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Finalists announced for 2014 APEX Passenger Choice Awards

After voting closed for the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Passenger Choice Awards on 30 June, the 2014 finalists have now been revealed with the winners to be named at the Awards Ceremony held during the APEX Expo on 15 September in Anaheim, California, USA.

There are 13 separate award categories, each listing 5 finalists. Categories include: Best overall passenger experience; Best in region; Best in-flight publication; Best IFE user interface; Best in-flight connectivity and communications; Best in-flight video; Best cabin ambiance; Best food and beverage and Best ground experience.

In terms of in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) related awards, the finalists for “Best IFE user interface” and “Best in-flight connectivity and communications” see some overlap, with Emirates and Virgin America nominated in both categories.

Emirates lead the way with 6 finalist nominations in total alongside Norwegian, closely followed by Virgin America and Garuda Indonesia, who received five nominations each. Amongst the airlines receiving only one finalist nomination are Cathay Pacific, EVA, Qantas and Etihad.

An extra category of particular interest to the IFEC industry is “Best achievement in technology”, which recognises a specific achievement implemented by a vendor member. Entries include Betria’s FlightPath3D Moving Map and IFE content, which has just been launched on Air France’s international 777 fleet. Betria is up against Thales Avionics’ immersive business class seat, which can be controlled by eye movements or hand gestures. Also in the running is Lufthansa Systems’ SIT (Seat Integrated Tablet solution), the Panasonic Avionics Companion App and ViaSat Inc’s ‘Exede in the Air’ in-flight internet. ‘Exede in the Air’ launched on U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways in 2013 and claims to deliver more than 12 mbps to each passenger.

In addition to these awards Lee Casey, vice president of customer programmes at Lumexis, will be receiving a lifetime achievement award. According to Lumexis, ‘Lee has an impeccable reputation in the IFE industry’. She has previously served on APEX’s board and as Director of Entertainment Services at Sony Trans Com/Rockwell Collins.

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