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March 12, 2024



Today's Top Stories


New Cathay Pacific Aria Suite Business Class Coming To 777s

Cathay Pacific has unveiled its new business class seat, Aria Suite, for its Boeing 777-300ERs, debuting in 2024. The reverse herringbone seats have a 1-2-1 configuration, privacy doors, 24" 4K screens, bluetooth audio, wireless charging, and enclosed storage. The seats are likely the AIRTEK product from JPA Design. Cathay Pacific originally planned to introduce new cabins on its 21 ordered Boeing 777-9s, but delays led to refreshing current cabins. The airline may introduce the same product on 777-9s and potentially refresh its Airbus A350s in the future.

One Mile At A Time | Related Cathay Pacific unveils new 777-300 cabins – Airline Ratings 



Whisper Aero Unveils 100-Seat Electric Airliner Concept

Whisper Aero has proposed a concept for a 100-seat battery-electric regional airliner. The Whisper Jetliner features electric ducted fans integrated into the wing's leading edge for upper surface blowing, improving lift and efficiency. The outboard horizontal tail configuration keeps the stabilizers out of the induced downwash. Whisper submitted a proposal to develop the design under NASA's Advanced Aircraft Concepts for Environmental Sustainability program, aiming to show how its electric ducted fans can enable economically competitive zero-emission aircraft.

Aviation Week Network | Related These tiny electric fans are powerful enough to propel drones and jets – Popsci



FAA’s 737 MAX Audit Fails More Than A Third Of Boeing Processes

The FAA's six-week audit of Boeing's 737 MAX production line found the process failed 33 of 89 tests, including the check involving the door plug component that blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight. The audit also reviewed processes at supplier Spirit AeroSystems, which failed seven of 13 tests. Technicians lacked necessary knowledge, and investigators discovered problematic practices such as using liquid dish soap as a temporary lubricant on a door seal. Boeing has 90 days to respond with an action plan to address quality control concerns.

Airport Technology | Related FAA audit faults Boeing for quality control 737 Max failures – NPR



Airbus Successfully Flight Tests Get SAT Antenna For HBCplus

Airbus successfully flight-tested the Ku-band version of its Airspace Link HBCplus terminal on an A310 MRTT aircraft, aiming to offer linefit installs of the multi-orbit-capable inflight connectivity system to airlines in 2026. Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) is supplying the terminal based on Get SAT's LESA Ku-band electronically steered antenna (ESA). The test confirmed the antenna's performance in environmental conditions during a typical flight. Airbus' HBCplus programme includes Ka-band and Ku-band options, with Inmarsat-now-Viasat, SES, Intelsat, and Panasonic Avionics as managed service providers.

Runway Girl Network | Related Airbus HBCplus client list grows including for Emirates A380 retrofit – Runway Girl Network 



Emirates Prepares For Ramadan In The Air

Emirates offers complimentary iftar boxes at select boarding gates during Ramadan and uses a unique tool to calculate imsak and iftar timings in-flight. From March 11th, passengers will receive nutritionally balanced Ramadan meal boxes in addition to regular hot meals. The boxes, designed to represent Emirati heritage, include hummus, tabbouleh, sandwiches, and sweet treats. Emirates lounges in Dubai International Airport will serve traditional Arabic sweets, dates, and coffee, along with a selection of hot and cold mezze, main courses, and desserts. The lounges also have dedicated prayer rooms and ablution facilities.

Economy Class & Beyond | Related Emirates Ramadan: Airline reveals iftar box – Time Out Dubai



Finnair Adopts Avios Currency

Finnair has officially adopted Avios as the currency of its Finnair Plus loyalty programme, joining oneworld partners British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar Airways. The change allows Finnair Plus members to transfer Avios between Finnair Plus and British Airways' Executive Club accounts and introduces a spend-based model for earning Avios. Joining the Avios ecosystem increases award seat availability, with guaranteed seats on European and long-haul flights. New milestone benefits, such as lounge passes for Silver members, are also being introduced to reward members within tiers.

Business Traveller | Related Finnair Plus Adopts Avios As Rewards Currency – One Mile at a Time



Glasgow Airport Trials Accessibility Technology

The Connected Places Catapult has launched accessibility technology trials in collaboration with Glasgow Airport as part of the Connected Airport Living Lab program. The trials will test technologies from Gazooky Studios (ChapARone instant messaging service), Hello Lamp Post (AI digital assistants), Signapse (AI-powered automatic sign language announcements), and Signly (sign language translation solution). The aim is to generate insights to aid solution development and set businesses up for future success by capturing user interactions and feedback. The technologies focus on improving accessibility for disabled passengers through QR-coded info-points, 24/7 communication, and sign language translations.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Accessibility tech to be trialled at Glasgow Airport – International Airport Review




Today's picture comes from @aviate_ty, showing a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with the Imua One Livery.

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> Tweet of the Day

Emirates prepares for Ramadan in the Air - Economy Class & Beyond https://economyclassandbeyond.boardingarea.com/2024/03/08/emirates-prepares-for-ramadan-in-the-air/ #PaxEx

Kevin - Economy Class & Beyond @EconomyBeyond


Association News

Shop the Online APEX Merchandise Store

Surprise your colleagues and team with thoughtful gifts from the APEX Store. It's the perfect way to express your appreciation and support for our wonderful APEX community. Start Shopping today!


APEX Content Market | 26-27 March 2024 | Lisbon

APEX Content Market provides an intimate and productive setting for all airline content needs, including the best in TV, movies, games, GUIs, apps and audio! As the only global industry event focused on connecting in-flight entertainment content buyers with worldwide content distributors, APEX Content Market is your chance to browse the dynamic show floor to get ahead on planning your in-flight content for the upcoming year. Registration is now open!


> Quote of the Day

"We wanted to see if battery-electric aircraft could outcompete economically hydrocarbon-based solutions, so that it becomes a rational business decision to go to a zero-emission aircraft and retire the existing fleet."

Whisper CEO Mark Moore
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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