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May 26, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Feet on the Ground, Head in the Stars: Massive Ground Network Planned for ViaSat-2

ViaSat says it intends to deploy twice as many ground stations for its soon-to-be-launched ViaSat-2 high-throughput satellite as it did for ViaSat-1. The company also says it wants “hundreds of gateways” to ensure each satellite in its upcoming ViaSat-3 series is capable of achieving a one-terabit-per-second throughput benchmark. Speaking with investors on May 23, ViaSat’s chairman and CEO, Mark Dankberg, said modernizing ground infrastructure is the only way to guarantee the company’s goal. “The maximum amount of user bandwidth a broadband satellite can deliver to its users can’t be anymore than the amount it draws from the fiber Internet backbone,” he said. “To get more capacity, you need more gateways.”

Space News | Related Icelandair to equip its 737 MAXs with ViaSat connectivity – Air Transport World



Google Co-Founder’s Secret Plan to Build the World’s Largest Aircraft

Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, is building what is being described as the world’s largest aircraft, according to the Guardian. Multiple anonymous sources say the project involves the construction of a 200-meter-long high-tech airship in a giant hanger on a NASA airfield. One source put the project’s price tag at between $100 million and $150 million. Brin is designing the airship with the aim of delivering supplies and food to remote locations for humanitarian missions. However, it will also be used as a luxurious intercontinental “air yacht” for Brin’s family and friends, according to the British newspaper.

The Guardian | Related Flying High: Seven Post-Hindenburg Airships – Live Science



Bombardier Defends Pricing of Delta C Series Deal

Bombardier has defended its pricing in the sale of 75 C Series aircraft to Delta Air Lines announced April last year, after the order was criticized by Boeing at a US government hearing last week. The American aerospace company alleged that Delta paid $20 million per CS100 aircraft, which each cost $33.2 million to produce, because Bombardier received $2.5 billion in government subsidies. However, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said, “The Boeing numbers are not accurate, whether we’re talking about the sales price or the production cost ... early airplanes are expensive [to produce] and every manufacturer looks at the entire program” when pricing aircraft.

Air Transport World | Related C Series prices threaten 737 Max 7 "viability," says Boeing – Flight Global 



SITA Air Transport IT Summit: News Digest

This week APEX CEO Joe Leader and APEX Media director Maryann Simson attended the SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels. Mixed reality technology was a hot topic at the event, in addition to autonomous airport check-in kiosks and biometrics. Click through to listen to an explanation of blockchain’s value proposition from Kevin O’Sullivan, lead engineer at SITA Lab, and an excerpt from Amazon Web Services head of Innovation David De Santiago’s keynote on digital disruption.

APEX Media | Related Helsinki Airport adds a Star Trek touch with holographic tech – Tnooz



SAS to Launch Redesigned In-Flight Meal Concept Called New Nordic

Scandinavian Airlines is introducing a new food and drinks concept on all domestic and European flights. The concept, called New Nordic by SAS, focuses on using natural ingredients sourced from local suppliers, and will be served as of Monday. It was developed by food and drinks consultants with the input of passengers and cabin crew. “We know that food and drinks are an important part of the travel experience,” said Stephanie Smitt Lindberg, vice-president of Customer Journey and Loyalty at SAS. “[It’s] an entirely new concept where [we] have dedicated tremendous attention to detail to ensure the packaging, quality of the food and experience itself are very much in line with the concept.”

PAX International | Related Changing Tastes: Beers Brewed for High-Altitude Drinking – APEX Media



Hainan Airlines to Place $4.2-Billion Order for 19 Boeing Aircraft

Hainan Airlines is planning to buy 19 aircraft – 13 Boeing 787-9s and six 737 MAX 8s – for a combined $4.2 billion, expanding its fleet to 257 airplanes. The airline’s parent, HNA Group, said it would partly fund the purchase by issuing $2.2 billion worth of bonds. HNA Group has spent at least $40 billion over the past 30 months on acquisitions such as a 25-percent stake in Hilton Worldwide and several airline-related businesses, including Swissport and gategroup.

Air Transport World | Related HNA Group Launches Interactive Campaign in Times Square to End World Hunger – PR Newswire



American Airlines Unveils First Revamped Lounge at JFK

American Airlines has unveiled its first renovated Flagship Lounge at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport – a result of its $200-million investment in the luxury travel experience. The updated facility will be open to business-class passengers on international and transcontinental flights, in addition to first-class customers who previously had exclusive access. The lounge includes quiet rooms, individual work pods, showers, a buffet and an à la carte dining menu. American Airlines is scheduled to open more revamped Flagship Lounges in Chicago, Dallas, LA, Heathrow, Miami and Philadelphia.

Business Traveller | Related American Airlines is cutting more legroom in economy class – CNN





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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.


APEX 2017-18 Board of Directors Nominations Deadline is June 1

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


“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Jimmy Dean


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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