidays!



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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