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June 22, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Qatar Airways Wants to Acquire a 10-Percent Stake in American Airlines

American Airlines said it received an unsolicited notice from Qatar Airways indicating the state-owned Gulf carrier plans to acquire as much as 10 percent of the company. Qatar Airways submitted a filing saying it intended to acquire at least $808 million worth of AA shares on the open market. The Doha-based airline is already the biggest shareholder in British Airways parent IAG, and holds a sizeable investment in LATAM. “The proposed investment … would in no way change the company's board composition, governance, management or strategic direction,” American said in a statement. “It also does not alter American Airlines' conviction on the need to enforce the Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the nation of Qatar.”

CNBC | Related Qatar Airways chief lashes out at global air safety regulator – Financial Times



Inmarsat Partners With Airbus for EAN Connectivity Retrofits

Inmarsat has partnered with Airbus for its new European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity service. The agreement will see Airbus offer a retrofit EAN solution for airlines to deploy across A320 family aircraft. “Our partnership with Airbus will offer clear advantages to airlines operating the popular A320 family aircraft,” said Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat. “They will gain access to the new gold standard in passenger in-flight broadband with a retrofit solution that comes from the aircraft manufacturer itself.”

CBR Online | Related IAG to be launch customer of Inmarsat EAN in-flight connectivity – Get Connected



Flying Disabled’s Chris Wood Seeks to Facilitate PaxEx for Wheelchair Users

A first-of-its-kind symposium will take place at Virgin Atlantic’s UK headquarters near Gatwick Airport in September. Hosted by Flying Disabled founder Chris Wood, the event will encourage airlines, manufacturers, regulators, the accessibility community and governmental departments to help facilitate the in-flight experience for wheelchair users. Wood is advocating for disabled travelers to be allowed to bring their own wheelchair on board and fly seated in it. “One of the biggest fears of disabled travelers is arriving at the destination with their [checked] wheelchair broken, lost or destroyed,” he said.

APEX Media | Related CATF Mulls Recommendations for Making All Cabin Announcements Accessible – APEX Media



Boeing Secures Most Orders at Paris Air Show

Boeing appears to have won the race for new business acquired at the Paris Air Show, winning 571 aircraft orders, compared to the 326 orders secured by Airbus. Boeing’s tally includes 147 orders and commitments and 214 conversions for the new 737 MAX 10. Responding to whether Airbus had lost momentum after several years of winning more orders than Boeing, the European manufacturer’s sales chief, John Leahy, said the slowdown in orders had been expected. “Is this a slower show than previous years? Yes, it is. Are we conceding that Boeing sold a few more airplanes than we did? Yes,” he said. “We had expected they would have had a bigger launch on the 737 MAX 10, not quite as many conversions, more incremental orders.”

The New York Times | Related Iran’s Zagros Airlines commits to 28 Airbus neos – Air Transport World



Air France Invests in SkyLights

Air France announced that it will invest in immersive in-flight entertainment company SkyLights through its newly launched T3 Fundraiser accelerator program for passenger service startups. The fundraising platform aims to connect promising startups with international investors and mentors, and presents the possibility of a commercial contract with Air France. Speaking last week at VivaTech in Paris, Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac revealed that Skylights would become the first to enter a business partnership with the airline via the T3 Fundraiser program.

SkyLights | Related Inflight Dublin partners with American-French company SkyLights to deliver new generation IFE experience! – Inflight Dublin



AirAsia to Launch FinTech Program for In-Flight Retail

AirAsia is planning to launch its own financial technology (fintech) program, creating a new in-flight purchasing platform within three months. The move comes after the airline acquired 83.3 percent of Singapore-based Big Pay in early January, as part of its effort to integrate digital cashless payment solutions. “The fintech would ease the purchasing process in the future, especially when AirAsia aims to achieve a record of 100 million customers flying with us by 2021,” said AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes.

The Edge Markets | Related AirAsia buys additional 10 percent in Rokki – The Star Online



Etihad to Stop Free Chauffeur Service at International Destinations

Etihad is introducing several changes to its onboard and on-the-ground services, based on customer feedback. Starting July 3, business- and first-class passengers will no longer have access to a free chauffeur service at international destinations, but the service will remain at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Instead, the Gulf carrier will introduce a new paid-for transfer service, available for passengers across all classes of travel “at specially negotiated rates.” Other changes include the ability for economy passengers to pay for access to Etihad lounges and to bid for up to three empty seats next to theirs, subject to availability and cabin configuration.

Business Traveller | Related Etihad Airways braced for holiday season rush at Abu Dhabi International Airport – The National





Flying, airport life, airplanes, travel, and airlines are a form of meditation for me. If I was ever offered a gig to just fly and take pictures, I'd do it in a ❤️beat. Captured by @salvadorochoa (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Happy anniversary @SkyTeam ! Our 20 airline alliance has been flying you around the world for the past 17 years.

Air France @airfrance


Association News

Apply for the 2017 APEX Awards!

The APEX Awards recognize specific achievements that were successfully implemented in the past year (defined this year as July 2016 - June 2017). The achievements should not be just a general improvement or a modification upon an already existing program - they must be innovative and brand new. Award applications are due 7 July 2017. Click here to apply.


> Quote of the Day


“Human history is a list of things that couldn’t be done and then were done.”

Boyan Slat


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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