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December 18, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Restores Power After Major Blackout

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport suffered a major energy blackout yesterday, leaving passengers in the dark across its six concourses and airplanes grounded on the tarmac for nearly 11 hours. More than 1,100 flights were canceled, including more than 900 Delta Air Lines flights, in addition to 50 flights that were diverted to alternate nearby airports. The power outage occurred just after 1 p.m. on Sunday due to a fire in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility, which damaged two substations serving the airport, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. The airport’s electricity supply was restored by late Sunday evening.

CNN | Related After 11-hour outage, power restored to world’s busiest airport – Atlanta Journal Constitution



Trump Administration Could Stop Airbus and Boeing Jet Sales to Iran

The Trump administration is preparing a strategy that could prevent Boeing and Airbus from selling nearly 300 aircraft to airlines in Iran. According to the Wall Street Journal, the multi-billion-dollar deals secured by the two aerospace manufacturers over the past 15 months are now in limbo as the White House reassesses its Iran policy. A multilateral nuclear accord signed in 2015 lifted western sanctions on the country. The WSJ says the options to be presented to President Trump include banning sales to Iran outright, imposing stricter conditions that could freeze aircraft deliveries, or slowing down the approval process.

The Wall Street Journal | Related Boeing’s Iran Air Deal May Contribute to Thaw in US-Iran Relations – APEX Media



Airborne Wireless Network Partners With GE Aviation

Airborne Wireless Network (ABWN) has signed a support agreement with GE Aviation. ABWN anticipates the relationship will accelerate the development of its proprietary Hybrid Radio and Free-Optics Communications System. “Tactical inertial navigation and the support of satellite communications solutions are areas of expertise for our team,” said George Kiefer, GE Aviation’s product management executive. “We're excited to support Airborne Wireless in its mission to reduce the cost of aviation connectivity and to help connect underserved markets.”

Business Insider | Related Airborne Wireless Network set for "Internet in the sky" – Get Connected



North America’s Busiest Air Routes Revealed

Mexico City to Cancun is North America’s busiest air route, according to a new study released by Routes. Nearly 3.7 million passengers traveled on the 804-mile flight between the continent’s largest city and the Caribbean resort over a 12-month period spanning November 1, 2016, to October 31 this year. Flights between Los Angeles International and New York’s JFK ranked second, with 2.8 million passengers over the same period.

Breaking Travel News | Related Andres Castañeda: SVP Marketing and E-Commerce, Aeromexico – APEX Media



Oakland Airport Opens Upgraded International Arrivals Terminal

Oakland International Airport has officially opened its international arrivals terminal, following a $45-million renovation. The expanded 130,000-square-foot facility can now handle an estimated 600 passengers per hour. Previously, California’s fourth-busiest airport could only handle a single wide-body aircraft with no more than 300 passengers every hour. “This represents important growth at the airport – international growth,” said Joan Story, president of the Port of Oakland’s Board of Commissioners. “People are now beginning to understand there is an alternative to [San Francisco International Airport] when they travel internationally.”

Business Traveller | Related The “Other” US Tech Hubs & Their Plans to Upend the Travel Experience – APEX Media



Programmed to Care: Can We Trust Robots With Our Feelings?

Machines may, as of yet, be unable to solve issues that rank high on the emotional spectrum, but they can nonetheless help customer service agents care “better”– if given the opportunity. In addition to taking on airport functions that can be automated (like carrying baggage and processing check-ins), artificial intelligence – when seen as a way of extending human capabilities rather than replacing them – can empower humans with a deeper understanding of the passenger experience and the means to improve it.  

APEX Media | Related Hitachi Takes Airport Robot Artificial Intelligence to the Next Level – APEX Media



Southwest Airlines Would Use Corporate Tax Cuts to Fund Fleet Investments

Southwest Airlines would use savings from a proposed cut to the US corporate tax rate to invest in new aircraft, fund share buybacks and keep its fares low, CEO Gary Kelly said last week. Congressional Republicans approved a final version of the legislation, which will cut the corporate tax rate from the current 35% to 21%. A final vote in the US House of Representatives and Senate is expected early this week. “We’re trying to grow and at the same time keep our costs low and manage the risks of growth, and this is very welcomed,” Kelly said.    

Forbes | Related The Winners and Losers in the Tax Bill – The New York Times





Here's the stunning Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) retro livery on an American Airlines Airbus A319. Captured by @aviationjake (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

10 years ago today, the first ever inflight cellular data transmission was made - launching Mobile ONAIR. Check out our celebratory infographic! #avgeek



Association News

Meet With Nearly 60 Distributors at APEX MMM in Paris!

APEX MultiMedia Market is the airline industry’s premier content conference that continually brings together airlines, CSPs and diversified distributors offering a range of new and acclaimed TV, MOVIE, GUI, GAME, APP and AUDIO content options. As an exclusive, community driven marketplace, the event will attract over 200 global industry professionals. Join us in Paris for the industry’s most comprehensive, in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers!



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


"From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow."



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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