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March 20, 2018



Today's Top Stories



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


Ryanair to Buy Up to 75% of Laudamotion

Ryanair has agreed to buy a majority stake in Laudamotion and will provide €50 million in startup costs. The Irish low-cost carrier will initially acquire 24.9% of Niki Lauda’s new Austrian carrier, with a view to increasing its stake to 75%, subject to EU competition approval. "We look forward to working in partnership with Niki Lauda to successfully develop his vision for a successful Austrian low-fares airline,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

FlightGlobal | Related Lauda To Launch Laudamotion with 14 Aircraft – Airways Magazine



Why the Risk of Falling Ill on a Flight Is Lower Than You Think

The risk of catching an infection at 35,000 feet may be slimmer than you think, according to researchers at Emory University in Atlanta. If an airplane on a US coast-to-coast flight takes off with one infected passenger, it is likely to land with 1.7 infected passengers, the researchers found. However, the risk of infection shoots up to 4.6 passengers if a flight attendant is ill. The FlyHealthy Research Team flew 10 researchers back and forth from Atlanta to the West Coast on 10 flights. Their findings concluded that passengers sitting one row in front, behind, or either side of a person with flu, had an 80% chance of catching the bug.

Los Angeles Times | Related NanoSeptic’s Self-Cleaning Travel Mat Could Be a Source of Ancillary Revenue – APEX Media



Thai Airways Bars Obese Passengers and Families With Young Children From Dreamliner Business Class

Thai Airways announced that obese passengers and parents with young children will not be allowed to fly in the business-class cabin on board its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. To meet US FAA regulations, the lie-flat Zodiac Cirrus seats have been installed with new airbag systems and safety belts, which cannot accommodate passengers with a girth wider than 56 inches, said Flight Lieutenant Prathana Pattanasiri, the airline’s vice-president of Aviation Safety, Security and Standards. It also means the seats cannot accommodate passengers with children on their laps.

Traveller | Related Hawaiian Airlines’ new policy for obese passengers –



Lufthansa Deploys Biometric Boarding at LAX

Lufthansa has starting using biometric self-boarding gates at Los Angeles International Airport. The self-service gates use facial recognition technology to automate the process of passenger identification and boarding verification. According to Lufthansa, the system – which was developed in collaboration with Amadeus, US Customs and Border Protection, LAX and Vision-Box – could board around 350 passengers onto an Airbus A380 in 20 minutes during its trial at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Air Transport World | Related Power Up: Lufthansa Brings Leading Women on Board Special SXSW FlyingLab – APEX Media



China to Ban People With Low “Social Credit” From Taking Flights

China announced it will begin applying its social credit system to air travel, banning people who have committed misdemeanors from flying for up to a year. China’s National Development and Reform Commission said the lists of restricted travelers would include those who have committed acts such as spreading false information about terrorism, causing trouble on flights, failing to pay fines, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains. The commission said the rules will come into effect on May 1.

The Independent | Related Would you choose a partner based on their "citizen score"? – BBC News



Connecting China’s Consumers: Will In-Flight Smartphone Usage Spur Onboard Retail?

In China, 74% of all online payments in 2016 were made on mobile devices and, with upstream demand from Chinese smartphone users expected to increase, mobile usage in flight will need to be offset with more onboard revenue opportunities. Rather than using customer access fees to cover the total cost of connectivity, airlines could look to sponsorships and shopping to bring in additional revenue. “Particularly in China, we’ll see more capacity on wireless servers reserved for retail applications alongside traditional streaming video on demand,” said Joshua Marks, Global Eagle’s executive vice-president of Connectivity.

APEX Media | Related Takeaways From APEX Asia: Day Two – APEX Media



West Coast Vibes: Alaska Airlines Unveils First-Class Menu

Alaska Airlines has unveiled a new first-class menu inspired by the West Coast food scene. Made using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, the new options include strawberry-lime smoothie shots, an avocado-bacon omelet as well as a flank steak salad with green papaya, mint and lime wedges. “We’re always looking to create warm, welcoming experiences for our guests,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer of Alaska Airlines. “By drawing inspiration from both Alaska and Virgin America, we’re building a premium experience that offers a signature West Coast vibe.”

Airways Magazine | Related Airlines in America are in a race to improve their meals – The Economist





Korean Air Boeing 777 taking off from London's Heathrow Airport. Captured by @akbarali.mastan (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

“The aviation industry is part of the climate problem, and so should be part of the climate solution.”; Jonas Abrahamsson, @Swedavia #Sustainability #PTEStockholm

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Association News

American Airlines CEO Joins Impressive List of EXPO Speakers

Joining Air Canada, Aer Lingus and Aeromexico CEOs on the APEX EXPO stage is American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. Hear from these four industry experts and many more at the industry’s largest PaxEx event exclusive to experts and decision-makers committed to elevating the level of the worldwide airline passenger experience. Registration information coming soon!



The Senior Analyst, Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity will help the IFEC Team deliver memorable guests experiences through the analysis of key drivers of guest satisfaction and financial performance. The ideal candidate will be a data-hungry guest evangelist that has strong analytical experience with an acumen for succinctly communicating complex business scenarios. Click here for the full job description.
> Senior Analyst, Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity – Alaska Airlines


> Quote of the Day


"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."



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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