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July 5, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Inmarsat to Launch HEO Satellites for GX Coverage Over the Arctic

Inmarsat announced a contract to introduce two new highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads for its Global Xpress (GX) network, in partnership with Space Norway. The new GX10A and 10B satellites will launch in 2022 to provide in-flight connectivity coverage for aircraft flying at higher altitudes over the Arctic. Both satellites will be operated by Space Norway’s Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission team.  

Get Connected | Related Airbus to Develop Next-Gen Satellites for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Network – APEX Media



Alitalia Apologizes for Promotional Video Featuring Actor Playing Obama in Blackface

Alitalia has apologized for releasing an advert on social media that featured an actor wearing blackface playing former US President Barack Obama. The Italian-language video was one of four ads promoting the airline’s recently announced nonstop route between Rome and Washington, DC. The video was fiercely criticized on YouTube and Facebook, with comments describing it as “outrageous” and noted that blackface is “universally considered a racist practice.” Alitalia said in a statement that it “deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the promotional video … we will learn from what has happened.”

The New York Times | Related Crisis Mode: How Should Airlines Respond When Things Go Wrong? – APEX Media



Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebrations Blast Off

United Airlines is celebrating the anniversary of mankind’s first trip to the moon with a space-related in-flight entertainment channel, Apollo 11-inspired menu options at select locations in its terminal at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and a special Space City flight from Newark to Houston on July 17. Delta Air Lines is airing National Geographic’s Apollo: Missions to the Moon documentary in flight.

APEX Media | Related United’s MARVELous Spider-Man-Themed Amenity Kits and Safety Video – APEX Media



Molon Labe’s S1 Staggered Seating Gains FAA Approval

The FAA has certified Molon Labe’s S1 Space Seat, in accordance with TSO C-127b, which marks the completion of the development program for the seat. The S1 Space Seat is being marketed as the widest, most spacious economy-class seat on the market. It features a staggered design that provides increased space for each passenger in a row of three seats. The seat is expected to debut with an as-yet unannounced low-cost carrier in early 2020.  

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Molon Labe Rethinks the Middle Seat With Staggered Seating Options – APEX Media



Boeing to Pay $100 Million to Families of Victims of 737 MAX Crashes

Boeing said it will pay $100 million to families and communities affected by the two 737 MAX crashes, which resulted in 346 deaths. The manufacturer said the money would go towards the living expenses of the families of passengers who died in the crashes. The payments will be phased over several years and are independent of lawsuits related to the accidents.

The New York Times | Related Boeing 737 Max: BA-owner IAG signs deal to buy 200 planes – BBC News



AirAsia Launches Thai-Inspired Burger to Tackle AIDS

AirAsia has partnered with Product Red and New York-based celebrity chef Hong Thaimee to support the fight against AIDS. The partnership has seen the introduction of a Thai-American fusion burger, called the INSPI(RED) Burger, to AirAsia’s new in-flight menu. The burger features a chicken patty infused with fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. AirAsia said 10% of sales from the burger will support AIDS treatment and prevention programs.

Travel Daily Media | Related Packing the Heat: AirAsia’s Branded Content With Vice Satisfies Millennial Appetites – APEX Media



DC Airports Deploy iPad-Based Biometric Facial Recognition System

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has deployed a biometric facial recognition system for boarding flights. The technology is called Veriscan and uses iPads to perform the facial recognition scans of travelers who are on flights departing airports in the Washington, DC area. "We wanted to be flexible. We wanted to be adaptable," said MWAA chief information officer Goutam Kundu, who designed the software.

Travel Weekly | Related Blockchain-Based Biometric Pilot Launches for Passport-Free Flights Between Canada and Netherlands – APEX Media





Airbus A320neo winglet. Captured by @wahl_aero (via Instagram)

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> Tweet of the Day

The most popular seat is … drum roll please … 19F! Did you get it right?

Virgin Australia @VirginAustralia


Association News

Only Four Days Left to Secure EXPO Early Bird Rates!

Registration prices increase for EXPO on Tuesday, 9 July. Don’t miss your chance to save $100 on registration. Don’t miss this year’s CEO keynotes, the inaugural Women in Aviation luncheon, the first-ever APEX/IFSA awards ceremony and the most encompassing exhibit hall in the industry. Register today.



Spafax is looking for a passionate individual with a strong interest for entertainment, technology and aviation to join our team. The Account Manager has overall responsibility for all aspects of content delivery to the airline account: leveraging a thorough understanding of the airline's commercial and strategic objectives, fleet plans, and competitive positioning. Click here for the full job description.
> Account Manager - Spafax Atlanta, GA, USA


> Quote of the Day


"What then is freedom? The power to live as one wishes."

Marcus Tullius Cicero


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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