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March 23, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Alaska Airlines to Dissolve Virgin America Brand

Alaska Airlines has confirmed it will phase out the Virgin America brand, absorbing the carrier under its own name by 2019. Alaska Airlines said in a statement that the newly merged airline “will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love,” including the carrier’s mood lighting, music and in-flight entertainment, “to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.” According to Alaska Airlines' VP of Marketing, Sangita Woerner, "While the Virgin America name is beloved to many, we concluded that to be successful on the West Coast we had to do so under one name – for consistency and efficiency, and to allow us to continue to deliver low fares."

USA Today | Related Dear Virgin America –



American Airlines in Talks to Buy $200-Million Stake in China Southern

American Airlines is in negotiations to buy a stake in China Southern Airlines for $200 million, according to several media reports. The Guangzhou-based carrier is Asia’s largest and is worth about $10 billion at market value. As a stakeholder, American would be able to nominate an observer without voting rights onto China Southern’s board. Although American has declined to comment, China Southern temporarily suspended stock trading today and issued a statement saying it would disclose details about the "important strategic cooperation deal within five working days.”

Air Transport World | Related American Airlines says Chinese government blocking new LAX–Beijing flights – Dallas News



ICAO Stresses Need for Balance of Safety and Security in Electronics Ban

ICAO has urged regulators to find a balance between safety and security, after the US and UK imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on aircraft flying from certain airports in Muslim-majority countries. In a statement published Wednesday, the UN agency highlighted that “incidents involving devices containing lithium batteries may be more easily mitigated in the cabin than in checked baggage.” In 2016, ICAO announced a prohibition on the shipment of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. Speaking to Reuters, a source close to the agency said ICAO staff have shared safety concerns with countries that are implementing the electronics ban.

Reuters | Related We shouldn't be included in ban, argue some airlines and airports – USA Today



JetBlue Partners With Momofuku Milk Bar for Onboard Baked Snacks and Drinks

JetBlue has partnered with Momofuku Milk Bar, a New York City-based bakery chain, to add a selection of baked goods and beverages to its in-flight catering offerings. Starting next month, the airline’s premium Mint passengers will be served a Milk Bar green juice, followed by a pre-arrival cookie. On overnight flights, JetBlue will offer “bagel bombs” (cream cheese-stuffed bagel balls) in Milk Bar-branded bags. “I spend a lot of time on airplanes … That's why I was beyond pumped when JetBlue approached us with the opportunity,” explained Christina Tosi, chef, owner and founder of Milk Bar.

Fortune | Related JetBlue Evaluates Fleet Plan as It Considers Flying to Europe – Skift



Birds of a Feather: Next-Generation Aircraft Could Borrow Ideas From Mother Nature

Scientists at BAE Systems and City, University of London have revealed that research into how falcons fly is influencing new aircraft technologies that could improve safety, aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. The scientists have been conducting research on how the peregrine falcon, the world’s fastest bird, is able to remain in control at speeds of up to 200 mph. Technologies being developed include 3-D printed polymer hair filaments called “sensory feathers,” which would act as sensors on the body of an aircraft, providing an early warning system should an aircraft begin to stall. More densely packed polymer filaments may also improve airflow and reduce drag on aircraft wings. | Related When Birds Fly: The Role Airlines Play in Falconry – APEX Media



Molon Labe Rethinks the Middle Seat With Staggered Seating Options

Most passengers prefer aisle or window seats, but new ideas from Molon Labe may bring the middle seat into favor. The company is close to announcing the launch customer for its short-haul Side-Slip Seat, which features a telescoping chassis to allow the aisle seat to slide over the middle seat during boarding and deplaning. A prototype of Molon Labe's Stagger Seat, a long-haul economy-class seat that’s mounted several inches behind and below the outer seats, offering increased comfort without changing cabin capacity, is expected to be unveiled at Aircraft Interiors Expo in April.

APEX Media | Related Slipping and staggering into AIX – Runway Girl Network



Skyscanner Shares Vision of Digital Airline “Storefronts”

Skyscanner has outlined plans to transition into a platform that allows travelers to search for a wide range of airfares seamlessly across any device. The metasearch company’s CEO, Gareth Williams, says that increasing mobile use among consumers and evolving platforms such as chatbots are blurring the lines between direct and third-party intermediaries when booking flight tickets. Williams says Skyscanner will create a marketplace that offers airline “storefronts,” which would be virtually indistinguishable from carriers’ own booking websites. “We want to bring airline products on our site as close to the direct experience as possible, with carriers controlling their products and brand while benefitting from our traffic, and audience, across a range of devices,” said Williams.

Breaking Travel News | Related Finnair pilots NDC tech with Skyscanner – Tnooz




Photo of the Day

A window of opportunity. Captured by @mhesias (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Check out the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, visiting Qatar this week to spread awareness about preventable blindness

Qatar Airways @qatarairways


Association News

APEX Experience: 7.2 April/May Issue Now Online!

7.2 gifAs APEX members prepare for the Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg, and APEX MultiMedia Market in Berlin, we invite you to settle into the April/May issue of APEX Experience magazine. Learn about the seats, services and content that shape comfort in air travel – the definitions of “just right” are different for every passenger. Members can opt in to receive a print copy of APEX Experience magazine through their online profiles. Don’t have an account? Join the Airline Passenger Experience Association or subscribe to the magazine.


APEX MMM: Today Is the Deadline for Guaranteed Appointments

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. The three-day event includes exhibits, education sessions and networking opportunities. Please note that buyer appointment schedules are not guaranteed after March 23. Click here to register now.


> Quote of the Day

“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


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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