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December 7, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


American Airlines to Retrofit Airspace XL Luggage Bins on Airbus A321 Fleet

Airbus announced Wednesday that American Airlines will be the first customer to retrofit an Airbus A321 with Airspace XL Luggage Bins. The new larger overhead storage will provide 40% more space for carry-on baggage and will be installed on 202 aircraft. “Thanks to this Airbus cabin retrofit, passengers on American Airlines’ A321s will be able to board faster and will enjoy an overall improved travel experience,” said Laurent Martinez, head of Services by Airbus.

Airways Magazine | Related Love at First Sight: JetBlue and Airbus Engaged for Launch of A320 Airspace Cabin – APEX Media



Delta and WestJet Deepen Ties With New Transborder JV

Delta Air Lines and WestJet have signed a preliminary memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture (JV) that will see the airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, expand their transborder network and provide customers with reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. The terms of the JV are expected to be finalized in the first half of 2018, with the launch slated for the first half of 2019, pending regulatory clearance from US and Canadian governments.

Air Transport World | Related WestJet Touts the Power of Authenticity in Social Marketing – APEX Media



Alaska Airlines Incentivizes Passengers to Wear “Ugly” Sweaters

To celebrate National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day on December 15, Alaska Airlines is offering early boarding to passengers sporting festive sweaters. The one-day promotion will be honored across the airline’s network including on Virgin America and Horizon Air flights. Passengers are also encouraged to share their photos using the hashtag #UglySweaterDay and #MostWestCoast. Themed boarding music will play all month long to get passengers into the holiday spirit.

PR Newswire | Related Brand Anew: Alaska Airlines Bears the Color of a New Horizon – APEX Media



Qatar Airways Replaces Order of A320neos for A321neos

After canceling individual aircraft deliveries from an order of 50 Airbus A320s, which dates back to 2011, Qatar Airways will instead convert the order to A321neos with the Airbus Cabin Flex layout. This configuration features overwing exits that enable the aircraft to fit more passengers – up to 240 seats. Qatar was expected to be the launch customer of the A320neo, but gradually dropped out over technical issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G power plant.

FlightGlobal | Related Qatar Airways to receive first A320neo-family jet next year – FlightGlobal



DHS Mulls Merging PreCheck and Global Entry Programs

The Department of Homeland Security is considering combining the PreCheck and Global Entry trusted traveler programs. According to Politico, TSA administrator David Pekoske said he and CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan are taking a “good, hard look” at combining the programs, which could help boost membership, reduce costs and help to unify biometrics initiatives. Together, the programs have about 12 million members.

Travel Weekly | Related Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead Homeland Security – The Washington Post



Sydney Airport Flight Updates Now Available Via Facebook Messenger

When a flight number is entered in the chat window on the flySYD Facebook page, a bot responds with information including flight status and gate number. According to Australian Business Traveller, the information is not always up-to-date or accurate. Sydney Airport also offers a similar flight information service via Twitter.

Australian Business Traveller | Related Virtually Speaking: Airline Chatbots Come in All Types and Guises – APEX Media



What Blockchain Can Do for PaxEx

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are rapidly gaining popularity, and blockchain, the technology behind them, promises several exciting applications in the air travel industry. Russian carrier S7 is already using it to sell tickets. Partnering with Alfa-Bank, S7 is processing e-tickets through the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform, vastly improving upon the existing two-week settlement process between the airline and the ticketing agent.      

APEX Media | Related Blockchain Flight Data Experiment Results Revealed by SITA – APEX Media





Saudia Dreamliner at Manchester Airport. Captured by @cedarjet201 (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

#DYK there are more US astronauts than pilots who’ve flown Concorde? Blogger @LucyDodsworth offers a tour of an aviation legend #TBT #AviationHistory

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Association News

APEX Asia Is Returning in 2018!

At APEX Asia, learn how and why Asia-Pacific carriers are leveraging ventures with low-cost counterparts to keep up with increasing demand, while maintaining airline profitability. Mark your calendars for 13-14 March!



Are you interested in joining us at Spafax? We are looking for dynamic, IFEC professionals to join our teams in London, Hollywood and Orange County. We offer the opportunity to work with the world’s leading airlines in a flexible, collaborative environment. We are particularly eager to speak to individuals with strong account management and/or business development backgrounds. As part of the WPP Group of companies, we offer highly competitive benefits. If you are interested, please send a recent resume and letter of interest to Click here to view all job listings.
> Spafax Account Manager Costa Mesa, CA


> Quote of the Day


"The best way to predict the future is to create it."

Peter Drucker


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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