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October 19, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Cathay’s 777 ‘Halo’ First Class Suites To Launch In 2025

Cathay Pacific is set to introduce “The Halo Suites” as its revamped first class for the upcoming Boeing 777-9 fleet. While some airlines are phasing out first class, Cathay is aligning with counterparts like Singapore Airlines and Emirates by launching new first class suites. Expected to be a “world-leading” product by its 2025 debut, the suites are likely to feature enhanced privacy and luxurious designs, potentially drawing inspiration from Cathay’s premium lounges. JPA Design is believed to be working on Cathay’s 777-9 first class.

Executive Traveller | Related New Cathay Pacific “Halo Suites” First Class Coming To Boeing 777-9s – One Mile at a Time



Delta Rolls Back Some SkyMiles And Sky Club Changes

Delta faced significant backlash after announcing changes to its SkyMiles program and Sky Club access. In response to customer feedback, Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian has decided to roll back some changes. The revised SkyMiles program will now have lower elite status thresholds for Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion statuses than originally planned. Delta Sky Club access has also been redefined, offering members more visits. Additional flexibility is being provided for Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) rollover.

One Mile At A Time | Related Delta Makes Million Miler Lifetime Status More Rewarding, Harder To Earn – One Mile at a Time



Air India Express Unveils New Look

Air India Express and AirAsia India have introduced a unified brand identity under the name ‘Air India Express’ on a new Boeing 737-8 aircraft. The new brand, revealed in Mumbai, boasts a modern design with vivid colors. Emphasizing digital-first experiences, it aims to offer unparalleled value with a touch of Indian warmth. The livery is inspired by India’s rich artistic heritage, with designs from various traditional patterns, celebrating the country’s cultural diversity. This rebranding symbolizes the airline’s commitment to merging technology, accessibility, design, and unique Indian hospitality.

Times Of India | Related Air India Express & Air Asia unveil fresh brand identity, aircraft livery – ET Infra



Software-Defined Aero Modem In The Spotlight As Intelsat Mulls MEO

Intelsat is considering the launch of a medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellation as part of its multi-orbit inflight connectivity strategy. A significant aspect of this endeavor is the development of a software-defined aero modem, ensuring smooth transitions between networks without necessitating hardware modifications on aircraft. This approach addresses airlines’ concerns about frequent hardware changes. Dave Bijur, Intelsat’s senior vice president of commercial aviation, anticipates MEO’s potential deployment around 2027.

Runway Girl Network | Related Airbus adds Intelsat and Panasonic as MSPs for supplier-furnished IFC – Runway Girl Network



United’s New Boarding System To Prioritize Window-Seat Passengers

Starting October 26, United Airlines will adopt a new boarding process, prioritizing window-seat passengers in economy class before those in middle and aisle seats, as revealed in an internal memo. This decision divides passengers into seven boarding groups, with certain customers, such as those with disabilities and active-duty military, still being preboarded. The revamped process could save the airline up to two minutes during boarding, potentially reducing delays and costs. United initially introduced this WILMA (window-middle-aisle) system in 2017 but paused it for undisclosed reasons.

The Washington Post | Related United Airlines plans to board passengers with window seats in economy class first – CBS News



Fraport Tests Walk-Through Security Scanner At Frankfurt Airport

Fraport is trialing the R&S QPS Walk2000 scanner from Rohde & Schwarz at Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1, Concourse A, aiming to expedite security checks. Passengers can walk through without halting, and without removing jackets or coats, thanks to millimeter-wave technology. AI software identifies both metallic and non-metallic items, displaying anomalies on a unisex avatar in real-time, minimizing the need for additional checks. If required, security can target specific areas highlighted by the scanner. This six-month test will compare the new system with existing scanners at the airport.

Future Travel Experience | Related Frankfurt airport trials walk-through passenger scanner – Business Traveller



Noida International Airport Partners With Nanogence Technology For Sustainable Infrastructure

India’s Noida International Airport, set to be the nation’s largest, aims for net zero carbon emissions by emphasizing sustainable operations. Located 75 km from Delhi, its first construction phase will finish next year, using innovative technology from Nanogence Catalysts to boost cement binding efficiency, integrate eco-friendly substitutes, and cut costs. The technology allows for a 20% reduction in cement, decreasing carbon emissions and enhancing affordability. The airport’s design and infrastructure focus on sustainability, with partnerships ensuring durability, weather resistance, and reduced carbon footprints.

Construction World | Related GMR Hyderabad Airport is now fully green – Construction Week India




Today’s picture comes from @cado.photo, featuring a Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft.

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

The next #A320neo for @airindia - VT-RTQ has been spotted by @cliper31 . 21 #A320neo aircraft will arrive by August 2024 (VT-RTQ is the 2nd of 21. VT-RTF being the 1st) after which deliveries from the historic aircraft order placed this year will commence. #AvGeek #PaxEx

VT-VLO @Vinamralongani


Association News

Call for APEX TECH Panelist & Moderator Nominations

The Technology Committee is seeking speakers and ‎facilitators for the APEX TECH taking place 28-29 February ‎‎2024 in Los Angeles, California, USA.‎ Speaker, panelist, and moderator nominations are being accepted now and will be curated by the ‎Technology Committee. Self-nominations are also welcome.‎ The deadline for nominations is Wednesday 1 November 2023.‎ Click here to learn more and submit your nomination.


Register for FTE APEX Asia Expo – Preparing for Tomorrow’s World

FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore, is the largest free-to-attend passenger experience and business performance expo for the air transport industry. It will provide a unique platform for the industry's most innovative suppliers from across Asia and further afield to come together to showcase their latest products, services and solutions designed to help airlines improve end-to-end customer experiences, reduce costs, increase revenues, and enhance sustainability and operational efficiency. The networking and business development opportunities are immense, and our AI matchmaking app, powered by Swapcard, provides incredible access to the most progressive companies in the industry, with whom you can connect to help redefine your organization’s passenger experience and business performance strategies. Learn more and register.


> Quote of the Day

“Our new first class, which we expect to be a world-leading one, will be coming on our 777-9 fleet (and) the first one will be delivered in 2025.”

Chief Customer & Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau, Cathay Pacific
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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