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March 6, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


European Parliament Votes to End Visa-Free Entry for US Citizens

The European Parliament voted last week to temporarily suspend visa-free travel for Americans visiting the EU. The vote is the latest episode in a dispute, which has been simmering since 2014, over the way travelers from certain EU countries are treated by the US. While most EU citizens can travel to America without a visa, those from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania must still obtain one. EU legislators want the entire 28-member bloc to be treated equally, with European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos pushing for “full visa reciprocity with the new US administration.” However, the vote is nonbinding, and it will be up to the European Commission to decide whether to implement the recommendation.

The Economist | Related British tourists could have to pay to visit Europe post-Brexit under a US-style visa system – The Telegraph



Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Space and Arabsat Partner for Ka- and Ku-Band Satellite

Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Space and Arabsat have announced plans to build a new satellite for in-flight connectivity. Arabsat 6D will deliver Ka- and Ku-band coverage that supports Internet and live television on board aircraft. The service will be provided to state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines, which signed a strategic partnership with Taqnia in November 2016. “This will meet the increasing demand for satellite services, particularly the provision of Internet services, voice calls and TV broadcast on board aircraft, which will be applied on board Saudia’s aircraft in early 2019,” said Abdullah Al-Osaimi, CEO of Taqnia Space.

Get Connected | Related Taqnia Space selects Eutelsat for in-flight connectivity – Get Connected



Asiana to Debut Enhanced Economy Seats in May

Asiana Airlines will debut enhanced economy-class seating when it launches scheduled commercial flights with its first Airbus A350 on May 15. The South Korean carrier describes its Economy Smartium seats as “an upgraded economy-class section with extra legroom and some special services.” These include priority boarding, access to the Asiana Business Class Lounge at Incheon International Airport and in-flight amenities. Economy-class passengers will be able to upgrade to Economy Smartium seats for a surcharge of $150 on long-haul flights and $30 for flights to Japan, China and Northeast Asia. The new A350s will offer in-flight Wi-Fi and smartphone roaming services.

Business Traveller | Related Asiana to launch A350 on Osaka and Manila in May – Flight Global



Delta Experiments to Make Boarding Better at Hartsfield-Jackson

Delta Air Lines has introduced new boarding procedures at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to bring more order to the process. The redesigned boarding system features four branded pillars to demarcate four parallel lanes, keeping passengers away from the walkway when queuing. Delta says the idea is being used as an interim solution while it evaluates other processes and technologies. “We tested a variety of boarding processes, and our customers and employees let us know that this iteration makes their experience better,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s SVP for Airport Customer Service and Airline Operations.

Airways Magazine | Related American Airlines’ "simplified" new boarding process has NINE groups – Market Watch



Chefs in the Sky: Luke Mangan and Virgin Australia

Luke Mangan, the chef responsible for feeding Virgin Australia’s business-class passengers, discusses the ingredients to culinary success in the air. In addition to changing the menu every three months, Mangan’s team has a test kitchen with two airline ovens in Sydney to determine which meals will work best in the air. “You lose about 30 percent of your taste buds in the air. So you’ve got to look for foods – fish for example – with a high oil content,” he says. Mangan and his team also curate the wine list, which includes a Shiraz from St Hallett winery that is specifically designed to be sipped in flight.

APEX Media | Related Local Food Trends Go Global With Airlines – APEX Media



[PHOTOS] Flight of the Sea Turtle: ANA Reveals Special Livery for First Airbus A380

All Nippon Airways has unveiled a special livery that will appear on its first Airbus A380, scheduled for delivery in early 2019. The design features green sea turtles and was chosen from more than 2,000 submissions received in an open competition organized by ANA. The Japanese carrier says the superjumbo will be named “Flying Honu,” and will service its Tokyo–Honolulu route. ANA says it also plans to support activities in Hawaii to protect green sea turtles, which are in danger of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Business Traveller | Related All Nippon Airways names new CEO – Travel Mole



Qatar Airways Dry Leases Airbus A350s From LATAM

Qatar Airways has announced it is dry leasing four Airbus A350-900s from LATAM Airlines. Under the terms of the dry lease, Qatar Airways, which owns a 10-percent stake in the South American carrier, will be responsible for the aircraft’s flight operations, crew planning and maintenance. The four wide-bodies will retain the LATAM Airlines livery and cabin configuration of 30 business- and 309 economy-class seats. “Thanks to our strong partnership with LATAM, we are able to meet increasing customer demand in the short term, in an innovative way,” said Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker.

Airways Magazine | Related Qatar teases glimpse of private "business-class bedroom" suites – Australian Business Traveller




Photo of the Day

Descending to Brisbane, Australia. Captured by @bennithepilot (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

80 hrs. 32 participants. 2 cities. Apply for the craziest #hackathon this year: @HackHorizon

Hack Horizon @HackHorizon


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 $375. Click here to register.


Speak Up! Submit Your Session Proposals for APEX Events

APEX is accepting proposals from members to speak at its events: MultiMedia Market, EXPO, TECH and Middle East Conference. APEX is known for shaping the future of the passenger experience – and it’s because of you! We want you involved at this year’s APEX events. This is a chance for you and your company to be front and center – or if you are not interested in presenting but would like to see a topic addressed, now is the time to speak up! Click here to submit a proposal.


> Quote of the Day

“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”

John Lennon


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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