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February 13, 2019



Today's Top Stories



Industry News | Comfort & Ambience | Entertainment & Connectivity | Catering & Services


Qatar Airways Will Replace Airbus A380s With Boeing 777Xs After 2024

Qatar Airways will replace its Airbus A380s over the coming years with Boeing 777Xs. The Gulf carrier is planning to retire the superjumbos that it received in 2014 once they have been in service for 10 years. In an interview with Aviation Analyst, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “We don’t see any secondary market opportunity. There are ex-Singapore Airlines A380 jets that nobody wants, and this year, there will be aircraft available to the second-hand market from Emirates.” He also said that the airline will use A350-1000 XWBs on A380 routes after 2024 “once Airbus extends the maximum take-off weight.”

Aviation Analyst | Related Airbus poised to axe A380 as Emirates reviews demand – Reuters



European Commission Approves Air France-KLM Investment in Virgin Atlantic

The European Commission has approved a share acquisition in Virgin Atlantic that will give Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Group joint control of the airline. The deal is valued at around $283 million and forms part of an expanded transatlantic joint venture between Delta and the European airlines. The deal will see Air France-KLM take a 31% stake, while Virgin Group will retain a 20% stake and Delta will retain a 49% stake. The commission cleared the deal after finding it would not reduce competition in the markets for the transportation of passengers or cargo or for maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

Breaking Travel News | Related Dutch government backs KLM CEO Elbers amid departure rumors – Air Transport World



Airbus to Create “Industry 4.0 Factory” Near Munich

Airbus is expanding the aerospace activities at its Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen site, near Munich. With a total investment worth approximately $28.2 million, the OEM will work to digitalize and automate the production of solar arrays for satellites and create newly expanded clean rooms for optical satellite instruments. A robotic assembly line will also be introduced with the aim of reducing throughput time and cost by half.

Via Satellite | Related Viasat orders Asia Pacific ViaSat-3 from Boeing amid record revenue – Space News



Malaysia Airlines Launches Brand for Pilgrim Flights to Saudi Arabia

Malaysia Airlines has officially launched a dedicated brand for its flights for passengers embarking on Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier said the service, branded as Amal, will be the world’s first to offer dedicated pilgrim-centric flights for Muslim passengers traveling from countries in Southeast Asia to Saudi Arabia. Amal CEO Hazman Hilmi Sallahudin said the aim of the new branding and logo is to overturn the perception of pilgrim services as being non-premium operations.

APEX Media | Related Malaysia Airlines awarded additional Asia traffic rights – FlightGlobal



Virgin Australia Delays “My Lounge” Opening Until May

Virgin Australia has confirmed its new international lounge at Brisbane Airport will open in May 2019, six months after it was originally scheduled to be completed. Operated by UK-based No1 Lounges, “My Lounge” will be designed in the style of a loft apartment, with seating for over 100 guests spread across a dining room, bar, working area and games room. In the meantime, passengers traveling from Brisbane are having to use either the Singapore Airlines or Plaza Premium lounge.

Australian Business Traveller | Related Virgin Australia’s “Got Beef” With Air New Zealand’s Meatless Burger Decision – APEX Media



Canadian ULCC Upstart to Launch Flights From Vancouver

An upstart airline, which bills itself as Canada’s “first true” ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), announced it will launch operations from Vancouver International Airport later this year. Canada Jetlines, which will launch operations with two Airbus A320s, plans to offers flights within Canada, as well as to destinations in the US, Mexico and Caribbean. The ULCC cited the airport’s competitive landing and takeoff fees as the reason for selecting it as its base.

Business Traveller | Related Flair Airlines purchase of NewLeaf could lead to cheaper flights, better service for Canadian travelers – CBC News



Norwegian Air to Halt US/Canada Seasonal Routes to French Caribbean

Norwegian Air announced it will cancel its seasonal flights between the US and Canada and the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The low-cost carrier said the services are being discontinued as part of an effort to cut costs after rapid expansion into the long-haul market put its finances under strain. Norwegian spokesperson Anders Lindström told USA Today that while the Caribbean routes have “performed fairly well,” it will not be financially sustainable “as a European airline to each winter season move operations – aircraft, pilots and cabin crew – from Europe to these islands.”

USA Today | Related Norwegian launches £270m rights issue after rebuffing IAG – The Guardian





Azul's first Airbus A330neo on a test flight. Captured by @clementalloing (via Instagram)

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Association News

Hear Insights from Philippine Airlines and Xiamen Airlines During the Keynotes at APEX Asia

Did you miss the early bird deadline for APEX Asia? Registration is still open! Register today to hear from Jaime Bautista, president & COO of Philippine Airlines, and Chen Yizhen, COO for Customer Service of Xiamen Airlines. Mr. Bautista and Ms. Chen bring a combined 60+ years of experience in airline management and aviation experience.



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Until tomorrow



The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members 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. Visit for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.


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