Aviation's top trendsetters are meeting in Abu Dhabi this March for a one-of-a- kind industry experience at the APEX Middle East Conference. This can't-miss event will feature exclusive access to our industry's most influential players as they discuss strategies, examine the future of air travel and share insights on how they've increased business while infusing luxury into the passenger experience. You not only get the opportunity to network with top decision-makers in our industry, but also take part in an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Etihad Airway's Innovation Centre. You will not want to miss this! 

Registration & Costs to Attend
Hotel Information
Flight Discounts
Visa Requirements



Click here to register online now.
FREE! - Airline Members
$350 - Vendor Members
$450 - Nonmembers*

Registration for the Etihad Airways' Innovation Centre is included in the form.
Registration for the tour closes on 16 March. Space is limited. Register today!

Online Registration Sponsored by:

Press, click here for details on attendance and how to register. 

The following airlines are registered to attend!

  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • flydubai
  • Jet Airways
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Oman Air
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Saudia Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airlines 
  • Turkish Airlines


Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

The conference will take place at the state of the art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Guests are invited to stay at the Hyatt Capital Gate. For information on hotel booking, click here



Tuesday 24 March

8:00 – 9:00 Registration & Breakfast 
Breakfast and Wifi sponsored by: 

9:00 – 9:10 Welcome & Introduction
APEX Board members welcome guests to Abu Dhabi! 

9:10 – 9:40 Keynote Address: The Future of the Connected Guest Experience 
Presented by: Shane O'Hare - SVP Marketing, Etihad Airways 

9:40 – 10:40 Localizing the Airline Passenger Experience
The value that the aviation industry provides to the development of growing regions and their trade capabilities is not only understood but underscored in the Middle East. With increased demand from passengers and extraordinary focus on the product by the regional airlines, it goes without question that all eyes are on the Middle East. Panelists utilize their expertise and offer insights on bettering the passenger experience. 
Azman Ahmed – GM Product Management, Saudi Airlines
Daniel Kerrison – VP of Inflight Product, flydubai

10:40 – 11:00 Networking Break
Sponsored by:

11:00 – 11:50 10 Tips for Leading in the Middle East
This must-hear speech, based upon the best-selling 10 tips for Leading in the Middle East, which was voted the #2 best book of 2014 by the Wall Street Journal’s readers’ poll, immediately separates itself by keeping the focus on the applicable nature of leading.  Its simplicity highlights what you can expect, which is like having a “Coffee Conversation” with Dr. Tommy who answers, “Would you tell me from your experience and research what does it take to be a good leader here?” Even if you don’t do business in the Middle East, you will gain a tip or two to use where you’re from.
Presented by: Dr. Tommy Weir – Renowned Speaker, Author and CEO Coach

11:50 – 12:30 Airport Developments & Rise of the Aerotropolis
Over the next twenty years, the amount of airline passengers is forecasted to double based on a 4.1% average annual growth rate. There is a direct and interchangeable relationship between air connectivity and strong economies. Infrastructure must be compliant in order to facilitate travel. For these reasons, we are seeing expansion and improvements made to existing airports. Also on the rise is the aerotropolis, a city surrounding an airport with its own economy and infrastructure. 

12:30 – 1:45 Networking Lunch
Sponsored by: 

1:45 – 2:15 Cabin Comfort, Trends & Vision
How are the latest consumer lifestyle trends and airlines’ desire to differentiate their inflight offering considered during development of next aircraft generations? The presentation is structured to evaluate 3 crucial chapters: Focus, Trends and Vision. FOCUS. Take an inside look at the customer centric approach utilizing passenger research, segmentation and cabin feature relevancies. TRENDS. Explore airline trends, short-term and long-term, and highlight issues such as ancillary revenue generation and future virtualization opportunities. VISION. Finally, the presentation gives an outlook into how future cabin could look like that would most optimally incorporate both passenger and technology trends!
Presented by: Ingo Wuggetzer – Vice President, Cabin Marketing, Airbus

2:15 – 2:45 Cabin Design
Passenger expectations are continually rising. How have the latest cabins been designed for Etihad Airways and other airlines to help them satisfy these increasing needs and what opportunities exist for future innovations? 
Presented by: Peter Tennent – Director, Factorydesign

2:45 – 3:05 Networking Break

3:05 – 3:20         APEX Activity Update
This quick session will offer updates on what your association has been up to. Focus on the Technology Committee activities including technologies for disabled passengers such as closed captioning and descriptive text for the blind, onboard payments and future technical trend identification. 
Presented by: Jonathan Norris – Technology Committee Member; Vice President Sales, Lumexis Corporation

3:20 – 4:00 Building the Entertainment Product
What do you need to consider when creating an effective Arabic IFE product? This session will take a look at the changing Arabic movie, TV and music entertainment environment on the ground and what this means for audiences and IFE suppliers. Explore the emergence of new types of entertainment, both home grown and imported, that are popular now and will be in the future. These apply to traditional entertainment models such as free-to-air TV and cinema but also new technologies and services like OTT that are now entering this dynamic and growing market. 
Presented by: Marwan Rahbani – Founder, President & CEO, Rahbani Productions

4:00 – 4:45 Audio Performance Rights 
The rapidly changing music industry and continuous evolution of onboard entertainment systems have caused the music and airline industries to evaluate business arrangements, customer needs and marketing opportunities. This session will offer guidance and share best practices to ensure both vendors and airlines have the knowledge to ensure the proper legal permissions are in place to feature music with a close look at the MENA region.  
Presented by: Claudius Boller – Vice President Digital and Business Development, Universal Music 

6:00 – 9:00 Networking Event
Sponsored by:


Wednesday 25 March

8:00 – 9:00 Registration 

9:00 – 12:30 Tour of Etihad Innovation Center
Etihad Airways is offering APEX guests an exclusive tour of their world-class Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi. This unique facility showcases the airline’s revolutionary cabins and superior product offering,  illustrating their dedication to excellence. Explore reconstructions of the new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft cabins, including realistic mock-ups of The Residence by Etihad™, the new First Apartments and First Suites,  new Business Studios and Economy Smart Seats. The centre also features an Innovation Training Academy, boasting the largest A380 and B787 cabin service and safety trainers in the world. The tour is included with conference registration. Tours are typically available by appointment or invitation only.

Sponsored by: 

10:00 – 10:45 APEX Media Workshop
Between trips to the Innovation Centre, take part in our first APEX Media workshop session at the Middle East Regional Conference. Interested in helping to shape upcoming content within Experience magazine? Join APEX editors Terri Potratz and Jessica Sammut in the editorial process by working with your fellow members to brainstorm stories, and then workshop those ideas in a collaborative group setting. Pre-registration is required. Email editor@apex.aero and indicate which subject stream you are interested in: Comfort & Ambience, Entertainment & Connectivity or Catering & Services – as well as any story ideas you may already have lined up!

12:30 – 1:30 Networking Lunch
Sponsored by:

1:30 – 2:00 Inflight Connectivity Needs for Evolving & Scalable Global Solutions
This session will offer highlights on the current inflight connectivity market and how it will evolve in the coming years. Ben will explain the various connectivity solutions, their differences, and what changes will need to be made ensure the best possible passenger experience.
Presented by: Ben Griffin – Regional Director MEA, Inmarsat

2:00 – 2:45 Connected Aircraft Capabilities 
Moving from the connected passenger to the connected plane to the connected fleet.  TJ will begin the session with discussion on how airlines will leverage broadband connectivity to move from passenger connectivity, to flight attendant and pilot applications, to connected aircraft components to connecting an entire fleet of aircraft to improve operational efficiencies. An industry panel will follow that includes aircraft manufacturers and communications service providers.
Presented & Moderated by: TJ Horsager – Corporate Lead - Connected Aircraft, Gogo
Sumant Hattikudur – Regional Director, Services Strategy, Boeing Commercial Airlines
Fergal Murray – Chief Commercial Officer, Arconics 
Paul Tayar – Product Marketing Manager, Panasonic Avionics

2:45 – 3:05 Networking Break
Sponsored by:

3:05 – 3:55 Regional Prevalence of Embedded Systems 
Are you looking to upgrade your embedded IFE system? What are the considerations and pitfalls for such systems? Are you operating older obsolete embedded IFE? Looking to improve your perception with passengers and performance in award programs? Paul Thorpe, currently digEcor's President EMEA and previously Rockwell Collins’ Sales Director Europe, will provide an unbiased overview of:
types of embedded IFE systems available and their benefits
array of features you may or may not want to include in your new system and the reasons why
best practice project management of an IFE upgrade and the risks to avoid
Following the informative overview, Paul will moderate a panel of the key players in the space.  
Moderated by: Paul Thorpe – President EMEA, digEcor
Dieter Dhondt – Head of Sales & Marketing, EuMEA Region, Thales Avionics
Jonathan Norris – Vice President Sales, Lumexis Corporation 
Gary Kaplan – Product Marketing Manager, Panasonic Avionics

3:55 – 5:00 Wireless Streaming 
Kicking off this session is an overview of the current market landscape and outlook for wireless IFE. Also presented are data sources, various approaches to feature the technology and business models.
Presented by: Patrick Préfontaine – Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Global Eagle Entertainment

Following the overview will be an in-depth case study on Alaska Airline’s new Beyond Entertainment product. Late last year, Alaska Airlines launched an inflight wireless entertainment product that delivers entertainment to passengers own devices without connectivity onboard.  This case study will outline the challenges in launching this new product from a technology perspective and detail the benefits realized for the airline.
Presented by: Brad Jaehn – Vice President of Product, Gogo

The session will conclude with a panel session featuring key wireless inflight entertainment players. The BYOD approach enables engagement and interactivity with passengers by offering new ways to connect and share content. Take a look at what is involved with delivering an IFE solution including security and rights management, certifications, the numerous design considerations, technical hurdles and more.
Moderated by: Patrick Préfontaine – Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Global Eagle Entertainment
Brad Jaehn – Vice President of Product, Gogo 
Fergal Murray – Chief Commercial Officer, Arconics 
Peter Schetschine – Vice President, Customer Affairs, KID-Systeme GmbH
Jared Shoemaker – Intellicabin Director, BAE Systems 

5:00                  Closing Remarks



Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Room Reservations number:  +971 2596 1234
Be sure to reference APEX Middle East Conference

Single room rate:  AED 800++ per night
(Rate inclusive buffet breakfast at the 18 Degrees Restaurant and guestroom WiFi)

To book a room visit the hotel website: www.abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com and enter the stay day dates and the GROUP CODE under "corporate or group code" option: G-A337 or call the hotel directly on 971 25961234.

Complimentary parking at ADNEC (convention center)

Cancellation of individual reservations shall be accepted by the hotel without penalty up to 2 March 2015.  Individual reservations cancelled after 2 March 2015 are subject to a cancellation fee equal to the cost of the entire reservation.



Etihad Airways has offered APEX Middle East Conference attendees with flight discounts! Details are as follows. For additional information on the discount and the Etihad Airways experience, click here

Book: Now – March 23, 2015
For travel: March 19 – March 30, 2015
Travel Class: Economy Class, Business Class and First Class
Discount: 5% - 10% on all USA to Abu Dhabi fares 
To book, contact:     Etihad Airways Office – New York; Speak to Imran Shahid or Adil Aqabli
E-Mail:         NYCTKT@etihad.ae, SShahid@etihad.ae, AAqabli@etihad.ae
Telephone: 1 212 554 1334/ 1360/ 1337
Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM

If there are any other facilities or service information you would like to have, please do not hesitate to contact Etihad Airways at: NYCTKT@etihad.ae or NYCSALES@etihad.ae   

For international travellers, please contact Lauren Beneri at lbeneri@kellencompany.com on how to retrieve your discount.



For information on immigration and visas, please click here



Thank you to our sponsors!

Additional sponsorships are available! Click here for details

For sponsorship information, contact: 
Michael Greskiewicz / +1.630.696.4017 /  michaelg@kellencompany.com
Lisa Schwarz / +1.630.596.8790 / lschwarz@kellencompany.com



For general meeting inquiries contact: Lauren Beneri (lbeneri@kellencompany.com).


*Approved non-members may attend this event at the listed premium rate. The additional surcharge ($100) will be credited against first-year dues should their company apply to join APEX within 60 days of the event. Non-member company representatives may only attend one APEX event annually at a non-member rate. Admittance is subject to approval. 



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