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August 28, 2018



Today's Top Stories



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


China Southern Receives First Boeing 787-9 in a Three-Class Layout

China Southern Airlines received its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in a three-class layout. The aircraft is the airline’s sixth 787-9, but the first to feature a premium economy cabin, which includes 28 seats in a 2-3-2 layout, with 39 inches of pitch, 7 inches of recline and 13-inch seatback LCD displays. The business-class cabin will also feature 28 seats, while the economy-class section will accommodate 220 passengers. China Southern will receive seven more 787-9s in the same configuration.

Air Transport World | Related Air China’s First A350 Aircraft Takes Off With Recaro Economy-Class Seats – APEX Media



Virgin Group Will Launch a New Loyalty Program Next Year

Virgin Group will launch a group-wide loyalty program next year that will include 60 businesses. The combined scheme will use Virgin Atlantic as its primary vehicle, allowing loyalty members to earn points from other Virgin Group businesses. Miles earned on Virgin Trains or in a Virgin Megastore could be redeemable for flights, according to Skift. The program will be operated under a new entity called Virgin Group Loyalty Company, of which Delta Air Lines will be a partial owner.

Skift | Related Virgin Atlantic and Delta to Open Pop-Up Pub Called The Joint Venture – APEX Media



WestJet Launches a Chatbot

WestJet has become the first Canadian airline to launch a chatbot. Named Juliet, the service is available on Facebook Messenger in English and French. The AI-powered chatbot can provide customers with travel inspiration, help with booking flights and offer day-of-travel information. “Juliet is the first of many ways WestJet will be raising the bar using digital to improve the guest experience, and make the travel journey easier and more enjoyable,” said Alfredo Tan, WestJet’s chief digital and innovation officer.

Breaking Travel News | Related WestJet Touts the Power of Authenticity in Social Marketing – APEX Media



Fareportal Integrates Routehappy by ATPCO Data Into Seat Selection Map

Fareportal has integrated Routehappy by ATPCO Universal Product Attributes (UPAs) into the seat selection maps on CheapOair and OneTravel, its consumer-facing travel brands. While Amadeus and Expedia use Routehappy UPAs, Fareportal is the first consumer booking channel to provide media-rich search results down to the exact seat.  

APEX Media | Related Lufthansa Group Partners With Routehappy to Display Rich Media During Booking – APEX Media



JetBlue Increases Checked Baggage Fee

JetBlue is now charging $30 for items of checked baggage. The airline is the first non-ultra-low-cost-carrier to increase the fee from the industry standard rate of $25. JetBlue also increased its fee for a second checked bag from $35 to $40. “As a matter of good business, we constantly review and adjust our ancillary pricing to ensure a healthy business so we can continue offering the best customer experience of any US airline,” said Doug McGraw, JetBlue’s vice-president of Corporate Communications.

Travel Weekly | Related Air Canada, WestJet are latest to raise bag fees – USA Today



AirAsia Wants to Offer Transpacific Flights via Japan

AirAsia wants to offer flights to the US starting in 2020, using Japan as a transit hub. AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the airline is considering Los Angeles or San Francisco as potential destinations and would use Airbus A330-900neos currently on order to operate the transpacific flights. “Japan serves as a fantastic hub for us, as it only takes 12 hours to LA or San Francisco, as well as 10 hours to Europe,” Fernandes said.

Air Transport World | Related Asia's budget airlines rush to open routes beyond Tokyo and Osaka – Nikkei Asian Review



Byte Sized: Cadami’s Coded Caching Streamlines Multi-Passenger Entertainment Viewing

Coded caching can reduce an airline’s bandwidth usage by between 50 and 80 percent, according to Thomas Kuehn, co-founder of Munich-based company Cadami, which commercialized the technology in the in-flight entertainment space. Three undisclosed IFE hardware suppliers have already signed up for Cadami’s software, and the company’s first prototype for the IFC market could become available as early as the end of this year.

APEX Media | Related Cadami speeds up IFE with intelligent caching – Get Connected





Cathay Pacific's new Airbus A350-1000. Captured by @ihikhi (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Check out this 50th anniversary infographic tribute to the venerable B-747, page 84 in the new edition of APEX Experience Magazine. … Special thanks @HowardSlutsken ✈️✈️✈️ @theAPEXassoc #PaxEx #b747 #avgeek #Boeing

Maryann Simson @JetwayMJ


Association News

All Systems Go! The September/October Issue of APEX Experience Takes Off

 Get ready for APEX EXPO with the September/October issue of APEX Experience magazine, which ventures into different corners of the industry to uncover developments that are underway. Read about aircraft interior add-ons that play to the five senses, an age-old libation that’s causing a buzz in flight, the evolving role of the content service provider and, as we prepare for September’s big event, Boston’s booming tech scene and connection to aviation history. This issue also includes the third edition of Higher Hospitality, which features amenity kit trends, food-labeling regulations and more.


Airline CEOs Take Center Stage at APEX EXPO in Boston 24-27 September

Hear keynote addresses from the CEOs of American Airlines, Aer Lingus, Aeroméxico, LATAM, Air Canada and Spirit Airlines at APEX EXPO on Monday 24 September. You will not want to miss the industry insights and company news shared by each CEO.


> Quote of the Day


"To see things in the seed, that is genius."

Lao Tzu


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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