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January 3, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


White House Publishes Report Calling for End to Airline “Hidden Fees”

The outgoing Obama administration has published a detailed report on “hidden fees” in the price of airline goods and services, calling for such fees to be eliminated. The 16-page document, titled “The Competition Initiative and Hidden Fees,” was published by the National Economic Council and is the first attempt to clamp down on added charges. The report says that airline fees require independent consideration “based on their volume and in their regulation.” Additionally, it says that when pricing is unclear, it “threatens the competitive process by which consumers make decisions.”

Air Transport World | Related Clampdown on hidden airline fees announced by aviation watchdog – The Independent



Norwegian CEO Outlines Ultra Low-Cost Transatlantic Plans

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s plan to introduce transatlantic flights to smaller US airports will help it reduce costs, says the airline's chief executive Bjørn Kjos. Having secured a foreign air permit for its Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International, from the US Department of Transportation, the low-cost carrier plans to launch services between regional European airports and minor eastern US hubs, using new-generation single-aisle aircraft. “We see that our long-haul is working and the more efficient an operation we have, the more aircraft we can put in long-haul, the less costs we will have,” says Kjos. “We fly extremely modern aircraft … that’s the key with cost in long-haul.”

Financial Times | Related DOT grants Norwegian permit to begin US services – Air Transport World



Virgin Australia Ponders Adding Enhanced Economy Section on Domestic Fleet

Virgin Australia is exploring the possibility of adding an enhanced economy section to its fleet of domestic Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The new class would provide passengers with 34 inches of pitch in the first three rows of the economy cabin, compared to 31 inches in regular economy seats. If the product comes to fruition, it would represent an evolution from the airline’s current Economy Space+ option, which charges an additional fee for priority boarding and seats located in emergency rows. Australian Business Traveller says the airline floated the idea at a series of closed-door focus groups held with its Velocity Frequent Flyer members last month.

Australian Business Traveller | Related Virgin Australia Economy Space+ seats launched: Prices, legroom – Traveller



Guilty Pleasures: Qantas Reveals What Passengers Watched at 35,000 Feet

Qantas has revealed its most-viewed in-flight movies of 2016, and there are some surprising entries. While many passengers watched Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men: Apocalypse, the chick flick Mother’s Day ranked number five and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was the ninth most-viewed film. Action flicks dominated the list, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ranked as the second most-watched and Star Wars: The Force Awakens at number 10. The 2016 top spot went to the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, Spectre. Throughout December, holiday movies such as Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone performed strongly as many passengers traveled home for Christmas. | Related Bad News Travels Fast on Live In-Flight Television Channels – APEX Media



Canadian Pilot Believed to Be Drunk Arrested After Passing Out in Cockpit Before Takeoff

Police in Canada arrested and later charged a Sunwing Airlines pilot for being impaired while having control of an aircraft after he was allegedly found passed out in the cockpit before takeoff on the morning of New Year’s Eve. Police said the pilot had a blood-alcohol level exceeding 0.08 percent when he boarded the Boeing 737 carrying 99 passengers and six crewmembers at Calgary International Airport, for a flight that was scheduled to make stops in Regina and Winnipeg before continuing to Cancún, Mexico. According to reports, ground staff and crewmembers noticed the pilot was displaying unusual behavior before the co-pilot found him passed out.

The Guardian | Related Sunwing passengers furious over grounded flight – The National Post



Airport Vending Machines Help Pax Fuel Up With Healthy Salads and Portable Chargers

Google’s vending machine at San José International Airport, which began dispensing free items to its Project Fi wireless service customers just before the holidays, is the latest twist in a trend that has seen airport vending machines become profitable centers for 24-hour automated retail. From Farmer’s Fridge kiosks distributing fresh salads in recyclable jars at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to FuelRod stations selling portable chargers that can be swapped out repeatedly for replacements in almost two dozen US airports, vending machines are supplying passengers with everything from travel essentials to globe-trotting tokens. At Oakland and Kansas City international airports, travelers can purchase artsy souvenirs from SouveNEAR vending machines stocked with local products.

APEX Media | Related Grab Some Internet At These Skyroam Airport Vending Machines – Travel Pulse



Catering to New Markets: Gategroup Acquires 50-Percent Stake in Servair

HNA Group-owned gategroup has agreed to acquire a 50-percent stake in Air France-KLM’s catering subsidiary Servair for $248 million plus debts. Once the deal is completed, the Switzerland-based catering company will serve more than 300 airline customers and expects annual revenue to exceed $4.3 billion, creating what it describes as “a clear world leader” in in-flight catering. “The new group will aim to take advantage of the best competences of both gategroup and Servair and, at the same time, have the most global network worldwide to better serve our customer,” said gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol.

Fortune | Related HNA closes acquisition of gategroup with share purchase – The Moodie Davitt report




Photo of the Day

Flying into the seemingly never-ending capital city of Mexico. Captured by @drewpppp (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Hello 2017! The year the future of connected aviation arrived. We're ready for it so let's #BringItOn

Inmarsat @InmarsatGlobal


Association News

Register Now for APEX MMM 2017 in Berlin

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017 will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. #APEXMARKET is the only global industry event focused specifically on bringing together IFE buyers with the leading worldwide vendors of TV, movies, GUIs, games, audio and applications. Register now to join us at the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers.


> Quote of the Day

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot."

Michael Altshuler, Motivational Speaker


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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