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May 31, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


SmartSky Enters Final Phase of Next-Gen ATG Network

SmartSky Networks announced yesterday that it has initiated the final phase of its next-generation air-to-ground (ATG) network for in-flight connectivity. The service is scheduled to launch later this year on JetSuiteX. “The 5G technology already demonstrated in our network is a clear competitive edge in the market,” said Haynes Griffin, CEO of SmartSky. This news follows Gogo’s announcement from earlier this week that it will launch a 5G ATG network in 2021, which will offer coverage across North America.

APEX Media | Related Nancy Walker on Her First 100 Days as SmartSky Networks’ CCO – APEX Media



United to Open Lounge at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B Eastern Concourse

United Airlines unveiled its new Club lounge inside the Terminal B Eastern Concourse of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Scheduled to open this weekend, the facility is 30% larger than United’s previous LaGuardia lounge and has capacity for more than 200 people. Travelers can take advantage of an expanded food menu, which includes bagels by New York’s Ess-a-Bagel, a Greek salad bar and a selection of rotating hot foods. The lounge also offers complimentary Wi-Fi, wellness rooms and phone booths.

Business Traveller | Related PHOTOS: Air Canada Opens Maple Leaf Lounge in LaGuardia’s New Terminal – APEX Media



Star Alliance Connection Service Now Available at Heathrow

Star Alliance has launched its Connection Service at London’s Heathrow Airport. The program assists passengers with tight connections between two Star Alliance member airlines. Dedicated staff use software to monitor transfer windows for passengers transiting through Heathrow and highlight those who are at risk of missing a flight, “to consider the various options available to ensure the customer reaches their onward flight.”

Breaking Travel News | Related Star Alliance Trials Inflight VR Entertainment in Two Lounges – APEX Media



Year-on-Year Passenger Demand Rises in April Despite Easter and Slower Global Economy

IATA’s global passenger results for April show that revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose by 4.3% compared to the same month last year. Regionally, Africa, Europe and Latin America posted record load factors. “We experienced solid but not exceptional rising demand for air connectivity in April. This partly is owing to the timing of Easter, but also reflects the slowing global economy,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Travel Daily Media | Related IATA-Commissioned Study Explores Impact of Brexit on Aviation Industry and Passenger Experience – APEX Media



Wizz Air Posts Record Passenger Numbers and Profit

Wizz Air carried a record 34.6 million passengers in the 12 months since March 31 last year, a 17% increase compared to the period a year earlier. The Hungary-based low-cost carrier also reported that net profit grew by 6% to a record $325 million. “This was a very solid performance given the absence of Easter traffic, which fell into the end of the last financial year, higher fuel prices and a challenging operating environment across the industry,” said Wizz Air CEO József Váradi.

Reuters | Related How József Váradi Made Wizz Air Into One of Europe’s Biggest LCCs – APEX Media



Uzbekistan Airways Launches Amenity Kit to Celebrate Persian New Year

Uzbekistan Airways launched a limited-edition amenity kit to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian new year, which marks the beginning of spring. Designed and manufactured by AK-Service, the kits feature Uzbekistan-inspired patterns. Each kit contains standard amenity items in addition to a lip conditioner and hand cream from French skincare company Caudalie.  

PAX International | Related Panasonic Avionics Secures IFEC Deals With EgyptAir and Uzbekistan Airways – APEX Media



Russia Opens Domestic Routes to Foreign Carriers

Russia’s government has decided to allow foreign carriers to operate individual charter flights on domestic routes within the country. Prior to the ruling, non-Russian airlines could only fly from foreign destinations to airports in Russia. Last year, Russia’s aviation authority allowed foreign companies to operate domestic charter flights during the FIFA 2018 World Cup after fears that local airlines would not be able to meet demand during peak times of the tournament.

Air Transport World | Related [PHOTOS] CR929 Mock-Up Unveiled at Airshow China – APEX Media





Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350 approaching Hong Kong International Airport. Captured by @_aviationandtravel (via Instagram)

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> Tweet of the Day

To the women and men who remain alert when everyone else is asleep, who comfort and care for our passengers, to those who ensure our safety: THANK YOU! ❤️ #InternationalFlightAttendantDay

Swiss Intl Air Lines @FlySWISS


Association News

Deadline Extended for the APEX/IFSA Awards!

Due to an overwhelming response to our first ever joint awards, the deadline for nominations for the APEX/IFSA Awards has been extended until 12 June! These awards recognize specific achievements and innovations that were successfully implemented in the past year. Is your company or one of your partners a deserving contender? Take the weekend to look over each award category and fill out your nomination before it’s too late!


> Quote of the Day


"Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power."

Clint Eastwood


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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