– EXPO, Educational Sessions and Awards Draw Record Attendance

Long Beach, CA | September 2012– The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) hosted thousands of attendees at what has been widely hailed by attendees as the most successful annual EXPO yet, held 17-20 September at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in California. By the end of the EXPO, total attendance had hit 2,462: the highest mark in 15 years.

Exhibitors represented a wide range of fields, including education, encoding, entertainment, flight crew services, inflight entertainment and internet connectivity systems, inflight lounge products and services, interactive content, IT, marketing, media, motion pictures, inflight magazine publication, retail, seating, short subject production and distribution, software development and wireless communication.

“We knew going into this event that our full agenda would draw in a huge crowd of passenger experience professionals, and we are thrilled by the level of enthusiasm this year,” said Chris Babb, APEX Immediate Past President. “Our efforts to revamp the popular educational sessions paid off, as our speakers addressed rooms packed with attendees eager to learn more about WiFi, onboard gaming, connectivity and new technologies that are changing our industry.”

While the bulk of activities centered on the EXPO itself, attendees enjoyed a series of educational sessions related to new technologies, advancements in passenger experience and cutting-edge wireless options. The educational segment featured a well-received “learning journey” that discussed “ecosystems” and featured speakers from Philips, Intel, Cisco and Ericsson.

Additionally, association members recognized industry leaders who have set the highest standards in the passenger experience. More than 700 attendees celebrated their peers during the APEX Awards Ceremony, emceed by Emmy Award-winning travel journalist Joel Connable. The Avion Awards recognized industry innovators; Leigh Mantle, of Inflight Productions, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the association and the industry.

The industry also recognized innovation and achievement in airline achievement announcing winners of its Passenger Choice Awards. Airlines and service providers received awards in 14 categories, ranging from best inflight video to best ground experience, with Virgin America and Emirates receiving the top accolades of the evening: Best Overall Passenger Experience (up to 50 IFE equipped in fleet) and Best Overall Passenger Experience (over 50 IFE equipped in fleet) respectively.

Following the Annual General Meeting, the newly elected APEX Board of Directors took office and includes: President Linda Celestino, Oman Air; Vice President Alfy Veretto, Virgin America; and Treasurer Joan Filippini, Paramount Studios. Continuing his term as Secretary is Dominic Green, Spafax.

Newly elected to the APEX Board are: Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus; and Ashley Woodall, JetBlue Airlines. Re-elected to the board are Luay Qunash, Royal Jordanian Airlines; Neil James, Panasonic. They join Kevin Bremer, Boeing; Ian Walberg, Airborne Interactive, who continue their terms on the Board.

Association officials are currently planning the 2013 EXPO, to be held 9-12 September in Anaheim, Calif. USA.

APEX Long Beach, CA | September 18, 2012– Thales, leader in In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) systems, is pleased to announce Air India has introduced into revenue service the first of its 27 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners equipped with the Thales TopSeries In-Flight Entertainment System.

Air India is the third airline to take delivery of the newest Boeing platform, with six further Dreamliners scheduled to enter into revenue service with the airline across 2012. All Dreamliners will be equipped with Thales’s groundbreaking new IFE technology including a host of interactive capabilities through an easy-to-navigate graphical user interface including full Audio & Video on-demand (AVOD), games, shopping catalogues and a new interactive ASXi Moving Map application.

Mr. K.M. Unni, SBU Head – MRO of Air India commented: “Our airline is very excited about adding a fleet of B787 to our operation. It is a very special aircraft that we know will generate exceptional passenger appreciation. The Thales IFE system adds to the greatness of this aircraft and we know Thales will be there to support us as they do today on many other aircraft”.

Commenting on the milestone, Alan Pellegrini Chief Executive for the Thales In-flight Entertainment business said: “In-flight entertainment systems can have a direct and lasting impact on customer perception of the service excellence of an airline. We are therefore very proud of the continuing confidence placed in our systems by such an important customer as Air India.”

Eric Lenseigne Thales India Country Director added: “Air India and Thales have an excellent history together. The airline today equips a large portion of its modern fleet with the Thales TopSeries system and we are proud of the significant milestone we have reached with this delivery. It is a special time for both Thales and Air India. We look forward to working closely with Air India to support their operations for years to come”

– At APEX Expo, Kontron to demonstrate proven IFE equipment solutions

Long Beach, CA | September 18, 2012– Kontron offers developers of In-flight Entertainment & Communication (IFE&C) applications standardized and proven ultra-rugged computing platforms based on its 25 years of support for both military and commercial aerospace applications. The company continually leverages processor, storage and wireless technology advancements in its system-level hardware solutions to maximize performance while meeting significant cost and weight reduction requirements as well as developers’ time-to-market and total cost goals.

Kontron invites you to learn about and experience the new enabling technologies the company offers that are making “Wireless in the Sky” a reality.

Where: APEX Expo, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
When: September 17 – 20, 2012
Location: Kontron Booth #1066


Kontron and planBmedia, Inc. – illustrates full audio and video on-demand for passengers that integrate Kontron’s latest ACE Flight™ Server and CWAP solutions with planBmedia’s Skyfi Wireless streaming software. The demonstration shows how this solution provides the utmost performance and interactive user experience, and allows passengers to use their own personal device based either on iOS, Android, QNX, Windows or Linux operating system for limitless interactive capability and Internet connectivity.

Kontron ACE Flight™ 600 airborne video server and a Cab-n-Connect™ cabin wireless access point (CWAP) – As airlines are eliminating unnecessary weight from their aircraft, it is critical that wireless-in-the-sky deployments deliver the highest possible weight-to-revenue return. Kontron’s modular CWAP and airborne server uses advanced technologies to deliver a high performance fully certified wireless access point that is only two-thirds of the weight, size and cost of available alternatives.

Kontron COBALT – Showcasing an ideal computer airborne solution for applications requiring performance and reduced SWaP (Size, Weight & Power), this conduction cooled, environmentally-sealed embedded computer system offers a wide selection of processor, storage, power and interface options. It delivers high performance from 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors in a low power, small footprint rugged system. Kontron COBALT’s modular approach allows system architects the flexibility to extend its feature sets for specific applications.

Kontron Rugged Airborne Ethernet Switch – Displays Kontron’s 24-Port Layer2/Layer3 GbE switching with IPv4/IPv6 routing and management capabilities. This sealed switch is conduction cooled and optimized for reduced SWaP and designed to be compliant with RTCA/DO-160F environmental and EMI requirements.