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February 1, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Airbus and Emirates in Discussions Over A380 Contract

Airbus confirmed it is in talks with Emirates over its A380 contract, but said the discussions “remain confidential.” The Dubai-based carrier is the A380’s biggest customer and handed the program a lifeline in January 2018 by agreeing to order up to 36 more aircraft. According to newswire reports that cited people familiar with the matter, talks are being held to explore the possibility of Emirates switching some of its A380 orders to the smaller A350.

FlightGlobal | Related Airbus A380 Loses Another Customer – Seeking Alpha



Etihad Launches AI Academy in Partnership With Microsoft

Etihad Airways has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to launch the region’s first in-house artificial intelligence (AI) academy. Etihad will give all its employees access to an online training program and instructor-led classes to improve AI literacy. Microsoft specialists will also run a series of AI workshops and hands-on technical lab sessions to identify business challenges that can be solved with the help of AI. “Our people make us who we are. By upskilling them to use technology powered by AI, we are futureproofing our organization,” said Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group.

Arabian Aerospace | Related Jet Lag Antidote: Can AI Help Relieve Passenger and Crew Fatigue? – APEX Media



In-Flight Connectivity Now Live on Air France Airbus A320s

In-flight Wi-Fi is now live on board Air France’s Airbus A320 fleet. In September last year, the French carrier selected Global Eagle to deliver the underlying technology and Orange as the Internet service provider for the connection. Air France is offering two pricing plans:a complimentary messaging plan that allows passengers to use messaging services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and WeChat, and the Surf Pass for basic web browsing. | Related Global Eagle Announces Programmatic Advertising Agreement With Inadvia – APEX Media



Western Sydney Airport Recruits Wheelchair Rugby Players as Accessibility Consultants

Construction at the site of Western Sydney Airport in Australia only broke ground September last year, but officials at the airport are already laying the groundwork for a bid to become one of the world’s most accessible travel hubs. Last week, airport representatives announced a sponsorship agreement with the New South Wales Wheelchair Rugby League, which will see players act as accessibility consultants during the development. “We want to go over and above our legislative requirements when it comes to accessibility,” said Graham Millett, chief executive officer of Western Sydney Airport.

APEX Media | Related The Accessibility Factor: Air Travel From a Wheelchair User’s Perspective – APEX Media



Qatar Airways Adjusts Existing Airbus Narrow-Body Order to Include A321LR

Qatar Airways has decided to alter an existing order for 50 Airbus A321neos, converting 10 of the units to the long-range variant. The airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker said the first deliveries for the A321LRs are scheduled to occur in 2020. “We have reassessed the requirements of our fleet and determined that the A321LR will bring the additional capability and range to our existing portfolio of aircraft types that we require to successfully support our global route expansion,” Al Baker said.

Airways Magazine | Related Qatar Airways Buys Into Fast-Growing Chinese Market, With One Eye On The Future – Forbes



Ethiopian Airlines Doubles Capacity at Addis Ababa Bole With New Terminal

Ethiopian Airlines has opened a new terminal and own-brand hotel at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The $363-million second terminal more than doubles the airport’s capacity to 22 million annual passengers, making it one of Africa’s largest. Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said he would like to see the airport’s capacity eventually grow to 100 million passengers annually. “This grand terminal building is further evidence of the development of Bole airport as one of the largest and most convenient global aviation hubs,” he said.

Business Traveller | Related Ethiopian Airlines Integrates Alipay Into Mobile App – APEX Media



Love Is in the Air: BA’s Valentine’s Day-Themed IFE Channel

British Airways is getting in the mood for Valentine’s Day by adding a new category to its in-flight entertainment system called “Love Is in the Air.” The IFE channel will be available until the end of the month and offers a collection of romantic films, TV shows, audiobooks and music. It includes classics such as Gone With the Wind,recent releases such as Crazy Rich Asians and the award-winning The Shape of Water. Its TV show offering includes First Dates: Valentine’s Special, Sex and the City and Friends.

British Airways | Related Flight Gift Cards May Be the Ticket to Valentine’s Day Romance – APEX Media





Austrian Airlines Airbus A319 🇦🇹 climbing out of Innsbruck. Captured by @speedbirduk (via Instagram)

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Association News

Look for the Official Airline Ratings™ Logo on Your Next Flight

Through the work of APEX Past President Brian Richardson, 1,000 American Airlines aircraft entryways now feature the Official Airline Ratings™ logo. In addition, there will be nearly 1,000 additional logos placed on other aircraft in Q1 of 2019.


> Quote of the Day


"To imagine a new world is to live it daily, each thought, each glance, each step, each gesture, killing and recreating... To spit on the past is not enough. To proclaim the future is not enough. One must act."

Henry Miller


Until next week



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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