ATLANTA, April 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly two dozen top airlines gathered in Shanghai, China, at APEX Asia to discuss the future of aviation including aircraft design, in-flight connectivity, lounges, content and the end-to-end airline passenger experience. Over 150 industry leaders attended with the majority from airline members of the 40-year-old global airline association. The two-day event featured leading speakers from all aspects of the aviation industry and culminated in the presentation of the 2018 Passenger Choice Awards™ for Asia & South Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

The APEX Asia symposium explored the rapid growth of the Asian aviation market and the means by which airlines may enhance brand loyalty through a more personalized passenger experience. This included the in-flight entertainment technology, personal entertainment devices and diversification of in-flight entertainment programming, airport hospitality, in-flight connectivity and ancillary revenue opportunities. In the weeks before the APEX Asia event, a total of 38 additional new airlines joined APEX across Asia with the majority being low-cost-carriers that had not focused on passenger experience.

«APEX Asia successfully demonstrated areas of incredible potential for our global airlines and their providers. An example breakthrough that was announced as occurring in the third quarter of this year was the availability of in-flight connectivity availability over India,» said APEX CEO Joe Leader. «Asia’s air travel growth effectively demonstrates how low-cost-carriers are rapidly expanding the total available market for air travel frequently to the market growth benefit of full-service airlines. Every airline in the region from ultra-low cost to full-service are differencing themselves by passenger experience around their brand.»

Industry forecasts by IATA predict that over half of the new passengers who will fly over the next 20 years will live in Asia, with China displacing the United States as the world’s largest aviation market by 2022. With this rapid development in the airline industry in Asia, airlines look at passenger experience to strengthen brand image and enhance passenger satisfaction, making APEX Asia a pivotal annual event for the airline industry.

Airlines at APEX Asia included Air China, Air Tahiti Nui, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd., Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Airways Corporation, Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd., Japan Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Ltd., South African Airlines, Superna Airlines, Thai Airways, and Turkish Airlines.

APEX’s Passenger Choice Awards are based on verified, certified, and validated passenger feedback are among the most coveted awards in the aviation industry. APEX partnered with TripIt® from Concur®, the world’s highest-rated travel-organizing app, to gather anonymous passenger feedback based on verified travel itineraries using a patented methodology. While in Shanghai, APEX recognized the airlines from Asia & South Pacific, Middle East and Africa for outstanding service in the following categories: seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment, and Wi-Fi. Separately, each passenger rated overall performance providing the data for the Best Overall in Region.



Results captured from over 50 million verified itineraries via TripIt among 13 million active mobile users using mobile phone geographic location validation and certified by third-party auditors.


  • Best in Overall in Region: EVA Air
  • Best Seat Comfort: EVA Air
  • Best Cabin Service: Japan Airlines
  • Best Food & Beverage: EVA Air
  • Best Entertainment: Cathay Pacific
  • Best Wi-Fi: Japan Airlines


  • Best in Overall in Region: Emirates & Qatar (tied to one-hundredth of a percentage point; first tie in history of PCAs)
  • Best Seat Comfort: Qatar Airways
  • Best Cabin Service: Qatar Airways
  • Best Food & Beverage: Qatar Airways
  • Best Entertainment: Emirates
  • Best Wi-Fi: Emirates


  • Best in Overall in Region: South African Airways
  • Best Seat Comfort: South African Airways
  • Best Cabin Service: South African Airways
  • Best Food & Beverage: South African Airways
  • Best Entertainment: Ethiopian Airlines

For more information and photos from the APEX Award Ceremony, please visit, sign up for the APEX Daily Experience e-newsletter or follow APEX on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: 
Robin Applebaum 
[email protected]

About The Airline Passenger Experience (APEX)
APEX encompasses a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members. Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and are improving every aspect of the airline experience: from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. For more than four decades, APEX has worked to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition.

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SOURCE APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association)