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Thursday, January 26, 2017  
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Relationship to Include New International Co-Locations, Coordination on Joint Working Groups, Sharing of Common Association Management Company, and Chief Executive Officer Serving Both Associations

Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA) today announced a more tightly aligned relationship to better serve the global airline industry.  

The alliance will include international co-located events, coordination on joint working groups, reciprocal guest board member attendance at board meetings, more integrated sharing of a common association management company, and a common Chief Executive Officer serving both associations.  Both APEX and IFSA will fully maintain their respective autonomy, identity, committees, and boards.

Through the relationship, APEX will leverage IFSA to represent their catering and services member segment.  This step will help to further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience. For IFSA, the association will grow more global as the pivotal airline association of the catering and in-flight services market.

“As APEX further strengthens our own global identity of representing the entire airline passenger experience industry, we are proud to announce a more integral relationship with IFSA,” said Brian Richardson, APEX President, American Airlines. “The inclusion of more catering and service elements at APEX events will attract greater numbers of senior airline decision makers who oversee this sector, along with IFEC. It will also offer a greater diversification of products, services and information.”  

“IFSA has always viewed APEX as an important ‘sister association,’ as we have a lot in common, from our focus on in-flight services to our shared desire to evolve our value propositions and expand our memberships,” said Jane Bernier-Tran, IFSA President, United Airlines. “We believe that by furthering our relationship with APEX, IFSA can increase its global footprint, build additional strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, expand its reach, and bring greater value to its members.” 

Having a CEO serve both associations is a natural progression for these two associations with a long-standing history. As a spokesperson for both APEX and IFSA, the CEO will help to accelerate organizational synergies, align IFSA with APEX’s global expansion, and deliver an important boost toward greater global recognition of IFSA as the voice of the onboard hospitality industry.  

 “I am honored to represent both APEX and IFSA serving as a bridge of commitment between these two world-class associations to provide our members increased value and influence across the airline industry,” said Joe Leader, APEX / IFSA CEO. “Through aligned strategic vision, I will work with our members to elevate both associations worldwide while maintaining each organization’s unique culture and approach.” 

For more information about APEX, please visit, sign up for the APEX Daily Experience e-newsletter, or follow APEX on Twitter and Facebook. For more information about IFSA, please visit and follow IFSA on Twitter.


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 inflight dining.  APEX works to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition.  For more information, please visit

About the International Flight Services Association (IFSA)

IFSA is a global professional association serving the needs and interests of airline and railway personnel, caterers and suppliers who provide onboard services on regularly scheduled travel routes. ISFA is dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of the multi- billion dollar inflight and railway onboard service industry. For more information, please visit