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January 22, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


[PHOTOS] Starlux Unveils Cabin Ahead of Inaugural Flight

Taipei-based Starlux Airlines has revealed its Airbus A321neo cabin interior, conceived by Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW. Images of the seats were revealed last year, but this is a first look inside the aircraft, which will operate its first commercial flight tomorrow. Business class features lie-flat seats, 15.6-inch screens and complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi. Economy class features leather headrests, 10.1-inch screens and complimentary texting via Wi-Fi. Tickets for Starlux’s first flight sold out within minutes.

China Post | Related Designworks designed cabin interior and seating for new Taiwanese airline STARLUX – BMW Designworks



Airbus Autonomous Flight Project Takes Off

An Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft took off eight times with no pilot input last Thursday in Toulouse. Once the throttle lever was engaged to the takeoff setting, the pilots sat back as the aircraft automatically maintained the runway center line and pitched upward. Automatic takeoff is an important milestone in Airbus’ Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing (ATTOL) project, which intends to explore ways in which autonomous technologies can improve flight operations and overall aircraft performance.

Airbus | Related Are we one step closer to pilotless commercial jets? — CNN



JAL to Optimize A350 Revenue With Quick Configuration Change

Japan Airlines is to exercise an Airbus option to reconfigure the cabin on board its Airbus A350 aircraft to better suit demand during leisure travel seasons. The option will see JAL swap out 38 business seats for 60 economy seats in four days. An Airbus spokesperson said the package has been available since the start of the A350 program, and has already been selected by “several” undisclosed airlines.

APEX Media | Related JAL and Switchfly Launch One-Stop Travel Shop Ahead of Tokyo Olympics — APEX Media



Boeing Says 737 MAX Could Return in Mid-2020

Yesterday, Boeing stated that the 737 MAX is expected to return to service in mid-2020. The estimate was informed by the company’s previous experience with the recertification process. Conducting a successful certification test flight with the FAA, which could happen by the end of next month, would constitute an important milestone for the MAX’s return to service. This development comes after Boeing announced plans to halt production of the aircraft in December, and confirmed last week it had found a new software issue that could further delay the aircraft’s return to service.

Business Traveller | Related Will airlines rebrand the 737 MAX if Boeing does not? — The Points Guy



NetForecast's QMap Measures In-Flight Wi-Fi Quality

The performance of an in-flight Wi-Fi connection is about far more than just bandwidth delivered to a device. In an effort to help airlines evaluate the quality of their onboard connectivity experience, NetForecast has developed QMap, a solution that identifies congestion points for data flows by measuring latency, loss, jitter and DNS response, in addition to effective bandwidth. Hear more from NetForecast at APEX TECH next week.

APEX Media | Related Register for APEX Tech



Boom Supersonic Partners With Flight Research for Mojave Testing

Boom’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft, the XB-1, will be flying along the Supersonic Highway in the Mojave Desert with the support of Flight Research. The company will provide Boom with a twin-jet supersonic aircraft for pilot proficiency training that will also serve as a chase aircraft for the XB-1. Flight Research will also sublease a control room and other facilities at their headquarters in Mojave. Scott Glaser, senior vice-president of Operations at Flight Research, said the company looks forward to contributing to the return of supersonic commercial air travel. XB-1 testing is helping refine the design and engineering of Overture, Boom’s supersonic commercial airliner.

ASD News | Related Reimagining the Passenger Experience with JPA Design – Boom Supersonic



Edinburgh Airport Chooses Pocketalk for Instantaneous Translation

International travelers and staff at Edinburgh Airport will be able to communicate in 74 different languages with the help of the Pocketalk device. The electronic pod allows the user to speak into it before the translation is played through a speaker or displayed on a screen for someone else to read and understand. The device is present in the security area and is also being rolled out to other teams across the terminal. Pocketalk works through a combination of language engines and cloud technologies. 

Edinburgh Airport | Related JFK Airport launches Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode at T4 — Airport Technology





We all need a little push to get through the week! Captured by @pushback_mario (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Although we can’t prove it, with over 24,500 hours on the Queen of the skies, we think Captain Mike Abu-Nayla may have spent more time flying the @Boeing 747 than any other pilot in history. Do you know anyone who has beaten his record? 😉

Virgin Atlantic @VirginAtlantic


Association News

APEX Content Market Delegate Registration is Now Open!

APEX Content Market is the only global industry event specifically focused on bringing together in-flight entertainment content buyers and leading worldwide content distributors. Secure your spot for the two-and-a-half day show, happening in Barcelona 27-29 April, by registering today.


> Quote of the Day


"Voices ought not to be measured by how pretty they are. Instead they matter only if they convince you that they are telling the truth."

Sam Cooke


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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