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April 21, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


WestJet to Launch Ultra Low-Cost Carrier in Late 2017

WestJet has announced plans to launch an ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) later this year. The Canadian airline says the discount subsidiary will have an initial fleet of 10 Boeing 737-800s and will offer unbundled fares. AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray says the announcement complicates the plans of others looking to launch a ULCC in Canada and will protect WestJet from losing market share. “ULCCs including Spirit Airlines and Ryanair have generated above average returns in their markets, and we believe WestJet could see similar returns,” wrote Murray in a report. However, other analysts are skeptical. National Bank analyst Cameron Doerksen said, “The ULCC may cannibalize some current traffic on WestJet’s mainline.”

The Toronto Star | Related Here’s why low-cost airlines have a tough time surviving in Canada – Global news



SpiceJet Signs With Lufthansa Systems for BoardConnect Wireless IFE

SpiceJet has signed up to use Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect Portable wireless in-flight entertainment platform. The Indian low-cost carrier will install the IFE hardware, which includes a server and wireless access points combined in a single tablet-sized mobile streaming unit, on board 49 of its aircraft. BoardConnect Portable will allow passengers to stream a selection of preloaded content to Wi-Fi-enabled personal devices. SpiceJet has not said whether it will charge for the streaming service, but confirmed it will use the platform to sell other in-flight services.

Live Mint | Related Retail investors cut stake in SpiceJet; stock soars over 90 percent in 2017 – Business Standard



North Korea’s Air Koryo Expands Into Cigarettes and Colas Amid Threat of New Sanctions

North Korea’s state-owned carrier Koryo Air is expanding into consumer products, say visitors to the isolated country. The airline has now branched out into selling Air Koryo-branded cigarettes and soft drinks, in addition to operating its own taxi fleet and gas stations. The airline has dropped several routes in recent months, including to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Kuwait, after the United Nations imposed new nuclear sanctions on the country. Reuters says it’s not clear whether the recent diversification into domestic consumer products is related. “I wouldn't be surprised to see more Air Koryo products make it to market before too long,” said Simon Cockerell of Beijing-based Koryo Tours. The US is now considering tougher measures, including a global ban on the airline.

Reuters | Related North Korean Airline Announces New Route to China – TravelPulse



Consumer Rights Groups Criticize DHS Head’s Plan to Ask for Travelers’ Social Media Passwords

A coalition of US consumer advocacy groups is pushing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to oppose a proposal to require foreign citizens to provide their social media passwords to enter the US. DHS Secretary John Kelly suggested the idea in February as part of a plan for “enhanced vetting measures” supported by the Trump administration. Nathan White, a senior legislative director at Access Now, one of the 29 organizations in the coalition, said, “Even if you support ‘extreme vetting,’ password for entry is an extremely bad idea that sacrifices privacy and digital security for political posturing and ‘security theater.'”

The Hill | Related America may demand the right to peruse visitors’ mobile phones on arrival – The Economist



Sustainability in Aviation: Cathay Pacific’s Long-Term Plans Reap Short-Term Rewards

With Earth Day on the horizon, APEX Media spoke to Cathay Pacific about its sustainable business practices, from the use of recycled materials for amenity kits and carpets to its investment in a US-based sustainable biofuel developer. “We’re finding increasingly that many of our customers are a lot more interested in understanding the environmental impacts that aviation has,” said Phillipe Lacamp, Cathay Pacific’s vice-president for the Americas. “That in itself is a differentiator.”

APEX Media | Related Delta offsets carbon emissions for 100,000+ customers Tuesday – Delta News Hub



FIFA Opens Bidding Process for In-Flight Media Rights to Upcoming Football Tournaments

FIFA, the international governing body of association football, has opened the tender process for worldwide in-flight media rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The in-flight rights packages allow for audiovisual coverage of the three events on a live or delayed basis. IMG’s live in-flight sports channel, Sport 24, had previously broadcast live coverage of all games during the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted in Brazil.

Inflight Online | Related Content Service Providers Score Rights to Live Sports Coverage – APEX Media



Etihad Works With Diehl for 3-D Printed Cabin Parts

Etihad Airways has signed an agreement with Diehl Aerosystems to manufacture 3-D printed in-flight entertainment cover plates for its economy-class seats on several aircraft. The airline’s engineering arm recently secured approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency to design, certify and manufacture the components using a 3-D printing process, something Etihad says will deliver cost savings of around 20 to 30 percent. “Our partnership with Diehl will help us commercialize this technology and make it available to our customers around the world,” said Jeff Wilkinson, CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering.

TCT Magazine | Related Boeing wants to turn satellites into a cheaper, highly automated business – TechCrunch




Photo of the Day

Above the grid. Captured by @fredericft (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Join us in wishing Her Majesty the Queen a wonderful 91st Birthday #QueensBirthday

British Airways @British_Airways


Association News

The Development of Qsuite: The Next Generation of IFEC and Business Class

Attend Education Day at APEX MultiMedia Market to hear Rossen Dimitrov, Qatar Airways’ senior vice-president of Customer Experience, present on the Doha-based carrier’s development of QSuite. This session will cover the relationship between the next generation of in-flight entertainment and connectivity and the airline’s new flexible business-class cabin product. In 2016, Dimitrov ranked in the top three of FTE’s Airline Passenger Experience Power List. With more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, he leads a team that is focused on listening to and servicing customers’ needs.


Get Ready for APEX MMM With Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine’s Guide to Berlin!

The March issue of Air Canada’s enRoute magazine features a guide to Berlin, the host city of next week’s APEX MultiMedia Market. Take a tour of of the capital’s Kieze – German for micro-neighborhoods – and discover the cute cafes, top shops and mesmerizing museums that Berlin has to offer.


> Quote of the Day

"I have always appreciated those who dare to experiment with materials and proportions."

Zaha Hadid


Until next week



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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