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January 16, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Gategroup Invests in Israeli Venture Fund for Aviation and Travel Startups

Gategroup announced it will invest in Israeli-based Cockpit Innovation, a venture fund that specializes in identifying innovations related to digital travel, aviation and aerospace. "Working with Cockpit Innovation will provide unparalleled access to new consumer insights and trends, as well as to a first-class network of startups worldwide,” said gategroup’s CEO, Xavier Rossinyol. Gategroup will join other major investors in Cockpit Innovation including Boeing and El Al.

Gategroup | Related Condor Brings Gategroup’s Cost-Effective, Restaurant-Style Dining Concept On Board – APEX Media



FAA to Recall Safety Specialists as Shutdown Continues

The US Department of Transportation issued a revised shutdown plan to bring more than 3,100 FAA safety specialists back to work on January 18. “We are recalling inspectors and engineers to perform duties to ensure continuous operational safety of the entire national airspace,” the FAA said in a statement. “We proactively conduct risk assessment, and we have determined that after three weeks it is appropriate to recall inspectors and engineers.”

Bloomberg | Related Passenger Took Loaded Gun by Accident on Delta Flight to Tokyo, TSA Says – The New York Times



ANA Deploys Driverless Buses at Haneda

All Nippon Airways is conducting a trial of driverless buses at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport until January 25. The autonomous vehicles will be deployed in a restricted part of the airport and, if deemed successful, will be fully deployed by 2020. Sensors fitted to the buses work by reading magnetic trackers that are embedded into the ground, but drivers will still be present on board.

Travel Daily Media | Related ANA Will Serve Space Food on Tokyo-Houston Flights – APEX Media



Korean Air Raises No-Show Fees to Stop K-Pop Fans Mobbing Idols in Lounges

Korean Air is introducing penalties starting January 21 for frequent flyers traveling on a Skypass International Award Ticket, or who have redeemed a seat upgrade, if they request a refund within 90 days of their scheduled departure. Under the new rules, customers will incur a penalty of 3,000 miles, or 10,000 miles if the ticket has already expired. The policy is designed to combat passengers using low-penalty and penalty-exempt bookings to enter airport lounges, and in certain cases boarding a flight, before canceling tickets and disembarking. According to the New York Times, the practice has been growing among Korean music fans trying to get closer to K-pop stars.

Business Traveller | Related Korean Air "nut rage" scandal: Flight attendant awarded $18,000 settlement – CNN  



Aircalin Renews IFE Content Agreement With Spafax

Aircalin has renewed its in-flight entertainment content partnership with Spafax. The agreement means Spafax will continue to provide the New Caledonian carrier’s movies, TV and audio content, in addition to producing Distractions à Bord, Aircalin’s print in-flight entertainment guide. “Spafax have been our content allies for the last six years and during this time they have repeatedly proven their value and innovation,” said Didier Tappero, Aircalin’s CEO. “With the upcoming launch of our new A330neo and A320neo fleet, we are confident in their capabilities to deliver service excellence.”

Spafax | Related What Does the Future Look Like for CSPs? – APEX Media



IATA Asks for Clarity on Brexit Flight Caps

IATA has called on the EU and UK to clarify how a cap on flights would work in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In December, the European Commission proposed that in the event of a no-deal scenario, any flights operated by UK airlines to the EU after March 29 would be allowed to continue for 12 months, but they would not be allowed to add new routes or increase frequencies of existing services during the period. IATA's director general, Alexandre de Juniac, said this was an “an important assurance” in the event of a hard Brexit. “But with two months left until Britain leaves the EU, airlines still do not know exactly what kind of Brexit they should be planning for.”

FlightGlobal | Related EU Reveals "Basic Connectivity" No-deal Brexit Air Traffic Plan – AINOnline



Up and About: Emirates Offers Services to Passengers With Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

With the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expected to record a 9.6 percent growth in healthcare spending between 2017 and 2022, the country is already witnessing an influx of tourists seeking medical procedures. This past summer, Etihad Airways launched two new services to facilitate the journey for those traveling with pre-existing medical conditions: an evaluation service, whereby one of Etihad’s 12 staff doctors grants a “fit to fly” status within one day, and an in-flight nursing service that sees customers picked up at their home or hotel and accompanied to their destination by a nurse qualified in aviation and transport medicine.

APEX Media | Related The Routes Less Taken: Middle Eastern Regional Airlines Map Out Strategies for Success – APEX Media





On board PAL Airbus A320. Captured by @khed.tan (via Instagram)

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> Tweet of the Day

#Egg flying high 🎶🎶 you know how I feel.

Royal Jordanian @RoyalJordanian


Association News

Don’t Miss Content Management Day at APEX TECH!

Day 1 of APEX TECH will begin with panel discussions on content management. Meet with content service providers, IFES developers, supply chain experts and post-production leaders to consider new and updated specifications and business models and how they affect airlines, CSPs and suppliers.


> Quote of the Day


"It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end."

Leonardo da Vinci


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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