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May 22, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Icelandair Chooses ViaSat’s Ka-Band In-Flight Connectivity

Icelandair has selected ViaSat’s Gen-2 in-flight connectivity system for its upcoming fleet of 16 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The Icelandic carrier will make use of the ViaSat-2 Ka-band satellite network for coverage across North America and the North Atlantic. Over European airspace, it will use the KA-SAT Ka-band network, which is part-owned by ViaSat through its joint venture with Eutelsat. Installations of ViaSat’s in-flight connectivity equipment are expected to begin in March 2018 through to 2020. “Our investment in new technology, from ViaSat, will deliver one of the best Internet experiences in the skies,” said Gudmundur Oskarsson, Icelandair’s senior vice-president of Sales and Marketing.

ViaSat | Related Space Odyssey: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at ViaSat-2 – APEX Media



[VIDEO] “Watch This Space,” Says Branson When Asked About Creating a New US Airline

Richard Branson has hinted that he’s considering creating a new US airline, following Alaska Air Group’s $2.6-billion acquisition of Virgin America last year. Speaking to Bloomberg TV, the billionaire entrepreneur said Alaska Air would continue to pay branding royalties for at least another decade, “unless we decide to start another airline. So, we’ll see what happens.” When asked if he would launch a new US carrier, he said, “watch this space.” Virgin America has paid Branson a licensing fee of 0.7 percent of revenue since 2007.

Bloomberg | Related Alaska Airlines eager to win over Virgin America fans with free airport-lounge access – San Francisco Business Times



US Airlines Prepare for Record-Breaking Summer Passenger Numbers

Airlines for America (A4A) is predicting a record high in US air travelers this summer. The airline trade association estimates around 234 million passengers (approximately 2.5 million per day), will fly on US carriers between June 1 and August 31, representing a four-percent increase from last summer. To cope with the increased demand, airlines are offering 123,000 more seats per day than they did in 2016. “Rising US gross domestic product, a steadily improving economy, all-time-high household net worth and low airfares are fueling the expected growth in summer air travel,” said John Heimlich, A4A’s vice-president and chief economist.

The Hill | Related IATA: Global passenger traffic demand up 7% in 1Q – Air Transport World



Chinese Travelers Seek Holidays With Lung-Cleansing Side Effects

Many of China’s cities issued health alerts at the beginning of 2017, warning residents they were suffering pollution levels above the World Health Organization’s safe level. The increasing popularity of lung-cleansing trips has prompted Ctrip International to publish a report titled “Smog Escape Travel Ranking.” The report cites the Seychelles, Maldives and Iceland as destinations with the freshest air and speculates that, in December 2016, over 150,000 Chinese travelers went on holidays intentionally to escape smog. As pollution continues to be an issue in parts of Asia, destinations boasting fresh, clean air are becoming increasingly appealing, presenting an opportunity for travel marketers.

APEX Media | Related Wellness Tourism: Healthy Holidays Can Start at the Airport – APEX Media



SWISS to Complete Fleet-Wide Connectivity Installations by 2018

Swiss International Airlines says it will complete fleet-wide installations of its in-flight Wi-Fi, Swiss Connect, by 2018. The Inmarsat Global Xpress service made its debut on the airline’s latest Boeing 777-300ERs last year, but is not yet available on its short-haul European flights. According to Lufthansa group executive Harry Hohmeister, SWISS will receive fleet-wide connectivity later than its parent and sister airlines. “For some technical reasons, it was better to do the modifications a little bit later than Lufthansa and Austrian, but during 2018 more or less the whole SWISS fleet will then be ready,” he said.

Australian Business Traveller | Related Swiss Airlines to introduce Wi-Fi and trial in-flight phone calls on new aircraft – The Star Online



Passport System Outage Causes Big Delays at Australian and New Zealand Airports

Australia and New Zealand’s global passport system suffered an outage earlier today, resulting in huge delays for passengers arriving from overseas. Immigration New Zealand first reported that the Advanced Passenger Processing system went down at 9:30 a.m. local time, with the system restored three hours later at airports in both countries. International passengers at airports in Sydney and Melbourne had to be checked in manually, causing flights to be delayed by up to an hour. Photos taken in both airports showed travelers waiting with luggage in extensive check-in lines.

Sydney Morning Herald | Related Southwest Airlines' new reservation system passes second test with only minor issues – Dallas News



[PHOTOS] JetBlue’s New Livery Pays Tribute to NYPD

JetBlue has unveiled a new livery on one of its Airbus A320s, which honors the New York Police Department (NYPD). The aircraft paint job is based on the NYPD flag, and features 24 white stars on a blue background, with 23 of these representing the towns that combined to form New York City in 1899. The 24th star symbolizes the city itself. Beneath the tail are five green and white stripes that stand for New York’s five boroughs. In 2013, JetBlue introduced its “Blue Bravest” livery, which pays tribute to the New York City Fire Department.

New York Post | Related JetBlue paints Airbus 320 in colors of NY Fire Dept – USA Today





The moment when waking up at 5:30 a.m. to go spotting is so worth it ❤️✈️ Captured by @worldsaviation (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Solar flight pioneer @BertrandPiccard of @SolarImpulse tells #EBACE17 attendees: aviation inspires the impossible

EBACE @ebace


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


"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind."

Johannes Brahms, 19th century German composer


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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