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February 12, 2018



Today's Top Stories



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


Russian Passenger Jet Crash Kills All 71 on Board

A Russian passenger aircraft carrying 71 people crashed shortly after takeoff from Moscow Domodedovo Airport on Sunday afternoon, killing all on board. Saratov Airlines flight 703 was carrying 65 passengers and six crewmembers on board an Antonov An-148 en route to Orsk in the Ural Mountains. Officials think it’s unlikely that terrorism was a factor in the crash, and are investigating bad weather, human error and technical failure as possible causes. According to Russia's Investigative Committee, “when the plane crashed it was intact, there was no fire, and the explosion happened on impact.”

The New York Times | Related 2017 safest year on record for commercial passenger air travel – Reuters



Five In-Flight Catering Companies Form New Industry Association

Dnata, DO & CO, gategroup, LSG Group and Newrest have launched an international nonprofit organization to represent the common interests of the airline catering industry. The Airline Catering Association (ACA) is based in Brussels and its efforts will be centered on food, health, safety and environmental issues as well as taxation affairs. Commenting on the announcement, IFSA CEO Joe Leader said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the ACA to further advance those goals … It continues to be IFSA’s duty to lead, develop and represent the global business interests of the onboard services market.”

The Moodie Davitt Report | Related IFSA Warns of EU Anti-Passenger Regulations – PR Newswire



WWII Bomb Discovery Cancels All Flights at London City Airport

All flights to and from London City Airport have been canceled after an unexploded bomb from World War II was discovered close to the runway at King George V Dock on Sunday. London’s Metropolitan Police set up a 400-foot exclusion zone surrounding the 1,100 lbs device, forcing the cancellation of 120 flights and affecting up to 16,000 passengers. A statement issued by the police said: “The timing of removal is dependent on the tides, however, at this stage we estimate that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning.”

The Guardian | Related Gatwick sees strong start to 2018 with record January figures – Breaking Travel News



Houston’s Airports Help Visually Impaired Travelers Navigate With Google Glass

The Houston Airport System, which manages Houston’s airports, has partnered with AT&T and a tech startup to make it easier for blind and sight-limited travelers to navigate terminal buildings. The project, called Aira, uses a modified version of Google Glass for visually-impaired travelers at George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports. The technology allows them to be assisted by a remote agent who can see what the person wearing the glasses is looking at and provide a verbal description via smartphone.

Chron | Related How To: Make In-Flight Entertainment Accessible for Visually Impaired Passengers – APEX Media



Virgin Atlantic Changes Name of Palestinian Couscous Dish After Social Media Complaints

Virgin Atlantic has changed the name of one its in-flight meals after social media backlash from pro-Israel supporters. This dish in question was called “Palestinian couscous salad” – a mix of maftoul and other couscous, tomatoes and cucumber seasoned with parsley, mint and lemon vinaigrette. “We were aware that maftoul is not a widely known ingredient – so the dish was listed as a ‘Palestinian couscous salad,’ and later as a ‘Couscous salad,’” said Virgin Atlantic in a statement. “We’d like to reassure all customers that our sole intention was to bring new flavors on board, and never to cause offense through the naming or renaming of the dish.”

The Independent | Related Delta Air Lines apologizes after listing Taiwan, Tibet as countries on website – Reuters



Amadeus Adopts Routehappy by ATPCO Content to Boost Conversions

Following the announcement of its acquisition by ATPCO, Routehappy has revealed that global distribution system Amadeus has become the latest distributor of its airline merchandising data. With the integration of Routehappy by ATPCO’s data, including Universal Product Attributes on platforms like Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, more travel agents will have access to this rich content. Online travel agents will also be able to display content directly to travelers during flight search through Amadeus Web Services.

APEX Media | Related ATPCO Acquires Routehappy to Elevate Airline Retail – APEX Media



Alaska Airlines Bringing Computer Education to Passengers

Alaska Airlines has partnered with to offer educational videos on how computers and the Internet work. Starting in April, the airline will launch an in-flight video series featuring Microsoft founder Bill Gates and other industry leaders. The series will include easy-to-understand short lessons on binary and data, circuits and logic, CPU, memory, input and output, and hardware and software. “’s new series is an entertaining and approachable way for us all to gain a basic awareness of how computers work,” said David Scotland, Alaska Airlines’ manager of In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity.

Techcrunch | Related In-Flight Enlightenment: Airlines Bring Enriching Entertainment On Board – APEX Media





Air China Boeing 777 heading to Beijing. Captured by @shedima (via Instagram).

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Association News

Localizing the Airline Passenger Experience

With the rapid development in the airline industry in Asia, airlines look at passenger experience to strengthen brand image and enhance passenger satisfaction. At APEX Asia, the "Localizing the Airline Passenger Experience" session will explore how the region’s airlines tap into the ever-growing travel market, offer superior products and services targeted towards specific customers and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Register now!


> Quote of the Day


"Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result."

Oscar Wilde


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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