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November 15, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Inmarsat Confirms GX5 Launch Date

Inmarsat has received formal confirmation from launch partner Arianespace that its GX5 satellite will be launched from the Guiana Space Center on November 22. The expected mission time of the Ariane 5 rocket is 34 minutes and 14 seconds, with separation of the GX5 satellite set to occur approximately 34 minutes and 7 seconds after launch. Covering Europe and the Middle East, GX5 will provide more capacity than the four Global Xpress (GX) satellites already in service combined. 

Inmarsat | Related 40 Success Stories: When Inmarsat Launched GX Aviation In-Flight Connectivity – APEX Media



South African Airways’ Strike Grounds Most Flights

State-owned South African Airways (SAA) has been forced to cancel all flights as more than half of its workforce is now on strike to demand increased wages and job security. SAA’s domestic and regional services are cancelled from Saturday to Monday, but it plans to accommodate passengers on its sister airlines, Mango and Airlink. The majority of international flights departing from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport are expected to run from Sunday, and inbound international flights will resume on Monday. SAA said the strike will cost approximately $3.36 million per day and threatens its survival. 

Reuters | Related South African Airways takes delivery of first A350 – Business Traveller



Cathay Pacific Undertakes Soft Product Refresh in First and Business

As part of a soft product refresh, Cathay Pacific passengers traveling in first class will now be welcomed with a tray featuring a personalized note, a hot towel and a glass of JING jasmine tea on arrival at their seats. The airline’s first-class menu has been updated to focus on wellness, and includes lighter meal options, which will be served on new tableware from brands such as Noritake, Robert Welch and Riedel. JING teas and cold-pressed Bless juices will be offered before and after breakfast to help passengers stay refreshed. Cathay Pacific is also switching to bedding and amenities from UK brand Bamford in both first- and business-class.

Executive Traveller | Related Cathay Pacific Shares Strategy for Keeping Customers Informed Through Disruptions – APEX Media



United Partners With Timeshifter to Minimize Jetlag

United Airlines has partnered with Timeshifter, an app developed by researchers in sleep and circadian neuroscience that offers recommendations on the best time to see and avoid light, ingest caffeine and sleep in order to quickly adjust to a new time zone. Members of United’s MileagePlus program will receive access to a free Timeshifter jet lag plan for a journey of their choice, in addition to two free flight plans as part of the app’s free trial, while the airline’s Premier 1K members (the highest status) will receive a complimentary annual Timeshifter subscription with unlimited plans, worth $24.99.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related A Jetlag Remedy, Now in VR – APEX Media



Etihad Engineering Opens 3D-Printing Lab

Etihad Engineering has collaborated with 3D-printing technology providers to open an additive manufacturing facility with design and production approval from EASA. Adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, it features a system from EOS that enables the manufacture of cabin parts using powder-bed fusion technology. A second machine from BigRep is designed for manufacturing large parts as well as moulds. Markus Glasser, senior vice-president, Export Region, EOS, said the technology will offer “optimized repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customization, addressing some of the key challenges of the aerospace industry.”

Arabian Aerospace | Related Etihad Guest removes miles expiration and adds chauffeur drive for premium reward seats – Business Traveller



SAS to Operate First A321LR on Transatlantic Route

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has revealed plans to use its first Airbus A321LR on a transatlantic service between Copenhagen and Boston in September 2020. The aircraft will be configured with 22 lie-flat business-class seats, 12 premium economy-class seats and 123 economy-class seats. SAS said its A321LR will offer a service that is consistent with the rest of its long-haul fleet, with each seat featuring in-flight entertainment screens, power ports and access to high-speed Wi-Fi. 

Flightglobal | Related Scandinavian Airlines Goes Local With Farm-to-Tray-Table Menus ­­– Skift



[PHOTOS] From Alligators to Pigs, Airport Therapy Animals Make Travelers Smile

Dogs have been easing travel anxiety at airports since Mineta San Jose International Airport introduced them after 9/11. An estimated 30 airports across the US now have therapy dogs on duty – there is even a dedicated airport therapy dog Twitter account. This fluff piece explores some of the other species that have migrated to airports to give travelers a warm and fuzzy feeling.

APEX Media | Related Dog Days: How Canines are Improving the Passenger Experience – APEX Media





Thai Airways A350. HS-THJ. Captured by @silishchev (via Instagram)

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!


> Tweet of the Day

#BulaA350! Congratulations to @fijiairways 🇫🇯 on being the first airline based in the South Pacific region to operate the #A350! Are you attending the #DubaiAirshow 2019? Good news - you'll get a chance to see this beauty up close on Nov 17th and 18th! #DAS19



Association News

Early Bird Registration Available for APEX TECH

APEX TECH is the premier two-day technology conference that sits at the heart of the passenger experience community. Spearheading the industry with conversations about elevating the passenger experience through technology, APEX TECH provides attendees the opportunity to connect with other leaders and forward-thinkers. Save $100 on early bird registration and secure your seat today.



Cathay Pacific is looking for a Connectivity Design Analyst to champion the adoption and growth of in-flight connectivity and who will be critical in managing capacity and demand with suppliers whilst reconciling actual connectivity usage. Tasks will include forecasting connectivity trends and developing data-driven insights about connectivity characteristics. Click here to view the job board
> Connectivity Design Analyst - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

The Client Account Manager serves as the primary business contact for the United Airlines account. This high profile role is the main point of contact for all initiatives relating to United, and works with their account team and intra-company to ensure that delivery of products is satisfactory and well executed within timelines and budget. Click here to view the job board.
> Client Account Manager - Global Eagle


> Quote of the Day


"You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare."

Georgia O'Keefe


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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