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February 7, 2018



Today's Top Stories



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


Norwegian Expands Its Relationship With Gategroup

Norwegian has signed a new long-term agreement with gategroup. Effective immediately, gategroup’s retail solutions provider, gateretail, is now the operator of onboard retail on all Norwegian flights. Meanwhile, Gate Gourmet is now Norwegian’s preferred in-flight catering vendor across its long-haul network. Bjørn Erik Barman-Jenssen, Norwegian’s head of In-Flight Services, said the agreement “allows us to pillar our existing route network in Europe, Asia and the US, and to support our growth and expansion plans into new markets such as Latin America and the Far East.”

Gategroup | Related HNA to float Swissport ground services and cargo handling business this year – Reuters



Boeing and Airbus Hint at Higher Production to Meet Demand

Boeing and Airbus both signaled they may increase production of their most popular passenger aircraft, highlighting their confidence in the growth in demand for air travel. Despite a decrease in new orders following a seven-year boom, executives at the Singapore Airshow hinted that both manufacturers have large enough order books to ramp up production of narrow-body jets. “The success of the product is forcing us to look at any opportunities we have to improve the [production] rate,” said Eric Schulz, Airbus’ chief of Sales, Marketing & Contracts.

Reuters | Related Airbus beats Boeing in 2017 order race after it logs huge December numbers – CNBC



ST Engineering and SatixFy to Form IFC JV

ST Engineering’s electronics arm, ST Electronics, announced it will form an in-flight connectivity joint venture with SatixFy UK. ST Electronics plans to invest $20 million for a 49% stake in the JV, with the remaining 51% to be held by SatixFy UK. The new company will aim to develop a “state-of-the-art satellite antenna system” for in-flight connectivity in the commercial aviation sector. “Together with SatixFy, we will deliver an affordable and high-performance technology solution that generates significant cost savings for airline operators,” said Ravinder Singh, president of ST Electronics.

Get Connected | Related ST Electronics to test satellite-based communications for planes – Singapore Business Review



Straight Flush: SIA Selects Zodiac Toilets for Boeing 777s

Singapore Airlines has selected Zodiac Aerospace’s Revolution Toilet as a retrofit item on its Boeing 777 fleet. The replacement lavatories will be installed on the fleet over a period of 10 years. Bruno Delile, CEO of Zodiac Aerospace Services, said the company was “very proud” that Singapore Airlines selected the Revolution Toilet for its 777s. “This product has a very innovative modular design that leads to improved reliability and maintainability, reduced weight and lower maintenance costs,” he said.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related AIX: Zodiac vows a lavatory Revolution – FlightGlobal



Sabre Experiments With AI-Powered Chatbot

Sabre has launched a pilot of an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot called Ella in partnership with Travel Services International (TSI). The bot will be used to handle basic routine service requests, freeing live agents to deal with more complex issues. During the pilot period, TSI and Sabre will look at how and when corporate travelers interact with Ella, including “the kinds of emerging conversational interfaces that she represents,” said Claire LeBuhn, TSI’s vice-president of Support Services.

Tnooz | Related Sabre and Routehappy Team Up to Provide Rich Airline Content to Travel Agents – APEX Media



Chinese New Year: Airlines and Airports Unleash Celebrations for the Year of the Dog

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, air travel will likely top 65 million trips from February 1 to March 12, during the 40-day high-traffic Chunyun period – a 10 percent increase compared to last year. To mark the Lunar New Year, which will take place on February 16, airlines and airports around the world are participating in the celebrations with festive in-flight dishes, lion dance performances and more.

APEX Media | Related Competition Heats Up Among Airlines as Year of the Fire Rooster Takes Off – APEX Media



IATA’s de Juniac Warns Against Spiraling Infrastructure Costs

Soaring airport infrastructure costs could lead to a rise in airline ticket prices, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO. “The cost of infrastructure is skyrocketing,” he said. “When we look at the numbers of Heathrow for the third runway, we are very, very, very worried. Even the numbers for Terminal 5 in Singapore are very high.” However, at the opening of the Singapore Airshow, de Juniac acknowledged the need for infrastructure investments to keep pace with rising passenger numbers, saying the aircraft deals made at the show will “mean nothing” without the ability to manage traffic in the air and at airports.

Business Traveller | Related British Airways owner calls for breaking up Heathrow monopoly – The Guardian





Crosswinds at YVR. Captured by @onemoreweektogo (via Instagram).

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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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