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April 18, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


US Visa Holders May Soon Have to Undergo Facial Scanning Before International Departures

US visa holders may soon have to undergo facial geometry scanning before boarding international flights. The Biometric Exit system, which uses facial matching technology to identify visa holders before they leave the country, is currently being tested on a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo, but has been expedited by the Trump administration and is now expected to expand to additional airports this summer. “Once we completely build our exit infrastructure, we could potentially offer it to the TSA if they want to use our facial matching … or maybe if an airline wanted to use facial matching for access to their lounge,” said Larry Panetta, director of Air Exit Implementation for the US Customs and Border Protection, at last week’s Border Security Expo.

The Verge | Related Does Biometric ID Verification Give Way to Data and Discrimination Risk? – APEX Media



China Eastern and China Southern Approved to Invest in New Beijing Airport

China Eastern and China Southern airlines have won government approval to invest in Beijing’s new airport, which is scheduled to open in 2019. Shanghai-based China Eastern and Guangzhou-based China Southern will invest $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, in the yet unnamed airport. The airlines are expected to build their own infrastructures at the airport, accounting for a combined 40 percent of the airport’s annual passenger volume, which is projected to reach 72 million in 2025 and 100 million in the longer term. The Civil Aviation Administration of China announced in July last year that the carriers, along with other SkyTeam airline members, will relocate to the new airport.

Air Transport World | Related A world-class airport cluster is set to take off – China Daily



Cathay Planning New Regional Business Class in 2019

Cathay Pacific is planning to introduce a new generation of regional business-class seats that will debut on its subsidiary Cathay Dragon toward the end of 2019. The Hong Kong-based carrier is yet to choose a seating supplier for its new fleet of either single-aisle Boeing or Airbus aircraft, but says it will decide before the end of the year. “We are in the process of planning the seats for that fleet now,” said James Evans, Cathay Pacific’s general manager of Product. He also confirmed that the seats would not be a fully lie-flat model. “You don't need it for a couple of hours’ flight and, given how many seats you'd need to compromise, it doesn’t make commercial sense,” he explained.

Australian Business Traveller | Related For Cathay's new boss, fixing China tops lengthy to-do list – Australian Business Traveller



Trump Nominations Could Restore US Export-Import Bank

Donald Trump has moved a step closer to making the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) fully functional again after he nominated two new Ex-Im board members. US Representatives Scott Garrett and Spencer Bachus have been nominated to the board of export credit agency, which has been a key financing tool for major commercial aircraft transactions. The agency has only been partially operational since December 2015 because it lacked the required number of board members to authorize loans exceeding $10 million to foreign buyers of American products, such as aircraft manufactured by Boeing. Ex-Im became a point of political controversy in 2015, when Republican lawmakers criticized it as a medium for crony capitalism.

AIN Online | Related In win for Boeing and GE, Trump says he wants to revive export bank – Reuters



Sixty Percent of APAC Travelers Willing to Pay for In-Flight Wi-Fi

More than 60 percent of Asia-Pacific travelers would be prepared to pay up to $5 to access in-flight Wi-Fi, according to YouGov’s latest air travel survey. Only one in 10 respondents ranked lack of connectivity as one of the top three worst aspects of air travel, with 20 percent saying they have tried onboard Internet and planned to do so again. Nearly one in three APAC travelers surveyed said they would be willing to pay up to $10 for in-flight Wi-Fi access, while 40 percent expressed interest in VoIP calls during a flight. However, four-fifths also said passengers should be given the option of sitting in a different section of the aircraft where VoIP calls are not permitted.

Telecomasia | Related Asia-Pacific’s In-Flight Connectivity Landscape – APEX Media



Nigeria Set to Reopen Abuja Airport After Repairs to Pothole-Ridden Runway

Nigeria is set to reopen Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday, following a six-week shutdown to repair its runway and remove potholes. Repairs to the badly damaged runway were carried out after airlines threatened to stop flying to the capital city. During the closure, authorities diverted flights to Kaduna, a provincial airport 100 miles away, although carriers including British Airways, Lufthansa and South African Airways refused to fly there on security grounds. Ethiopian Airlines was the only foreign carrier to use Kaduna during the six-week period. Its passengers were transported to Abuja on guarded buses along a road where kidnappings have occurred in recent years.

Reuters | Related I will resign if Abuja airport repair is not completed in six weeks, says Minister – Daily Post



Getting Breakfast in Order: Retail inMotion Helps Ryanair Serve Up a Full Irish

Ryanair passengers can choose to have a hot breakfast waiting for them on board. Working with LSG Group subsidiary Retail inMotion, the Irish low-cost carrier recently joined a growing number of airlines giving passengers the option to order their breakfast before boarding. Since October 2016, customers can pay an additional 10 euros during the booking process to reserve a full Irish breakfast on early-morning flights out of Dublin Airport. “We believe that preordering is becoming an industry standard," said Jordan Locke, manager of Corporate Communications for LSG Group. “We’ve seen demand for the service pick up extremely quickly in recent months.”

APEX Media | Related Gate Delivery: The Companies Serving Passengers in a Hurry – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

The Empire Strikes Back and a Chicken Kapsi: Life is good ? Captured by @jarvismarcos (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Congratulations to everyone who found our hidden #ProjectBlackout eggs over the weekend! ? ? We hope you enjoy your prizes.?

Air New Zealand @FlyAirNZ


Association News

Learn About Licensing at APEX MMM, Registration Closes Tomorrow!

The evolving music industry and continuous development of onboard entertainment systems have caused the music and airline industries to align in order to serve mutually beneficial business arrangements, customer needs and marketing opportunities. At APEX MultiMedia Market next week, Steve Harvey, head of Audio at Global Eagle Entertainment, will moderate a session that covers topics ranging from how licensing works and the need for accurate reporting to streaming and procurement strategies. Register now for APEX MMM, taking place from April 24 to 26 in Berlin. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. EDT tomorrow.


Customize Official Airline Ratings Ads for Your Airline

APEX and partner TripIt from Concur® have created turnkey collateral elements to help APEX airline members promote the Official Airline Ratings ™ and Passenger Choice Awards by encouraging passengers to download the TripIt app to rate their flights. Passenger feedback will be used to determine airlines' ratings and the awards, both of which will be announced at APEX EXPO in Long Beach this September. Click here to download and customize ads for your airline!


> Quote of the Day

“In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.”

Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland


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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