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April 29, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Etihad Ditches Seatback Screens in Economy Experience Overhaul

Etihad Airways yesterday unveiled a new economy cabin experience that includes bistro-style in-flight meals, a revamped buy-on-board menu and a new slimline seat from Acro’s Series 6 range, which forgoes seatback screens for device holders and high-power USB ports. Passengers will be able to access wireless IFE on their personal devices through Panasonic’s eXW system. Etihad’s economy cabin overhaul will begin with the retrofit of 23 Airbus A320/A321 aircraft and is expected to be completed in August this year.

APEX Media | Related Etihad Furnishes The Residence with Exclusive DUXIANA Products – APEX Media



United Airlines Covers Up Seatback Cameras to Address Privacy Concerns

United Airlines has covered the cameras on its in-flight entertainment displays following privacy concerns from passengers. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a United spokesperson said, “None of these cameras were ever activated and we had no plans to use them in the future, however, we took the additional step to cover the cameras.” The spokesperson said the cameras are a standard feature of the IFE system that are included for future purposes such as video conferencing.

Buzzfeed News | Related APEX Addresses Concerns Regarding Cameras in IFE Systems – APEX Media



Southwest Airlines Expects Some Travelers to Avoid Boeing 737 MAX Upon Return

Southwest Airlines said it is preparing for the return of its grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8s as early as this summer and acknowledged that some travelers will initially avoid the aircraft. "There's certainly going to be some people that, I expect, will probably book away for some period of time,'' Southwest president Tom Nealon said during the airline’s quarterly earnings call last Thursday. According to Nealon, there is no way to know how many travelers will avoid the 737 MAX, or for how long, but he did not think it would be “a massive issue for us.”

USA Today | Related Watch Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting – CNBC



Qatar Airways Launches Revamped Economy Meals With Larger Portions

Qatar Airways is making changes to its economy-class in-flight dining experience, including larger meal portions and more mid-flight snack options. The new Quisine service will be introduced across Qatar Airways’ network starting with flights to and from Brussels, Cardiff, Gothenburg, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Portion sizes will increase by between 25% and 50% and meals will include individually wrapped artisanal bread and bottles of water.

Business Traveller | Related Qatar Airways Unveils New Plans for Economy Class – APEX Media



Norra Chooses Acro Seats for ATR Turboprops

Norra, a Finnish airline which operates regional routes on behalf of Finnair, has selected Acro’s Series 3 ST+ seat for a fleet-wide revamp of its ATR aircraft. Acro developed a customized version of the seat, which includes a literature pocket, coat hook, leather seat covers, bespoke cushions, 31 inches of pitch and 24 degrees of recline. “The space-saving advantages associated with Acro’s unique curved seatback design will provide passengers with superior levels of comfort,” said Alan McInnes, SVP Sales at Acro.

Inflight Online | Related Acro Launches New Series 6LC Seat, Explores Staggered Seating at AIX – APEX Media



British Airways Launches Special Edition Travel-Friendly Marmite Jars

British Airways has partnered with Marmite to create a limited-edition jar of the salty yeast extract spread to celebrate the airline’s centenary. According to data from London City Airport (LCY), Marmite is the most confiscated branded food item during the security screening process. Launching May 1, the special edition Marmite jars will fit within the liquid allowance and travelers will be able to swap their oversized jars for the travel-friendly version at LCY’s security screening area.

Prolific London | Related Marmite Turns Air Travel Pain Point Into Branding Opportunity – APEX Media



Gatwick Flights Diverted After Drone Sighting

Three flights were diverted from London’s Gatwick Airport following unconfirmed reports of drone activity outside the airport perimeter. “Gatwick investigated a report of an unconfirmed sighting of an object outside the airport’s five-kilometer exclusion zone but, following a full assessment, the airport remained fully operational throughout,” said a Gatwick spokesperson. The airport has invested millions of dollars in anti-drone security systems since an incident involving 40–50 drone sightings in late 2018 disrupted operations for approximately 36 hours.

Air Transport World | Related Flights diverted after Gatwick Airport "drone sighting" – BBC News





Flying over Siberia. Captured by @bukinalexander (via Instagram)

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> Tweet of the Day

For 30 years, we’ve #LetGoodTakeFlight with @MakeAWish to help grant life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses all over the world. This #WorldWishDay, we celebrate the kids we’ve had the honor to fly, like Cayleigh. Donate miles today:

American Airlines @AmericanAir


Association News

APEX TECH Is One Week Out – Will You Be There?

APEX TECH provides a crucial forum for technical experts to review and discuss ongoing trends and special projects of the APEX Technology Committee. With an impressive lineup of speakers that includes senior leadership from airlines and leading vendors, this May event is a must-attend for thought leaders in the passenger experience industry. Registration is still open!


Take Advantage of This New Scholarship Opportunity!

APEX is excited to have funded a scholarship through the IFSA Foundation for 2019. These scholarships are available to APEX and IFSA members and their families as well as those pursuing an industry-related professional degree in the airline passenger experience industry. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $10,000. Submit an application by 10 May 2019.


> Quote of the Day


"The worst way of flying, I think, is standby. It never works. That's why they call it standby. You end up standing there going, 'Bye!'"

Jerry Seinfeld


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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