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February 14, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


United Polaris: The Story Behind the Airline’s New Business-Class Seat

United Airlines’ first Boeing 777-300ER made its inaugural flight yesterday, carrying press to experience the Polaris seat in flight for the first time. The seat will officially launch this Thursday, on the airline’s Newark–San Francisco route, with the first international flight scheduled for March 25. The United Polaris seat is based on a product concept by Acumen Design Associates and is the result of collaboration between the design consultancy, United, PriestmanGoode and Zodiac Aerospace. “Normally when you go from a step-over product to an all-out access product, something’s got to give,” said Anthony Harcup, associate director at Acumen. “But this is such an efficient preservation of living spaces, and access to the seat, that it made the decision very easy for [United].”

APEX Media | Related Oscar Munoz: Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines – APEX Media



Qantas Announces In-Flight Streaming Partnerships With Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel

Qantas has announced it will offer complimentary access to Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel on Wi-Fi-equipped flights. The in-flight partnerships aim to persuade passengers into signing up to the on-demand entertainment services, with Netflix and Spotify promising free 30-day trials and Foxtel offering three days of complimentary streaming. Passengers will need to use their own devices to access the streaming services, which will be available later this month on one of the airline's Boeing 737s, before a fleet-wide rollout in June. “What a lot of people relish about flying is being able to catch up on their favorite TV shows or watch movies they didn’t get to see at the cinema,” said Qantas group executive Olivia Wirth. | Related What Does Netflix’s Offline Playback Mean for Airlines and IFE? – APEX Media



Delta Plans to Acquire an Additional 32 Percent of Aeroméxico

Delta Air Lines has announced it plans to buy an additional 32 percent of Aeroméxico. The Atlanta-based carrier, which already owns a 4.2 percent stake in the airline, said it is offering $2.60 a share in a deal worth a total of $590 million. Delta also holds options to acquire an additional 12.8 percent of Aeroméxico, which could raise the company’s stake to 49 percent. The news sent the Mexican airline’s stock soaring to an all-time high, up 16 percent on Monday. "This new investment demonstrates Delta's confidence in Mexico's future and deepens our relationship with Aeroméxico," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Mexico and the US.




Hovering on the Horizon: Dubai to Launch Autonomous Taxi Drones in July

Autonomous self-flying taxi drones could soon become a common sight in Dubai. The Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority said Monday it wants to develop drones to transport people around the UAE’s biggest city. The transport authority is testing the EHang 184, an egg-shaped prototype, which it plans to introduce to the public by July. The drones have a range of 19 miles and can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour. “[Passengers] just need to press a button and then it vertically takes off, flies from Point A to Point B, and lands,” said EHang's cofounder, Derrick Xiong. The EHang 184 is part of a broader plan announced by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: to use autonomous vehicles to carry out 25 percent of all passenger journeys in Dubai by 2030.

Forbes | Related Airbus plans to test flying cars before the end of 2017 – the Independent



Lufthansa Tempts Passengers Into Premium Economy Upgrades With Pre-Boarding VR

Lufthansa has been using virtual reality headsets to try and tempt passengers into last-minute upgrades before boarding. Over a two-week period, Lufthansa invited passengers waiting to board select intercontinental flights at the departure gates in Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 to virtually sample the features of the airline’s new premium economy cabin, using immersive headsets. Those who were impressed by the 360-degree experience and decided to upgrade were able to pay the surcharge directly at the gate.

Inflight Online | Related Media Immersion: Lufthansa’s Cinematic Sound, Virtual Views and 360-Degree Videos – APEX Media



Widerøe Announced as Embraer E190-E2 Launch Operator

Widerøe has been confirmed as the Embraer E190-E2 launch customer and is scheduled to receive its initial aircraft in the first half of 2018. The Norwegian regional carrier has three 114-seat E190-E2s on firm order and options for an additional 12 E2 family aircraft, worth a combined $872 million at list prices. “Knowing the hard work Embraer is doing in the certification campaign, especially in terms of maturity, we have every confidence in a smooth entry into service,” said Stein Nilsen, CEO of Widerøe. “The E190-E2 will be a big leap in Widerøe’s history, and our planning for the first deliveries is now well underway.”

Air Transport World | Related EMBRAER ACHIEVES ORDERS AND DELIVERIES GOALS FOR 2016 – Airways Magazine



Air France Awaits Union Approval for Low-Cost Subsidiary

Air France says it plans to launch a low-cost, medium- and long-haul subsidiary in the second half of this year. The French carrier has presented a draft agreement to two pilots’ unions, SNPL and SPAF, detailing the terms and conditions for flight crew as well as a profit-sharing scheme for all airline personnel. The carrier, tentatively called Boost, would operate under a low-cost structure, taking over Air France’s loss-making routes, which are facing strong competition from Gulf carriers. The subsidiary would initially operate Airbus A340s on long-distance routes starting in the summer of 2018, but would then switch to A350s in 2019. Medium-haul service is scheduled to begin this autumn using A320-family aircraft.

Air Transport World | Related Air France-KLM to launch budget airline to Asia – Market Watch




Photo of the Day

Jumbo lens, superjumbo jet. Captured by @astro95media (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

For #ValentinesDay, show your feelings with #LoveCode: the first love language designed with airport codes from all over the world.

Air France @airfrance


Association News

APEX MMM: Airline Members Can Attend for Free!

APEX MultiMedia Market, the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers, will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. Registration is complimentary for APEX airline members and includes access to the educational program, the networking event and the exhibit hall, where top global distributors will be showing off an extensive library of new content specifically licensed for airlines. Lunch and coffee will be provided each day. APEX airline members who register by March 1 will be included in a draw for a complimentary three-night stay at the Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin, where APEX MMM will take place (some restrictions apply).


APEX EXPO Exhibit Space: Book By Tomorrow!

APEX EXPO 2017 will take place in Long Beach, California, from September 25 to 28. There is still time to book a booth at early-bird pricing – booth contracts are due by February 15 and space is limited. Please contact Desiray Young ( or 847-686-2277) to reserve a booth today! Sponsorships available, contact Desiray Young for more information.



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> Quote of the Day

"I think it is a pity to lose the romantic side of flying and simply to accept it as a common means of transport.”

Amy Johnson, first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia


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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