In-flight entertainment is key to Emirates' success, chief says | Panel: Air service to smaller cities is being hurt | Wash. state airport offers free-agent premier lounge
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April 25, 2012
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Passenger Experience
In-flight entertainment is key to Emirates' success, chief says
Investment in in-flight entertainment is worth every penny in improved passenger experience, says Emirates airline President Tim Clark. He called airlines that balk at the cost of such systems "fools." Emirates is renowned for its 1,300 channels of entertainment and continues to invest millions more in new graphic interfaces, larger video screens, connectivity upgrades and other enhancements. Clark cites Emirates' IFE system as a strong driver for the airline. APEX Editor's Blog (4/24)
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Panel: Air service to smaller cities is being hurt
The lack of U.S. airline regulation has meant that smaller cities are being priced out of service from carriers focused on high-volume routes, according to a panel of transportation experts in Washington. Memphis, Tenn., is an example of one such city that has seen a 25 percent decline in flights as well as increased ticket prices for passengers. But programs, such as Essential Air Service, to guarantee access for smaller urban areas have faced opposition in Congress. The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) (free registration) (4/24)
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Wash. state airport offers free-agent premier lounge
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is offering up its recently renovated Club International, in the old Delta premier lounge space, to airlines without enough flights to warrant building one of their own for first-class and business passengers. Emirates has already taken advantage of the offer, but airport officials hope to see other international carriers using the club. AirlineReporter.com (4/24)
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British Airways celebrates in-flight meal-service heritage
British Airways is preparing to celebrate 85 years of offering in-flight meal service on May 1. The London-to-Paris flight in 1927 featured sandwiches, biscuits, tea and whiskey. The carrier is celebrating its heritage as it prepares for the summer Olympic Games and plans in-flight menus inspired by the airline's offerings the last time the Games were hosted in London, in 1948. BusinessTraveller.com (U.K.) (4/24)
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Connectivity & Technology
Virgin Australia is testing new tablet entertainment system
Virgin Australia has begun testing its new Samsung Galaxy tablet-based in-flight entertainment service in its business class. The tablets will eventually be included as part of the fare for all business-class passengers, and economy-class passengers will be able to rent them on flights longer than three hours. Australian Business Traveller (4/25)
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BA, Virgin Atlantic sites sport new user-oriented designs
Competitors British Airways and Virgin Atlantic recently debuted "comprehensively redesigned" websites geared toward improved navigation and usability. Both feature new home pages along with what British Airways says it hopes is "clearer information on products, services and offers." BusinessTraveller.com (U.K.) (4/24)
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Airlines & Aircraft
Qantas is still focused on Singapore as premium carrier base
Qantas Airlines is in talks with the Malaysian government to use Singapore as its Asian base for a premium carrier after a deal with Malaysia Airlines fell apart last month. "This will take a bit longer than we originally thought, but we're still keen to set up a premium airline in Asia and we're still looking at a range of options available to us -- and Singapore is one of them," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Air Transport World (4/25)
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Emirates isn't looking to invest in Indian operators, chief says
Emirates President Tim Clark has ruled out the possibility of acquiring a major stake in any Indian airlines until the government allows foreign investors greater control over a carrier's business decisions regarding labor or routes. India is contemplating a proposal to allow foreign airlines to buy up to 49% of an Indian operator, but Clark said the lack of control is a deal-breaker for Emirates. Bloomberg Businessweek (4/24)
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Lufthansa reportedly will remove first class on many long-haul flights
Under pressure from low-cost-carrier competition, Lufthansa will eliminate first-class cabins on some of its long-haul flights and halt fleet expansion for two years, this feature says. According to a leaked staff letter, the airline is also studying the possibility of eliminating service to Nanking, China; Madras, India; and Bangkok as part of its program to cut costs. Travel Weekly (4/24)
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AirTran, Southwest frequent fliers can convert credits
AirTran Airways frequent fliers can now convert their credits into Southwest Airlines credits. Southwest acquired AirTran last year, but plans on maintaining separate frequent flier programs for a while. Southwest frequent fliers can also convert their credits to AirTran credits. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required) (4/23)
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Association News
APEX TV Market Conference educational session presentations available online
Do you want to follow up on presentations you heard at the TV Market Conference in Brighton last week? Were you not able to make it and want to catch up on what was presented? APEX members may access the educational session presentations and final registration list within the members-only section of the website. To access, visit here.
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Job Listing: Product Line Manager II for Panasonic Avionics
Panasonic Avionics is the world leader in in-flight entertainment and communications, with most systems installed, most airlines served, and the industry's deepest knowledge base, developed with over 25 years of consistent product innovation and committed customer service. Panasonic is seeking a senior, experienced IFE Product Line Manager to act as the central authority with responsibility for management of a product line for systems comprising multiple units, software and complex integration requirements. Panasonic Avionics Corporation is headquartered in Lake Forest, California, with offices in Bothell, Washington; regional centers in Dallas, Singapore, London, Toulouse, Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai; system production facilities in Osaka; and field service, maintenance and sales facilities worldwide. The position is based in Lake Forest, Calif. For more information about the position, please contact: Lee Pinkofsky, lee.pinkofsky@panasonic.aero or (949)672-2011.
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SmartQuote
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-- Thomas Edison,
American inventor
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About APEX
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of 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 inflight dining. Visit www.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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