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June 2, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Data Shows Laptop Ban Is Affecting Travel Trends, IATA Proposes Alternative Solutions

IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, pulled no punches when speaking about the electronics ban in a press briefing ahead of next week’s IATA Annual General Meeting. “There are indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the large PED ban is in place,” he said. “If the ban were extended to Europe-to-US flights, we estimate a $1.4-billion hit on productivity. And an IATA-commissioned survey of business travelers indicated that 15 percent would seek to reduce their travel in the face of a ban.” Instead of an outright ban on electronics, IATA is proposing the use of explosive detection dogs, better baggage screening technology, additional staff training and better evaluation of passengers’ risk profiles.

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



ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat 172B Launch Successfully From French Guiana

ViaSat and Eutelsat each successfully launched satellites on Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. ViaSat-2, which is the largest Boeing-built satellite to date, carries more than double the throughput of the 140-Gbps ViaSat-1 satellite, and seven times more coverage. Airbus-built Eutelsat 172B will provide Ku-band capacity with coverage over the Asia-Pacific region. ViaSat-2 was originally scheduled to launch in early April, but the date was pushed back because of protests in French Guiana, which blockaded access to the Guiana Space Centre.

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



Qatar Airways Confirms Inmarsat GX Aviation for In-Flight Wi-Fi

Qatar Airways has become the first of the major Middle East carriers to select Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband. The in-flight connectivity service will initially be available on board more than 130 aircraft consisting of Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s. In a separate announcement, Inmarsat said it has ordered a $130-million satellite from Thales Alenia Space to increase high-throughput capacity over the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

Advance | Related Inmarsat awards contract for GX satellite to Thales Alenia Space – Get Connected



Next Level: IAG’s Barcelona-Based Long-Haul LCC Takes Off

IAG has launched the first flights for Level, its new long-haul, low-cost carrier, which uses Barcelona-El Prat Airport as its hub. The first flight took off yesterday for its twice weekly nonstop service to Los Angeles. Today saw the launch of its three-times-weekly service between Barcelona and San Francisco. Twice-weekly flights from Barcelona to Punta Cana and three-times weekly flights to Buenos Aires are also scheduled to begin within the next two weeks. Level is initially operating with two A330s, but plans to add two or three more aircraft to serve summer destinations in 2018. “Level’s sales are well ahead of our expectations in all markets,” said IAG CEO Willie Walsh.

Business Traveller | Related IAG eyes Paris, Rome as bases for new LCC Level – Air Transport World



Korean Air Launches a Purrfect Frequent Flyer Program for Pets

Korean Air has launched a frequent flyer program that’s just for furry four-legged passengers. The SKYPETS reward scheme allows pets to collect points for every flight and redeem them for future travel. Pets earn one stamp for every domestic flight within South Korea and two for every international trip. Passengers can redeem a free domestic flight for their pet with 12 stamps, or collect 24 for international travel. “Pet bookings and requests are simply added to the passenger’s itinerary after registering the pet on Korean Air’s website,” said the airline in a statement. “Dogs, cats and birds can travel with Korean Air either in the cabin or in the luggage hold, depending on their weight and size.”

Travel Pulse | Related Traveling Animals: How Pets Jet-Set Around the World – APEX Media



Could Satellites Get a Head Start to Space on the Stratolaunch?

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, a supporter of using the low Earth orbit (LEO) as a launchpad, has unveiled Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane that could launch rockets from 35,000 feet. The aircraft, which has a wingspan of 385 feet (longer than that of an Airbus A380), weighs 500,000 pounds and runs on six Boeing 747 jet engines, is expected to take off in 2019. The Stratolaunch would carry rockets in its underbelly and launch them midair, where the rockets would continue carrying the satellites into space. “Expanding access to LEO holds similar revolutionary potential,” Allen said to the Washington Post last year.

Condé Nast Traveler | Related Revealed: Sergey Brin's secret plans to build the world's biggest aircraft – The Guardian



Name That Plane: Qantas Is Crowdsourcing Monikers for Its Dreamliner Fleet

Qantas has opened up the naming of its new Dreamliner fleet to popular vote. After a review of more than 40,000 crowdsourced suggestions, the airline has published a shortlist of 20 options, including Vegemite, Skippy and True Blue. Lighthearted approaches to airline branding, like Norwegian’s Tail Fin Heroes and Vueling’s fun aircraft names, can be successful in garnering media attention and making brands more approachable to their customers. The final eight names will be announced next week.

APEX Media | Related Qantas cabin crew reveal the secrets of a long haul flight in new documentary –





Wave to the pilots! Captured by @planepictures_india (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Welcome and thanks to my new followers! I've got more #AC7169 787 shots from @AirCanada's Brian Losito, right from the camera on the Lear!

Howard Slutsken @HowardSlutsken


Association News

Attend #APEXTECH for ACCESS Working Group Update

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has tasked APEX with working with the disability community to develop recommendations for an accessible IFES interface for the blind. APEX has established the ACCESS Working Group for this purpose. The group has held a series of teleconferences that are ongoing, and will provide an update on its progress and what some of the characteristics of such an interface might include. APEX TECH is where these conversations begin. Click here to register.


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.


> Quote of the Day


"If you travel far enough, you’ll eventually find yourself."

Joseph Campbell


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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