All winners of awards at APEX/IFSA EXPO

2021 APEX/IFSA Awards winners named

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All winners of awards at APEX/IFSA EXPO

The winners of Passenger Choice Awards and APEX/IFSA Awards have been announced at an awards ceremony at California’s Long Beach Convention Center.

İlker Aycı, Group CEO & Chairman, Turkish Airlines received the Lifetime Achievement Award APEX. Aycı became Chairman of Turkish Airlines in 2015 and has overseen the airline fly to the most countries and international destinations in the world: a total of 324 destinations as of the end of 2020, of which 52 are domestic and 272 are international.

Turkish Airlines increased the number of aircraft in its fleet by 8.7% in the last 5 years to 363 by the end of 2020, of which 338 are passenger aircraft including 104 widebody and 234 narrowbody and 25 are freighters. In 2020, despite the effect of the COVID pandemic, the airline flew 28 million passengers.

The APEX Passenger Choice Awards recognise excellence in seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi. Partnering with TripIt from Concur, anonymous passenger feedback is gathered based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights. The 2021 winners are:

Best Cabin Service: EVA Air
Best Seat Comfort: Qatar Airways
Best Food & Beverage: Qatar Airways
Best Entertainment: Emirates
Best Wi-Fi: Delta Air Lines

Judged by a panel of industry media the APEX/IFSA Awards have been decided.

Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation: United Airlines
United Airlines was recognised for its United Next customer experience transformation program. This includes becoming the first airline in North America to offer an extensive suite of accessibility features, across its library of movies and TV shows that come with audio descriptions and/or close-captioning. Other features include exploration by touch which describes each item as your finger moves across the screen and text sizing which gives three different text sizes for easier visibility.

Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation: WestJet
Canadian carrier WestJet is the launch and largest customer of Panasonic Avionics’ ZeroTouch service, which it uses to reduce its monthly on-wing support typically required to support software, media, and content updates across its fleet of 100 aircraft. Over the six months to September 2021, WestJet transferred 34.6 terabytes of data using the new remote loading service.

Best Airport Innovation: Spirit Airlines
As part of its multi-year Invest in the Guest initiative, the airline unveiled an automated and expedited self-bag drop for processing checked luggage at its ticket counter at LaGuardia Airport. Partnering with Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America, the self-bag drop is also payment-enabled.

Best Product or Service: Purell by GOJO Industries
In September 2020, Delta Air Lines became the first US airline to add hand sanitiser stations on board. As part of its Delta CareStandard, the carrier signed a long-term partnership with GOJO Industries to supply a range of Purell sanitising products in-flight. Under the partnership, Purell introduced an FAA-compliant mounted bottle of hand sanitizer, specially-designed single-snap hand sanitising gel pouches and moisturising hand sanitiser wipes handed out by flight attendants upon boarding, included in our complimentary care kits and within our pre-packaged snack bags.

Best Marketing Innovation: Spafax
Spafax created Priority Digital, a digital magazine exclusively for Singapore Airlines PPS Club members. Priority Digital sits within the Singapore Airlines app and offers digital-exclusive mobile-friendly content covering topics from gourmet dining, culture, craftsmanship, sports and wellness, to interviews with successful personalities and trailblazers.

Best Onboard Amenity (IFSA): Buzz
Buzz is providing Singapore Airlines with children’s amenity kits featuring licensed Disney-movies themed products. The range includes Aladdin, Lion King, Captain Marvel and Dumbo and includes a magic kit, coding game, buildable disk game, wrist pouch, plush puppet, notebook, pencil case and character eye mask. SIA refreshes the range, predominantly made using paper activity items and paper packaging, eliminating the usage of plastics, every three months.

Best Cabin Innovation: Airbus
Airbus has bought its Airspace cabin to its single-aisle family, with JetBlue’s A321LR fleet the first to feature the interior. Cabin enhancements: unique welcome and customisable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surface

Best Inflight Food or Beverage (IFSA): Malaysia Airlines
Cool Treats are chocolate-coated vanilla-flavoured ice cream, made especially by Malaysia Airlines. The exclusive in-flight sweet treats are also now available in grocers and supermarkets across Malaysia, in multi-packs of four.

Newcomer of the year: SpiceJet
SpiceJet created SG Docs, created by SpiceJet, is a mobile app for cabin crew that hosts digital versions of required forms including circulars, notifications and manuals. The app can be used both on and offline.

For the fourth year running, airline passengers were able to rate their flight experience on a five-star  scale through the TripIt by Concur app for global, major, regional and low-cost carrier categories. A full list is available on the APEX website.

Qatar Executive jet

Qatar Executive taps Inflight Dublin for IFE

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Qatar Executive jet

Inflight Dublin has been selected by Qatar Airways, Qatar Executive and Amiri Flight to provide its Everhub iPad solution.

As part of a three year partnership that launched in September 2021, Inflight Dublin is leveraging the software platform from its successful wireless IFE solution, Everhub. The interactive media application is DRM-enabled and includes a fully customisable Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is aligned with Qatar Airways’  IFE brand – Oryx One.

“Partnering with world-leading airline Qatar Airways and its subsidiary Qatar Executive is a fantastic achievement for Inflight Dublin. The flexibility of our Everhub platform allowed us to meet Qatar Executive’s requirements for this iPad service, through the delivery of an interactive and engaging experience for its passengers,” stated John White, Inflight Dublin’s CEO

Inflight Dublin’s CTO, David Miller said “We are delighted to have delivered our innovative pre-loaded iPad solution to Qatar Airways and its Executive fleet. As an extension of our market-leading wireless IFE platform, Everhub, tight timelines were overcome through the efficient onsite delivery and management of hundreds of devices that are powered by Everhub’s advanced and user-friendly media application. The technical expertise of Inflight Dublin combined with the adaptability of the Everhub software ensures a truly tailored and reliable experience for each of our airline partners.”

Qatar Airways and BRIC's Breast Cancer Awareness month amenities

Qatar Airways goes pink

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Qatar Airways and BRIC's Breast Cancer Awareness month amenities

To mark Qatar Airways’ continuous support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, passengers are being offered an exclusive ‘Think Pink’ experience in the sky as well in Hamad International Airport (HIA) lounges, including custom-designed limited-edition BRIC’S amenity kits and pink-themed special menus.

Designed by Qatar Airways in collaboration with  the stylish Italian luggage brand – BRIC’S, the limited-edition amenity kits are made from vegan leather and are offered in two different designs – a pink and white kit for female passengers, and a black kit for male passengers, both with the iconic breast cancer ribbon prints. Each kit includes products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, the environmentally friendly olive oil company, including lip balm, hydrating facial mist, and anti-ageing moisturiser in special limited edition ‘pink’ branding.

On flights departing from Doha, passengers travelling in first class and business class are offered a refreshing pink mocktail, a special ‘Think Pink’ menu featuring a themed afternoon tea, and desserts featuring the iconic breast cancer ribbon made from sugar paste. Economy class passengers are served an exclusive pink-themed cheesecake and offered the limited-edition breast cancer awareness amenity kit on select long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights.

Rendering of Qatar's new CL3810 economy seating from RecaroL

Qatar Airways to outfit A321neo with Recaro economy class seating

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Rendering of Qatar's new CL3810 economy class seating - rear

Qatar Airways will receive Recaro brand-new CL3810 economy class seat, for outfitting its new A321neo fleet.

Starting at the end of 2022, 20 shipsets of the CL3810 will be installed.

Qatar Airways is one of the first airlines to select the CL3810, which was unveiled in 2020. The customised seat features offer a wider backrest for increased comfort and privacy, as well as a six-way headrest with adjustable neck support feature.

“We are pleased to be one of the first global airlines to select the CL3810 Economy Class seat – Recaro’s latest, sustainable and advanced seating product,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker. “Established nearly two decades ago, our long-term partnership with Recaro Aircraft Seating reflects our confidence in the supplier’s exemplified designs and technology.”

The newest addition to the economy class portfolio, the CL3810’s unique shape was designed to support the passenger’s points of tension, which reflects the design of the Recaro Automotive sport seat. Compared to its predecessor, the CL3810 offers an additional inch of living space, a more advanced articulated seat pan, and a wider backrest to enhance row-to-row privacy.

The seat weight was reduced by more than 15% when compared to the CL3710, which can save airlines thousands in fuel costs and optimise cabin performance. All Recaro seats are comprised of long-lasting and durable materials that help extend the life cycle of seats and minimise the total cost of ownership for airlines.

Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite and seat from Adient.

Qatar Airways introduces new business class suite on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

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Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite and seat from Adient.

Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite, on a number of key routes to Europe and Asia, starting with its Doha to Milan service on 25 June 2021.

The ultramodern aircraft is scheduled for services from Doha to Athens, Barcelona, Dammam, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid and Milan and has a total passenger capacity of 311 seats – 30 business class Suites and 281 seats in economy class.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al-Baker, said: “In-line with our commitment to offering our passengers an unparalleled travel experience, we are pleased to introduce this much-anticipated business class suite on Qatar Airways’ newest wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 which will debut onto a number of key routes within our network.

“The new business class suite sets yet another industry standard with a uniquely private experience for premium passengers travelling with us, which is becoming increasingly valuable during this pandemic, while showcasing Qatar Airways’ 5-star standards of excellence and Qatari hospitality that are quintessential on all of our flights.

“Our passengers deserve the best and I am confident that they will appreciate the larger Dreamliner variant for its unmatched comfort in the sky. Passengers can rest assured that its responsible impact on the environment fully aligns with our ambition to achieve the highest levels of sustainability.”

Arranged in a herringbone pattern, in a 1-2-1 configuration, each Adient Ascent business class suite has direct aisle access with a sliding door to ensure the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Passengers seated in adjoining centre suites can slide the privacy panels away at the touch of a button to create their very own enclosed private space.

The business class suite transforms into a 79-inch fully-flat bed. Personal mobile devices can be stored safely in a dedicated phone holder, equipped with a wireless charging technology compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

The suite is complemented with by the onboard service, which includes a wide selection of international cuisine, food and beverages, as well as healthy vegan meal options that are a part of Qatar Airways’ à la carte dine-on-demand menu. Products and Amenities come from Narumi, BRIC’S, diptyque, TWG Tea, Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio and The White Company to name a few.

Economy class features Recaro seating, with each seat equipped with a 13-inch Panasonic IFE touch screen in addition to a personal electronic device holder for both mobile and iPad devices. The seat features a rotatable armrest that can be completely stowed away to the backrest, providing a more comfortable and spacious experience. Passengers can also enjoy the full dining experience ‘Quisine’.

As a warm welcome on-board the new aircraft, Qatar Airways Official Composer, Dana Al Fardan has created new boarding music portraying the mutual vision Qatar Airways and Dana share in bringing people together.

The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UVC light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces.

Qatar Airways operates latest version of Honeywell’s UV Cabin System

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The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UVC light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces.

Qatar Airways becomes the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System version 2.0, further advancing its hygiene measures on board.

The latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System that is owned and operated by Qatar Aviation Services (QAS), has been introduced to add flexibility, improve reliability, mobility and ease of use compared to its predecessor, with extended UV wings that treat both narrow and wide areas on board, reducing the overall disinfection time. This version also includes a hand wand that disinfects areas like the cockpit and other smaller spaces and is non-motorised leading to less battery consumption. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied.

After receiving 17 units of the latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System V2, the devices have all undergone comprehensive testing on board Qatar Airways’ aircraft. The airline aims to operate them on board all aircraft turnarounds at Hamad International Airport (HIA).

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive,. Akbar Al Baker, said: “As the first global airline to operate the latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System V2 on board our aircraft, it is significantly more user friendly and technologically advanced. QAS has continued to maintain our impeccable service during the outbreak of COVID-19, specifically supporting with repatriation flights and increased cargo workloads.

“As the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, the first airline in the Middle East to begin trials of the innovative new IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app, and most recently, the first airline in the world to operate a flight with fully vaccinated crew and passengers – it is in our core to continuously be at the forefront of innovation, and to keep implementing the latest safety and hygiene measures on board and on the ground.”

Qatar Airways is offering passengers on board bespoke Iftar meal bags, consisting of Middle Eastern delicacies to break their fast during the month of Ramadan.

Qatar Airways celebrates Ramadan with bespoke Iftar meal bags

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Qatar Airways is offering passengers on board bespoke Iftar meal bags, consisting of Middle Eastern delicacies to break their fast during the month of Ramadan.

Qatar Airways is offering passengers on board bespoke Iftar meal bags, consisting of Middle Eastern delicacies to break their fast during the month of Ramadan.

The Iftar bag, designed in-house, contains a selection of sweet and savoury delicacies that will be offered on selected routes across Algeria, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

On flights departing from Doha, the Iftar bag will contain a bottle of water, fresh Laban, Medjool Dates, Chicken Musakhan Wrap, Falafel Wrap and Baklava. For inbound flights to Doha, passengers will be offered the same selection with a Chicken Shawarma and a Muhammara Wrap.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “With heart-warming greetings, we wish all our passengers Ramadan Kareem.  We are delighted to invite all our passengers this holy month, to share an Iftar meal together on board. The Holy Month of Ramadan is an important time for a great number of our customers, and we are excited to provide a service that is tailored to the needs of those who are fasting.”

Travelling between time zones can be challenging for the fasting travellers; thus Qatar Airways cabin crew will make an announcement before the commencement of this service and serve the Iftar meal bags at the appropriate time during the flight.

To ensure a contactless dining experience, travellers will be able to digitally access the Iftar and Suhoor menu through their smartphones via QR codes.

Qatar Airways Oryx One IFE platform

Qatar Airways gives unlimited access to international media titles

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Qatar Airways Oryx One IFE platform

Qatar Airways, via a new partnership with PressReader, has begun offering passengers unlimited access to more than 6,000 global digital magazine and newspaper titles in one seamless digital experience through its Oryx One in-flight entertainment app from March 2021.

Passengers can access titles by downloading the Oryx One app to their personal electronic devices (PEDs), inserting their Booking Reference Number (PNR) into the app’s ‘Newsstand’ and selecting the exclusively curated titles they wish to save. The service will be available up to three days before, and seven days after scheduled flights and the downloaded content will stay in a user’s digital library for as long as they have the app installed, helping to reduce newspaper and magazine waste, both on the ground and in-flight, by over 1,000 tonnes each year.

Uniquely, passengers will not need to leave Oryx One or download any additional apps to access the content at any point.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our partnership with PressReader not only offers a COVID-safe, contactless entertainment option to further enhance our passenger’s on-board experience, it also supports our commitment to environmental sustainability, which continues to be a key focus for the airline.”

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Salam Al Shawa, added: “We are delighted to be able to offer Qatar Airways passengers the convenience of accessing thousands of top name global magazine and newspaper titles in one safe, contactless and seamless digital experience without ever leaving the Oryx One app.”

Qatar Airways has introduced a new line of luxurious toiletries for premium passengers, created exclusively by parfumerie maison diptyque.

Qatar Airways signs global exclusive partnership with fragrance brand diptyque

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Qatar Airways has introduced a new line of luxurious toiletries for premium passengers, created exclusively by parfumerie maison diptyque.

Qatar Airways has introduced a new line of luxurious toiletries for premium passengers, created exclusively by parfumerie maison diptyque.

The new range of toiletries will be available in the First and Business Class washrooms on board and at the airline’s premium lounges around the world.

The new collection includes a velvet hand lotion with scents of sweet almond and petitgrain, hand wash with notes of lavender, rosemary, and a hint of ylang ylang, infused facial water with floral notes of rose, virginia cedar and lemon petitgrain, and essential face cream with a heart of roses, notes of prickly pear and the freshness of lemon petitgrain. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion complete the range of products offered to customers at the airline’s premium lounges at Hamad International Airport (HIA) and other key airport hubs.

Qatar Airways Head of Product Development and Service Design, Genevieve Rosario, said: “We are so excited to be introducing our premium passengers to a new and exclusive range of diptyque toiletries that we hope will become a part of their lifestyles. The lavish and exquisite toiletries are designed to further enhance the customer experience, surrounding our customers in comforting essences and fragrances that will take them on a sensory journey to create travel memories with Qatar Airways. We are proud to be offering world-class products from brands such as diptyque that have a lasting impact on our passengers.”

diptyque’s Executive Director, Fabienne Mauny, said: “Travel has formed an integral part of our House since its creation in 1961. We are therefore delighted to partner with Qatar Airways, a company that shares our passion to provide our customers with enchanting experiences. We are very happy to launch this exclusive collection of products designed for passenger wellness and pleasure.”

The collaboration between Qatar Airways and diptyque was facilitated by FORMIA, and will continue with more offerings planned for the coming months.

Qatar Airways has become the first airline to offer 100% touch free IFE access vis PEDs

Qatar Airways set to offer passengers 100% touch free IFE

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Qatar Airways has become the first airline to offer 100% touch free IFE access vis PEDs

Passengers travelling on board the airline’s Airbus A350 fleet will soon be able to access the Oryx One in-flight entertainment system through their own personal electronic devices, minimising the risk of COVID-19.

To pair their PED, passengers need to connect to ‘Oryxcomms’ Wi-Fi and scan a QR code displayed on the Thales AVANT IFE screen. They can then use their devices to navigate and enjoy more than 4,000 options on Oryx One limiting the frequency of on board surface contact and providing greater peace of mind throughout the duration of their journey.

The airline is also set to become the first in Europe and the Middle East and North Africa region to offer passengers in Business and Economy the option to pair their personal Bluetooth headphones with the on-board seatback IFE system in all cabins on the Boeing 787-9 fleet.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “The introduction of the state-of-the-art…technology and enabling passengers to use their personal Bluetooth headset on board, is an important step in taking our already rigorous and stringent COVID-19 precautions to another level, limiting passenger surface contact and preventing any possible spread of infection on board.

“We hope it provides yet further assurance of the safety of air travel, as well as offering passengers on board increased confidence that they are enjoying the most consistently advanced customer experience available in the sky.”