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May 23, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Aeromexico Readies Staff for Possible Electronics Ban Spread

According to Rodrigo Llaguno, Aeromexico’s vice-president of Customer Experience, the airline is making provisions for the possible spread of the in-flight electronics ban by preparing check-in and gate employees and reviewing changes to insurance and lost or stolen baggage policies. In terms of contingency plans for the in-flight experience, the carrier is examining premium passenger loaner device programs, not unlike those currently in place on Middle Eastern carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways. One option being looked at is whether Aeromexico could repurpose a collection of tablets currently kept on-hand as service recovery for IFE failures on its aging Boeing 777 fleet, bound for retirement by the end of 2018.

APEX Media | Related How Airlines Can Prepare for an Expanded Electronics Ban - APEX Media



Northern Loyalty: Alaska Airlines and Finnair Announce Frequent-Flyer Partnership

Alaska Airlines and Finnair have announced a partnership to allow members of their frequent-flyer programs to earn miles when traveling with both airlines. As of yesterday, Alaska’s Mileage Plan members can earn miles on Finnair flights, but won’t be able to redeem them until later this year. However, members of Finnair Plus can both earn and redeem points on Alaska Airlines effective immediately. “We are very excited to collaborate with Alaska Airlines on this new frequent-flyer partnership. Our customers traveling to and from the US will greatly benefit from the extensive network both airlines have to offer,” said Juha Järvinen, Finnair’s chief commercial officer.

Business Traveller | Related Alaska Airlines Now Allows Loyalty Program Members To Put Elite Status On Hold After Having Kids – Forbes



SITA Unveils Moveable Robotic Self-Service Check-In Kiosks

SITA Labs has unveiled a robotic self-service check-in kiosk called KATE, which can move autonomously to congested areas of an airport. KATE combines several of SITA’s existing products including its Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API to identify where additional check-in desks are required, and its AirportConnect Open platform, which enables it to print boarding passes and baggage tags. While the robots are fully autonomous, they incorporate obstacle avoidance technology to stop them from bumping into people or things and can also be deployed manually.

Tnooz | Related SITA Baggage Report 2017: Mishandled Luggage Rates Reach Record Low Thanks to Technology – APEX Media



Peach Aviation to Become Japan’s First Airline to Accept Bitcoin Flight Payments

Peach Aviation will become the first Japanese airline to accept payments made in bitcoin for flight tickets. The low-cost carrier will accept the cryptocurrency as a method of payment by the end of the year, following changes to Japanese regulations that seek to legitimize bitcoin as a form of fund settlement. “We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions,” Shinichi Inoue, CEO of Peach, told reporters in Tokyo on Monday. “This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan, and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups.” LOT Polish Airlines and airBaltic have been accepting bitcoin for several years.

Bloomberg | Related Bitcoin going mainstream as Japanese business signs on – Nikkei Asian Review



Vision Systems and PPG Announce Window Shading Applications Partnership

PPG and Vision Systems have announced a partnership to codevelop new applications that make use of the latter’s electronically dimmable window technology for aircraft. PPG, which has supplied electrochromic window shading systems for commercial airplanes and ground vehicles since 2007, says it will work with Lyon-based Vision Systems to pursue opportunities to capitalize on each company’s expertise across all sectors of the aviation industry. “As a pioneer in the electrochromic window segment, PPG recognized the added value offered by Vision Systems to the standard dimmable film technology, especially with the interface that makes its system work,” said Brent Wright, PPG’s global business director of Aerospace Transparencies.

PAX International | Related Partners bring with Wi-Fi AVOD solution to Hamburg – PAX International



Airbus A350 Delays Hamper Ethiopian Airlines’ Business-Class Goals

Ethiopian Airlines won’t receive 10 new Airbus A350s by June as originally scheduled. Ongoing production delays mean six of the wide-body jets on order won’t arrive until next year, denting the state-owned carrier’s hopes of luring business-class passengers away from rivals such as Emirates. “When we received the Dreamliner, our business-class traffic jumped,” said Thomas Gabreyohannes, Ethiopian’s director for Germany and Central Europe. “We hope the A350 will have the same impact.” Assembly of the A350s has been hindered by a shortage of seats and other interior fittings supplied by Zodiac Aerospace.

Bloomberg | Related Delta Is Said to Consider Delaying $3 Billion Airbus Order – Bloomberg



Showing the Way: Gatwick’s Beacon-Based Augmented Reality Navigation

London’s Gatwick Airport has finished installing 2,000 battery-powered beacons across its North and South terminals as part of its ongoing $3.3-billion investment in infrastructure upgrades. The airport partnered with London-based Pointr Labs to develop the beacon navigation system, which communicates with an augmented reality mobile app. The platform helps passengers find their way around Gatwick’s terminal buildings using their smartphones via blue dot navigation technology. “We wanted to enable indoor navigation on mobile apps, similar to road navigation on Google or Apple maps, but GPS doesn’t work well indoors due to a lack of satellite signals,” said Abhi Chacko, head of IT Commercial and Innovation at Gatwick Airport.

Future Travel Experience | Related The Future Beacons: Jibestream’s Helping Mapping Tech Find Its Way Into Airports - APEX Media





Up close with a Boeing 747 at Heathrow Airport. Captured by (via Instagram).

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Association News

Attend APEX TECH for Closed Captioning Update

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to issue new rules for increased accessibility of in-flight media in the near future. Rules applicable to the provision of closed captions, based on the agreements reached by the DOT’s ACCESS Advisory Committee, will be released at any time. APEX TECH will provide a comprehensive review of the agreements reached by the Advisory Committee and what airlines and service providers need to do to prepare to meet the likely new requirements. Click here to register now.


Celebrating Innovation and Excellence With the IFSA Compass Awards

IFSA is proud to present its new awards program, the IFSA Compass Awards. IFSA will celebrate creativity, excellence and innovation with its inaugural awards ceremony at the 2017 Conference and Expo in Long Beach, CA. The Compass Awards will recognize the outstanding contributions of IFSA members to the onboard industry. From exceptional in-flight service, to truly innovative food, its members are the driving force pushing the industry forward. The ceremony, held September 25 during the Welcome Reception, will present a wide range of awards, from Best In-flight Food, to Best Onboard Amenity, to Caterer of the Year, to name a few. Award nominations will be accepted through June 15. Nominations are open to all IFSA member companies. Entrants are welcome to nominate their own company, as well as submit nominations for multiple categories.


> Quote of the Day


"It's wonderful to travel with somebody that you love and we never travel anywhere without one another."

Roger Moore, 1927–2017


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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