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January 4, 2024



Today's Top Stories


Cathay Pacific To Expand Free Wi-Fi Service

Cathay Pacific is expanding its free Wi-Fi service to include business class passengers and Cathay Diamond loyalty program members by mid-2024. Currently, this perk is exclusive to first class passengers on the Boeing 777 jets. The offer, however, won’t extend to oneworld Emerald members, focusing on Cathay’s most loyal customers. The complimentary Wi-Fi will also be available across Cathay’s Airbus A330, A350, and A321 fleet. Presently, Wi-Fi costs up to $20 for a full flight, $13 for trips under six hours, and $10 for a single hour, with a $4 messaging package available for shorter flights.

Executive Traveller | Related Cathay Pacific to introduce free wi-fi for business class passengers – Business Traveller



Thai Airways To Grow Its Airbus A330-300 Fleet

Thai Airways, a Star Alliance member, is set to expand its fleet and network capacity this year. The airline will add more Airbus A350-900s and A330-300s, including two used A330-300 aircraft leased from CDB Aviation, scheduled for delivery in September and October 2024. Previously, THAI operated over 20 A330s but currently has only three active A330-300s. These aircraft are used for high-capacity domestic and regional Asia-Pacific routes. Additionally, THAI will receive nine more A350-900s, bringing its total future A350 fleet to 26. A third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is also expected to be delivered this year.

Business Traveller | Related Thai Airways to Lease Two A330-300 from CDB Aviation – Airways 



BermudAir’s Innovative Business Class Delayed

In August 2023, BermudAir, a niche airline startup, began operating Embraer E175s from Bermuda to Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and White Plains, initially as an all-business class airline. However, the business model has since evolved. The airline acquired its aircraft from the now-defunct Flybe, initially using the 80-seat 2-2 configuration but planned to introduce a new ‘Aisle Class’ business class. This innovative layout required special certification and cabin reconfiguration, which was expected by November 2023. Current seat maps and pricing do not reflect the initially promised new product.

One Mile At A Time | Related BermudAir changes tack; drops premium-only plans – ch-aviation



Launch Of DIRECTV Inflight Global IPTV Planned For 2Q 2024

DirecTV, having successfully integrated its live TV service in US airlines like JetBlue and United, is set to expand internationally with ‘DIRECTV International’ in Q2 2024. This global IPTV offering, accessible via inflight entertainment screens and personal devices, will target widebody aircraft on international routes originating in the US. Content will be tailored to each airline’s preferences, focusing mainly on sports and news channels, but also including entertainment options like lifestyle and reality content. DirecTV, which competes domestically with Dish, will enter an international market where Panasonic Avionics already provides a sports-focused IPTV service through a partnership with IMG.

Runway Girl Network | Related Combo of Dish and EchoStar could have IFEC implications – Runway Girl Network 



Cirium Names Delta The Most Punctual Airline In North America

Delta Air Lines was the most punctual large North American airline in 2023, with an 84.7% on-time performance, according to Cirium, an airline analytics company. It outperformed Alaska Airlines at 82.3% and won Cirium’s Platinum Award for combining timeliness with a broad operational scope. American Airlines ranked third with 80.6%, followed by United at 80%, and Southwest at 76.3%. Cirium defines on-time as flights arriving within 15 minutes of schedule. Globally, Colombia’s Avianca led with 85.9%, followed by Brazil’s Azul and Qatar Airways. Delta ranked fourth globally.

Travel Weekly | Related The world’s most punctual airlines for 2023 – CNN



Why Advancing Open Fan Architectures Is Critical To Lowering Emissions

CFM International, a GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines joint venture, is developing an open fan engine architecture through its CFM RISE program to enhance jet engine efficiency. This innovative approach includes variable pitch compressor blades, modulating stator vanes, advanced materials, and novel designs. The program aims for a 20% reduction in fuel and carbon emissions and compatibility with alternative fuels like SAF and hydrogen. The open fan concept, which differs significantly from turboprop engines, supports larger fan sizes and greater bypass ratios, crucial for maximizing fuel efficiency.

Simple Flying | Related GE uses Oak Ridge supercomputer to test new open fan architecture – Military Aerospace 



Start-Up Airline Fly CORALway Abandons Launch Plans

Fly CORALway, a startup airline intending to connect islands in the South Pacific, has announced it will not commence operations. Initially planned to serve destinations like French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia, Samoa, and Fiji, the airline cited insufficient funding as the primary reason for halting the project. The company, previously known as Air Corail and WF Aviation, had received an operating license in 2020 but faced multiple launch delays. Changing dynamics post-COVID-19 pandemic rendered the project unfeasible, leading to its cancellation at the end of 2023.

AeroTime Hub | Related Plan For New South Pacific Carrier FLY CORALWay Comes To An End – Aviation Week Network




Today’s picture comes from @cado.photo, featuring a Qantas Airbus A380 aircraft.

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> Tweet of the Day

Korean Air has become the first carrier in the world to feature #virtual humans in a safety video ▶️ https://simpleflying.com/korean-air-virtual-human-safety-video/ #airlines #travel #airtravel #paxex #inflight #safety #ke #대한항공 #大韓航空

Jukka Partanen @JukkaPartanen3


Association News

NEW Online APEX Merchandise Store

We are thrilled to announce the launch of an online APEX Store. ‘Tis the season of giving, and what better way to spread holiday cheer than treating your colleagues and team to a gift from the APEX Store. You can find the perfect holiday gift and show your support for your APEX community. Start Shopping.


APEX TECH | 28-29 February 2024 | Los Angeles, CA, USA

Come embark on a journey to explore the latest advancements and innovations in the world of Inflight Connectivity, Media Content and Supply Chain, Data Capture and Intelligence, and Ancillary and Passenger Experience Use. Join us at 2024 APEX TECH, 28-29 February, in Los Angeles, CA, and learn from and network with airlines and service providers. Registration is now open!


> Quote of the Day

“We are delighted to be welcoming Thai Airways to our growing Asian Pacific customer base. The increased widebody fleet will strengthen the carrier’s position across its key intra-Asian markets, providing the extra capacity needed to meet the high season and rising travel demand in many regions.”

Jie Chen, CDB Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer
Read the article


The next newsletter will be out 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 apex.aero 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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