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February 16, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Air France-KLM to Invest $213 Million in Big Data by 2020

Air France-KLM is planning to invest more than $213 million on digital and data development by 2020. The airline group launched an internal big data platform in 2015, and is now one of a few companies in the world that collects and makes use of online and offline customer data to make personalized offers, according to Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac. “It’s going to be our priority and quite important in terms of revenues because we do think that this possibility to have a personal link with customers will enable us to get €200 million [$213 million] in additional revenue,” explained Janaillac during Air France-KLM’s 2016 results presentation to analysts.

Tnooz | Related Air France-KLM profit climbs on fuel-cost drop – Market Watch



From Death Trap to Honeypot: Buffett Invests $8 Billion in US Airline Stocks

Warren Buffett has invested an additional $8 billion in the four biggest US airlines. The latest purchase makes Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway the largest shareholder in Delta Air Lines and United Continental Holdings, and the second largest in American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The multibillion dollar stakes represent a remarkable reversal by the Omaha investor who as recently as 2013 called the airline industry a “death trap for investors.” However, with the price of crude oil now half what it was in 2013, cheaper jet fuel has raised airline profitability to record levels.

Skift | Related Warren Buffett's Berkshire makes surprise US airline bet – Reuters



Private Equity Fund Buys Aviation Data Firm OAG for $215 Million

Private equity fund Vitruvian Partners has agreed to buy OAG, an air travel data and analytics firm, from Axio Group in a deal worth $215 million. OAG is best known for providing data on flight status and real-time tracking to airlines, airports, government agencies and travel brands. “The business has been transformed during the period of our ownership with strategic focus, operational improvement and investment,” said Alex Cooper-Evans, a partner at Epiris, Axio Group’s main investor. “OAG has grown earnings at more than 30 percent a year since 2013 and now has a clear strategy to continue its growth in the future.”

Tnooz | Related OAG Partners with American Airlines to Launch Flight Status Data Quality Initiative – Business Wire



Houston Airports Test “Smart Restrooms”

Houston’s two busiest airports, George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby, are conducting trials of “smart restrooms” in hopes of improving washroom efficiency. The airports have installed devices at restrooms close to select departure gates, which allow travelers to submit a satisfaction report using happy or sad faces. Choosing a sad face will prompt the user to choose from a list of issues they encountered during their bathroom experience, including dirty stalls, wet floors and lack of toilet paper. Sensors will be installed to monitor passenger throughput, notifying staff when a specific washroom requires cleaning.

Business Traveller | Related "Toilet paper" for smartphones trialled in Japanese airport bathrooms – The Guardian



Visitors Landing at Indian Airports to Receive Free Preloaded SIM Cards

As of today, foreign visitors with Indian e-visas will receive more than just a passport stamp when landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. The Indian Association of Tour Operators is behind an initiative that gives a free SIM card with credit of around 85 cents and 50 MB of data to visitors presenting a copy of their e-visa and passport. Until now, foreigners had to submit proof of identity, a photocopy of their passport with valid visa stamp, photographs, proof of address and the address of a local reference to acquire a SIM card. A further 15 airports across India will soon initiate the program.

Mashable | Related UK and India anticipate tourism surge with new pact – eTurbo News



Wi-Fi Social Lites: In-Flight Data Packages for Casual Surfers

While thirst for onboard connectivity is growing, not all surfers are bandwidth guzzlers. Low-cost carrier Scoot realized this, and in May of last year, added a “Social Lite” option to its Wi-Fi service packages. Unlike its fixed-price, hour-tiered options, Social Lite offers 20 MB worth of unlimited connectivity for passengers unwilling to pay high prices for more than they need. Scoot’s decision to introduce the service was prompted by insight gathered from its connectivity provider, Panasonic Avionics. “We knew from feedback that there were some passengers saying that Wi-Fi was too expensive … but they also don’t want to be a very big bandwidth consumer,” says David Bruner, vice-president of Global Communications Services for Panasonic.

APEX Media | Related Airlines Raise Wi-Fi Awareness With Strategic Placement of Internet Icons – APEX Media



JAL to Open Redesigned Bangkok Lounge Next Month

Japan Airlines will open a renovated Sakura Lounge in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on March 1. The redesigned facility matches the concept of JAL’s other global lounges, with natural color tones and cubist design details. The designated dining area will include a new menu provided by Japanese restaurant Nippon Tei, which will include dishes such as beef curry and an assortment of appetizers. The lounge will also include a smoking area, baggage storage and power and USB ports at every seat.

The Designair | Related Free Wi-Fi for Japan Airlines passengers on domestic flights – Breaking Travel News




Photo of the Day

Apron traffic at JFK. Captured by @daividwr737 (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

We love these New York inspired paintings from Gavin, a budding artist and aviation enthusiast, thanks for sharing them with us, Gavin!

British Airways @British_Airways


Association News

#APEXMARKET: CSPs Attending With Airline Delegate Will Receive Registration Refund

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017, the only global industry event focused specifically on bringing together IFE buyers with the leading worldwide content vendors, will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. The three-day event includes exhibits, education sessions and networking opportunities. Content service providers that attend with an airline delegate will be refunded the registration fee of $350. Click here to register.


APEX Member Deal: 15% Off Skift Forum Registration!

For a limited time only, Skift is offering APEX members 15 percent off registration to Skift Forum Europe in London on April 4. Attendees will glean insights from industry thought leaders like Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Air. Register now to take advantage of the discount, using the following promo code: APEX.



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> Spafax - Senior Director, Business Affairs Costa Mesa, CA


> Quote of the Day

"Air travel reminds us who we are. It’s the means by which we recognize ourselves as modern.”

Don DeLillo, The Names


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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