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May 3, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


American Airlines Adds Seats, But Reduces Pitch on Upcoming Boeing 737 MAXs

American Airlines is planning to reduce seat pitch on its incoming Boeing 737 MAX fleet. The Fort Worth-based carrier wants at least 10 more seats on the new aircraft, compared to its existing fleet of 300 737s. To do this, it will shrink the distance between seats from 31 inches to 29 inches in three rows, and down to 30 inches in the rest of the economy-class cabin. The new single-aisle aircraft will enter service later this year and will mainly operate on routes across North America. American Airlines will add 40 of the 100 737 MAXs it has on order to its fleet by the end of 2019.

CNN | Related American’s new 737 MAX won't have seatback screens – USA Today



Boeing Lands WestJet Order for Up to 20 787-9s

WestJet has agreed to buy up to 20 Boeing 787-9s, worth $5.4 billion at list prices. The order commits the Calgary-based carrier to 10 of the wide-bodies, which will be delivered between early 2019 and December 2021, with options for an additional 10 aircraft. WestJet said in a statement on Tuesday that the Dreamliner’s range of more than 9,000 miles gives it “the ability to serve new destinations in Asia and South America, and to expand its service offerings into the European market.” WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky also said the fleet will likely feature lie-flat seats, suggesting that the carrier plans to compete against Air Canada and international carriers with a new business-class product.

The Toronto Star | Related WestJet names executive vice-president for new ultra low-cost carrier – Global News



LATAM Chooses Spafax to Curate IFE Selection

LATAM will further extend the breadth of its 14-year relationship with Spafax with a new agreement to license, curate and deliver in-flight entertainment programming for its fleet of more than 300 aircraft. Spafax’s programming will continue to feature Hollywood content, in addition to pursuing a new focus on television and film from Latin America. Spafax says it will also introduce new media across the end-to-end passenger journey. “LATAM is at the forefront of innovation in Latin America, and we are thrilled to lend our entertainment expertise to their already strong onboard experience,” said Niall McBain, chief executive of Spafax.

Advance | Related Spafax allows passengers to ask Alexa – Flight Global



US Airlines Testify Before Congress

Top executives from United, American, Southwest and Alaska airlines testified before the US House of Representatives yesterday to address customer service issues. Delta did not attend the congressional hearing, stating it was discussing the topic with individual members of congress instead. During the four-hour hearing, United CEO Oscar Munoz explained why the April 9 incident of a passenger being dragged off a flight went awry, leading to widespread scrutiny of overbooking policies and an overhaul of United’s own procedures. “Our employees did not have the authority to do what was right or to use, frankly, their common sense,” Munoz said, “and in that moment, for our customers and our company, we failed.”

The Atlantic | Related United Takes Action to Improve Its Policy on Overbooked Flights – APEX Media



Delta Air Lines Enlists Blade for New York City Heli Service

Delta Air Lines passengers in Manhattan will soon be able to fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport by helicopter. The airline has partnered with Blade, an app-based charter service, to shuttle passengers from three heliports in Manhattan, each about a 5-minute flight from JFK. Upon arrival, guests will have their bags collected, pass security clearance and be escorted to their departure terminal. “Our customers value speed and reliability, and so do we,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s SVP and chief marketing officer.

Airways Magazine | Related Uber targets 2020 for on-demand VTOL demo flights in Dallas and Dubai – TechCrunch



Australia’s Government Commits to Building Second Airport for Sydney

Australia’s government has committed to building a second international airport in Sydney. The decision comes after the Sydney Airport Corporation, which operates the city’s existing airport and had first refusal rights to the second airport, passed up the opportunity to take on the project. The new airport will cost an estimated $3.7 billion to build, with construction scheduled to begin next year in western Sydney. “The airport will be a major catalyst for jobs and economic growth in western Sydney, injecting more than $1.9 billion [$1.4 billion USD] into the economy during the construction phase alone,” said Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister.

The Guardian | Related Huge demand for Qantas airline's nonstop flights from London to Australia – Evening Standard



Changing Tastes: Beers Brewed for High-Altitude Drinking

Knowing that passengers’ taste sensitivity is reduced by about 30 percent, Cathay Pacific worked with the Hong Kong Beer Co. to create an ale that tastes better in the cabin than it does on the ground. Betsy Beer was served exclusively to first- and business-class passengers on Cathay’s routes from Hong Kong International Airport to Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports in the UK until the end of April 2017. Although Cathay marketed Betsy as “the world’s first beer brewed specially for 35,000 feet,” SAS partnered with Danish brewer Mikkeller in 2014 to create a range of beers specifically for drinking at high altitude.

APEX Media | Related Craft Beer Takes Flight: Airlines Hop On Board the Brewing Revolution – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

Northern lights, AvGeek style! Captured by @syjorgen (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

A Porsche Cayenne has successfully towed a 285-tonne Air France Airbus A380 42-metres, setting a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. @GWR

Porsche @Porsche


Association News

Register for APEX TECH to Join the Conversation

Why is the Common Media Applications Format (CMAF) important to IFE? CMAF defines the usage of a subset of common standardized media technologies and profiles, including ISOBMFF, MPEG-4 AVC, HEVC, AAC, VTT and Common Encryption, which are used by IFE – the industry’s workflows depend on them. APEX TECH is where conversations about CMAF begin. Register now to ensure that you are part of them.


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

"The clouds, the only birds that never sleep."

Victor Hugo


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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