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June 6, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


De Juniac Calls for Openness as Qatar Airways CEO Leaves IATA AGM Early

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker left early from the IATA Annual General Meeting in Cancun, departing by private jet on Monday amid a diplomatic dispute between Arab states. When asked about Saudi Arabia and Bahrain’s decision to ban Qatari aircraft from their airports and airspace, IATA’s director general, Alexandre de Juniac, called for openness. “We would like borders to be reopened, the sooner the better,” he said. “Aviation is globalization at its very best … As aviation's leaders, we must bear witness to the achievements of our connected world.” De Juniac also described the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change as “disappointing,” but said it would not be a setback for CORSIA, the aviation industry’s emissions accord.

Air Transport World | Related [VIDEO] Airlines hold fast to global consensus in fractured world – Reuters



Airbus and Routehappy Launch Merchandising Partnership

Airbus and Routehappy’s online merchandising partnership is now live, following an announcement by both companies at IATA’s Annual General Meeting yesterday. The partnership hopes to raise consumer awareness of the experience on board the Airbus A380 and A350 through Universal Product Attributes (UPAs). Airbus-branded experiential metrics now appear on Travix’s CheapTickets websites in European and Asian markets and on Webjet in Australia when consumers search for flights with participating carriers Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. “We look forward to seeing our customers showcasing the unique Airbus offerings to the flying public,” said Airbus’ head of Market and Product Strategy, Bob Lange.

APEX Media | Related Airbus and Routehappy Take Airline Product Differentiation to New Heights – APEX Media



Travel Demand Resilient to Threat of Terrorism, Say Airlines

The latest series of terrorist attacks in Europe have yet to dent travel demand, signifying tourists could be becoming accustomed to threats. British Airways hasn’t experienced a dip in bookings following the recent incidents in Manchester and London, according to Willie Walsh, IAG’s CEO. Lufthansa also said demand is proving surprisingly resilient. “I’m concerned as a citizen about these attacks because they’re terrible, but from an outlook perspective we are getting more optimistic every week,” said Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s CEO. “It’s definitely moving along a lot better than we expected.”

Bloomberg | Related [VIDEO] Security threats temper airlines industry optimism – Reuters



OneWeb Backs Out of Intelsat Merger

OneWeb has officially backed out of its planned merger with Intelsat after the final June 2 deadline for a debt swap failed to gather enough support. SoftBank, OneWeb’s main backer, had made the deal conditional on Intelsat convincing 85 percent of its bondholders to agree to the terms of its proposed debt exchange. “There were many stakeholders’ interests that needed to be satisfied in this complex transaction,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “We are disappointed that our bondholders were unwilling to accept the terms of the exchange. Even without the merger, Intelsat and OneWeb will still collaborate on making their respective geosynchronous and low Earth orbit constellations interoperable.

Space News | Related Farewell to Buffering? We Tested Out Gogo’s 100 Mbps Next-Gen 2Ku – APEX Media



Human Error to Blame for BA Outage, Says CEO Willie Walsh

British Airways has ordered an independent investigation into the IT meltdown that stranded thousands of travelers during the last weekend of May. IAG CEO Willie Walsh told reporters the outage was caused when an engineer disconnected the power supply at a data center near London’s Heathrow Airport. Walsh said the engineer was “authorized to be in the room, but wasn’t authorized to do what he did,” adding that the power was restored in “an uncontrolled and uncommanded fashion that caused physical damage.” Walsh acknowledged that BA’s communications had been poor after the incident, but said he doesn’t think the reputational damage will be permanent. “We’ve recovered from worse. The BA brand is incredibly resilient.”

The Guardian | Related SITA, British Airways and Heathrow Conducting Blockchain Trial for Operational Data Sync – APEX Media



Pre-APEX TECH Interview: SmartSky Networks President on When to Open the Kimono

Ahead of next week's APEX TECH, SmartSky Networks president Ryan Stone shares why it's important to participate on a connectivity panel with rivals like ViaSat and Inmarsat. “We're proud of the work we've done, and we think our technology approach is very complementary to the satellite operators,” explains Stone. “We still have some cards we'll keep close to the vest, but we think it is important to help airline consumers make informed choices, even if it means better informing our competition.” Stone foresees some consolidation in the in-flight connectivity market, but “what that looks like is anyone's guess,” he says.

APEX Media | Related Qatar Explores NFC to Personalize the Passenger Experience – APEX Media



Finnair Raises Quality Issues With Airbus Over A350 Cabin Finish

Finnair says the delivery and reliability of its Airbus A350s are improving, but quality issues with the cabin finish are still a problem. “The only thing we don't like is the finish of the cabin … There are quality issues still. It seems to take a long time to get them rectified,” Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo told FlightGlobal during the IATA Annual General Meeting in Cancun. However, he also said A350 delivery delays were no longer a problem and that the wide-body jet’s reliability is now in line with its A330 fleet despite initial technical issues.

FlightGlobal | Related Hub Sweet Hub: Helsinki Airport and Finnair – APEX Media





Hovering above Costa Mesa, California. Captured by @flyacijet (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Has US #ParisAgreement decision affected airline commitment to @icao CORSIA? In a word, no. #IATAAGM (More to come...)

FlightChic | ✈️ @designerjet


Association News

#APEXTECH: Online Registration Closes June 9, On-Site Registration Available

APEX TECH delivers information, guidance, analysis and trend reporting on technology issues critical to the aviation industry, including connectivity, cybersecurity, closed captioning and accessibility. This year’s APEX TECH will take place June 13–14 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel and feature speakers from United Delta, JetBlue Technology Ventures and more! Click here to register online until Friday.


Will Your Airline Take Home a Passenger Choice Award This Year?

This year APEX, in partnership with TripIt® from Concur®, has elevated the highly anticipated Passenger Choice Awards by using insights derived from your passengers. With the TripIt app, your passengers are given the opportunity to rate their in-flight experience once they land at their destination. The winners will be announced at the APEX Awards Ceremony on Monday, September 25 in Long Beach. Click here for turn-key collateral elements and customizable ads to encourage your passengers to rate their flight using the TripIt app!


> Quote of the Day


"Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time."

Elon Musk


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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