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July 13, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


American Airlines to End Qatar Airways Codeshare Agreement

Qatar Airways said it still intends to buy a stake in American Airlines despite the US carrier’s decision to end their codeshare agreement. American announced yesterday that it will end codeshares with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways as “an extension of [its] stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments.” Both Gulf carriers deny receiving state subsidies. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker said today that although he was disappointed by the move, it would not affect the airline’s plan to acquire up to 10 percent of the Dallas-based carrier.

Reuters | Related The boss of Qatar Airways ridicules American carriers for their aged flight attendants – The Economist



Air India’s Veggie-Only Menu Proves Divisive

Air India announced plans to switch to an entirely vegetarian menu for economy-class passengers on domestic routes. The airline said the decision is part of an effort to cut costs and reduce food waste. But not everyone is happy with the move. While many members of India’s Hindu majority are vegetarian, several minority groups, including Indian Muslims, eat meat. Opponents voiced disapproval on social media by calling the state-owned carrier’s decision discriminatory, while others defended the move. Some went further by suggesting it was part of a wave of Hindu nationalism in India, reports the New York Times.

The New York Times | Related Air India cleared for privatization by Delhi – BBC News



Delta Celebrates IFE on 500 Aircraft

Delta Air Lines this month installed its 500th aircraft with seatback in-flight entertainment systems. The Atlanta-based carrier is working toward the goal of equipping more than 600 aircraft with seatback screens by the end of 2018, as part of a multibillion-dollar investment in upgrading its passenger experience. “Delta offers customers more aircraft with seatback entertainment than any airline in the world,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s SVP and CMO. “Customers tell us that investing in entertainment – whether it’s adding more seatback screens, offering free entertainment or expanding high-speed Wi-Fi – is important, so we will continue leading the industry in making these enhancements on board.”

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Delta Air Lines ready for fingerprint boarding at Reagan National – WTOP



JetBlue Introduces Buy-Now-Pay-Later Installment Plans

JetBlue Vacations has partnered with UpLift, a startup that allows travelers to pay for trips in monthly installments. The collaboration gives JetBlue customers the option of paying for vacations in 12 monthly installments with annual interest rates starting at 8.99 percent. The airline said additional savings are on offer when customers bundle flights, hotels and other services into a single package. “Customers can now book their trip and travel, immediately locking in a competitive and affordable price and reasonable payment plan,” said Marty St. George, JetBlue’s EVP of Commercial and Planning. “The UpLift Pay Monthly option removes some of the friction, legwork and added costs of planning a vacation experience.”

Tnooz | Related Crowdfunding Platforms Kick-Start New Ways to Back Air Travel – APEX Media



SPIRIANT Celebrates Ten Years in Hong Kong

LSG Group subsidiary SPIRIANT is celebrating 10 years since opening the doors to its first international location outside of Germany. This occasion represents a major milestone in the in-flight products, equipment and logistics supplier's “Going Global” initiative, an expansion plan that continues today. Hong Kong was selected in large part because of its geographic position, serving as a gateway to the largest manufacturing region of the world. A year later, as the company began sourcing larger volumes of product from the region, SPIRIANT installed a product quality team in Shanghai. Today, SPIRIANT has additional offices in Dallas, Dubai, Istanbul and Santiago as well as a long-established home base in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt, Germany.

APEX Media | Related Audi Industrial Design partners Spiriant to create Innovative on-board products for airlines – Autocar Pro



Spain’s Balearic Islands Call for Alcohol Ban on Flights

Authorities in Spain’s Balearic Islands are calling on the country’s central government and the European Union to take measures banning alcohol on flights and in airports to curb “anti-social tourism.” The appeal comes after widely publicized reports of drink-fueled violence and lewd behavior on flights to the Mediterranean islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, which attract millions of visitors each year. “The aim of the measure is to improve passenger security and also that of security forces in planes and airports in our islands, who are often faced with drunk passengers,” said Pilar Carbonell, director general of Tourism for the Balearic Islands’ local government.

The Guardian | Related Stunned Ryanair passengers stare open-mouthed as couple romp on Manchester to Ibiza flight – Mail Online



Vistara Opens Check-In Facility at Delhi Metro Station

Vistara has partnered with Delhi Metro, the rapid transit system serving India’s capital city, to introduce check-in and baggage-drop facilities at New Delhi station on the Airport Express Line. Opening this weekend, the facility will allow passengers to check in and drop checked baggage between two and 12 hours before flight departures. Delhi Metro’s Airport Express Line runs every 10-15 minutes, bringing passengers to Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport. Air India and Jet Airways already have check-in facilities at two Delhi Metro stations.

Financial Express | Related Vistara to get new CEO as Phee Teik returns to Singapore Airlines – The Times of India





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> Tweet of the Day

Congratulations to @IranAir_IRI for your first female CEO Dr. Farzaneh Sharafbafi as we look forward to welcoming you to #APEXEXPO soon!

Joe Leader @joepleader


Association News

Hear From Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates, at APEX EXPO!

Seemingly ever evolving technology, increasingly discerning passengers and a robust regulatory environment have challenged airlines to consistently elevate their passenger experience. Airlines are growing their reputations for extraordinary focus on “the product”. In this interactive session, Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark will share his expertise surrounding product development and offer insights on how the Middle Eastern values of hospitality, generosity and service to guests are at the core of their product offering worldwide. Click here to register.


Call for APEX Awards Judges

Be an APEX Awards judge or nominate a colleague! The APEX Awards recognize specific achievements that were successfully implemented in the past year. Click here to see the requirements for judges and fill out a nomination form. Deadline has been extended to 14 July.


> Quote of the Day


"Rational thoughts never drive people's creativity the way emotions do."

Neil deGrasse Tyson


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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