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May 16, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


F4 Is A-OK: Inmarsat Launches Fourth GX Satellite

I-5 F4, an advanced Ka-band satellite that completes Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) constellation, launched from the Kennedy Space Center yesterday evening, carried by a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster. With full global GX coverage already provided by the first three I-5s, F4 will be an in-orbit spare, but can be tasked to provide additional capability to high-demand regions. “I-5 F4 augments the capabilities of GX and, alongside our existing L-band constellations, enables Inmarsat to provide guaranteed global connectivity to industries and governments worldwide," said Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce. Inmarsat’s GX in-flight broadband service became fully operational with launch customer Lufthansa on May 2.

APEX Media | Related Qatar Airways confirms Inmarsat GX Aviation across fleet – Get Connected



Delta Tests Facial Recognition Bag Drop at Minneapolis-St. Paul

Delta is introducing four self-service bag drop kiosks at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MXP) this summer, one of which will be equipped with biometric technology. Passengers will be able to check in their own bags in a secure and efficient manner, while the biometric machine will use facial recognition to match passengers’ faces with their passport photo. The biometric-based bag drop at MXP will be the first of its kind in the United States, and Delta says it is complementary to the RFID bag tracking it introduced last year.

Delta | Related Smart Bag’s the New “It Bag” – APEX Media



Lufthansa’s Next-Gen Business Class Will Guarantee Direct Aisle Access

Lufthansa’s next generation of business-class seats will feature a new design with direct aisle access for every passenger. The German carrier says the “all-new concept” will debut on its upcoming Boeing 777-9 fleet, which it will begin receiving in 2020. "It will be a single-seat approach so that every seat has a direct approach to the aisle,” Harry Hohmeister, a member of Lufthansa’s executive board, told Australian Business Traveller. Hohmeister didn’t reveal the name of the seat manufacturer, but said the final design would be confirmed by the end of 2018.

Australian Business Traveller | Related Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines go live with paid Wi-Fi – Air Transport World



EasyJet Supersizes Existing Airbus Order, Converting to 30 A321neos

EasyJet has converted an existing order for 30 Airbus A320neos into the larger A321neo variant. The stretched aircraft type features a longer fuselage and will have a configuration of 235 seats – 49 more than the A320neo. The low-cost carrier said deliveries of the new aircraft will begin next summer. “These new aircraft will help us deliver our strategy of securing and growing our number one positions at Europe’s leading airports, which are generally slot constrained, while reducing our cost per seat,” said Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s CEO.

Bloomberg | Related EasyJet Eyes Cabin Survey for Crew Device-Based Damage Reporting – APEX Media



[PHOTOS] Cold Comfort: Introducing Icelandair’s Glacier-Themed Boeing 757-200

Icelandair has launched a new glacier-themed livery on one of its Boeing 757-200s as part of its 80th anniversary celebration. The paint job is named after Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull, and took a combined 2,500 hours to complete. The aircraft’s interior also features some cool touches including a “glacier soundtrack” to “create the right atmosphere,” LED blue lighting and turquoise and ice white headrests. The aircraft’s drinks cart has been transformed into a “mini ice cave,” while napkins, cups, chocolates and even airsickness bags have been designed with a glacial theme.

The DesignAir | Related From the Window to the Wall: In-Flight Destination Content Covers New Ground – APEX Media



Can Behavioral Economics Stop Passengers From Fighting Over Reclining Seats?

Could disputes over who owns the four inches of knee space into which a passenger can recline their seat be prevented if ownership of that space were up for auction? Law professors Christopher Buccafusco and Christopher Jon Sprigman used a theorem developed by economist Ronald Coase to find out whether the comfort gained from reclining is greater than the suffering experienced by the person behind. Their online survey found recliners wanted on average $41 to stay upright, while reclinees were willing to pay only $18 on average. When the situation was reversed, recliners were only willing to pay about $12 to recline while reclinees were unwilling to sell their knee room for less than $39.

The Economist | Related Survey says it’s not fine to recline – Inflight Online



LeoSat Says JSAT Funding Will Draw More Investors

Luxembourg-based startup LeoSat says it is confident that SKY Perfect JSAT’s recent investment in its planned high-throughput low-earth orbit system will attract more investors. The Asian satellite operator announced on Thursday that it would invest an undisclosed sum to support LeoSat’s launch of up to 108 Ka-band satellites. “The name JSAT opens a lot of doors in Asia, not in the least in Japan, where we haven’t had the same depth of investor dialogue compared to certain parts of the world,” said LeoSat CEO Mark Rigolle. The company estimates the full cost for its network, including satellites and ground stations, will total up to $3.6 billion.

Space News | Related CopaSat Selects LeoSat for LEO Connectivity Network – Via Satellite





Pretty bird! Captured by @jetwaymj (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

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Association News

Outstanding Contribution and Lifetime Achievement Award Nominations Due June 5

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a senior level executive from an APEX member company whose long-term efforts, dedication and sustained commitment in support of elevating the airline passenger experience have clearly established that individual's career as a lifetime industry achievement. The recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award is someone whose contributions, innovations or leadership have generated a significant and fundamental improvement to the nature of airline passenger experience. Nominations for both awards are due June 5.


APEX 2017-18 Board of Directors: Nominations Are Open

Are you interested in being considered for, or nominating a colleague for, a position on the 2017-18 APEX Board of Directors? The nomination process is easy, just complete the online nomination form by June 1, 2017. Board positions are open for both airline and vendor members.


> Quote of the Day


“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.”

Charles Eames


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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