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January 10, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Lufthansa and Austrian Prepare to Launch Inmarsat GX-Powered Wi-Fi on Short and Medium Haul

Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Austrian Airlines, are getting closer to offering in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers on short-haul flights via Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band service. After receiving a Supplemental Type Certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency for their Airbus A320 fleets, Lufthansa and Austrian will each test in-flight wireless connectivity on five aircraft. During the test phase, passengers flying on these aircraft will be offered complimentary access to the in-flight Wi-Fi service. Lufthansa says 20 aircraft will be equipped with GX connectivity during the first quarter of 2017, with the retrofitting process on the entire fleet expected to be completed by the middle of 2018.

Lufthansa | Related Lufthansa reading material going digital – PAX International



Iran Air Set to Receive First of 100 Aircraft From Airbus

Iran Air is set to receive the first of 100 aircraft from Airbus, following the finalization of a landmark order in late December. The delivery ceremony for the Airbus A321 has been tentatively scheduled for January 12, with Iran Air having completed technical acceptance on the aircraft over the past few days. “Iran Air has performed its flight tests and the airline team is satisfied that the aircraft meets its specifications and requirements,” said an Airbus spokesperson. However, the ceremony may be canceled because Iran is holding three days of mourning after the death of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Sunday.

Air Transport World | Related Airbus finalizes Iran Air order for 100 airplanes – USA Today



Pay ‘n’ Weigh: MasterCard Proposes to Estimate Passengers’ Weight Based on Purchases

A patent for a system that estimates customers’ weight based on clothing and shoe purchases became public earlier this month, after being filed by MasterCard in 2015. In its application, the credit card company describes the idea as “a system, method and computer-readable storage medium configured to analyze the physical size of payment account holders based on payment transactions.” MasterCard says this information could then be shared with airlines to help assign seats, writing that “for the comfort of their passengers, transportation providers should avoid seating physically large strangers next to each other.”

The Economist | Related Hawaiian Airlines to keep assigning flyers' seats based on weight distribution – The Guardian



Etihad and Lantal Open First Flammability Test Lab in Middle East

Etihad Airways Engineering and Lantal Textiles have opened what they claim is the first flammability test laboratory in the Middle East. Situated inside the Etihad Airways Engineering facility next to Abu Dhabi International Airport, the lab will provide services including flammability tests, seat cushion tests, heat release tests and smoke tests for regional aviation customers such as design and production organizations and cabin interior suppliers. “We have a significant market share in Europe, and our new lab in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Etihad Airways Engineering, will now bring our service closer to customers in the Middle East,” says Urs Rickenbacher, CEO of Lantal.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Sitting on Air: Lantal’s Pneumatic Comfort System – APEX Media



Malaysia Airlines Outlines 2017 Growth Strategy, Plans to Order 25 Wide-Bodies

Malaysia Airlines will pursue an extensive fleet renewal in 2017, with plans to order 25 wide-body aircraft by the end of the year, according to CEO Peter Bellew. Speaking to AIN, he said that 15 of the new airplanes will replace the airline’s fleet of leased Airbus A330-300s, while the 10 remaining wide-bodies would enable expansion including the restoration of some of its canceled European routes. Bellew also voiced confidence that MAB will return to profitability in 2018, notwithstanding competition from regional low-cost carriers such as Malindo Air and AirAsia. “Regaining market confidence is a boost, and flights recording 90-percent-plus [load factors] are indications of better times to come.”

AIN Online | Related Malaysia Airlines plans massive expansion in China – TTG Asia



EVA Air Deploys Customer Service Robots at Taiwan’s Busiest Airports

EVA Air has joined the likes of KLM, Japan Airlines, Glasgow Airport and Haneda Airport with the introduction of robotic customer service agents at Taipei’s Songshan and Taoyuan international airports. The robots, called Pepper, can provide departure details by scanning boarding passes, deliver destination weather updates and inform travelers of duty-free offers and airline promotions. One of the robots has been deployed in front of the international check-in counter at Songshan International, while another can be found greeting guests at the VIP lounge reception area at Taoyuan International. At the moment, Pepper is only able to understand and respond in Chinese, but EVA Air says it will add English and Japanese functionality by the end of March.

Future Travel Experience | Related Meet the Robots Transforming the Airport Experience – APEX Media



Designing PaxEx Around an Age of Digital Disruption

According to Stefan Pannenbecker, TEAGUE's vice-president of Global Design Studios, airlines should embrace the age of digital disruption and design their passenger experience around it. The Waterfront seat concept, developed through a collaboration between B/E Aerospace, Formation Design Group, Panasonic Avionics and TEAGUE, is an example of how an ecosystem of innovators can develop a unique passenger experience. In addition to in-flight personalization features, like storing passengers’ preferred content, music choices, seat settings and lighting configuration, Pannenbecker suggests that such customized service could eventually extend beyond the aircraft. “Imagine the seat would recognize you when you get on the plane and it knows you're going to Seattle, what hotel you’re going to, and it lets you pre-order in-room dining."

APEX Media | Related Future Lines: The Evolution of Design – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

Stormy clouds above Helsinki Airport. Captured by @juoksuaarjessa (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

"Everything is a service, so service is everything," says @jeffjarvis on digital frontiers at @lufthansa's #digitalaviation forum. #PaxEx

Katie Sehl @lazydaycool


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

“Get rid at the outset of the idea that the airplane is only an air-going sort of automobile. It isn’t. It may sound like one and smell like one, and it may have been interior decorated to look like one; but the difference is – it goes on wings.”

Wolfgang Langewiesche – Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying, 1944.


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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