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December 4, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Branson Holds On to Virgin Atlantic Controlling Stake

Sir Richard Branson has decided to scrap a deal that would have seen a 31 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic sold to Air France–KLM. Virgin Group will instead retain a 51 percent controlling stake in the airline, backtracking on an agreement that had been reached in 2017. The new deal is “subject to contract,” Branson said in a letter to staff, adding that an expanded joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Air France–KLM will go ahead nonetheless

Business Traveller | Related Virgin A350-1000 sale influenced by subsidies: WTO – FlightGlobal



[VIDEO] Seatback Prototype Features Digital Notifications and Split Tray Table

After hearing Matthew Coder, manager of Onboard Experience at Alaska Airlines, recite a wish list for a future economy-class seat at RedCabin’s Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit in June, a team of delegates led by Ronn Cort, president and CEO of Sekisui SPI, created the Aurora Borealis Seat Back prototype and unveiled it yesterday at the December edition of the event. The seatback features a split tray table and appBar, a widget created by Aeolab to provide passengers with digital notifications. According to Cort, the project shows what can be achieved when the supply chain is made aware of the airline's specific needs from the beginning of the seat manufacturing process.  

APEX Media | Related Lie-Flat Seats Will Become Mainstream, Airline Industry Veteran Says – APEX Media



Gilat Celebrates 1.2 Gbps LEO Test Results

Israel-based satellite networking company Gilat has confirmed the results of tests performed using Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite. Gilat achieved modem speeds of 1.2 Gbps, demonstrating, what it calls, an “industry milestone recorded for maximizing potential of high throughput NGSO satellites,” according to a press release posted on its website. The release also states that this technology creates new opportunities for 5G and in-flight W-Fi, which both require high throughput. 

Gilat | Related Global Eagle Places $5m Order with Gilat’s Wavestream for In-Flight Connectivity Transceivers – Gilat



[PHOTOS] Air New Zealand Trials Edible Coffee Cups

Air New Zealand is working with family-run company Twiice to trial handmade edible coffee cups made from wheat flour, sugar, egg and vanilla essence. Niki Chave, Air New Zealand’s senior manager, Customer Experience, said, “The cups have been a big hit with the customers who have used them, and we’ve also been using the cups as dessert bowls.” The airline is now exploring how to make it a viable long-term product. Air New Zealand has already replaced plastic cups with a plant-based alternative that can be commercially composted, which will prevent approximately 15 million cups from going to landfill each year.

Airline Ratings | Related Air New Zealand brings Les Mills workouts to flights – NZ Herald



United Orders 50 A321XLRs From Airbus

United Airlines has placed a firm order for 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. The first of the type is scheduled to be delivered in 2024 before entering into service in 2025. “The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s executive vice-president and chief commercial officer. “In addition, … the A321XLR opens potential new destinations to further develop our route network.”

Breaking Travel News | Related [PHOTOS] Behind the Scenes: Delivery of the 100th Airbus A220 – APEX Media



BA Pledges Further Commitment to Accessibility

Yesterday, British Airways CEO Alex Crux marked International Persons With Disabilities Day by signing a pledge that commits the airline to The Valuable 500, a global movement aimed at making accessibility a business priority. BA’s analysts predict that, while half a million passengers currently require additional assistance each year, this figure is set to grow by eight percent per annum. The move follows the introduction of a number of accessibility initiatives introduced by the airline this year, including the launch of a team of accessibility experts available via a dedicated phone number and e-mail address.

British Airways | Related British Airways Joins UK Government’s Travel Inclusivity Campaign – APEX Media



Cathay Pacific Activates Free Wi-Fi in First Class

First-class passengers on Cathay Pacific's Boeing 777-300ER aircraft can now access in-flight Wi-Fi, provided by Gogo, free of charge. The cost to connect can reach $20 for other customers, depending on flight duration. Cathay is also rolling out other updates in the first-class cabin, including new amenity kits and bedding, as well as a revised menu with healthier meal options.

Executive Traveller | Related CATHAY PACIFIC ROLLS OUT WI-FI – Cathay Pacific





🧡💛 Captured by @granatka7ia (via Instagram)

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> Tweet of the Day

. @JPAdesignstudio just showed this video at @RedCabin_Events #RedCabin2019, featuring exclusive new interior design concepts for the #boomsupersonic Overture. #avgeek #aviation #PaxEx @boomaero 🤩🤩 @theAPEXassoc

Maryann Simson @JetwayMJ


Association News

MovieLabs Senior Executive Craig Seidel Confirmed for APEX TECH!

APEX TECH welcomes MovieLabs senior vice-president of distribution technology Craig Seidel as a keynote speaker at APEX TECH, happening 29-30 January, 2020. As a Hollywood on-ramp for advanced technologies, MovieLabs introduces innovations in digital distribution, and new ways of engaging with consumers around motion pictures and television. During the much-anticipated afternoon of content delivery discussions at APEX TECH, join as Mr. Seidel sits with the APEX Technology Chair for discussions on new technologies and innovations that impact in-flight content. Register to attend this can’t-miss fireside chat!



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> Client Account Manager, North America - Global Eagle

The Inflight Entertainment Account Manager has the main responsibility of managing airline accounts and constantly delivering customer service with care and thoughtfulness, representing Touch values. Click here to view the job board.
> Inflight Entertainment Account Manager (Poland) - Touch Inflight Solutions Inc.


> Quote of the Day


"The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with base notes, or dark lake with the treble."

Wassily Kandinsky


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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