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official publication of the airline passenger experience association


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CMY

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THE GROUND.


WE MAKE IT

FLY

No matter how busy the flight, your passengers will feel like they’re in a world of their own thanks to our beautifully designed Airspace cabins. HD in-flight entertainment throughout, quieter, and with soothing LED ambient lighting, Airspace delivers first class comfort for every passenger. And not only is it available across our newest widebody fleet, it’s also being rolled out across our single aisle A320 family too. Tranquility. We make it fly.


With high-speed interconnect solutions from Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, you can connect at 30,000 feet just as easily as if you were in the next room.

FOR THE FLIER, THE EXPERIENCE IS NATURAL. Just connect to Wi-Fi and go.

But the technology to make that seamless cloud connection while flying is complex. It requires a clean, reliable signal and pure data flow from the ground to the satellite to the plane. At Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, we’re experts in making the connections between the equipment critical to moving that data reliably every time. We offer solutions that bridge the gap between the technology and the aircraft to keep users connected better than they are on the ground. With manufacturing centers around the globe, our highly qualified team of nearly 350 engineers is up to any connection or installation challenge. Our extensive worldwide manufacturing capabilities, coupled with end-to-end local project management and engineering support, allow us to design, build, test and certify your product in-house, saving you the time and hassle of managing multiple vendors. When the connection is critical, engineers around the world bring their interconnect challenges to CarlisleIT. Contact CarlisleIT today for more information on connecting your fleet with the ARINC 791 Ka/Ku Universal Installation. Visit www.CarlisleIT.com/ARINC791.


FlightGear™ ARINC 791 Ka/Ku Universal Installation

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AD DIRECTORY

Advertisers’ Directory

volume 8, edition 3 june – july 2018

Airborne Interactive

Deutsche Telekom

KID-Systeme

Skycast Solutions

Airbus airbus.com See pages 4 and 5

Deutsche Welle

Kontron

Skyline IFE

AirFi

digEcor

Linstol

Smartsky Networks

Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems

Emphasis Video Entertainment

Lufthansa Systems

Sony Pictures Releasing

LSG Sky Chefs

Warner Bros.

Panasonic Avionics

West Entertainment

Paramount Pictures

W.L. Gore and Associates

Pascall Electronics

Zodiac Aerospace

airborneinteractive.com See page 45

airfi.aero See page 26

telekom.com See bellyand and page 21

dw.de See page 119

digecor.com See page 53

astronics.com See pages 10 and 79

Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification

astronics.com See page 39

Axinom

emphasis-video.net See IFE sponsorship on pages 98–118 and on page 119

Entertainment in Motion

kid-systeme.com See page 59

kontron.com See page 9

linstol.com See page 117

lhsystems.com See page 24

Lsgskychefs.com See page 29

smartskynetworks.com See page 33

sonypicturesinflight.com See page 103

warnerbros.com See page 101

panasonic.aero See outside back cover

westent.com See page 113

globaleagle.com See page 23

BBC Studios

bbcstudios.com See page 111

Black Swan

blackswan.com See page 13

HBO

paramount.com See pages 2 and 3

Bluebox Aviation Systems blueboxaviation.com See page 37

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies www.carlisleit.com See pages 6 and 7

| V8 E3 | APEX.AERO

gore.com See page 83

hboinflight.com See page 105

Inflight Direct

pascall.co.uk See page 46

inflightdirect.com See page 35

Penny Black Media

experience

skyline-ife.com See page 120

skyfilms.com See page 107

Global Eagle

axinom.com See page 97

8

skycastsolutions.com See page 73

Inflight Peripherals

pennyblackmedia.com See page 109

Images in Motion

Pictureworks pictureworksindia.com See page 123

ifpl.com See page 41

iim.com.sg See page 115

imsco-us.com See page 17


ADVANCING THE CONNECTED AIRCRAFT WITH FEATURE RICH IoT DATA DRIVEN SOLUTIONS THAT GO BEYOND IFE&C

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• their Flights will Fly by as they remain ProduCtive and entertained, simultaneously Powering and Charging their laPtoPs, tablets and other mobile deviCes while in use. and you’ll thrill your management, Cabin Crew and maintenanCe staFF with the most reliable, most requested in-seat Power system, with Patented Power management; the lightest, most ComPaCt Form FaCtor; and the highest available Power For 110 vaC and usb. • ContaCt astroniCs, the industry leader, and see how it Feels to Fly like a suPerhero.

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CONTENTS DIGITAL

Pay as You Go

volume 8, edition 3 june – july 2018

Airfare isn’t the only way to turn a profit in the age of digital services. Down-to-the-moment targeted ancillary offerings and a brand’s socio-political stance can do wonders for customer retention and recruitment, too. From buyer profiles and augmented reality retail to lifestyle loyalty programs and cryptocurrency payments, this issue is made of money.

56

Living in the Micro-Moment

ILLUSTRATIONS: DANIEL GONZÁLEZ; MARCELO CÁCERES; ANGÉLICA GEISSE

PHOTOS: DELTA AIRLINES; RYANAIR

Being at the right place at the right time pays off.

FEATURES

C-SUITE

47

Know Thy Customer

68

42

Making the business case for social impact branding.

Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair

On Purpose and Profit

A buyer persona starter pack for the road.

62

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Is connectivity in India poised to take off?

Airline reward programs get a needed facelift.

Uncharted Airspace

Kenny Jacobs

Lifestyle Loyalty

APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

experience

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CONTENTS DIGITAL

volume 8, edition 3 june – july 2018 STANDBYS 08 Advertisers’ Directory 14 CEO’s Letter 16 Board News 18 APEX in Action

Will cryptocurrency bring risks or rewards to airlines?

20 Editor’s Letter 22 Featured Contributors

27 APEX Asks

34 Local Produce

How can the airline industry overcome gender inequality?

SVOD services are putting local content center stage.

30 Restroom Redesign Saying goodbye to lavatory queue woes.

32 High Five

28 Enter the Sleep Zone Bunk beds in the cargo hold? Airbus thinks so.

What the latest cellular network technology can do for PaxEx.

84

36 Beauty Boost New technologies up the ante for cosmetic sales in flight and on the ground.

40 Stay Cool, Caviar Caviar is even more of a delicacy when consumed in flight.

88 Headlines 92 APEX News 96 IFSA News 98 IFE Listings 121 #APEXPOTD

122

Travelogue: First Flights

Throwback: Reel Time

Q&As 54 Fran Phillips

SVP, Airline Affairs, Gogo

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experience

| V8 E3 | APEX.AERO

66 Mark Roboff

VP, Aerospace and Automotive, SparkCognition

74 Enzo Vailati

CEO, Cylo

PHOTOS: ISTOCKPHOTO; ZODIAC AEROSPACE; AIRBUS; AIR CANADA; COURTESY OF AMERICAN AIRLINES; GOGO; COURTESY OF MARK ROBOFF; COURTESY OF ENZO VAILATI

38 Coin Toss

ILLUSTRATIONS: GABRIEL EBENSPERGER; FELIPE VARGAS

15 Presidents’ Letters


TURN CAPTIVE PASSENGERS INTO CAPTIVATED CUSTOMERS Data-driven passenger experience software solutions We believe data will drive the future of in-flight entertainment and connectivity platforms. Our data-driven, APEX Award winning solution helps airlines create a truly personalised customer experience; one that gives every passenger the choice, control and convenience they crave – whether in the air or on the ground.

www.blackswan.aero Copyright Š 2018 All rights reserved. The above content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Black Swan Data Limited.


CEO’S LETTER

Dear Members, As we near the midway-point of 2018, APEX and IFSA have made incredible strides around the world advancing airline passenger experience with our leadership team featured at over a dozen events worldwide. We have added over 40 new airlines to APEX and IFSA enabling both organizations to hit all-time-high membership records for this point in the year.

EXPO GROWS TO FOUR SHOWS IN ONE AMAZING EVENT The largest association-driven airline passenger experience show in the world will proudly now feature four shows in one amazing event with APEX EXPO, IFSA EXPO, AIX Americas Expo and WACRA Summit. Founded in 1946, WACRA (Worldwide Airline Customer Relations Association) will be joining EXPO in Boston this September with over two dozen airlines from around the world drawn to advance the airline industry.

RECORD ATTENDANCE FOR 2018 EVENTS TO-DATE 2018 has seen record-setting attendance and growth at our global events. Here are the highlights: APEX TECH: 30–31 January, Los Angeles, US • All-time record number of airlines • More than 160 IFE technology experts APEX Asia: 13–14 March, Shanghai, China • Nearly double the all-time record number of airlines in attendance of an APEX regional conference • More than 150 industry leaders with over 50% consisting of airline representatives • First-ever celebration of regional Passenger Choice Awards

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APEX MultiMedia Market: 23–24 April, Paris, France • 200+ delegates from 24 airlines and 20 CSP companies • Sold-out event floor and buyer groupings • 40% increase in airline representatives over last year We look forward to continuing this trend at APEX TECH in June and EXPO in September. Visit apex.aero/events for more information.

TOP AIRLINE CEOS AND PRESIDENTS SECURED FOR EXPO IN BOSTON APEX and IFSA members heading to EXPO in Boston, 24–27 September, will have the opportunity to attend a full day of global industry interviews and panel discussions about the future of travel. EXPO kicks off on Monday, 24 September, with an impressive roster of featured keynote speakers, including American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh, Aeromexico CEO Andrés Conesa, Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu, and president of LATAM Airlines Brazil Claudia Sender. The symposium will also include world-class seminars with other top industry leaders highlighting our combined EXPO as the largest airline passenger experience event. Best regards,

Joe Leader

APEX/IFSA Chief Executive Officer


PRESIDENTS’ LETTERS

Dear APEX Members,

Dear IFSA Members,

Early in my career at American Airlines, when airlines were just learning to leverage add-on products and services to improve passengers’ travel experiences, I joined a new merchandising team. We developed new products like preferred seating, early boarding, preordered meals and fare bundles. This provided travelers with opportunities to positively impact their travel experience, while also providing airlines with new ancillary revenue streams. Today, ancillary revenue is a leading driver of success and innovation for the airline industry. APEX committees are helping to set industry standards and establish business processes and will continue to do so at upcoming APEX events. Additionally, as a strategic partner of FTE Europe 2018 and FTE Ancillary 2018, APEX will share its knowledge and experience on ancillary revenue and in-flight connectivity at that event. APEX board member and Qatar Airways’ head of Global Sponsorships, CSR and IFEC, Babar Rahman, APEX CEO Joe Leader, APEX Media director Maryann Simson and I will participate in a session that addresses the business case for connectivity and in-flight entertainment. We hope to see you there, as well as at APEX EXPO in Boston, 24–27 September.

2018 is shaping up to be an eventful year for IFSA, with a successful regional event in San Francisco and a strong presence in Hamburg for the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE). This event served as the ideal setting for IFSA leadership to convene, conduct strategic meetings and connect with partner organizations. Membership numbers are growing, with the onboarding of nearly four dozen airlines through our new Airline Ambassador Program, and enabling airlines to connect with caterer and supplier members, thus encouraging engagement by senior airline decision makers. Looking ahead, we anticipate another record-breaking IFSA EXPO. With a nearly sold-out exhibition floor, attendees can look forward to an eventful show where the latest products will be showcased. Attendees are also welcome to join a full day of symposiums led by global airline executives and industry leaders. There will be insightful conversations about the future of travel, including an IFSA sponsored track dedicated to catering and services. I am excited to continue this year’s success with thanks to our members and volunteers. Please feel free to reach out to myself or any of your board members with questions or feedback.

Best regards, Best Regards,

Brian Richardson

APEX President American Airlines

Paul Platamone

IFSA President Harvey Alpert & Company/Oakfield Farms Solutions

APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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BOARD NEWS

From Your APEX Board

Brian Richardson President American Airlines

Juha Järvinen Vice-President Finnair

The APEX Board of Directors is committed to keeping you, the APEX members, informed about board initiatives and decisions. In addition to this dedicated space in every issue of APEX Experience, the board sends direct e-mails to keep members updated. APEX is an association for the members, which is why it’s equally important to hear from you, year-round.

APEX MULTIMEDIA MARKET Maura Chacko Secretary Spafax

Joan Filippini Treasurer

Paramount Pictures

APEX MultiMedia Market took place in Paris in April. The sold-out event saw over 200 people, including representatives from a record 24 airlines. Delegates participated in two intense days of meetings, exploring the best in-flight entertainment content offerings. The event wrapped up with a networking party at the historic Pavillons de Bercy, followed by the legendary MultiMedia quiz. A big thanks goes to Andy Grant, head of Content at Emirates, for creating another challenging competition and for emceeing the event.

APEX TECH Kevin Bremer Chief Advisor

Andres Castañeda Aeromexico

Boeing (Past President)

APEX TECH continues to shine a light on technical and regulatory issues affecting the airline industry. Join us 19–20 June in Los Angeles. Visit tech.apex.aero for more information about the event and the high-level airline keynote speakers.

AIRLINE EXECUTIVES TO SPEAK AT APEX EXPO

Michael Childers

Jon Norris

Lufthansa Systems

Panasonic Avionics

APEX EXPO begins Monday, 24 September, with an impressive roster of keynote speakers including American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh, Aeromexico CEO Andrés Conesa, Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu and president of LATAM Airlines Brazil Claudia Sender. Registration opens in June.

APEX AWARDS CEREMONY AT EXPO Join us at the prestigious APEX awards ceremony to celebrate the winners of the APEX Awards, Official Airline Ratings, Passenger Choice Awards, CEO Lifetime Achievement Award and more on Monday, 24 September, at APEX EXPO in Boston. Babar Rahman

Anton Vidgen

Qatar Airways

Air Canada

Ingo Wuggetzer Airbus

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| V8 E3 | APEX.AERO

APEX GLOBAL EVENTS APEX is committed to holding events around the world. To see the full schedule of APEX events as well as APEX-supported events visit apex.aero/events.


ZODIAC INFLIGHT INNOVATIONS ZODIAC AEROSYSTEMS Connected Cabin Division


SOCIAL

APEX in Action APEX members were spotted in Shanghai, Hamburg and Paris sharing expert insights – and a good time, too.

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PHOTOS: SALVA MENDEZ; COURTESY OF ADLEE WILLIAMS; MAXIM SERGIENKO; VICTOR TONELLI

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SOCIAL

See more social photos on Facebook > FACEBOOK.COM/ APEX.AERO

APEX Asia, Shanghai 1. Rob Lynch, Stellar Entertainment; Kevin Clark and Sek Boon Foo, Bluebox Aviation Systems 2. Adlee Williams, Stellar Entertainment 3. APEX board member Jon Norris, Panasonic Avionics; and Akira Mitsumasu, Japan Airlines 4. Ricky Jardine, Global Eagle 16

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5. Jackie Sayno, Lester Sutian, Amberox Li and Jovita Toh, Encore; with Michelle Chan, Stellar Entertainment (second from left) 6. Patrick Prefontaine, Black Swan (left); and Mario Poirier, Ensemble Media (right); with friend (center) 7. Steve O’Connor, APEX Media; with Stu McGraw and Paul Margis, digEcor

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg 8. Interjet Airlines selects Geven seats for Airbus A320neos. 9. Pegasus Airlines signs on for Immfly’s digital services. 10. APEX board member Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus 11. Dieudonné Kamaté, SkyLights

18

12. Getting hotdogs and popcorn at the Boston Bar. See you in Boston, 23–25 September, for APEX EXPO! 13. Maik Brückner, Viasat; and Martin Quirk, Virgin Atlantic 14. Camille Cruchaudet, Interactive Mobility; and Christian Maquin, Maquin Consulting 15. APEX president Brian Richardson, American Airlines (center)

APEX MultiMedia Market Networking Night, Paris 16. Anna Maslowska, all3media 19

17. Edwin Cheung, Encore Inflight

20

18. Dining at Les Pavillons de Bercy 19. APEX CEO Joe Leader, presenting the highly coveted quiz night trophy 20. Congratulations to the quiz night winners! 21. Let the games begin. 22. Dougal Blennerhassett, IMG (center); and Cyril Jean, PXCom (right); with friends

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$ € 20

experience

| V8 E3 | APEX.AERO

In Digital We Trust

$

Most of us have divulged more about ourselves to the Internet than to our own mothers. For me, it began about 10 years ago with my Facebook profile. I spent hours perfecting what name, status and hobbies to display, and felt giddy as I posted all of it – click – to the World Wide Web. Fast-forward to 2018 and the climate around sharing such mundane details online has completely changed. (Have you downloaded your Facebook data yet?) We continue to rely on social media, mobile devices and digital technology nonetheless. In the airline industry, flight delays are being predicted by historical data, personalized recommendations are being fed by algorithms and airport entry and exit is becoming biometric. And as profit begins having less to do with actual fares and more to do with extra fees, airlines are looking for gold in the digital rush. In this issue of APEX Experience, Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs tells Marisa Garcia why he started an action plan to establish the airline’s digital presence when he stepped into his role as chief marketing officer (page 42). His plan wasn’t just about moving with the times: It was about making way for ancillary revenue opportunities like Ryanair Rooms and money-back programs that keep its customers in a spend cycle. And, in “Lifestyle Loyalty” (page 77), Jasmin Legatos highlights how Singapore Airlines is betting on blockchain technology to revamp its KrisFlyer program to encourage spending

Contact APEX Media at

EDITOR@APEX.AERO

among its frequent flyers. Even low-cost and leisure carriers are hoping their budget-conscious passengers will pull out their wallets – or smartphones. In “Coin Toss” (page 38), Fergus Baird writes about airlines that are dabbling in cryptocurrency. AirAsia, for one, says it will introduce its own digital dollars later this year, while Peach Aviation has been postponing its adoption of bitcoin, leaving us wondering whether it may have gotten cold feet. Augmented and virtual realities are also anticipated to work wonders on the shopping experience. In “Beauty Boost” (page 36), Harriet Baskas looks at how digitally enhanced displays could convert in-flight and airport duty-free window shoppers into buyers. To be an early adopter or a follower of new technologies is a decision airlines and vendors are constantly grappling with. On one side of the coin is the risk of time and financial investment, and with that the opportunities that digital technology and data could afford. On the other is the risk of being late to the trend, but having the assurance that the technology is tried and true. Whichever side you find yourself on, I hope this issue keeps your imagination spinning.

Caroline Ku

Managing Editor, APEX Media ILLUSTRATION: MARCELO CÁCERES

$

EDITOR’S LETTER


MORE

SERV ICE MORE CONVENIENCE. MORE REVENUE. MORE THAN JUST WIFI. UPGRADE YOUR PASSENGERS TO IN-FLIGHT CONNECTIVITY BY DEUTSCHE TELEKOM. Easy log-on for your passengers. Access to the industry’s largest partner ecosystem. Conclusive customer insights. The Telekom in-flight connectivity solution is designed to meet your airline’s requirements and exceed your passengers’ expectations. As one of the only telco providers in the in-flight connectivity business, we bring years of experience as well as the largest partner network to the table – factors that will help you sustainably grow your business and implement your digitization strategy. We offer more than just WiFi: We simplify monetization, streamline operations, boost revenue and improve your brand image. Upgrade your passenger experience to an entirely new level: With Deutsche Telekom’s in-flight services. To find out all the details, visit inflight.telekom.net

#morethanjustWiFi


MASTHEAD

Featured Contributors

Read Harriet’s work on page 36

HARRIET BASKAS is a Seattle-based writer and radio producer. When at the airport, she enjoys scouring the shops for unique items to feature on her blog, StuckatTheAirport.com. One of her favorite items is chocolate “poop” and all of its local variations. She has found "poop" from Sasquatch in Seattle, rattlesnakes in Phoenix and snowmen in Alaska.

DANIEL GONZALEZ is a designer and

See Daniel’s work on page 56

illustrator. He describes himself as an anxious airport shopper, who buys magazines, chocolate and other things he doesn’t need, to kill time. He does, however, try to keep the social impact of the brands he’s supporting in mind: “I’ve stopped buying products from companies that have been involved in dubious behaviors,” he says.

THOMAS LEE is a leader in

Read Thomas’ work on page 84

See Maxim’s work on page 18

22

experience

developing commercial aircraft cabin interiors. As someone who’s racked up 12 million lifetime miles, he knows a thing or two about airline loyalty. Nowadays, he flies oneworld airlines, but this wasn’t always the case. “There have been years when I reached the highest level tier on all three major US airlines.”

MAXIM SERGIENKO was raised in Kiev. His love of photography led him to Hamburg, where he lives and works today. As someone who’s had mostly positive experiences with airlines, he says, “I’m always happy to try a new one.” And while he expects the technology behind cryptocurrency to change the world, he says bitcoin itself will hardly ever replace state-issued money.

| V8 E3 | APEX.AERO

volume 8, edition 3 june – july 2018

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Will digital services mean payday for airlines?

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official publication of the airline passenger experience association

APEX-v8e3-COVER-04_P1.indd 1

APEX Experience Magazine 575 Anton Blvd, Ste 1020 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 +1 714 363 4900

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Publisher Al St. Germain al.stgermain@spafax.com

2018-05-04 5:27 PM

COVER BY MARCELO CÁCERES

EDITORIAL

PRODUCTION

Director

Director of Project Delivery Alain Briard

Maryann Simson maryann.simson@apexmedia.aero Managing Editor Caroline Ku caroline.ku@apexmedia.aero Deputy Editor Valerie Silva valerie.silva@apexmedia.aero Digital Editor Kristina Velan kristina.velan@apexmedia.aero News Editor Ari Magnusson ari.magnusson@apexmedia.aero Research Assistant Ella Ponomarov Contributors Fergus Baird, Harriet Baskas, Marisa Garcia, Jasmin Legatos, Katie Sehl, Paul Sillers, Howard Slutsken, Stephanie Taylor, Jordan Yerman

ART Art Director Nicolás Venturelli nicolas.venturelli@apexmedia.aero Graphic Designer Angélica Geisse Contributors Marcelo Cáceres, Gabriel Ebensperger, Daniel González, Maxim Segienko, Bárbara Malagoli, Felipe Vargas

FSC-FPO

Production Manager Felipe Batista Nunes Copy Editor Deanna Dority Fact Checkers Tara Dupuis Leah Jane Esau Proofreaders Katie Moore Robert Ronald

ADVERTISING Sales Director Steve O’Connor steve.oconnor@apexmedia.aero +44 207 906 2077 Ad Production Manager Mary Shaw mary.shaw@spafax.com Ad Production Coordinator Joanna Forbes joanna.forbes@apexmedia.aero Bookmark Content and Communications, A Spafax Group Company CEO, Bookmark Raymond Girard Senior Vice-President, Product, Bookmark Arjun Basu


#travelexperience

Connect. Entertain. Empower.

We live in an era of choice, where options provide opportunity. Global Eagle is perfectly positioned to deliver the right fit for your airline, and your passengers, to imagine and create the best travel experience. Let us know how we can help: travelexperience@globaleagle.com

globaleagle.com Š All rights reserved. Global Eagle 2018.


Pick and Mix BoardConnect –configure your cabin platform See a movie. In the stratosphere. Listen to music. Check the news. Or go shopping. A world of digital experiences. Easy to access. At 450 miles per hour. Satisfy many demands. With a single platform. Completely flexible. BoardConnect. Wishes come true.

Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim info@LHsystems.com | www.LHsystems.com


WELCOME

Los Angeles International Airport’s Theme Building, from above

PHOTO: ALAMY

Up Next: APEX TECH

At APEX TECH, 19–20 June, hear about the latest trends and challenges from technical experts in digital advertising, blockchain, cybersecurity, content protection and more. Speakers include Andres Castañeda, Aeromexico; Avi Golan, Air New Zealand; Babar Rahman, Qatar Airways; and Anton Vidgen, Air Canada. This conference is a forum to learn, as much as it is to participate in ongoing conversations about the issues that face the aviation industry.

Visit tech.apex.aero for more information.

APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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APEX ASKS

“Companies need to actively address gender inequality in aviation. The only way for change to happen is a topdown approach. We need male champions of change who see the value in employing female pilots.” JOLENE VERWEY, PILOT, CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS

“I attend many industry events where the panelists are too often men in gray suits and women are always outnumbered. That needs to change.” ZINA NEOPHYTOU, VICE-PRESIDENT, OUT OF HOME, BBC WORLDWIDE

“Younger women in aviation benefit from being able to relate to someone of the same gender with a shared understanding of the industry. That said, support can and should equally come from men.” CAPT. MARY MCMILLAN, VICE-PRESIDENT OF SAFETY AND OPERATIONAL SERVICES, INMARSAT AVIATION

“Developing relationships through mentorship is key. The best managers I’ve had have been women. Seeking mentors early in your career (both men and women) can help you navigate your professional career. If enough people do, it can have a macro impact in the workplace.” TARUSH AGARWAL, HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS, TOCA BOCA

“More airlines need to acknowledge the many talented women out there who are more than capable of doing the job. They need to put strategies into place to help women pilots balance their work and family life.”

?

How can the airline industry overcome gender inequality? APEX members share their thoughts on how to inspire more women to join the field, help them flourish in their roles and ensure they have equal opportunity.

“Early in my career, I was mistaken as the secretary or assistant, as some men were not used to interacting with women. I’ve overcome this by becoming the subject-matter expert in my field and clearly communicating my points of view with confidence.” PATTY CHANG, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, GLOBAL MOBILE BROADBAND, VIASAT

“The best solutions are created when strong communication exists across a diverse group of people. We must work from both the top down and the bottom up and provide platforms for open conversations about challenges.” STACIE LAWSON, MANAGER, OPERATIONAL SERVICES, US, SPAFAX

“Initiating discussion with men is the first step. Women can help us be more aware of gender bias and identify our privileges. On the other hand, men are in the best position to influence organizational change and to put effective programs in place to support a new culture.” TANGUY MOREL, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, INTERACTIVE MOBILITY

“Empower young women in their role and mission, keep them accountable for their tasks, and hire different genders and nationalities. Also, the expertise of men and women should be highlighted equally, building role models of all genders within the company.” LAURENCE FORNARI, FOUNDER AND HEAD OF SALES, SKYLIGHTS

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GABRIEL EBENSPERGER

CAPT. DAPHNIE TSUI, CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS

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COMFORT

Enter the Sleep Zone BY CAROLINE KU AND ARI MAGNUSSON

Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace are developing bed modules that would turn the lower deck of an aircraft into sleeping quarters for passengers. At Aircraft Interiors Expo in April, the partnering companies announced they expect their concept of stackable sleeping compartments – which bring to mind capsule hotel rooms found in Tokyo – will be certified for installation by 2020, initially on Airbus A330s, and potentially on A350 XWBs. The bed modules are designed to be loaded onto aircraft like cargo containers. “They’re fully integrated without any complex installation work,” Geoff Pinner, head of Airbus Cabin and Cargo Program, says. Other modules for socializing, dining, playing or working could be swapped on 28

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an overnight layover based on the needs of the passengers on the flight. “We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups,” Pinner says. Airbus has been sitting on the idea of cargo-container cabin modules for some time. In 2015, the airframer filed a patent for 31-by-31-inch sleeping boxes that feature all the amenities of an airplane seat but in the form of a reclining bed. Each compartment would contain a reading light, entertainment screen, speaker, air conditioning, emergency oxygen mask and camera for flight attendants to keep watch over passengers. And in December 2016, Airbus’ Silicon Valley outpost, A3, demonstrated Transpose, a concept of interchangeable cabin modules that would enable airlines to offer a more flexible cabin experience that has many similar features to the current bed modules. With demand for cargo on commercial aircraft slowing down and demand for passenger space ramping up, a Zodiac Aerospace representative told Wired it was time to rethink the space in the cargo hold.

They didn’t have to look much further than the A330 and A380, where beds and toilets for crew already exist in the lower deck. “We’re putting out a new product, a new way of offering services to passengers,” Christophe Bernardini, CEO of Zodiac Aerospace’s Cabin Branch, says. “An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.”

Cargo Hold Reconfigurations In 2011, the Crew Rest Module by TIMCO Aerosystems (now HAECO) launched on some Austrian Airlines Boeing 767s. The units, lightweight and soundproof, slept six and could be set up within 30 minutes. In 1999, Boeing filed a patent for sleeping berths accessible from the main cabin by a staircase or elevator. The patent describes the possibility of having a part bed, part baggage setup for flexibility.

PHOTO: AIRBUS

Hold the cargo. An idea to put beds in the lower deck would mean passengers could rest easy while they fly.

Lower-deck beds envisioned by Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace


Thank you for a great WTCE 2018! It was a pleasure to greet our customers at our WTCE booth this year and share how we are ‘Connecting Experts. Creating Experiences.’ to add value to their business. Each of our expert brands presented their unique competencies including LSG Sky Chefs in the area of classic catering and hospitality, Retail inMotion in onboard retail, SPIRIANT and SkylogistiX in equipment and equipment logistics, and of course our new brand Evertaste, which we launched at the show as experts in convenience food solutions. We look forward to following up on all the great discussions we had.

Connecting Experts. Creating Experiences.


COMFORT

Restroom Redesign From nose powdering to teeth brushing, passengers are using lavatories to satisfy diverse bathroom needs. Can airlines adopt a more streamlined approach? BY STEPHANIE TAYLOR

In recent years, airlines have reduced the size and number of lavatories to squeeze even more seats into the cabin. But more passengers means even bigger queues for the washroom, especially on long-haul flights when people are brushing their teeth and touching up their makeup. JAMCO, the sole lavatory supplier for Boeing’s wide-body aircraft, has come up with a way to address the issue. Its new Lav-Com concept consists of a centralized sink and mirror space alongside multiple sink-less lavatories – much like the setup in most restaurants or hotels. This convenient setup localizes passengers in a designated area specific to their needs. And, by situating the Lav-Com module in

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the aft area of the aircraft, away from seated passengers, the usual queuing in aisles, which can interrupt the meal service, would be avoided, the company says. Zodiac Aerospace has also taken inspiration from lavatory configurations on the ground: Its Durinal design replaces one of the regular 60-by-30-inch lavatories in economy class with two 30-by-30-inch urinals – each with its own lockable door – to accommodate the male “quick visit.” Besides decreasing the lavatory cycle time, Zodiac believes the knock-on effect of a reduction in “male splashzone contamination” in the conventional toilet could improve the passenger experience for women. In fact, Zodiac’s director of Marketing, Events and Cabin Communications, Wampie Kegel, says the

The usual queuing in aisles, which can interrupt the meal service, would be avoided. JAMCO ON LAV-COM


COMFORT

RENDERINGS: LAV-COM; ZODIAC AEROSPACE

Renderings of JAMCO’s Lav-Com concept (left). Zodiac Aerospace’s 30-by-30-inch urinal concept (above).

company is “running a parallel exercise on a women-specific design for the neighboring conventional toilet.” The supplier is no stranger to aircraft lavatory design, having been a 2017 Crystal Cabin Award finalist in the Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment category for its Revolution Vacuum Toilet, which uses recycled materials and 33 percent less water. With the Durinal concept, Kegel says, “Much of the cost reduction derives from dramatic module simplification.” The design opts for antibacterial wipes instead of a wet-wash basin and reduces the physical furniture, which, Kegel notes, would greatly simplify matters, result in weight savings and “be reflected in the day-to-day running and maintenance efforts.”

“Much of the cost reduction derives from dramatic module simplification.” WAMPIE KEGEL, ZODIAC AEROSPACE

Will passengers mind? Kegel thinks not: “Antibacterial wipes are common today, whether at home, at a festival or outside a grocery store. They are even flying on regional aircraft where space negates the use of conventional wet systems.” And, even with Durinal, there will still be other conventional lavatories on board for those who need the wet-wash basin experience.

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1G

2G

3G

4G

5G

Data rate: 2 Kbps

Data rate: 64 Kbps

Data rate: < 2000 Kbps

Data rate: < 1 Gbps

First wireless cellular technology. Enabled basic voice service. Demand for cell phones became widespread.

Shift to digital technology. Enabled text messaging and, with 2.G connectivity, e-mails and web browsing, too.

Enter smartphones and video calls. Prices of mobile devices skyrocket.

Data rate: > 1 Gbps (estimated)

1980s

1990s

2000s

High Five Every decade or so, a new generation of wireless network technology boosts speed and bandwidth to mobile devices. But 5G isn’t just a UX upgrade – it’s a quantum leap into the digital future. BY PAUL SILLERS

Imagine a world where in-flight entertainment means high-definition, immersive virtual reality (VR) content or feature-rich multiplayer 3-D gaming. Where cabins are equipped with wireless temperature sensors and crew use augmented reality (AR) headsets to address passengers personally. And at airports, everything is accelerated – from luggage tracking to biometric passenger verification. Well, you may not need to imagine much longer, because 5G is expected to facilitate all of this, and five major players – Airbus, Delta Air Lines, Sprint, OneWeb and Airtel – have come together, forming the Seamless 32

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2010s

2020s

Designed primarily for data. Mobile device users start to adopt the “anytime, anywhere” appetite for media consumption.

Air Alliance, to make it a reality. “Clearly, 5G will be better than what 3G and 4G can offer the traveling public today,” Airbus spokesperson Martin Fendt says. “More passengers will be able to simultaneously stream more high-bandwidth content than before. Furthermore, this experience will become seamless between home, taxi, airport terminal and the aircraft cabin.” Although 5G specification isn’t yet fully defined, Fendt says, expected benefits include one- to 10-Gbps connections, 1000 times the bandwidth per unit area, 10 to 100 times the number of connected devices, a 90 percent reduction in network energy usage, and up to 10 years of battery life for low-power, machine-type devices. And while 5G boasts economic benefits through improved operational efficiencies, he insists the main objective is passenger experience: “5G offers many more possibilities, and more ancillary revenue could certainly become a by-product – but that’s not the raison d’être. The driver overall is the inexorable trend toward the connected passenger.” Beyond the alliance, 5G could open up new opportunities for the Internet of Things (IoT) and private Long Term Evolution (LTE)

Expected to support a hyperconnected future of seamless Internet, “alwayson” gadgets for round-the-clock monitoring and smart city networks.

networks – areas that SITA is already exploring, says Gilles Bloch-Morhange, the airline infrastructure provider’s director of Communication Services. “With 5G, connectivity will flex to address different IoT-use cases: augmented assets (motorized, un-motorized assets, baggage tracking), enhanced operations (catering, turnaround optimization, passenger flow) and smart airports (building management),” he says. And that’s really the gist of this new generation – it’s not just about more speed and capacity; it’s about how 5G catalyzes VR, AR and especially the IoT. Looking at the broader picture, “5G on the ground will help unleash the full potential of satellite constellations in orbit. And vice versa,” Airbus’ Fendt says – a view shared by Bloch-Morhange. “Satellite systems have useful attributes for 5G in terms of security, resilience, coverage, mobility and delivery of broadband, and in this future environment, the choice of communication technology should be transparent to the end user and based upon location, type of service and cost-efficiency,” he says. “5G and satellite convergence will serve the end goal of considering the aircraft as an IoT-flying device.”

Sources: Simon Johansen, CommScope, the Globe and Mail

CONNECTIVITY


INFLIGHT CONNECTIVITY. IT ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE ANYMORE. With SmartSky Networks’ 4G LTE-based beamforming technology, getting incredible IFC is now easier than ever. It’s the real-time, bidirectional, low latency solution airline passengers and operations have been waiting for.

Visit smartskynetworks.com/ca to learn more.


ENTERTAINMENT

Subscription-based streaming platforms are stirring up demand for regional productions, injecting local flavor into IFE content. BY STEPHANIE TAYLOR COLLAGE BY NICOLÁS VENTURELLI

Local content is on the rise in large part thanks to Netflix. The global subscription video on demand (SVOD) service has been investing in content from places where it seeks to expand its membership. Netflix released its first non-US original in 2013, followed by eight more in 2015 and another 27 in 2016, for a total of 80 productions shot outside the US, including upcoming projects. In France, where Netflix currently reaches about 10 percent of households, it has vowed to feature 40 percent more French content than in 2017. And in India, where Netflix hopes to gain traction with the developing mobile market, it plans to invest 34

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“One major factor contributing to the rise of localized content is the growth of regional SVOD services.” EMMA GUNN, SPAFAX

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

Local Produce

a significant portion of its $6-billion global budget for original and licensed content on regional productions. But Netflix isn’t alone in propelling the local content trend forward. According to video analytics company Vidooly, Amazon Prime India’s catalog is 10 percent local content, and the online services giant has expressed further interest in boosting its Indian content offering with titles in Tamil and Telugu in addition to Hindi. “One major factor contributing to the rise of localized content is the growth of regional SVOD services,” says Emma Gunn, director of Programme Acquisitions and Content Partnerships, Spafax, adding that these regional distributors are recognizing the demand and responding with their own originals. Airlines are also responding to the trend with content from both global and regional producers. Eros International Media – an Indian motion picture production company and in-flight entertainment (IFE) provider, whose clients include Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Gulf Air and others – launched a local content SVOD platform, called Eros Now, in 2015. Having previously worked predominantly on films, the company now plans to release eight to 10 originals (a mix of films and series) spanning the comedy, drama and thriller genres over the next year or so.

Amita Naidu, Eros’ vice-president, Public Relations, believes the company’s plan to release originals will appeal to airlines, among which Indian content is gaining popularity. Bajirao Mastani, for example, was available on more than 62 airlines worldwide, making it one of the most popular Indian films in flight. While content tradeshows have been traditionally popular for international distributors to acquire successful Englishlanguage titles, Gunn says this has flipped. “We’re now seeing a trend toward Englishlanguage broadcasters attending these markets to acquire shows and formats from every corner of the globe and, in some cases, overthrowing US and UK shows from prime-time slots.” And bridging the gap between local and international content is a rise in coproductions: According to Eurodata TV Worldwide’s 2017 “Scripted Series” report, 10 percent of the top series in 2017 were co-productions, an increase of four percent from 2016. Co-productions are particularly popular when the countries involved share the same language or even culture, as they can be broadcast to a larger audience. This was the case with the TV series Als de dijken breken, a Belgian and Dutch co-production broadcast on NPO 1 that ranked second in the Netherlands in 2017. However, as the report states, “Sometimes, associations between the most unlikely countries – for example, the historical Russian-Portuguese series Mata Hari broadcast on Russia’s Pierviy Kanal [now called Channel One] – create a surprise and encounter great success.”


SERVICES

Beauty Boost Trying on makeup or accessories with the help of technology gives customers on the go a glimpse of what could be their reality. BY HARRIET BASKAS ILLUSTRATION BY BÁRBARA MALAGOLI

Way back in 2014, a description of the shops in the then newly renovated Queen’s Terminal at London Heathrow Airport made mention of the Sunglass Hut store, which had a “magic mirror” that allowed customers to try on frames through virtual technology. That mirror was part of a series of in-store photo kiosks featuring the brand’s Social Sun software, which not only lets customers try on sunglasses, but makes it easy for them to share photos of themselves sporting the shades on their social networks and get input (or snarky comments) from friends. Other brands are now using similar technologies, says Raymond Kollau of Airline Trends, “It is about time more airport retailers start experimenting as well.” Last fall, a month-long Lancôme holiday pop-up shop in Terminal 3 at Singapore Changi Airport invited travelers to test eye, lip and cheek makeup using an augmented reality (AR) makeover app called Virtual Mirror. Promoted as a worldwide travel retail exclusive, the AR makeup app also lets customers try looks created by Lancôme experts.

“Imagine shopping for duty-free products and booking hotel rooms or buying tickets for a show that you just witnessed, all in 3-D.” NIKOLAS JAEGER, INFLIGHT VR

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Flagship stores for Lancôme and Chanel in the recently opened Terminal 2 at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport are using virtual and interactive technologies to demonstrate new products as well. Those perusing duty-free offerings in airports will likely soon have more – and more sophisticated – AR experiences at cosmetics counters: Lancôme’s parent company, L’Oréal, which owns 34 international brands, just bought ModiFace, a Canadian AR and artificial intelligence company that focuses on the beauty industry. Once in the air, passengers may soon be able to continue sampling and buying

cosmetics using virtual reality (VR) systems, much like the ones being tested by Qantas and Air France for entertainment. The captive audience on board an aircraft paired with VR technology opens massive opportunities to drive ancillary revenues, Nikolas Jaeger, founder and CEO of Inflight VR, says. “Imagine shopping for duty-free products and booking hotel rooms or buying tickets for a show that you just witnessed, all in 3-D,” Jaeger says. “For cosmetics in particular, buying from virtual shops in VR and trying them on before you buy them in AR can be quite a powerful combination.”


Bluebox IFE More than In-Flight Entertainment

Offer your passengers Bluebox IFE and they won’t just be entertained. They’ll be engaged.

Engagement. We think about that a

Choose how you want to engage

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your passengers.

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On tablets or streamed to passengers’

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service, generates revenue, and reveals your

more than entertain passengers. It informs,

passengers’ interests.

educates, distracts and entices – with movies, music, destination guides, moving maps, advertising, shopping and more.

Want in-flight engagement your passengers won’t want to put down? Contact Bluebox.

Bluebox aIFE Winner IFEC Category

Contact us to discuss your portable & wireless IFE requirements / info@blueboxaviation.com / blueboxaviation.com


SERVICES

Whether cryptocurrencies will thrive or tank is anyone’s guess, but the underlying blockchain technology looks like a guarantee for the airline industry. BY FERGUS BAIRD

Cryptocurrency payments are fast and secure with no exchange rates or international fees – a dream for airlines, which stand to save time and money on everything from refueling and maintenance costs to logistics and flight planning by moving to blockchain-based payments. While the blockchain model is stable, cryptocurrencies are in flux. In December 2017, the value of one bitcoin spiked to $20,089 before plunging to $6,048 just two months later. Many airlines have nonetheless already begun to tentatively incorporate cryptocurrency into their strategies. In 2015, Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) partnered with Bitnet to launch cryptocurrency payments for 260 airlines. These payments won’t be dealt with by the airlines directly: UATP will handle processing and currency conversion, suggesting that there’s still reluctance from airlines to fully commit. Last year, Japan’s Peach Aviation announced plans to integrate bitcoin 38

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transactions into ticket sales and airport shopping; the move is part of an effort to appeal to crypto-savvy tourists from China. Originally set for launch in December 2017, these plans were rescheduled by Peach for this past March. As of now, they’re on hold – but not canceled! – with the airline stating that it’s waiting for the market to settle before making further moves. Airlines are clearly cautious about cryptocurrency, but they’re certainly not ruling it out, either. Robin Hopper, SVP, Product Strategy and Marketing at Guestlogix, says that growing consumer demand might push airlines into making a decision: “Airlines are putting greater emphasis on creating a ‘consumerized’ passenger experience – for in-flight sales as well as the passenger journey as a whole – and two central aspects of that approach are meeting the expectations of the mobilefirst customer, and embracing the best

“Airlines could offer crypto-only products, such as unique menu items or exclusive duty-free products.” MAXWELL ARNOLD, GLOBAL BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGIES

practices of leading on-the-ground retailers. Accepting cryptocurrencies for in-cabin purchases fits into this strategy, because customers are receptive to – or demand – this payment method.” AirAsia, for example, has plans to launch BigCoin later this year, which passengers could use to pay for in-flight meals and seat upgrades. But the airline also hopes the cryptocurrency will help mitigate some of the exchange rate risks. So how would a shift to cryptocurrency impact passenger purchasing? Maxwell Arnold, senior analyst at Global Blockchain Technologies, speculates on crypto’s potential to add new layers of value to upgrades and ancillaries: “If you restrict the availability of exclusive or premium products to being purchased only with a crypto that frequent customers would have (such as if an airline’s loyalty program is tokenized), it rewards those customers for their patronage.” Detailing potential applications, he adds: “Airlines could offer crypto-only products, such as unique menu items or exclusive duty-free products. Perhaps last-minute first-class upgrades could also be offered in this way, if there are unsold seats in that cabin.” Cryptocurrency has potentially huge benefits for the air travel industry, but there are still growing pains to overcome. For now, we just have to patiently wait and watch the markets.

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO, RCLASSENLAYOUTS

Coin Toss


CATERING

Stay Cool, Caviar

BY CAROLINE KU

Caviar – glossy black pearls with the subtle saltiness of the sea, usually served in a little mound with a piece of buttered toast or atop another dish – is one of the most expensive foods in the world. It’s considered even more exquisite when served in flight because of the journey it endured to get on an airplane. Be that as it may, Lufthansa, the world’s largest caviar customer, considers the delicacy intrinsic to its first-class long-haul experience. Procuring it is no easy feat, the airline’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, told the Globe and Mail. “The further up the class of service, the more we invest per passenger,” he said. “Caviar service on every flight in Lufthansa first-class is difficult for us to get.”

Airlines lose millions each year in spoiled caviar. Here’s the hard part: Sturgeon roe can only be kept between 28 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the only preservation of fresh caviar is a bit of salt in an airtight container, the freshness of the roe relies on artificial ice to stay cool – even through prolonged airline-catering red tape. “The problem is when you cross the border,” Sergio Segura, deputy general director of Innocentro’s aerospace division, says. “The time in customs can be anywhere up to 24 hours.” Segura’s even heard of a trolley that was held for 36 hours over a product traceability investigation.

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Because the conditions of caviar cannot be guaranteed during transportation, LSG Sky Chefs uses time-temperature indicators (TTIs) to track the temperature of the caviar. “The TTI indicates when the caviar shall not be served anymore,” Josefine Corsten, senior vice-president, Corporate Communications and Marketing at LSG Sky Chefs, says.

Innocentro’s transport container will enable caviar to remain chilled for 12 hours without a cooling agent.

Innocentro estimates that airlines lose millions each year in spoiled caviar, given the product’s price tag of $35,000 per kilogram. So, the company is developing a transport case specifically for caviar that can stay cool longer than the conventional trolley “icebox” for commercial airlines. Using a composite material with thermal and structural properties, the design enables a pre-chilled container to stay cool through the natural convection of the trapped air for 12 hours – Innocentro has tested this successfully – but the goal is to reach 24 hours without the aid of cooling agents. “Caviar is our target market, but it is not designed only for caviar,” Segura says. “It can be used with any perishable product.”

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO ILLUSTRATION: MARCELO CÁCERES

Transporting caviar at the right temperature in varying conditions is a costly endeavor – but one airline is willing to maintain its first-class reputation.


S OLU TION S

SOLUTIONS

S OLU TION S


PHOTO: RYANAIR

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Kenny Jacobs Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair Kenny Jacobs brought a thrift savvy to Ryanair that enabled the airline to thrive as a low-cost carrier, one that’s established a reputation for curbing frills and making its passengers’ dollars work hard for what they pay for – efficient, effective service. BY MARISA GARCIA

S

ince 2014, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, has helped transform the way the airline presents itself to the world and how it serves its customers. Jacobs’ professional roots are not in aviation but in value retail, having worked as the CMO for Moneysupermarket, and previously as the marketing director of Tesco. His retail background is considered a plus at Ryanair, where CEO Michael O’Leary prides himself as an industry outsider and the airline itself functions as an exception to the rule, defying – and in many ways disrupting – legacy operations. While Ryanair has grown into a powerful competitor in Europe on the strength of its low-cost no-frills business model and discount marketing approach, it has softened some of its hard edges in recent years and positioned itself to stay ahead of market changes by deploying the Always Getting Better (AGB) program, now entering its fifth year. Since he took over, Jacobs has focused Ryanair’s marketing strategy on agile simplicity, working to advance AGB while staying true to the airline’s core values: to help more people fly to more places for less. “We didn’t have a marketing strategy before,” Jacobs says. “Ryanair used to do sales when we

needed to do sales. The personality of Ryanair was cheeky, quite male-oriented, having a good bit of fun. I think some of that is great, but now it’s evolved, and it hasn’t become something overly sophisticated. Our marketing strategy is that piece of paper beside my desk that says, ‘Low fares made simple is being like Amazon on digital and data, being like ALDI on price and quality and executing faster than anyone else.’” Though simple, Jacobs says adhering to these three targets has worked for the past four years, and he expects that it will work for the foreseeable future. He ensures that his marketing team works toward achievable goals and isn’t sidetracked by buzz – something that airlines are getting better at, but is still an issue. “There’s a lot of distraction out there. One of the things I’ve geared the team toward is the lowest-hanging fruit. Just saying, ‘OK, there are plenty of things we can do, but, really, what is going to make the biggest difference right now?’” For Jacobs, it’s focus and speed. “We move quickly and we get things done. That is what I think of when I consider how this marketing organization feels. That also shapes the type of people that I want to get onto the team.” >

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Jacobs requires that team members’ individual marketing plans fit on no more than two pages, which then have to be further distilled into his own two-page big-picture plan. “What do we want to achieve? What are the metrics of each project? What’s it going to return in terms of revenue and profit? What are the early benchmarks of success? It’s very much a lean planning approach that works,” he says. When asked about the greatest accomplishments of the AGB program so far, Jacobs responds without hesitation, pointing to the digital transformation of the airline. “Introducing two bags, allocating seating, things like that caught a few headlines because we were taking on some notorious policies. But when I really look at the four years of AGB, it is definitely the website and everything we’ve done on mobile that have made the biggest and longest-lasting differences,” he says. These digital initiatives, Jacobs says, have had the most positive impact on the airline’s top and bottom lines, but they have also made air travel more

“Be like Amazon on digital and data, be like ALDI on price and quality and execute faster than anyone else.”

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affordable and easier to book for our customers. “The old Ryanair website was bad, and we didn’t have a mobile app. So yes, we had cheap fares, but you had to go through pain to book them, and we didn’t necessarily sell ancillary products in a data-driven, targeted way,” Jacobs says. The AGB initiatives around digital transformation required hard work and commitment. “We had a fairly massive desktop migration to undertake and we had to catch up on mobile. So although digital made the biggest difference, it was the hardest to deploy. And that’s because you need to continually work at it,” he says. Jacobs says the airline has occasionally missed opportunities, but relatively few, and he doesn’t worry much about them anyway. “There are things in customer service that we are doing in 2018 that I wish we had done sooner,” he says. “But in the second half of last year, and for this year, we’ve already made very good progress. We’ve hired a new in-house customer service team in Madrid rather than outsourcing some key processes. I think this will be the year when digital meets customer service. It will allow our customers to serve themselves and not have to call our customer service locations. They can do what they want to do in the Ryanair app.”

PHOTOS: RYANAIR

Inside Ryanair’s Dublin headquarters


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Jacobs says offering the lowest fare makes Ryanair different from its competitors.

Another goal of AGB over the next year will be to add a greater amount of ancillary sales from third-party services, also supported by digital platforms. “There are exciting opportunities in Ryanair Rooms, holidays, transportation, car hire, concert tickets and things to do at the destination. Getting into these third-party ancillary products and using the data and digital to sell them in an ongoing, smarter way will increase penetration,” Jacobs says. “Ryanair Rooms has been rolled out with travel credits in all markets, and that’s working extremely well. We’re seeing great numbers of customers earn their travel credit and redeem them on the same flight.” According to Jacobs, the airline has found ways to make the product more relevant to families and business travelers, and this has allowed it to grow. “But most importantly, we haven’t lost our focus on creating the lowest fare – and that is a key point that makes Ryanair different from any other airline in Europe.”

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BEHAVIORS

KNOW THY CUSTOMER WHILE IT’S UNDENIABLY BEST TO KNOW THY CUSTOMER AS INTIMATELY AS POSSIBLE, THESE FIVE PREVALENT BUYER PERSONAS ARE A GOOD PLACE TO START. BY KATIE SEHL | ILLUSTRATION BY MARCELO CÁCERES

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BUDGET SETTERS Unsurprisingly, budget travelers tend to spend the lowest of any travel group. Price dictates most of their purchasing decisions, whether that means snagging an all-inclusive package deal or nabbing a cheap airline ticket. According to Visa’s 2018 “Global Travel Intentions Report,” independent holidaymakers do most of their planning two to three months ahead of their trip, but will save booking activities, services and restaurants to the weeks before departure. Airlines with car rental or tourism partnerships can capitalize on their behavior by making relevant offers in confirmation or reminder e-mails as the trip approaches. In addition to being infrequent spenders, budget-savvy vacationers are often infrequent flyers. “With flying frequency, there comes a difference in familiarity with the airport process,” says Christina Roseler, senior consultant for Pragma Consulting, a Londonbased consumer market consultancy that has developed customer personas and revenue models for London Heathrow Airport, Bristol Airport and other high-profile clients. “Those who are the least frequent flyers tend to appear at the airport way in advance because they are unsure about the

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TRAVEL FREQUENCY:

SPEND:

Low

Low

MICRO-SEGMENTS: Backpackers, all-inclusive travelers

58%

OF EASYJET CUSTOMERS WOULD TRAVEL MORE OFTEN IF THEY HAD BETTER PET-CARE SOLUTIONS.

87%

OF TRAVELERS HAVE LEFTOVER CASH AFTER THEIR TRIPS. BUT ONLY 29% CONVERT IT BACK TO CURRENCY THEY CAN ACTUALLY USE AT HOME.

processes,” Roseler says, adding, “If someone has two and a half hours in the departure lounge, there are a lot of things you can do to engage them in the commercial offer, through dining or pop-ups.” But don’t expect added dwell time in airports to correspond with impulsive splurges on luxury items. Recent segmentation research conducted by DallasFort Worth International Airport (DFW) found that while frugal vacationers account for 41 percent of the airport’s visitors, they only contribute to 11 percent of the spending. For self-described bargain hunters, extra dwell time will be spent finding affordable dining options and browsing for duty-free deals, or books to read at the gate. To compel these travelers to part with their hard-earned dollars, travel vendors need to understand not only what motivates purchases, but also what impedes them. In a recent survey, easyJet found that 58 percent of its customers would travel more often if they had better pet-care solutions, with 62 percent of those respondents citing the cost of pet care or concern for pet welfare as a major impediment. As a solution, the airline partnered with TrustedHousesitters to offer a cost-friendly option for pennywise pet owners.


BEHAVIORS

FAMILY-FIRST FLYERS One thing that most travelers at an airport have in common is that shopping is secondary to their prime reason for being there. “The primary objective is always to fly,” Roseler says. But for those traveling with children, or to visit friends or relatives, shopping tends to fall even further down on the priority list. “Bonding with family and loved ones” was cited by 47 percent of respondents as the number one motivator for traveling in Visa’s 2018 “Global Travel Intentions Report,” while only 23 percent traveled to “treat themselves.” And while splurging on a day at the spa or fine dining is less likely to be in the cards for those traveling with kids, children are good at helping parents find other ways to spend money. Value is key for traveling families, who are often enticed by group deals or special pricing for children. As a US Family Travel survey from New York University finds, 77 percent cite “best value” as a deciding factor when booking a family vacation. But importantly, 70 percent of parents cite “amenities for children” as a close competing factor, suggesting parents may be willing to pay more for kid-friendly services or offers.

TRAVEL FREQUENCY:

SPEND:

Moderate

Low to moderate

MICRO-SEGMENTS: Single parents and visiting friends and/or relatives (VFR) IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, THE VFR SEGMENT AT MELBOURNE AIRPORT GREW BY

15%

77% CITE “BEST VALUE” AS A DECIDING FACTOR WHEN BOOKING A FAMILY VACATION.

Emirates’ Fly With Me monster toys from Buzz Products encourages brand loyalty at a young age by creating a collectible set.

Airports with nurseries, feeding stations, children’s play areas, and related facilities will likely be given preference over those without. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s Hello Kitty play area gives parents and children a place to decamp, and corresponds conveniently with the adjacent Hello Kitty Sweets café and gift shop. Meanwhile, Emirates’ Fly With Me monster toys from Buzz Products encourages brand loyalty at a young age by creating a collectible set. Underserved markets include single parents and VFRs – visiting friends and/or relatives travelers, a segment that continues to grow. At Melbourne Airport, strong VFR demand in the Sri Lanka– Melbourne market led SriLankan Airlines to launch a direct route. >

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BEHAVIORS

HIGH LIFERS Having emerged more recently as a travel segment, “high-lifers” tend to skew younger in age and have proven difficult to characterize because of their diversity of motivations, trip types and cultural backgrounds. Described variously as experience seekers, indulgent explorers, the #YOLO voyageurs, bleisure travelers, or simply millennial travelers, what this group lacks in homogeneity it makes up for in spending power.

Key to understanding high-lifers is the fact that they travel with a reward mindset: “I may not be rich, but I deserve to be pampered.”

TRAVEL FREQUENCY:

SPEND:

Moderate-high

Moderate-high

MICRO-SEGMENTS: Bleisure travelers, millennials

INDULGENT EXPLORERS ACCOUNT FOR 22% OF TRAFFIC AT DFW, BUT CONTRIBUTE TO

50%

OF TOTAL SPENDING. Key to understanding high-lifers is the fact that they travel with a reward mindset. “I may not be rich, but I deserve to be pampered. I like to reward myself whether by eating at an upscale restaurant, shopping for clothing or getting a massage or manicure,” a respondent on DFW’s passenger segment report shares. While “indulgent explorers” only account

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GLOBALLY, OVER 2018, TRAVELERS PLAN ON TAKING MORE SHORT GETAWAYS (THREE NIGHTS OR LESS).

for 22 percent of traffic at DFW, they outspend all other passenger segments. Brands popular among respondents include Nike, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Ray-Ban. Eating well ranks among this group’s top priorities, with 61 percent making the time to eat at a high-end restaurant at DFW. For airport operators, that could mean making sure there are celebrity-chef-branded restaurants and healthy options available. It also means high-lifers may be less likely to eat in flight. This group’s openness to “blended travel” – whether by tacking a few vacation days onto a business trip or stopping over somewhere on a VFR journey – likely contributes to an overall trend that has seen the average length of trips get shorter, but also more frequent. “If it’s a short flight or a domestic flight, people tend to arrive at the airport later, and the dwell time will be shorter for those segments,” Pragma’s Roseler says. So, while high-lifers are willing to spend at the airport, as they grow more versed in air travel and open to quick getaways, their dollars may be harder to capture.


BEHAVIORS

BUSINESS TRAVELERS The term “business traveler” is fairly synonymous with frequent flyer nowadays, with the average road warrior taking between 12 and 14 trips per year. Though they are not the largest passenger segment – in fact the percentage of trips for business purposes has dropped from 47 percent in 1997 to 31 percent in 2015 – they are typically twice as profitable as leisure travelers for airlines. In the past, this travel segment was predominantly male; recent years have seen a sharp uptick in the number of women traveling for work purposes, and the gender variable has made a considerable difference. Overall, business travelers make travel reservations much later than holidaymakers, but a 2016 study found that female business travelers book 1.9 days earlier than their male counterparts, saving employers a significant amount. The study, by corporate travel firm Carlson Wagonlit Travel, also found that as traveler age increases, so too does advance booking. Unlike leisure travelers, who travel with a greater sense of novelty, for frequent flyers, navigating concourses and inflight entertainment systems with blinders on is business as usual. Roseler suggests that companies should try to recreate a sense of surprise and delight for business

“Captive currency is spent a lot more freely because it’s almost like toy money.” CHRISTINA ROSELER, PRAGMA CONSULTING

TRAVEL FREQUENCY:

SPEND:

High

High

MICRO-SEGMENTS: Rogue bookers, female business travelers

ASIA IS THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MARKET FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL, ACCOUNTING FOR

38%

OF ABOUT $1 TRILLION IN ANNUAL SPENDING.

THE MAJORITY OF BUSINESS TRIPS ARE BOOKED WITHIN A WEEK OF THE DEPARTURE DATE.

travelers. “There are ways to do that; for example, using pop-ups or presenting offers that are relevant to them,” she says. “With a new and exciting feel, you might be able to convert them.” The most tried-and-true method of converting road warriors has been through loyalty rewards programs. Named Loyalty magazine’s 2017 “Best Loyalty Programme of the Year,” the Frankfurt Airport Rewards program has found success through its ability to present personalized and real-time offers to its customer base, 38 percent of which are business travelers. Done right, partnerships that allow customers to spend airline points at the airport could be a sweet spot, Roseler says. In partnership with OTG, United Airlines explored this idea through Miles Shops and restaurants that accept points as payment at Newark Liberty International Airport. “Captive currency is spent a lot more freely because it’s almost like toy money rather than real money,” she says. >

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BIG SPENDERS As the gap between flying first class and flying private continues to close, the commercial airline industry’s most lucrative customers may also become the most elusive. Etihad Airways has cornered the market on first-class luxury with The Residence, but competition from Singapore Airlines and the private market means even the most luxurious airlines must continue to up the ante. Traditional accoutrements lose their luster over time for luxury travelers who are well-traveled and technologically savvy, and crave innovation. According to the Affluence Collaborative, 34 percent of affluent travelers expect products and services to be tailored to their needs and desires; 32 percent believe that brands they engage with should be innovators; and 32 percent expect surprise, delight and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. A rise in original, on-demand luxury services has emerged to cater to these expectations. Last year, Delta Air Lines partnered with helicopter company Blade to provide first-class customers with on-demand transfers from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Manhattan in less than 10 minutes. To appeal to higher-end clientele, food delivery service Deliveroo partnered with Veuve Clicquot to offer Champagne on demand – with a gift-wrap option – to customers in London, England.

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TRAVEL FREQUENCY:

SPEND:

High

High

MICRO-SEGMENTS: Wellness tourism, emerging markets

WELLNESS TOURISM IS PREDICTED TO GROW

37.5%

TO $808 BILLION BY 2020.

duty free

34%

OF AFFLUENT TRAVELERS EXPECT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO BE TAILORED TO THEIR NEEDS AND DESIRES.

Partnering with luxury brands is a key opportunity for travel retailers, especially as almost half of global spending on luxury goods comes from purchases made while traveling internationally. According to a study by Deloitte, this figure rises to 60 percent among travelers from emerging markets such as China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, where there is typically less access to the same range of products and demands. Micro-segments in the luxury travel market include global wellness tourism, which is predicted to grow 37.5 percent to $808 billion by 2020. Specialized luxury companies such as Black Tomato, which offers pop-up accommodations in remote locations like the Moroccan desert and Bolivian salt flats, or Travel Unwrapped, which creates itineraries for travelers based on their DNA, will continue to push the envelope on rarefied experiences.

Almost half of luxury purchases are made by consumers who are traveling in a foreign market or while at the airport.


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PHOTO: GOGO

Q&A

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Q&A

Fran Phillips

LOCATION:

DFW

NOW WATCHING:

SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT OF AIRLINE AFFAIRS GOGO

This Is Us

Fran leads the negotiations of airline agreements and ensures Gogo’s compliance with its contractual obligations. She has also worked in product development and marketing at American Airlines, Sony Trans Com and Connexion by Boeing. She holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.

Facebook

Did you choose the airline industry or did it choose you? I chose it; I had the option out of business school to work at an airline or a large telecommunications company. I chose the airline. Now I’m working with a lot of telecom experts bringing connectivity to airlines. If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you love to be doing? I would be a family counselor. People often come to me with their problems, because they know I’ll listen and care. The good news is that my listening skills and the ability to see two sides to every issue or story have served me well in my chosen career. What’s something that never ceases to amaze you in the industry? I’m actually amazed that airlines operate as well as they do. They have to manage people and assets all over the world, in the air and on the ground, while dealing with weather anomalies, geopolitical issues, passenger behavioral problems, et cetera. Most businesses firmly planted in one place on the ground couldn’t adapt to all that on a daily basis. There is always room for improvement, but also room for patience and understanding.

“As a woman, you probably start with a deficit of respect and you have to earn it, whereas most men walk in with it.” If you could sit next to anyone on a plane, who would it be? Ellen DeGeneres. I’d be so entertained, and everyone on the aircraft would probably deplane with a gift card and a smile. What’s it like working in a maledominated industry? At this stage in my career I’m not daunted by it. But as a woman, you can be underestimated and discounted, especially by people you are meeting for the first time. Eventually I let my industry knowledge and my approach to my work and to others speak for itself. As a woman in that situation, you probably start with a

YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 30 FAVORITE SOCIAL NETWORK: THE FUTURE OF FLIGHT WILL BE:

Data-driven

deficit of respect and you have to earn it, whereas most of the men walk in with it, and it is theirs to hold on to or to lose. What could the aviation industry do better to encourage more women to join the field? Opportunities are lacking at the highest levels, even though it has been demonstrated that gender-balanced leadership teams drive stronger company performance. The industry needs to prioritize the hiring of female executives and consider promoting current female employees to executive-level positions even if they don’t “walk and talk” like the rest of their male counterpart executives. Who is your female role model? My mother. She immigrated to the United States from Sweden and managed to raise three children and have a successful nursing career. Even though nursing certainly wasn’t male-dominated, she did have to overcome a language barrier and some anti-immigrant sentiment. She managed all of this and was as loving and caring a mom and a nurse as anyone can imagine.

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ANCILL ARIES

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ANCILL ARIES

Living in the Micro-Moment

The right product for the right customer at the right time and on the right device. In the experience era, knowing your customers’ needs has never been more important. BY JORDAN YERMAN | ILLUSTRATIONS BY DANIEL GONZÁLEZ

W

e live on our smartphones, faces fixed upon the blue glow of the screen as we move zombie-like through the world. Really, though, our mobile interactions are how we seek to augment our daily experiences to better suit our ever-changing needs and wants. While we’ve always dreamed, planned and made choices as we’ve traveled, now we can actually act on them in real time. It is during these micro-moments – these inflection points of curiosity and decision – when customers turn to their electronic devices for help, be it to learn, to remember, to assess or to buy. More and more customers are using their mobile devices to make travel purchase decisions every year, according to a study by Google – and they’re making these decisions faster. From the time the traveler imagines her getaway to the points at which she hunts for a ticket, books accommodation and navigates a foreign airport in search of a taxi and cup of coffee,

micro-moments of engagement pop up for airlines and airline-adjacent services to step in, thanks to location and data analysis technologies that are still relatively new.

HUNGRY FOR NEW SALES OPPORTUNITIES

More than 200 customer touchpoints were identified over the course of a hypothetical weeklong ski trip from Paris to Aspen, from inspiration to travel to coming back home.

Airlines have proven themselves masters of revenue capture, but there’s a ceiling for seat selection and upgrade fees: Future growth lies in ancillary revenue. Indeed, a recent Amadeus-Accenture report finds that some airlines make 40 percent of per-passenger revenue from ancillary sales. Passengers – human beings that they are – love choices, so airlines must efficiently surface the ticketing and ancillarysales alternatives available. “I’ll take the chocolate cake for five euros if it is the only choice I have,” Valerie Viale, head of Dynamic Pricing and Revenue Optimization at Amadeus, says. “But if I have the choice between a chocolate cake at four euros and a cheesecake at eight euros, I’ll have the cheesecake – I do love cheesecake!” > APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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ANCILL ARIES

Mike Slone, chief experience officer of Travelaer, a startup that builds Internet booking engines (IBEs) and conversational customer-engagement platforms, identified more than 200 customer touchpoints over the course of a hypothetical weeklong ski trip from Paris to Aspen, from inspiration to travel to coming back home. He and his team also found that over one-quarter of those customer touchpoints were found via Facebook entities – be it the main platform, Facebook Messenger or Instagram. Facebook’s privacy scandal notwithstanding, this is a highly significant data point for companies that are considering their digital strategies.

FIND YOUR WAY THERE One clear micro-moment is in the booking phase: When someone books a flight, the opportunity presents itself to offer a hotel or rental car deal. Messaging is key here, both visually and in writing. Travelaer worked with Finnair to revamp the airline’s booking engine, empowering it to include hotel bookings and ancillary sales. “We started working with Finnair in 2016 and built upon all of our experiences working with stopovers and Icelandair for almost six years,” Slone says.

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Travelaer learned how important the visual aspects of the process were to the traveler, and developed accordingly: “We combined a mapping element that is connected to the booking widget to display the customer’s itinerary and timeline on the map, so that customers could visualize what they were booking before they ever leave the booking widget.” The term “customer journey” has reached buzzword status in the online retail community, but travelers are on a physical journey, too, opening up the opportunity for offline touchpoints. Advances in indoor mapping technology have provided new opportunities for reaching travelers in a rush: Five minutes is enough time for that cup of coffee from the café you didn’t even know was there. “In today’s world, where consumer experience is king – the experience era – it’s imperative to offer a great experience to increase customer loyalty, which inevitably leads to increased sales,” says Campbell Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of LocusLabs, an indoor wayfinding startup. “We also know that when passengers are less stressed, they spend more money, according to a recent SITA study.”

“Maps and augmented reality are the perfect canvas to surface contextualized information; they allow passengers to explore where they want to spend their time.” CAMPBELL KENNEDY, LOCUSLABS

Like Travelaer, LocusLabs works closely with mapping technology, albeit at a different scale: “Since maps and augmented reality are the perfect canvas to surface contextualized information, offers or vouchers, they allow passengers to explore their options to see where they want to spend their time,” Kennedy says. “And often, time is money.” >


SKYfi club – Your mobile theatre Staying in touch and streaming content via smartphones, tablets and laptops are now top wishes for air travellers. And SKYfi is one of the most advanced and cost-effective ways to meet these demands – for satisfied passengers who keep coming back. Plus, SKYfi club lets you create personalised entertainment and information programmes streamed directly to passengers’ devices – for the ultimate in in-flight customisation.

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www.kid-systeme.com


ANCILL ARIES

Down to the Moment A journey by airplane is made up of dozens – if not hundreds – of decision-making micro-moments, inflection points where airlines and brands can earn a customer’s business and loyalty by improving the experience and the decision-making process itself. Here are a few of the most pivotal micro-moments in the passenger journey.

PLANNING

“Where shall we go on vacation?”

LAST-MINUTE PREPARATION

“Can we check in online? Will we take the subway, a taxi or a rideshare to get to the airport?”

SEARCH AND DISCOVERY

Untangling webs of information to find schedules, fares and itineraries.

WAITING TO FLY

Exploring the airport for snacks, drinks and duty-free discounts.

MAKING THE DECISION

Answering where, when, which airline, which class of service and where to stay upon arrival.

IN-FLIGHT EXPERIENCE

Interacting with the IFE system, onboard sales portal, the airline app and, of course, the flight crew.

leverage data on how previous passengers behaved at that point in the sales funnel over time. Those insights can pay off, using pricing fluidity to sell a seat not only at different price points depending on demand, but also to meet different sets of expectations. Among the airlines experimenting with bare-bones basic economy fares, and for-purchase addons, is American Airlines, which prohibits basic economy passengers from using the overhead bins. What was once a seat with presumed space for a passenger’s personal effects has become something different: space as a service, if you will, with upsell opportunities both at the time of booking and as a last-minute upgrade should someone end up packing more carry-on luggage than anticipated.

“If any investment is going into IBEs, it is allowing airlines to sell complementary products better, such as ancillaries.” MIKE SLONE, TRAVELAER

ARRIVAL AT AN UNFAMILIAR AIRPORT

“Where’s my luggage? Where’s the restroom? Where’s the nearest cup of coffee? How do we get to where we’re staying?”

Kennedy cites security queues as a squandered opportunity for airports to further engage their customers, adding that it would pay off if travelers knew exactly how far they were from their gate, which would in turn mean knowing how much time they have for shopping or a second drink at the bar. “The entire in-airport portion of the journey is largely missed,” he says. “Today’s airports have mostly physical signage and storefronts with almost nothing

EXPLORATION

Discovering a new destination on the ground. What hidden gems are waiting to be unearthed?

in the way of digital. However, look at all the people staring down at their phones next time you’re at an airport!”

DYNAMIC PRICING: RISK AND REWARD Dynamic pricing is another method for reaching travelers at a critical point in their journey. The selection of a coach-class fare has long been a potential micro-moment, but is only now being actualized as airlines

This fare structure enables traditional airlines to compete with low-cost carriers and ultra low-cost carriers (ULCC), at least at first blush. However, it forces passengers to pick their poison: pay extra to use the overhead bin or pay extra to check a bag – unless the carry-on is tiny enough to share precious under-seat space with their feet. This is where airlines must be wary of fare dilution: If every airline, from ULCC to legacy, begins offering services that are seen as too similar – or if an add-on fee is seen as unavoidable in any case – the passenger will simply opt for the less expensive option. Slone warns that such granular fare-class differentiation is customer-unfriendly, as the benefits and limitations of each are difficult to parse by customers navigating the buying process on their phones. “If any investment is going into IBEs, it is allowing airlines to sell complementary products better, such as ancillaries,” he says.

LHR 60

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ANCILL ARIES

AIR-TRAVEL ECOSYSTEMS Icelandair has long embraced a holistic approach to sales, incorporating its hotels into its multiday stopover program since the 1960s. Ryanair has incentivized customers to stay in its travel ecosystem with Ryanair Travel Credit, rewarding those who stay at Ryanair Rooms with a 10 percent flight discount. Meanwhile, Air New Zealand (ANZ) is recognizing its own in-flight Wi-Fi service as a potential platform for sales partnerships outside the cabin, with an eye toward offering the traveler the right product – whatever it may be – at the right time and place. To that end, ANZ is experimenting with a customercommunication chatbot to better scale a passenger-by-passenger understanding of purchasing preferences. These endeavors require knowledge of passenger desire at a given micromoment: “The concept of dynamic pricing is to optimize the price of the product, in real time, with the best knowledge of which customer segment is asking and what their purchase behavior is, as well as

what other providers are offering at that time,” Amadeus’ Viale says. That’s a lot of moving parts. With such an ambitious goal, airlines and travel service providers need to fine-tune their tools. “Take responsive user interfaces and mobile applications,” Slone says. “OTAs [online travel agents] and metasearch sites like Expedia and Skyscanner have had a responsive user interface for years, whereas most airlines today still don’t have responsive user interfaces, much less iOS and Android applications.” Airlines would do well to

“The concept of dynamic pricing is to optimize the price of the product, in real time.” VALERIE VIALE, AMADEUS

adopt that fail-fast startup mentality, he says, to keep up with customer expectations and unlock engagement potential.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU Identifying micro-moments is a heuristic process – bit by bit, larger and more complete pictures of traveler behaviors emerge from a million unique journeys. “At the inspirational phase, the shopper will not have shared the length of stay, or if there is a Saturday night at the destination,” Viale says. “When we have that information, we can reasonably assume a leisure type of travel (and a higher price sensitivity). At the inspirational phase, the vision of the passenger and [that passenger’s] shopping behavior is likely to be more unclear.” One thing is clear, though: It pays to be there when the customer needs you, with the right message at the right time – as if you’re both thinking the same thing. As Kennedy says, “Modern mobile users are very fickle and know a good experience when they feel it.” So, make sure your passengers know about the cheesecake. APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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CONNECTIVIT Y

Uncharted India is the only nation aside from North Korea to prohibit in-flight connectivity in its airspace, but that’s changing. BY ARI MAGNUSSON ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANGÉLICA GEISSE

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CONNECTIVIT Y

A

t the start of 2018, if you were to book a flight on a randomly selected airline and route anywhere in the world, your likelihood of having access to in-flight Wi-Fi stood at 43 percent, according to a report by Routehappy. If you boarded a domestic flight within India, the odds fell to zero. But change could be in the air. India’s Telecom Commission recently approved of a recommendation issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that airlines flying within and through the country be allowed to offer in-flight connectivity, on the condition the services be provided by Indian or other approved satellites. What’s been the hold up? According to Anand Chari, Gogo’s strategic technology advisor, the country’s hesitance has always been related to national security concerns. “India has always been very cautious about satellite communications, even on the ground. It’s one of the most highly regulated markets anywhere in the world,” he says. The other delay, Chari says, was bureaucracy. “There’s the Department of Telecommunications, the Ministry of Home Affairs and other government bodies that are all involved in setting the rules and regulations and going through the approval process. Traditionally, satellite communications had a lot of regulations around it.” Speaking at this year’s APEX Asia event in Shanghai, APEX CEO Joe Leader said he was optimistic that Wi-Fi could appear over Indian airspace soon. “We are definitively convinced that India will open Wi-Fi over its airspace this year,” he said during a presentation. We believe it will happen in Q2 or Q3,” he said during a presentation.

APEX members are among those playing a role in helping to bring this to fruition. Gogo participated in several meetings with Indian government officials and made several technical and policy contributions, Chari says. “We have been very active. The TRAI’s recommendations incorporate some of Gogo’s proposals,” he notes. “We have been participating in this regulatory rulemaking process for nearly three years, with people flying to India and being physically present in meetings.” Dave Schiff, vice-president, North America Enterprise Sales, of broadband satellite systems provider Hughes, says his company’s staff in India has also been actively engaged in the topic. “We think that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the regulatory environment. >

“India has always been very cautious about satellite communications, even on the ground. It’s one of the most highly regulated markets in the world.” ANAND CHARI, GOGO

Probability of having access to in-flight Wi-Fi

Rest of the world India

43%

0%

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Once the regulatory hurdle is cleared, we will be working with our service provider partners to get the infrastructure in place. From a business and regulatory standpoint, we’re optimistic that the business opportunity could open up possibly before the end of this year, or certainly during the next year.” For multinationals, including in-flight connectivity providers, India represents a big opportunity: It is home to more than 1.3 billion mainly young people and it has a fast-growing economy. This applies to air travel, too. Buoyed by 20 percent annual growth in passenger numbers, India’s aviation industry is booming. By 2025, it is expected to become the third-largest aviation market in the world, according to the International Air Transport Association. To meet rising demand, Airbus forecasts the country will need 1,750 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next two decades. By 2036, it predicts Indians will fly four times more than they do today, with passenger traffic expected to grow by 8.1 percent per year over the next 20 years – almost twice as fast as the world average of 4.4 percent. “It’s essentially an untapped market. The number of airlines, and aircraft within each airline, is growing. The economy’s growing, and the percentage of the population that’s flying is growing,” Chari says. “It’s hard to estimate exactly how big it is, but it’s one

“India is a great market – it’s really fastgrowing, and I think in the long term, it has a lot of stability.” DON BUCHMAN, VIASAT

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100

flights took off every hour in India in 2017, compared with 67 in 2011.

By 2025, India is expected to become the third-largest aviation market in the world. of the fastest growing markets so we are keenly following developments and are highly encouraged by the recent decision.” Don Buchman, Viasat’s vice-president and general manager, Commercial Mobility, is also optimistic about the country. “India is a great market – it’s really fast-growing, and I think in the long term, it has a lot of stability,” he says. “You see a lot of really interesting business models, especially with the ultra low-cost and independent carriers like Jet Airways.” With the launch

Over

117million

Indians traveled by air in 2017, nearly double from six years ago.

Source: India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation

of its Viasat-3 constellation, the Carlsbad, California-based company will become a global Internet service provider and has plans to offer in-flight connectivity in India. But can the country offer the same commercial opportunities as China, whose middle class has swelled over the past decade? Not quite, Buchman says. “It has a similar population size, but if you look at people who can afford a ticket, it’s not going to be as big a market as China will be, especially in the next 10 years.”


CONNECTIVIT Y

Schiff makes a similar point. While India has a huge population and a large economy, he says the price points are probably not on the same level as in the US and that operating costs won’t necessarily be any lower. Beyond the regulatory environment, he says, satellite and equipment technology won’t be the ultimate determinant. “The real question is: Can you make a business case? Can you have a financially viable offering?” There’s no consensus on how big India’s middle class is. A recent paper by economists Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar of the University of Mumbai says that the country’s middle class has doubled in size to 600 million from 2004 to 2012. But that doesn’t afford a life with smartphones, credit cards, vacations, or even in-flight Wi-Fi sessions. According to their definition, living on as little as $2–$4 per person per day qualifies as lower middle class, while joining the ranks of the upper middle class means a daily budget of $6–$10. Officials said in-flight Wi-Fi pricing would likely range from 500 rupees ($7.50) to 1,000 rupees ($15) for a session lasting between 30 minutes and an hour, according to an article published by the Times of India in January. Moreover, 97 percent of Indians

97%

percent of Indians have never flown.

have never flown, and only one in 40 adults traveled abroad in 2015, according to SpiceJet, an Indian carrier. Unlike in the US, where systems are paid for by airlines and the service is funded by passenger subscription fees, Schiff says, in India and China, the focus is currently on advertising and other types of subsidization as the primary funding source. “While this is a more challenging and uncertain business model, the feedback that Hughes gets from different players in the industry that we work with and talk to is they believe that the business model will be viable. That of course remains to be seen, but in the end, in light of the strong demand for inflight connectivity by both airlines and their passengers, I think it almost has to happen one way or another.” Gogo’s Chari reckons demand for connectivity in India will match that in other countries. “There are some unique characteristics [to India], but one thing to note is that the demographic of the flying public is more homogenous around the world than the rest of the general population,” he says. “There could be different price points or different business models, but there is no doubt that there is just as much demand in India as any other part of the world.”

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARK ROBOFF

Q&A

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Q&A

Mark Roboff

LOCATION:

SNA

NOW WATCHING:

Silicon Valley

VICE-PRESIDENT, AEROSPACE AND AUTOMOTIVE SPARKCOGNITION

FAVORITE AIRPORT:

HND

Mark helps companies leverage AI to transform their businesses – from enabling a deeper and more personalized customer experience to equipping leaders with the tools needed to take charge in an interconnected world. He brings over 15 years of experience in software solutions and is pleased to be working in aviation – a lifelong passion for him.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Focus on the problem you’re solving rather than the technology being used to solve it.” This can be a particularly hard axiom to learn, especially for those, like me, who come from a technology background. Yet, I’ve found it to be true again and again. It’s extraordinarily important when discussing artificial intelligence (AI): There is so much hype around the technology that it can be painfully difficult to understand what’s true. So many firms are selling what AI is, how it works, what they are doing with the technology and what problems they are trying to solve with it. I focus on what AI has done in the industry and what it can do for my customers. What travel and/or tech trends do you have your eye on right now? For airlines that are removing seatback screens, I’m looking at how that will affect their crew’s ability to manage the passenger experience, and how an AIdriven digital experience delivered by the airline to personal devices can help regain that control. I’m also focused on the rollout of high-bandwidth Wi-Fi and how it can be used in other ways on aircraft – including for harm-seeking applications like viruses and malware, and how AI can be used to neutralize those threats.

“There is so much hype around AI that it can be painfully difficult to understand what’s true. I focus on what AI has done in the industry and what it can do for my customers.”

How can the airline industry become more efficient? Airlines have figured out how to use analytics to match capacity to demand and to hone the art of price prediction, but they can optimize the technology even further. I’ve worked with several airlines in East Asia to reduce their maintenance turnaround time by putting AI and analytics to work on their maintenance logs, and now I’m hoping to bring this capability to airlines across the globe.

BRAND OF SUITCASE:

Briggs & Riley SEATBACK OR PED?

Both

Why did your company decide to join APEX? The passenger experience is at the precipice for a dramatic transformation, and AI will be at the center of this. It will create new winners and losers in the industry while ultimately giving the most power to those that can best leverage data. We see APEX as an outstanding forum for this discussion. How can AI enhance retail touchpoints for airlines? AI is playing an outsized role in consolidating traveler data and providing a unified traveler experience – throughout the passenger journey, in the cockpit and on autonomous aircraft. In the meantime, we’re focused on how AI can disrupt commercial aviation from the ground up (literally!). We are working on an array of solutions focused on the optimization of aircraft maintenance, ground operations, scheduling, even spare-part and fleet utilization – all achievable with what an airline already has in its IT systems and back office. The demos and simulations of an AI-driven aircraft are eye-catching, but AI applied to the nitty-gritty is where we’ll see the most pronounced transformation in the shortest amount of time.

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ON PURPOSE AND PROFIT

Airlines may wince at the thought of taking a stand on a divisive issue, but they’re realizing that it doesn’t pay to keep quiet anymore either.

PHOTOS: ISTOCKPHOTO; LATINSTOCK

BY VALERIE SILVA

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mong the numerous companies that severed ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left 17 high school students dead on Valentine’s Day were United Airlines and Delta Air Lines – both of which took to Twitter to end contracts offering discounted rates to members of the gun lobby. Reactions to the airlines’ decision were mixed, but for Delta, the move precipitated a retaliation by Georgia state leaders who said they’d prevent the airline from obtaining a lucrative $50-million tax exemption on jet fuel should it not reverse its decision. Finding itself in the crosshairs of a nationwide debate, Delta seemed to have two options: cede to the conservative backlash or take a firmer stance on gun control. It did neither.

FACE VALUE According to research conducted by social media management firm Sprout Social, two-thirds of consumers deem it important for brands to take a public stand on leading social and political issues like immigration, human rights and race relations. Once capable of adopting a position of neutrality, businesses – of which airlines aren’t exempt – are thrust onto the public stage where social and business impact now converge. “Airlines have now realized that if you try to be something to everyone, you end up being nothing to no one,” says Shashank Nigam, CEO of airline marketing strategy firm SimpliFlying and author of Soar: How the Best Airline Brands Delight Customers and Inspire Employees. “In order to build die-hard fans, you must be willing to alienate some people.” An example of an airline that has taken the plunge into political parlance – and profited tremendously – is Royal Jordanian (RJ), Nigam says, citing a series of social media ads that mock current events. > APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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The first of these ads, released hours before the results of the 2016 US elections were announced, showed ticket prices for RJ flights to Chicago, Detroit and New York, and the following cheeky line: “Just in case he wins… Travel to the US while you’re still allowed to!” That ad went viral, with an organic reach of 750 million across the airline’s social media channels, and bookings to the US increasing by 50 percent in

Expectations that companies should address social and environmental issues, by generation 86%

en

by X G bo en om er al er po s pu la tio n

89%

Ba

M

83%

G

en ni

al

s

87%

ill

G en

Z

94%

SOURCE: Cone Communications’ “2017 Cone Gen Z CSR Study”

“NONPROFITS DON’T HAVE THE MONOPOLY ON DOING GOOD ANYMORE.” PHILLIP HAID, PUBLIC

December 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. The airline has since released snarky ads in response to President Donald Trump’s ban on electronic devices and United’s passenger-dragging controversy, as well as a video that depicts the experience of flying in an age of heightened Islamophobia, all suggesting that the national carrier may be in this for the long haul. Delta took a different approach. When faced with the prospect of forfeiting its tax break, the carrier’s response was: “Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings.” This posture of neutrality wasn’t enough for Georgia’s pro-gun activists and state leaders who subsequently nixed the proposed tax exemption, nor for certain gun-control activists who took to social media to criticize the airline for distancing itself from the issue. “Delta was caught

flat-footed because it tried to take a political stand without actually going all in. That left them neither here nor there,” Nigam says. (The following month, the airline provided three round-trip charter flights to transport hundreds of students to participate in the “March for Our Lives” protest against gun violence in Washington, DC.)

THE KIDS KNOW Phillip Haid, co-founder and CEO of social impact agency PUBLIC, agrees that staying on the frays of public discourse is no longer an option for airlines. “When you think about the blurring lines between citizen and consumer, Generation Z – and also millennials but to a lesser extent – are very comfortable with companies being real social-change agents,” he says. “They have no issue with that. In fact, they expect it. Nonprofits don’t have the monopoly on doing good anymore.”

“IF YOU TRY TO BE SOMETHING TO EVERYONE, YOU END UP BEING NOTHING TO NO ONE.” SHASHANK NIGAM, SIMPLIFLYING

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And with Gen Z – those born in the mid1990s to late 2000s – now making up the largest subset of the US population, at 26 percent, and holding an estimated $44 billion in purchasing power, airlines that fail to lay their stake in the sociopolitical landscape risk missing out. “When I look at the airline industry,” Haid says, “I don’t see a lot of thinking about social purpose and impact as a business driver. Airlines are still viewing it, for the most part, as a charitable activity. It always comes very late in the process; it just feels like a nice little add-on, and that’s a huge missed opportunity.” These “add-ons” – be they donations or one-off corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives – may be scrutinized by consumers, of which 89 percent would rather buy from a company supporting social and environmental issues over one that does not, according to a 2017 survey by Cone Communications. “Because of technology, the speed and transparency of information is unprecedented. Before, you could do some bad things with your business on one side and do some good

Where consumers are most receptive to brands communicating positions on social/political issues 58%

38%

TELEVISION AND RADIO

WEBSITE/ BLOG

25%

24%

21%

18%

14%

PRINT ADVERTISING

21%

DIGITAL ADVERTISING

6% PHOTO: JETBLUE

47%

SOCIAL MEDIA

SMS/ TEXT

NEWSPAPER

BILLBOARD

4%

PHONE

E-MAIL

DIRECT MAIL

12%

NONE OF THE ABOVE

SOURCE: Sprout Socials’ “Championing Change in the Age of Social Media”

JetBlue has built 28 playgrounds in cities throughout its network.

things on the other side and try to balance it out. You can’t do that anymore,” Haid says. Even those companies doing some really amazing things for the environment or the community will be met by the skepticism of young consumers asking, “But what about your supply chain?” he adds.

SOCIAL DISCOURSE Before jumping in on a trending issue on social media or aligning with a charitable cause, airlines need to take a hard look at where their business is going, what their brand essence is and what their consumers and employees value, Haid says. “Look at all of those things and you’ll see the issue that makes the most sense for your business to really lean into. You can’t engage the consumer in social impact marketing if you aren’t walking the walk yourself.” Turning inward is precisely what Icema Gibbs, JetBlue’s director of CSR, says

the airline did before embracing its socially driven brand identity. “One of the things we do is talk to our customers and crewmembers to see what they are passionate about. We really try to take the time to research and investigate and have town hall meetings – whatever it takes to make sure we are working from a position of authenticity,” Gibbs says. For JetBlue, that position is firmly rooted in the local arena: Through JetBlue for Good, selected low-income neighborhoods across the US are benefiting from vending machines dispensing some 100,000 free children’s books per year, playgrounds built in partnership with KaBOOM! and aviationrelated learning opportunities. Food businesses in New York, the carrier’s home state, can apply for the carrier’s business mentorship program, which helps small local companies break into the aviation catering space. >

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“BUSINESS AND PURPOSE DEFINITELY ALIGN, AND THEY INTERSECT AT SO MANY DIFFERENT POINTS.” ICEMA GIBBS, JETBLUE

Japan Airlines (JAL) is similarly pursuing local campaigns, prompted by questions like “How will the world be different should JAL cease to exist tomorrow?” and “Are we merely selling what we produce or truly producing what we sell?” says Akira Mitsumasu, the airline’s vice-president of Product and Services Planning. In April, the airline launched JAL Pet Family, which allows members of the airline’s mileage program to register up to five cats or dogs as members (each pet receiving its own photo ID) so that they can earn perks from pet hotels, shops and hospitals. The initiative, Mitsumasu says, addresses a serious local concern: “the reality that there are more pets than children in Japan.”

POLITICS PAY Social realities may be safer ground from which airlines can build their brand, but when it comes to building awareness and increasing customer recruitment, taking a political stance will yield quicker results, SimpliFlying’s Nigam says. However, it must be obvious to consumers why and how an airline has the license to operate on a given issue, making matters associated with local governance a sounder bet, he says, pointing to Virgin Atlantic as an example of an airline that’s succeeding in this regard, and doing so “in a way that blends right in with their tongue-and-cheek image.” In May 2017, one week after UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50

Factors that boost brand credibility among consumers on a social/political issue Impacts brand’s customers

47%

Impacts brand’s employees

40%

Impacts brand’s business operations

31% 27%

History of speaking out

27%

Geographically near the issue

26% 25%

History of financial support Outspoken top executives

SOURCE: Sprout Socials’ “Championing Change in the Age of Social Media”

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(in the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty), Virgin released a 60-second spot entitled “The Bright Side of Brexit,” informing viewers how the country’s financial ruin could be a boon to travelers. The campaign, devised by Figliulo&Partners, also included a ”Brexit Calculator” showing travelers just how much they could save during a trip to London thanks to the pound’s tumble. Return on investment for this campaign was 2:1. Part of why these political marketing campaigns and purpose-driven business models – although Haid and Nigam believe airlines have not yet tapped into the full potential of the latter – are seeing so much success is that brands are allowing consumers to vote with their wallet at a time when they believes their institutions are failing them. Indeed, according to Edelman’s “2017 Earned Brand” study, 51 percent of consumers believe brands can do more to solve social ills than the government itself. But it isn’t just about how brands can impact social and political causes, but how involvement with these same causes can in turn generate high returns for businesses that dare step out from behind the shield of neutrality. “Business and purpose definitely align, and they intersect at so many different points,” JetBlue’s Gibbs says. “Our programs benefit areas in need, as well as those who are fortunate enough to fly with us, but they also benefit us. It makes people realize that we really do care, and when they book that next flight, that might be how they spend their dollar.”


Skycast Solutions Is Pioneering the Tablet Friendly Cabin From powerful portable IFE Tablets, to innovative tablet holders, nobody knows personal devices like Skycast Solutions

TrayVu9

• Sophisticated user-interface including multi-tasking.

• Seamless Wi-Fi integration with onboard server or internet connection. • Early window movies, TV, Xbox® games, music, maps, and much more. • Complete program management available.

• Aluminum security shell can be customized for any airline branding.

Since 2011, Skycast Solutions has been innovating portable IFE and tablet holder solutions which allow an airline to create the “tablet-friendly cabinTM.” With over 10,000 Windows IFE tablets flying successfully every day, Skycast's latest 9" custom portable IFE tablet sets the new standard in low cost portable IFE.

Skycast offers a wide range of TabCaddyTM PED holders, including the “Clip” product line that accommodates coach and premium class seats with folding meal trays.

TabCaddy™ Clip

• Lowest cost fixed tablet holder available. • Fast and easy installation. • Customized for specific tray tables. • Supports phones and tablets of all sizes securely. • New branding and advertising platform.

TabCaddy™ ClipFC

• Lowest Cost folding meal tray holder option. • Fast and easy 'stick on' installation. • Frees entire meal tray for use. • Supports phones and tablets of all sizes securely.

www.SkycastSolutions.com | 1-855-487-2988 © Skycast Solu ons, Inc. TabCaddy™ product line is exclusively distributed by Skycast Solu ons, Inc. Patents Pending. All other trademarks are the property of their respec ve owners.


PHOTO: COURTESY OF ENZO VAILATI

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Q&A

Enzo Vailati

LOCATION:

LHR

NOW LISTENING TO:

CEO CYLO

Only Time Will Tell, Jeffrey Archer (audiobook)

Enzo combines his background in the legal field with managerial duties to juggle the operations of various companies. He has been the chief executive officer of Cylo for the past four years and has helped the company go from strength to strength.

FAVORITE AIRCRAFT:

A380

SEATBACK OR PED?

PED

FAVORITE SOCIAL NETWORK:

Instagram

What famous quote do you live by? “Everyone knew it was impossible, until a fool who didn’t know came along and did it.” – Albert Einstein What do you think is the most overlooked aspect of the passenger experience? The fact that the airline customer is planning a trip, not just buying a seat on a plane. Airlines need to start leveraging this idea, as there is a huge opportunity to sell products and experiences relating to the entire trip.

“Airlines need to start thinking like retailers. They have to stop being seatsellers, and instead fulfill as many of their passengers’ end-to-end needs as they can.”

What area of the passenger experience do airlines need to focus on changing? Passenger expectations are rising: They want to be connected constantly, to be in control of their experience, to access information about their journey in real time and to be entertained. Technology needs to match this demand to ensure that travel is exciting and pleasurable, rather than stressful.

in-flight entertainment from a cost into a revenue stream. Digital retail is where Cylo originated, and the solutions we have developed allow us to cover every point of the passenger journey.

How can airlines become leading digital retailers, and where does Cylo fit in? Airlines need to start thinking like retailers if they want to add value to their offering. They have to stop being seat-sellers, and instead fulfill as many of their passengers’ end-to-end needs as they can. We are seeing a shift whereby airlines are turning

How do travelers’ spending habits change in the air, compared to on the ground? When people book a flight, their main concern may be getting the lowest possible price. When they are on board, the value of a product such as entertainment is much higher, and so an upsell becomes a more attractive option.

What type of customer insights can airlines glean from collecting real-time data, and how can this increase their ancillary revenue? Airlines are already successful in collecting data on their customers’ purchasing habits, but have yet to gain any advanced insights into individual content tastes and interests. By better understanding this data, airlines will be able to engage with their passengers on a far more personalized level. Beyond this, airlines will be able to open a new communication channel that can be used to offer additional products and services. Why did Cylo decide to join APEX? Customer experience is a key differentiator in the travel industry. As a company that is committed to innovating in the entertainment space to make the experience more seamless, personalized and exciting, we want to be part of the community that is building the future of travel. If you could sit next to anyone on a plane, who would it be? Steve Jobs.

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WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS

As an APEX Member, gain instant access to the most exclusive airline industry directory today!

Visit: apex.aero/directory


REWARDS

With miles no longer being the only marker of airline loyalty, old frequent flyer programs are being rehashed so travelers – frequent or not – can score points, even as they go about their everyday lives on the ground. BY JASMIN LEGATOS

Lifestyle Loyalty PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO, FILADENDRON

You’ve run 2,350 steps and earned 9 points!

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REWARDS

“If you buy a discounted economy fare today, you might only be earning 25 percent of the miles you flew, whereas if you booked a more expensive fare, you would earn 100 percent.” SARAH SILBERT, THE POINTS GUY

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Airline loyalty points have always been currency, but they don’t always feel like real money, especially for those who don’t or can’t redeem them. Opportunities to earn points through co-branded credit cards have existed for many years, but carriers today are looking beyond this model to give loyalty members the opportunity to earn and redeem points through several avenues. From Delta’s millennial overture and Norwegian Air’s CashPoints proposition to Singapore Airlines’ recently announced digital wallet and Qantas’ diverse offerings, airlines seem to be moving toward lifestyle loyalty schemes that encompass more than just travel. >

Delta customers can earn miles on airline-related purchases as well as at restaurants.

Delta’s SkyMiles is the top-earning loyalty program, at an estimated $21 million.

PHOTOS: DELTA AIR LINES

F

requent flyer programs have come a long way in the past 40 years. What was once a marketing device based on a simple value proposition (fly, earn points, get free flights) has morphed into a complex, revenue-generating network of partnerships, tiers and rules. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, some analysts estimate that as much as half of all airline profits come from frequent flyer programs. Delta’s SkyMiles is thought to be the top earner at an estimated $21 million, according to a report released last year by management consulting firm On Point Loyalty. But all is not rosy on the loyalty front, at least where certain travelers are concerned. Some former enthusiasts have become disillusioned by recent changes to how points are earned on flights, which has largely shifted from distance-based models toward ones that favor revenue. Snagged a great deal on a flight last Cyber Monday? You’ll earn fewer miles than your seatmate who paid more for the flight the following day, or the person two rows down in a higher fare class. Affordable flight reward availability is also on the decline, and redeeming points for other goods like magazine subscriptions or earning points at a partner hotel isn’t necessarily as instantaneous as click and buy.


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At Norwegian, every 10 points earned is equal to roughly £1.

Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air’s approach is to remove a lot of the restrictions that deter less frequent travelers from redeeming their points. Norwegian’s CashPoints can be used to pay for any seat on any flight throughout the year, including taxes, or even just part of your fare. That’s because their value proposition is fairly simple: every 10 points earned is equal to roughly one British pound ($1.35). And

after every six flight segments (including stopovers), a new reward of your choosing, like free seat reservations or bag check, is unlocked. The only caveat? It can take up to 14 days for users’ accounts to be credited, meaning CashPoints generated from a flight cannot be used to pay for a hotel or car rental immediately after. Many airlines’ loyalty programs are victims to this lag, but that might soon be in the past.

PHOTOS: NORWEGIAN AIR; SINGAPORE AIRLINES

Millennials love to travel, but they don’t love to spend money getting from Point A to Point B. According to Skift’s “Portrait of the Millennial Traveler 2016,” members of this cohort prefer to spend their cash on experiences once they arrive at their destination. So, how do legacy airlines compete for this desirable segment if they can’t win on price? In the past, loyalty cards may have been the answer, providing enough perks to keep these carriers in the running. But that’s not likely to be the case in today’s revenue-based reality. Sarah Silbert, points and miles editor at The Points Guy, a website dedicated to helping readers maximize their loyalty reward travel experiences, explains: “If you buy a discounted economy fare today, you might only be earning 25 percent of the miles you flew, whereas if you booked a more expensive fare, you would earn 100 percent.” There are of course other ways to earn miles, such as through co-branded credit cards, but those often carry a hefty annual fee. That’s why last September, Delta and American Express introduced a no-fee card that offers two miles per dollar spent at US restaurants and on Delta purchases, and one mile per dollar spent everywhere else. “It’s a small step, but it kind of acknowledges how millennials are spending their money,” Silbert says. The leisure market doesn’t seem made for loyalty schemes. If you only travel occasionally, how could you possibly earn enough points to redeem them for something as desirable as a free flight? Award redemption is a significant pain point for consumers, Silbert adds. There are blackout dates, taxes have to be paid in cash, and the saver rewards, or more economical flights, are scarce.


REWARDS

STREAMLINED TRANSACTIONS In February, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced it would launch the world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet for its KrisFlyer members. Best known in relation to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that records transfers and transactions within a network in real time. When the KrisFlyer digital wallet is rolled out in the coming months, “It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to instantaneously use digital KrisFlyer miles to pay for everyday lifestyle goods and services at participating retail merchants,” an SIA spokesperson says. “The first-of-itskind lifestyle digital wallet app will use an SIA-owned private blockchain involving only merchants and partners.” Back in 2016, Deloitte published a report advocating blockchain as the ideal

solution for the “ailing” loyalty space, particularly when it comes to travel. Points could be more easily and immediately used with partners, such as at a hotel, or even traded among individuals (in an example, one person trades in excess airline points for another person’s hotel rewards), thus encouraging redemption and taking unused points off the balance sheet. Startup loyyal is banking on loyalty heading in this direction, developing a rewards platform built on blockchain that companies can use instead of creating one themselves. It’s already being put to the test by Emirates as a proof of concept. >

Singapore Airlines announced it will launch a blockchain-based loyalty wallet.

Airline loyalty programs have largely shifted from distanceto revenue-based models.

“KrisFlyer members will be able to pay for everyday lifestyle goods and services at participating retail merchants.” SINGAPORE AIRLINES

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REWARDS

BEYOND TRAVEL In 2017, Qantas Loyalty brought in more money than the airline’s international ticket sales. The reward currency is such a powerhouse down under that Graham Witcomb, senior analyst at InvestSMART, an Australian investment firm, even called it the country’s de facto second currency. When you examine the intricacies of the program and how many subscribers it has (12 million, or about one in every two Australian households), you start to understand why. Indeed, the benefit of being able to use your card in real time at brick-and-mortar locations – something often discussed by blockchain backers – is already happening in Oz, where you can pay for almost anything with your Qantas points, from a casual dinner out (with wine!) and a movie to your groceries. You can also earn points in unexpected ways, such as on your home loan every time you pay down your mortgage. Qantas Loyalty’s CEO, Olivia Wirth, explains: “There are more than 200 partners in the coalition program, which gives members the opportunity

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“Data is at the core of the program and provides us with insights that demonstrate what our members want.” OLIVIA WIRTH, QANTAS LOYALTY

to earn points or use them – and with some partners, they can do both. This means they’re engaged in the program and benefiting from it every day.” Digital technology is the backbone of many of Qantas Loyalty’s initiatives, Wirth says, adding, “Not only are we using it to offer members a more seamless travel experience through their mobile devices, but it’s influencing the partnerships we’re offering. For example, we’ve embedded the Uber experience in the Qantas app so customers going to and from the airport can book their ride through the same app they’re using to check in online. And they earn points on their Uber booking at the same time.”

In 2013, the carrier introduced Qantas Cash, a reloadable card that earns points with every purchase. It can be used in Australia or abroad and loaded with up to 11 different currencies all from your smartphone. In 2016, it next introduced Qantas Assure, where members can accumulate points on their health and travel insurance, as well as by logging in their everyday physical activity through the Assure smartphone app. Yes, that’s right, insurance members get travel reward points for walking their dog or cycling to work. “Data is at the core of the program and provides us with insights that demonstrate what our members want,” Wirth says. And data is why airlines need to figure out how to keep loyalty members on board and active. As consumers increasingly lead their lives with the help of their mobile devices, carriers will not only be able to create targeted travel messaging, but will be able to use that information, along with other technology, to create their own profitable marketplaces that members will actually want to use.

PHOTO: QANTAS

One in every two Australian households amasses Qantas points.


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PHOTOS:

TRAVELOGUE

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TRAVELOGUE

First Flights In addition to being Zodiac Aerospace’s vice-president of Product Marketing, Thomas Lee holds dozens of aviation patents – and a world record. AS TOLD BY THOMAS LEE TO HOWARD SLUTSKEN ILLUSTRATION BY FELIPE VARGAS

I

’m a total AvGeek, and I happen to hold a unique record: I’ve flown on more inaugural airline flights of the “first of type” of a new commercial aircraft than anyone else in the world. This isn’t a record that I originally set out to claim; it’s thanks to good fortune, good timing and good planning that I was on board the first-ever Boeing 747 and 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A350 and A380, and Bombardier C Series flights. I’ve had a passion for flight since I was a kid, when my father would take me to Westchester County Airport, where I would stand on the railroad ties and watch the airplanes take off. My father ran a global manufacturing company that designed Christmas and Valentine’s Day decorations. He would travel around the world for work, and I would join him, catching the travel bug at a very young age. I was just 17 years old when I flew on the first Boeing 747 flight, with Pan American World Airways from New York City to London. Back then, of course, frequent flyer programs hadn’t been created yet, but the airlines knew who their best customers were, and my father was one of Pan Am’s.

That’s how he was able to get our family on that first flight on January 21, 1970. The flight was scheduled to depart at 7 p.m. and all the media was there, ready to record everything. We boarded the aircraft: The men were dressed in ties and jackets, and the ladies in formal dresses. The 747 had reached almost full takeoff speed when a flame came out of one of its engines and a loud explosion could be heard from inside the aircraft. The pilot jammed on the brakes, screeching us to a halt. “There has been an issue with one of the engines and we have to return to the terminal to be checked,” he said over the loudspeaker. It wasn’t long before we were told that there was a second 747, a backup, that had only been delivered the day before. It was sitting in a hangar, though, and hadn’t been prepped for the flight. In the meantime, Pan Am took us to an Italian restaurant in New Jersey, where we ate and drank as we waited. The second aircraft was eventually prepared, and we were bussed back to JFK. However, 30 people were now refusing to get on the airplane, and the media jumped on the rest of us, marking the first of many interviews that I would do.

I had “747” buttons all the way up and down my tie, making me the perfect target for reporters. A film crew shoved a microphone in my face and asked, “Young man, do you know how to swim?” “Yes, I do, but that’s not going to happen,” I answered. After all, I was a fearless teenager, but it did put the thought in my mind. So when that airplane started rolling down the runway the second time, I was a little nervous. But once we were in the air, it was a wonderful flight. Due to the relatively short period of time Pan Am had to prepare the second airplane, not all of the catering equipment was transferred over, so the cabin crew set up a buffet in the galley. We lined up in one aisle, went through the galley and picked up the food, then went back down the other aisle to our seats. That’s right: The very first 747 flight had a buffet on board. It was an early, rainy morning when we landed in London. We came down the stairs onto the tarmac and walked around the airplane to look at the phenomenal 747 we had just flown on. Every passenger was given a personalized certificate commemorating the flight, and I had mine framed. >

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TRAVELOGUE

Fast-forward 37 years, and flight was no longer just a passion for me – it was a career. I was working at Zodiac Aerospace, developing a lot of different technologies, including the in-flight trash compactor, which Singapore Airlines (SIA) was an important customer of. Our company also built the waste and water systems for SIA’s new A380 aircraft. One day, I told some of the airline people I was working with that I had been on the inaugural flight of the 747, and that made its way up the management chain, and a close high school friend who happened to attend Harvard Business School with the chairman of SIA put in a special request as well. That’s how I ended up being invited on the first A380 flight, from Singapore to Sydney, almost four decades after flying on the 747. The airline had asked me to bring along my Pan Am 747 first-flight certificate. They reframed it overnight, adding the certificate for the A380. The airline’s CEO

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presented it to me during the inaugural flight, in front of the media. Getting on board one of these flights isn’t easy. It’s something that many aviation enthusiasts fight for, sometimes through a seat auction or by somehow scoring an invitation. We are a small group of “First Flighters,” and I know them all. My most recent inaugural was in July 2016 for SWISS’ C Series aircraft, for which Zodiac developed and built the interior. I was presented with a personalized certificate and a model of the airplane. I didn’t know this at the time, but I was the only one to get a certificate. Next on my list are the Irkut MC-21 for Aeroflot and the Comac C919 possibly flown by Air China. And although it wasn’t a first flight, a few months ago my wife and I were on United Airlines’ last 747 flight, 47 years after Pan Am’s inaugural one. Of course, I had to bring the framed certificates along.

Thomas Lee’s Inaugural Flights BOEING 747 January 21, 1970 Pan American World Airways New York to London AIRBUS A380 October 25, 2007 Singapore Airlines Singapore to Sydney BOEING 787 October 26, 2011 All Nippon Airways Tokyo to Hong Kong AIRBUS A350 January 15, 2015 Qatar Airways Doha to Frankfurt BOMBARDIER C SERIES July 15, 2016 SWISS Zurich to Paris


MAR K YOUR CALENDAR

apex EXPO Boston, USA 24-27 September 2018 LEARN MORE

expo.apex.aero

EXECUTIVE K EY NOTES

Doug Parker

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Kavanagh Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

CO-LOCATED W ITH:

Claudia Sender Chief Executive Officer, LATAM Brasil

Andrés Conesa Chief Executive Officer

Calin Rovinescu President & Chief Executive Officer


NEWS

AIR CANADA TO OFFER LIE-FLAT SEATS ON USâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;CANADA FLIGHTS

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Air Canada has introduced Air Canada Signature Class, a new business-class product, already available on board its international flights. As of June 1, the seating will also be rolled out on select flights within North America, including from Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Toronto. Air Canada is the first carrier in the region to offer lie-flat seats on flights between the US and Canada.

PHOTO: AIR CANADA

Headlines

Top news stories from the airline and passenger experience industries


NEWS

SINGAPORE AIRLINES UNVEILS LATEST DREAMLINER CABIN Singapore Airlines unveiled its latest iteration of a two-class configuration on board a new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The interior includes a new business-class cabin with 36 lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each of these seats features Alcantara synthetic leather and includes an 18-inch HD seatback display. The economy-class cabin has also been refreshed, with 301 seats arranged in a 3-3-3 layout. Each seat includes an 11.6-inch seatback screen and power supply.

PHOTOS: SINGAPORE AIRLINES; STEPHANIE TAYLOR

GLOBAL EAGLE BROADENS ITS APPEAL WITH AIRCONNECT GO WIRELESS IFE Global Eagle has introduced Airconnect Go, a portable wireless in-flight entertainment system, designed to meet the needs of smaller and budget carriers. Mike Pigott, Global Eagle’s VP, Connectivity Products and Solutions, said the turnkey solution, which will operate on a subscription-based model, targets regional airlines, low-cost carriers and charter companies using leased aircraft. The product combines Global Eagle’s IFE content and Airtime portal software with hardware from Astronics. A launch customer is expected to be announced in the second half of 2018.

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QATAR AIRWAYS, FIRST MENA CARRIER TO OFFER GATE-TO-GATE WI-FI

SITA BAGGAGE REPORT: 70% DROP IN MISHANDLED BAGGAGE SINCE 2007

Qatar Airways will become the first carrier in the Middle East and North Africa region to offer onboard Wi-Fi gate-to-gate. The announcement comes after Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) approved the provision of Internet services at all altitudes. Previously, in-flight connectivity was only permitted once an aircraft reached an elevation of 9,840 feet above sea level. “Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted Internet connectivity from the moment they step on board,” said Qatar Airways Group CEO, Akbar Al Baker.

The rate of mishandled baggage has dropped by 70 percent since 2007, according to SITA’s “Baggage Report 2018.” Despite global passenger numbers rising above four billion last year, the latest SITA WorldTracer data revealed the mishandling rate improved by 2.8 percent in 2017 to 5.57 bags per thousand passengers, compared to 5.73 in 2016. The total number of mishandled bags last year stood at 22.7 million, which represents a 4.1 percent increase on 2016, but is still lower when taking into account the overall passenger growth rate.

AMERICAN AIRLINES SIGNS FOR 47 DREAMLINERS, CANCELS A350 ORDER

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American Airlines (AA) has placed a firm order for 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, plus options for an additional 28, setting the Dallas-based carrier up to be the biggest Dreamliner customer in the western hemisphere. The transaction, which is valued at $12 billion, includes twenty-two 787-8s and twenty-five 787-9s, and involved the cancellation of 22 Airbus A350s. “This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo and we thank both manufacturers for their aggressive efforts to earn more of AA’s business. In the end, our goal to simplify our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice,” said AA president Robert Isom.

PHOTO: AMERICAN AIRLINES

NEWS


NEWS

PEGASUS AIRLINES ADOPTS IMMFLY’S DIGITAL SERVICES FLEETWIDE Pegasus Airlines will equip its entire fleet with digital services from Barcelona-based in-flight entertainment company Immfly. The digital platform will be installed on all 76 of the low-cost carrier’s aircraft. The partnership marks the first time Immfly’s digital platform will fly from Turkey to Russia and the Caucasus, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

NORWEGIAN CEO RECEIVES INTEREST FROM “SERIOUS PLAYERS” AFTER IAG INVESTMENT

PHOTOS: PEGASUS AIRLINES; NORWEGIAN

Norwegian CEO and co-founder Bjørn Kjos says a number of groups have expressed interest in acquiring the low-cost carrier. The news comes after International Airlines Group (IAG) announced it purchased a 4.6 percent stake in the airline as a platform to begin talks of a full offer. “When I say serious players, the most obvious thing to think of is airlines,” Kjos said. “But there could also be others, as we’ve had multiple players showing interest.”

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APEX Events

APEX TECH

APEX EXPO

19–20 Jun. 2018 Los Angeles, US

24–27 Sept. 2018 Boston, US

#APEXTECH

#APEXEXPO

APEX MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

4–5 Nov. 2018 Dubai, UAE

APEX EXPO

9–12 Sept. 2019 Los Angeles, US #APEXEXPO

#APEXMEA

Tweeting from one of our upcoming events? Be sure to use the designated hashtag so other members can join the conversation.

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Follow us on Twitter @THEAPEXASSOC


APEX Board of Directors: How the Nomination Process Works NOMINATION PROCESS Members of the APEX Board of Directors volunteer their time and energy to oversee the association and all of its activities. Without them, APEX would not be where it is today. The Nominating Committee works hard to determine the members of the next APEX board. It holds several virtual meetings during the first six months of the calendar year, with the application period taking place 1 May–1 June. A recommended slate of candidates is presented to the sitting board in June.

In order to be considered for the board, candidates must agree to the following responsibilities:

• Prepare for each board meeting by carefully studying the agenda and supporting materials beforehand

• Serve a one- or twoyear term (depending on the position)

• Support all board decisions publicly even if you may have not voted in favor of the final decision

• Travel to and attend APEX board meetings throughout the year, including EXPO • Expect to spend 10 or more hours monthly on APEX activities • Attend the new board orientation prior to or at EXPO

• Serve as a goodwill ambassador at EXPO and throughout the year • Fulfill any assignments

staff, member and media requests in a timely manner Once the slate of candidates is approved by the board, the election ballot will be distributed in August/ September for voting. Look out for a message from the Nominating Committee announcing the slate of candidates. The 2018–2019 Board of Directors will be announced at APEX EXPO in Boston.

• Be available for conference calls, complete assigned tasks within the agreed timelines and respond to all board,

For more information, e-mail APEX executive director, Katie Goshgarian at kgoshgarian@apex.aero. APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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Interested in Serving on the APEX Board of Directors? With elections coming up, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of being a board member. Read on for what our vice-president, secretary and director have to say about their tenures.

Juha Järvinen, Vice-President How long have you been on the APEX board? I have been an APEX board member for two years – since May 2016. Why were you interested in becoming a board member? Our whole industry is in a very challenging and fascinating phase: New technologies are entering the passenger experience arena, global airline competition is intensifying and major growth opportunities are emerging in different parts of the world. APEX has an opportunity to play a crucial role in guiding and developing our industry. What is your favorite memory of being on the board? I was honored to host the board in Lapland, Finland, in February for our annual strategy session. Showing the best of Lapland was great, and the different surroundings and moods helped to drive critical discussions as well.

The 2018 application period is open 1 May–1 June. All applications are reviewed and considered by the Nominating Committee. The committee will finalize a slate of candidates, subject to board approval, to be included on the election ballot that will be distributed in August/September 2018.

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Maura Chacko, Secretary How long have you been on the APEX board? Since 2015. I spent two years as a director and am currently in a two-year term as secretary. How much time do you devote to APEX on a monthly basis? It varies, but averages to be 8–10 hours per month. What do you hope to achieve while serving on the board? As the industry is constantly changing, it is key for APEX to continue to evolve, and I hope to help push the industry forward, while honoring the association’s long history. There are always going to be new challenges, new technologies and fluctuations in content consumption. I am confident that the board can continue to rise to the challenge, and I’m excited to be a part of it. What’s your favorite part about working in the airline industry? I can’t think of any other industry where I would be able to meet so many amazing people (some of whom have become close friends) in so many different fields from around the world while also getting to travel to amazing locations – and watch TV as part of my job! I don’t think I could ask for much more.

Michael Childers, Director How long have you been on the APEX board? I am currently serving my fifth year on the board, with one to go. I was elected to three two-year terms. What is your favorite memory of being on the board? In 2016, I was named to serve on the US Department of Transportation’s ACCESS Advisory Committee that spent most of 2016 in negotiations between the airline industry and members of the advocacy groups representing the deaf and the blind in an effort to make in-flight entertainment (IFE) more accessible. After a year of hard work, we established guidelines for an accessible IFE systems interface for the blind. Reaching those agreements was the most satisfying thing I’ve done as a board member and Technology Committee chair. What do you hope to achieve while serving on the board? In the last three years, we’ve re-engineered the IFE content delivery supply chain to make it part of the broader entertainment industry content delivery ecosystem. Before I leave the board and the Technology Committee chairmanship, I intend to see that IFE content delivery supply chain move into the cloud, and to enable that supply chain to be part of the emerging, global, cross-platform digital advertising ecosystem. In addition, I want to solidify our role as the industry thought-leader and representative when dealing with the DOT, FAA, and other regulators and government agencies like the FCC.

For more information, e-mail APEX executive director, Katie Goshgarian at kgoshgarian@apex.aero.

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IFSA

Celebrating Onboard Excellence and Innovation Engage With IFSA Contact us at info@ifsa.aero Facebook International Flight Services Association Twitter @IFSAOnBoard LinkedIn International Flight Services Association

IFSA will celebrate creativity, excellence and innovation with its awards ceremony at the 2018 IFSA EXPO in Boston, Massachusetts. The IFSA Compass Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of our members to the onboard industry. From exceptional in-flight service to truly innovative food, our members are the driving force pushing the industry forward. The awards ceremony, held 24 September during the welcome reception, will present a wide range of awards, from Best Inflight Food to Best Onboard Amenity to Caterer of the Year, to name a few. Nominations are open to all IFSA member companies. Entrants are welcome to nominate their own company, as well as submit nominations for multiple categories. • Best Inflight Food Additionally, you may nominate yourself or a colleague to serve as a judge. • Best Inflight Beverage This year, a panel of judges will review all • Best Onboard Amenity submissions to narrow down the finalists for each award category. Once the finalists are • Best Catering/Food chosen and announced, a panel of judges, Service/Galley Equipment consisting of media, past judges and • Caterer of the Year previous winners, will choose a winner for each category, following live presentations. • Airline of the Year Attendees must be registered for the IFSA • Supplier of the Year EXPO in order to attend the welcome reception and awards ceremony. To learn • PAX International Award more about the Compass Awards, please visit ifsa.aero/CompassAwards.

Award Categories

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What to look for in the months ahead

Coming Attractions W

Alita: Battle Angel

An adaptation of the popular Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita. Set in the 26th century, Alita is a female cyborg that is discovered in a scrapyard by a scientist. With no memory of her previous life except for her deadly martial-arts training, Alita becomes a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals. DISTRIBUTOR: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX CONTACT: JULIAN LEVIN

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Alpha

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Director: Albert Hughes Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson On his first hunt with his tribe, a young man is injured and left for dead. Broken and alone, he must learn to survive and navigate the unforgiving wilderness. He tames and befriends a lone wolf, and the pair endures countless dangers to find their way home before the deadly winter arrives. DISTRIBUTOR: SONY PICTURES RELEASING CONTACT: RANA MATTHES

Angry Angel

Director: Jamie Travis Cast: Brenda Song, Andy Favreau, Andrew Bachelor, Ricky Mabe, Anastasia Phillips, Jason Biggs Allison Pyke is a young angel who’s trying to get her ticket into heaven. Complications arise when two important men in her life unexpectedly show up, forming a love triangle.

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Annihilation

Director: Alex Garland Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson Searching for her husband, a biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply. DISTRIBUTOR: PARAMOUNT PICTURES CONTACT: JOAN FILIPPINI

DISTRIBUTOR: SONY PICTURES RELEASING CONTACT: RANA MATTHES * EXCLUDING BERMUDA, CANADA AND US

* EXCLUDING CHINA, HONG KONG, MACAU, TAIWAN

DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS CODES

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N: NORTH AMERICA

I: OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA

W: WORLDWIDE

PHOTOS: © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES RELEASING; COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES RELEASING; © 2018 PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Director: Robert Rodriguez Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jackie Earle Haley, Ed Skrein, Keean Johnson, Eiza González


27/4/18 2:39 PM

Avengers: Infinity War PHOTOS: © 2018 MARVEL; COURTESY OF ENCORE INFLIGHT; COURTESY OF CINESKY PICTURES; © 2018 KIMCHI MOVIE PRODUCTION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; COURTESY OF PICTUREWORKS; © 2018 PARAMOUNT PICTURES

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Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Zoe Saldana The ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time is about to take place. The Avengers and their superhero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. DISTRIBUTOR: DISNEY STUDIOS NON-THEATRICAL CONTACT: MELINDA MEYER-GILMORE

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Be-Bop-A-Lula

Director: Lee Sung-jae Cast: Park In-hwan, Sin Gu, Lym Hyeon-sik, Yun Deok-yong Four grandfathers in their seventies with illnesses decide to live out their dreams and check off the bucket lists they’ve long put aside to take care of their families. But their carpe diem attitude turns the neighborhood upside down! Witness the lives of these men blossom. DISTRIBUTOR: ENCORE INFLIGHT CONTACT: EDWIN CHEUNG * EXCLUDING KOREA

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Back Home

Director: Antonio Albanese Cast: Antonio Albanese, Alex Fondja, Aude Legastelois, Daniela Piperno Fifty-year-old Mario Cavallaro loves order, precision, punctuality, respect and decorum, and for everyone to keep their voices down and to stay where they belong. He divides his life between the hosiery shop he inherited from his father and a vegetable garden – his only passion. DISTRIBUTOR: ENCORE INFLIGHT CONTACT: EDWIN CHEUNG * EXCLUDING GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, LUXEMBOURG, ALTO ADIGE AND GREECE

Backstabbing for Beginners W

Director: Per Fly Cast: Theo James, Ben Kingsley, Jacqueline Bisset, Belçim Bilgin Based on a true story. During a covert mission in post-war Iraq, an idealistic coordinator for the United Nation’s Oilfor-Food Programme becomes embroiled in corruption and fraud as government agents and power-hungry nations circle the country’s oil reserves. DISTRIBUTOR: CINESKY PICTURES CONTACT: MARK HORTON * EXCLUDING US AND CANADA

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales W

Directors: Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner Cast: Kamel Abdessadok, Jules Bienvenu, Guillaume Bouchède, Guillaume Darnault Whoever thinks that the countryside is calm and peaceful is mistaken. In it we find a fox that thinks it’s a chicken, a rabbit that acts like a stork, and a duck that wants to replace Santa Claus. If you want to take a vacation, keep driving past this place.

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Book Club

Director: Bill Holderman Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen The lives of four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the famous Fifty Shades of Grey catapults them into a series of outrageous life choices. DISTRIBUTOR: PARAMOUNT PICTURES CONTACT: JOAN FILIPPINI

DISTRIBUTOR: PICTUREWORKS CONTACT: AVINAASH JUMANI * EXCLUDING FRANCE, US AND CANADA

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Can You Ever Forgive Me? Director: Marielle Heller Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant

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Boundaries

Director: Shana Feste Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Schaal, Dolly Wells

Laura agrees to drive her estranged father, Jack, to her sister’s in LA after he’s kicked out of his retirement home. Joining them is Laura’s son, Henry, whom Jack coaxes into selling his supply of marijuana, resulting in unexpected reunions with old friends and family along the way.

Based on the true story of celebrity biographer Lee Israel who made a living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead and Estée Lauder. When Lee’s work falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend, Jack. DISTRIBUTOR: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX CONTACT: JULIAN LEVIN

DISTRIBUTOR: SONY PICTURES RELEASING CONTACT: RANA MATTHES * EXCLUDING CANADA

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Chappaquiddick

Director: John Curran Cast: Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne. DISTRIBUTOR: PENNY BLACK MEDIA CONTACT: CATHIE TROTTA * EXCLUDING US AND CANADA

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Charming

The Cloverfield Paradox W

Director: Ross Venokur Cast: Wilmer Valderrama, Demi Lovato, Ashley Tisdale, Avril Lavigne, John Cleese, G.E.M. With Prince Charming compulsively proposing to every woman he encounters, including Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, a trail of scorned lovers wreaks havoc on the Kingdom. Exasperated, the king pressures his son to find love before his 21st birthday, or lose all claim to the throne.

Director: Julius Onah Cast: Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw A crew aboard a space station finds itself alone after a scientific experiment causes the Earth to disappear. When another space shuttle appears, the space station’s crew must determine whether it is carrying friends or foes. DISTRIBUTOR: PARAMOUNT PICTURES CONTACT: JOAN FILIPPINI

DISTRIBUTOR: JAGUAR DISTRIBUTION CONTACT: FRANCE CAPOR * EXCLUDING CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS CODES

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I: OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA

W: WORLDWIDE

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES RELEASING; © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; COURTESY OF PENNY BLACK MEDIA; © 2017 SC FILMS INTERNATIONAL; © 2018 PARAMOUNT PICTURES

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Deadpool 2

Director: David Leitch Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Leslie Uggams After a near fatal bovine attack, a cafeteria chef dreams of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender despite his lost sense of taste. He must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor, and earn the coveted coffee mug title, “World’s Best Lover.“

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Dear Dictator

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Disobedience

Directors: Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse Cast: Michael Caine, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes, Seth Green, Jason Biggs

Director: Sebastián Lelio Cast: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola

When political turmoil forces a BritishCaribbean dictator to flee his island nation, he seeks refuge by hiding with a teenage girl and her suburban family. The dictator ends up teaching the teenager how to start a revolution and overthrow the mean girls in her high school.

A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community after the death of her rabbi father and stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in an old childhood friend.

DISTRIBUTOR: CINESKY PICTURES CONTACT: MARK HORTON

* EXCLUDING US

DISTRIBUTOR: TERRY STEINER INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: NADJA RUTKOWSKI

* EXCLUDING US AND CANADA DISTRIBUTOR: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX CONTACT: JULIAN LEVIN

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The Escape

Director: Dominic Savage Cast: Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper, Jalil Lespert To all those around Tara, her life is seemingly perfect. But she feels trapped. When her friends and family fail to understand her desperation, she leaves her husband and abandons her children. Through a series of dangerous and incendiary encounters, she discovers the woman she really is. DISTRIBUTOR: JAGUAR DISTRIBUTION CONTACT: FRANCE CAPOR

Family Business (La monnaie de leur pièce) W

Director: Anne Le Ny Cast: Miou-Miou, Alice Belaïdi, Julia Piaton, Baptiste Lecaplain

* EXCLUDING UK

Paul, Nicolas and Charlotte are three siblings who assumed they would inherit their rich aunt Bertille’s fortunes. When the old lady dies, they discover she has left everything to Eloïse, a cousin they have not seen for ages. When she enters their lives again, they wonder what she’s after. DISTRIBUTOR: O’BRIEN INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: JACQUELINE BRIENS * EXCLUDING FRANCE AND US

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PHOTOS: © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; COURTESY OF CINESKY PICTURES; © 2017 CHANNEL FOUR TELEVISION CORPORATION, CANDLELIGHT PRODUCTIONS, LLC; © INDEPENDENT; COURTESY OF O’BRIEN INTERNATIONAL

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I Feel Pretty

Directors: Marc Silverstein, Abby Kohn Cast: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Emily Ratajkowski

A writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island in the aftermath of World War II when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

Director: Mike Newell Cast: Lily James, Michiel Huisman

DISTRIBUTOR: PARAMOUNT PICTURES CONTACT: JOAN FILIPPINI

DISTRIBUTOR: PARAMOUNT PICTURES CONTACT: JOAN FILIPPINI * EXCLUDING US

* EXCLUDING US, GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

Kickboxer: Retaliation I

Director: Dimitri Logothetis Cast: Alain Moussi, Sara Malakul Lane, Maxime Savaria, Wanderlei Silva, Frankie Edgar, Renzo Gracie MMA fighter Kurt Sloane finds himself back in Thailand kidnapped and imprisoned by a powerful gang leader. His only shot at freedom is to win a death match against a killer enhanced with state-of the-art drugs. To succeed, he seeks training with Master Durand and fellow prisoner Briggs. DISTRIBUTOR: DISNEY STUDIOS NON-THEATRICAL CONTACT: MELINDA MEYER-GILMORE

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Director: Mark Raso Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, Elizabeth Olsen, Bruce Greenwood Ben is a famous photojournalist whose estranged son, a struggling rock band manager, has no desire to reconnect with his father. But Ben is dying and wants to fulfill his last wish to embark on a fatherson road trip to develop his last four rolls of Kodachrome film. DISTRIBUTOR: PENNY BLACK MEDIA CONTACT: CATHIE TROTTA * EXCLUDING US AND CANADA

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Kodachrome

The Last Poker Game W

Director: Howard Weiner Cast: Martin Landau, Paul Sorvino, Maria Dizzia Dr. Abe Mandelbaum moves into a nursing home, where he meets Phil Nicoletti. Abe feels moving here is the end of the road, but soon finds it is the beginning. Abe and Phil’s friendship is challenged, though, when a nurse claims her biological father resides here, and each claims to be him. DISTRIBUTOR: PICTUREWORKS CONTACT: AVINAASH JUMANI * EXCLUDING US AND CANADA

N: NORTH AMERICA

I: OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA

W: WORLDWIDE

PHOTOS: © 2018 PARAMOUNT PICTURES; © 2018 STXFILMS; © 2017 KICKBOXER II RETALIATION, LLC; COURTESY OF PENNY BLACK MEDIA; COURTESY OF PICTUREWORKS

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society W

An ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.


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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

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Director: Ol Parker Cast: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, Dominic Cooper A decade after Mamma Mia! sang and danced its way around the world, the film’s original cast is back for an all-new musical based on the songs of ABBA. Through flashbacks, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again reveals how Donna’s past continues to affect the present.

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Mary Shelley

The Miracle Season

Director: Haifaa al-Mansour Cast: Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Maisie Williams

Director: Sean McNamara Cast: Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Danika Yarosh, Erin Moriarty

The story of a passionate love affair between dangerously charismatic poet Percy Shelley and 17-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft, who would go on to write Frankenstein as Mary Shelley.

Based on the true story of the Iowa City West High School girls’ volleyball team. After the tragic loss of the school’s star player, Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.

DISTRIBUTOR: JAGUAR DISTRIBUTION CONTACT: FRANCE CAPOR

DISTRIBUTOR: CINESKY PICTURES CONTACT: MARK HORTON

DISTRIBUTOR: NBCUNIVERSAL CONTACT: CYNTHIA KLAR

* EXCLUDING US AND CANADA

Mukkabaaz

Director: Anurag Kashyap Cast: Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain, Ravi Kishan, Jimmy Shergill Shravan, an aspiring boxer, falls in love with a high-caste, mute girl, Sunaina, who is the niece of his arch nemesis. While he slogs day and night to prepare for his fights and hopes to win over his love, Shravan experiences casteism, nepotism and a continuous class struggle. DISTRIBUTOR: EROS INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONTACT: PRASHANT GAONKAR

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: LYNDA HARRISS AT LYNDA@SKYFILMS.COM


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My Son (Mon garçon) W

Director: Christian Carion Cast: Guillaume Canet, Mélanie Laurent Julien’s perpetual absence from home due to work has wrecked his marriage. During a stopover in France, he receives a message from his ex-wife: Mathys, their seven-year-old son, has disappeared. Julien begins the search for his son and will stop at nothing to get the boy back. DISTRIBUTOR: O’BRIEN INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: JACQUELINE BRIENS

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Newton

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Old Beast

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Director: Amit Masurkar Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil, Raghubir Yadav

Director: Zhou Ziyang Cast: Tu Men, Wang Chaobei, Alateng Wula, Yi Danna, Wang Zizi

Newton, a rookie government clerk, finds himself entrusted with conducting elections in the jungles of central India, which are teeming with guerrillas who have been waging a decades-old war against the state. He is determined to do his job, but things are about to get worse.

Lao Yang is a man in his 60s who had his fair share of success but went bankrupt years ago. He has since gone wayward: gambling, keeping a mistress, falling out with his family and neglecting his bedridden wife. He lives up to his nickname Old Beast and shows no sign of remorse.

DISTRIBUTOR: EROS INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONTACT: PRASHANT GAONKAR

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Director: Dominic Cooke Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Emily Watson, Samuel West, Adrian Scarborough In the summer of 1962, a young couple of drastically different backgrounds are involved in an idyllic romance. They experience issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.

DISTRIBUTOR: ENCORE INFLIGHT CONTACT: EDWIN CHEUNG

DISTRIBUTOR: JAGUAR DISTRIBUTION CONTACT: FRANCE CAPOR

* EXCLUDING MAINLAND CHINA

* EXCLUDING US

DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS CODES

108

On Chesil Beach

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I: OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA

W: WORLDWIDE

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF O’BRIEN INTERNATIONAL; COURTESY OF EROS INTERNATIONAL MEDIA; © 2017 DONGCHUN FILMS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; © ROCKET SCIENCE

* EXCLUDING FRANCE, BENELUX AND NORTH AMERICA


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Overboard

Director: Rob Greenberg Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Anna Faris, Eva Longoria, John Hannah, Mel Rodriguez Leonardo is a selfish playboy from Mexico’s richest family. After firing Kate, who was hired to clean his yacht, and refusing to pay her, he falls overboard while partying and wakes up with amnesia. To get payback, Kate convinces Leonardo he is her husband and puts him to work.

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The Predator

Director: Shane Black Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key The sequel to the 1987 sci-fi film, Predator. DISTRIBUTOR: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX CONTACT: JULIAN LEVIN

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A Modern Royal Romance W

Director: Tara Pirnia Cast: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Patrick J. Adams, Priyanka Chopra, Victoria Arbiter, Darren McGrady Exploring the relationship of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, this documentary shows firsthand interviews by those who really know the couple. Get an insider’s view of this much-awaited union to see how the American actress captured the heart of a prince.

DISTRIBUTOR: TERRY STEINER INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: NADJA RUTKOWSKI

DISTRIBUTOR: PICTUREWORKS CONTACT: AVINAASH JUMANI

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Ramen Heads

Director: Koki Shigeno Cast: Shôta Iida, Kumiko Ishida, Katsuya Kobayashi Osamu Tomita, Japan’s king of ramen, takes us deep into his world, revealing his obsessive approach to creating the perfect soup and noodles. The film also profiles five other notable ramen shops with their own philosophies and flavors that exemplify the various aspects of the ramen world. DISTRIBUTOR: TERRY STEINER INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: NADJA RUTKOWSKI * EXCLUDING JAPAN

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PHOTOS: © METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES PANTELION FILMS; © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; COURTESY OF PICTUREWORKS; © 2016 NETZGEN

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RBG

Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West Cast: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, Nina Totenberg US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has created a legal legacy for women’s rights. Her diminutive, quiet warrior’s rise during a hostile time for women has turned her into an unexpected pop icon. Now 84, she continues with her vigorous dissenting opinions and exercise workouts. DISTRIBUTOR: TERRY STEINER INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: NADJA RUTKOWSKI

The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth W

Directors: Heber Cannon, Mariah Moore, Marston Sawyers Cast: Tia-Clair Toomey, Mat Fraser, Kara Webb, Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir Elite athletes take on a series of grueling tests to vie for the title of “Fittest on Earth.” Follow the drama as they endure the unknown and unknowable during four of the most intense days of competition in CrossFit Games history. DISTRIBUTOR: TERRY STEINER INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: ALEX DIGIOVANNA

Return of the Hero (Le retour du héros) W

Director: Laurent Tirard Cast: Jean Dujardin, Mélanie Laurent, Noémie Merlant, Christophe Montenez When Captain Neuville goes to battle and she doesn’t hear from him, Pauline falls ill. Her sister, Elizabeth, writes fake letters thinking he will never return – but he does. Elizabeth is determined to expose him as an opportunistic coward, and the two begin conspiring against one another. DISTRIBUTOR: PICTUREWORKS CONTACT: AVINAASH JUMANI

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Road to Mars

Director: Humberto Hinojosa Ozcariz Cast: Luis Gerardo Méndez, Tessa Ia, Camila Sodi Emilia, who suffers from a terminal illness, embarks on a journey with her best friend, Violeta. They meet Mark, who claims to be an alien on a mission to destroy the planet, believing humanity is a virus. However, he begins to doubt his mission after falling in love with Emilia. DISTRIBUTOR: ENCORE INFLIGHT CONTACT: EDWIN CHEUNG * EXCLUDING US

* EXCLUDING FRANCE, US AND CANADA

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TERRY STEINER INTERNATIONAL; © CROSSFIT, INC. 2018; COURTESY OF PICTUREWORKS; © 2017 TIGRE PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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School Life

Directors: David Rane, Neasa Ní Chianáin Teachers John and Amanda work at Headfort School, which embraces tradition and modernity. For John, rock music is just another subject, taught in a collaborative and hilarious fashion. For Amanda, the key is to connect and engage students’ minds with literature. DISTRIBUTOR: PICTUREWORKS CONTACT: AVINAASH JUMANI * EXCLUDING CANADA AND IRELAND

*

The Seagull

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Skyscraper

Director: Michael Mayer Cast: Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Noah Taylor, Roland Møller, Byron Mann

A heartbreaking yet funny story of friends and lovers, all of whom are in love with the wrong person. The movie is timely in its depiction of the tragic consequences of narcissism, particularly on young dreams and romantic love.

Will Sawyer assesses security for skyscrapers. While on assignment in China, he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze – and he’s being framed for it. Despite being wanted and on the run, Will must rescue his family trapped inside the building.

DISTRIBUTOR: SONY PICTURES RELEASING CONTACT: RANA MATTHES * CARIBBEAN ISLANDS, CYPRUS/GREEK, EASTERN EUROPE, EUROPE/GERMANY, FAR EAST, GREECE, LATIN AMERICA, NEW CALEDONIA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, SCANDINAVIA, SEYCHELLES, SWITZERLAND, US, WALLIS AND FUTUNA, EXCLUDING CHINA, JAPAN, NORTH KOREA, RUSSIA AND SOUTH KOREA

DISTRIBUTOR: NBCUNIVERSAL CONTACT: CYNTHIA KLAR * EXCLUDING CHINA (BUT INCLUDING HONG KONG AND TAIWAN)

Solo: A Star Wars Story W

Director: Ron Howard Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Joonas Suotamo, Phoebe Waller-Bridge In a journey that will set the course for one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot, Chewbacca, and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian through a series of daring escapades deep within a dangerous criminal underworld. DISTRIBUTOR: DISNEY STUDIOS NON-THEATRICAL CONTACT: MELINDA MEYER-GILMORE

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Super Troopers 2

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar Cast: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter, Will Sasso When an international border dispute arises between the US and Canada, the Super Troopers – Mac, Thorny, Foster, Rabbit and Farva – are called in to set up a new Highway Patrol station in the disputed area. Unconventional police work follows, and the result is… Super Troopers 2.

Swimming With Men W

Director: Oliver Parker Cast: Jim Carter, Rupert Graves, Rob Brydon, Jane Horrocks, Charlotte Riley A man who is suffering a midlife crisis finds new meaning as part of an all-male, middle-aged, amateur synchronized swimming team. DISTRIBUTOR: CINESKY PICTURES CONTACT: MARK HORTON

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Three Seconds

Director: Andrea Di Stefano Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, Clive Owen, Ana de Armas Pete Koslow has been working undercover for crooked FBI handlers to infiltrate the Polish mob’s drug trade in New York. To return to his wife and daughter, he must go back to Bale Hill Prison. When a drug deal goes wrong, the possibility of revealing his identity as a mole becomes a threat. DISTRIBUTOR: JAGUAR DISTRIBUTION CONTACT: FRANCE CAPOR

* EXCLUDING UK

We Make Antiques! W

Director: Masaharu Take Cast: Kiichi Nakai, Kuranosuke Sasaki Antique dealer Norio finds a 16th-century teacup from the Japanese tea master Sen no Rikyu while searching inside the storehouse of a rich family. He deceives the homeowner, Sasuke, to get it for almost nothing, but it turns out Sasuke is a mere house sitter who is actually the potter of the teacup. DISTRIBUTOR: ENCORE INFLIGHT CONTACT: EDWIN CHEUNG * EXCLUDING JAPAN

DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS CODES

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PHOTOS: © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; COURTESY OF CINESKY PICTURES; © BLOOM MEDIA; © 2018 “WE MAKE ANTIQUES!” FILM PARTNERS

DISTRIBUTOR: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX CONTACT: JULIAN LEVIN


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White Boy Rick

Director: Yann Demange Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane The true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe, set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs. Rick became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer before being abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison. DISTRIBUTOR: SONY PICTURES RELEASING CONTACT: RANA MATTHES * EXCLUDING CHINA, HONG KONG, MACAU, TAIWAN

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Woman Walks Ahead W

Director: Susanna White Cast: Jessica Chastain, Sam Rockwell, Ciarán Hinds, Michael Greyeyes Based on the true story of Catherine Weldon, who traveled in 1899 to Standing Rock reservation to paint a portrait of the legendary Indian leader Sitting Bull. She becomes embroiled in the Lakota Sioux people’s struggle over rights to their land, writing letters to the federal government on their behalf.

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Zombies

Director: Paul Hoen Cast: Meg Donnelly, Milo Manheim, Trevor Tordjman, Kylee Russell, Carla Jeffery As Seabrook students struggle to coexist with those from Zombietown, an unlikely friendship between a cheerleader and a zombie unites their community for good. DISTRIBUTOR: DISNEY STUDIOS NON-THEATRICAL CONTACT: MELINDA MEYER-GILMORE

DISTRIBUTOR: CINESKY PICTURES CONTACT: MARK HORTON * EXCLUDING US

Zoo

Director: Colin McIvor Cast: Toby Jones, Penelope Wilton, Art Parkinson Based on a true story, 12-year-old Tom and his misfit friends fight to save Buster the baby elephant during the air raids on Belfast in 1941. DISTRIBUTOR: PENNY BLACK MEDIA CONTACT: CATHIE TROTTA

DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS CODES

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES RELEASING; COURTESY OF CINESKY PICTURES; © 2018 DISNEY; COURTESY OF PENNY BLACK MEDIA

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APEX.AERO | V8 E3 |

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THROWBACK

It’s been almost a century since the first, primitive experiments with in-flight film projection took place in an Aeromarine Airways Curtiss F5L aircraft. It was 1921, and the 11 passengers on a sightseeing flight over Chicago were shown a silent movie promoting the city. But it wasn’t until 1961 that David Flexer’s Inflight Motion Pictures brought regular in-flight entertainment (IFE) to passengers on Trans World Airlines’ early jets.

Reel Time True fact: Movies were once projected to an airplane full of passengers via a filmstrip running along the ceiling. BY HOWARD SLUTSKEN

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| V8 E3 | APEX.AERO

A single movie was spooled onto a giant 26-inch-diameter reel of 16 mm film that was mounted to the airplane’s ceiling. The film was fed from the front of the aircraft, and as it traveled through each of the three or four cabin classes, it passed through a projector. Passengers watched a single screen at the front of the cabin and listened to the audio track using uncomfortable hollowtube earplugs. If everything went smoothly, the film didn’t break and the audio was properly synchronized to the film. The ultimate, and perhaps most absurd, evolution of this technology appeared in American Airlines’ Astrocolor system, manufactured by Bell & Howell. Starting from a single, massive 30-inch reel in a forward cabinet, the film was fed to 20 or more small projection units mounted above the seats in the airline’s Boeing 707s. Perhaps the best description of Astrocolor comes from the late John Norman White, the longtime editor and publisher of Avion, the precursor to APEX Experience magazine. White was the industry’s unofficial, self-appointed, but well-respected, historian.

“The film started out from the forward, starboard section of the airplane and followed a 260-foot path that involved six 90-degree turns,” White explained in his 1994 article, “A History of Inflight Entertainment.” “On some aircraft, the film trail approached 300 feet. What this meant was that a first-class passenger sitting in a seat on the port side would see scenes and hear sound seven and a half minutes after the passenger on the starboard side of the airplane had experienced it,” he wrote. “It was marvelously innovative ... but it was also impractical and short-lived.” By the 1970s, small, easy-to-handle 8 mm film cassettes replaced the unwieldy 16 mm reels, but only for a short time. Video display systems were soon introduced and quickly became the standard for IFE. Nowadays, of course, the cabin crew doesn’t have to worry about the film breaking on the one-and-only movie. Onboard digital storage holds hundreds of hours of content shown on seatback screens or delivered via Wi-Fi to personal devices – and technology.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF AMERICAN AIRLINES

American Airlines’ Astrocolor IFE system on one of its Boeing 707s in the 1970s.


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