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January 3, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


World’s Busiest Airport Now Smoke-Free

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has closed all of its smoking rooms to “maintain the health, safety and welfare of the traveling public,” the city said in a statement. The only remaining smoking zones are found outside the domestic and international terminals. To help passengers transition, the airport will launch a 30-day accommodation package and give out complimentary nicotine lozenges to travelers with limited access to the exterior smoking zones. Vaping is included in the smoking ban.    

Travel Pulse | Related N.J. may now make it illegal to smoke at airport drop off areas –



SAS Talks About Future Plans for IFC

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) expects to have completed the installation of in-flight connectivity (IFC) across its short-haul fleet by the fourth quarter of 2021. The SAS website said that, as of December 2019, it offers IFC on board 63 aircraft in its short-haul fleet, but that the service does not yet extend to its ATR or CRJ aircraft. According to Via Satellite, the carrier is also negotiating with authorities with the aim of offering a full gate-to-gate Wi-Fi experience, and sees further opportunities to increase ancillary sales of its own travel-related products, like upgrades and seat reservations.

Aviation Today | Related [VIDEO] How SAS is Using New Technologies to Improve Sustainability – APEX Media



Brits Still Feel Pros Outweigh Cons in Aviation

A survey conducted by UK air traffic navigation services provider NATS and research consultancy firm Savanta ComRes has shown that 67% of respondents believe the pros of aviation outweigh the cons, despite increasing environmental concerns. Although this figure marks a decrease of five percentage points on last year, the research found that only 37% of the British public would be willing to pay an environmental levy to fly, and just 34% believe people should be discouraged from flying. “The environment is a priority as we look at redesigning our skies over the next few years,” said Jane Johnston, head of Corporate and Community Affairs, NATS.

Breaking Travel News | Related ‘Flight shame’ didn’t actually make us fly any less – Quartz



Air Canada and Alaska Airlines Top Airline Food Health Rating

Air Canada and Alaska Airlines have tied for first position in a survey of airline food health ratings. The study, which has been conducted annually by nutrition and public health advocate Charles Platkin since 2009, rates the catering services of North American airlines on nutritional criteria such as calorie levels and ingredient transparency. For the first time, the investigation also evaluated environmental initiatives.

APEX Media | Related Pork Substitute Takes Flight Aboard Cathay Pacific – APEX Media



IndiGo Cofounder Calls Extraordinary General Meeting Amid Dispute

Rakesh Gangwal, cofounder of IndiGo, is seeking to delete certain terms of the airline’s articles of association that give Rahul Bhatia, the other cofounder of the company, the right of first refusal should Gangwal choose to sell his shares. Gangwal also wants to remove an article that prevents either cofounder from buying publicly listed shares in parent company InterGlobe and potentially triggering an open offer for the rest of the company. Each partner controls a stake of slightly less than 40% in InterGlobe. Sriram Subramaniam, head of shareholder advisory firm InGovern, said it is unlikely the resolutions will pass.  

Reuters | Related IndiGo’s Fleet Booms To 250 Aircraft – Simple Flying



Qatar Expands Qsuite Offering in US

Qatar has added two more US airports to its list of routes that feature the Qsuite. The airline will offer its luxury business-class experience starting May 1 for flights operating out of Atlanta and August 1 for flights out of Miami. The Qsuite debuted in 2017 and is currently available for flights operating out of 8 US cities, in addition to dozens of destinations outside the US.

eTurboNews | Related Qatar Launches Facebook AR Football Game – APEX Media



Man Fined $17K for Throwing Coins Into Aircraft Engine

A 28-year-old man has been fined $17,200 for throwing “good luck” coins into an aircraft engine. Lu Chao, who was flying for the first time, threw coins into the engine of a Lucky Air aircraft as he boarded a domestic flight at Anqing Tianzhushan Airport in February 2019. After staff noticed coins on the ground near one of the jet’s engines, the aircraft was grounded, and Lucky Air had to organize replacement flights for its passengers. The man was detained by police for 10 days, charged with disturbing public order and made to pay compensation to Lucky Air via a civil case.

BBC | Related Why Do Elderly Chinese Folk Keep Tossing Coins Into Plane Engines? – Culture Trip





Boeing 777-300ER at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Captured by seven4seven_arn (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

"Hello Shanghai!" Lufthansa is now operating the world‘s largest aircraft #A380 between @MUC_Airport and PVG 🇨🇳.

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Association News

Happy New Year From APEX!

APEX wishes you a happy New Year! Be sure to renew your APEX membership for continued access to exclusive benefits like our airline industry directory, APEX member-only events, networking opportunities and more!



APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader and APEX Media will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Check for coverage relevant to the airline passenger experience industry, including Delta CEO Ed Bastian's keynote address and the unveiling of Hyundai's first concept personal air vehicle. If you'll be attending CES and/or your company will be making an announcement, please contact



This role, reporting to the VP - Marketing & Sales Support, will see you developing, maintaining and enhancing the brand image of the company. You will take ownership of developing communications for corporate use and offer input on promotional material and collateral. Click here to view the job board.
> Marketing and Communications Manager - Burrana

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


"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

J. R. R. Tolkien


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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