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December 6, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


South African Airways to Undergo Restructuring

South African Airways has entered bankruptcy protection and is undergoing a “radical” restructuring. The South African government will provide $273 million in loans and debt guarantees to keep the airline afloat, while the airline’s cost structure will be reviewed to make it more sustainable and attractive to an investment partner, said the country’s minister of Public Enterprises, P.J. Gordhan. An airline executive also added that the restructuring will not affect the operations of sister carriers Mango Airlines, South African Express and Airlink.

Travel Weekly | Related Struggling South African Airways Dropped by Major Travel Insurers – The Globe and Mail



AirAsia Group and UMG Aim to Make "A-Pop" Viral With RedRecords

AirAsia Group and Universal Music Group have launched RedRecords, a new label focused on discovering, signing and developing Asian artists and spreading their music – dubbed “A-pop” – to global audiences. The label, which will be based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will combine UMG’s expertise in artist development with AirAsia’s marketing strengths and influence in Southeast Asia. Thai pop singer, actor, gamer and influencer Jannine Weigel was announced as the label’s first signed artist. She has released several singles and EPs and has a massive following on YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.

AirAsia | Related [VIDEO] AirAsia Boss Tony Fernandes on Passenger Experience, Social e-Commerce and Digital Dreams – APEX Media



Garuda Indonesia Chief Fired Over Allegations of Smuggling a Harley-Davidson

Garuda Indonesia president-director Ari Askhara has been dismissed over allegations he failed to declare a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and two Brompton folding bikes – evading $107,000 in customs duties. The vehicles were transported on a new Airbus A330-900 being delivered from France to Indonesia. “This process was done completely within a state-owned company, not only by an individual,” said State-Owned Enterprises minister Erick Thohir, adding that the payment for the motorcycle was made through a Garuda finance manager in Amsterdam.

BBC | Related Indonesia Fines Garuda After CEO Fired Over Smuggled Harley-Davison – Channel News Asia



Hong Kong Airlines Draws Up Cash Injection Plan

Two days after the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) threatened to revoke or suspend Hong Kong Airlines’ license due to its financial position having “deteriorated rapidly,” the carrier has drawn up a cash injection plan. The airline did not reveal the source of the money or how much will be injected, but Air Transport World said it is widely believed to be through its holding company, HNA Group, which received a $569-million loan from state-owned banks. Hong Kong Airlines said it would pay the outstanding salaries of its staff, and that “services will gradually resume to normal as soon as the funds arrive.”

Air Transport World | Related Crisis-hit Hong Kong Airlines reassures passengers it is ‘still running normally’



Butterfly Flexible Seating Solutions Teams Up with SEKISUI SPI

Butterfly Flexible Seating Solutions is aiming to debut the next prototype of its Butterfly seat at the 2020 Aircraft Interiors Expo with the help of SEKISUI SPI, Tapis and MGR Foamtex. The partnership between SEKISUI SPI and Butterfly began after RedCabin’s Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit in June and was announced at RedCabin’s December event in London this week. SEKISUI SPI will now help Butterfly to develop customer-centric material solutions using KYDEX Thermoplastics. “That’s the mission of our appLab, an innovation center where 'what ifs?' become fully-fledged projects,” said Ronn Cort, SEKISUI SPI’s president and COO.

Inflight Online | Related [VIDEO] Seatback Prototype Features Digital Notifications and Split Tray Table – APEX Media



SWISS Announces New Menus Inspired by Southeastern Switzerland

For the next three months, long-haul passengers flying with SWISS in first and business class will have access to menus designed by Frank Schuster, chef de cuisine at the Lej da Staz restaurant and the el paradiso Mountain Club near St. Moritz. In first class, Schuster’s menu is made up of an allegra-poke bowl with barley and salmon trout and a fig mustard dressing followed by meatloaf with morel sauce, and a mille-feuille for dessert. In business class, the menu consists of smoked char with barley salad; braised beef in red wine sauce served with polenta with alpine cheese; and a sweet chestnut mascarpone mousse on a white chocolate and pear slice.

SWISS | Related SWISS Customers Can Now Purchase Alternative Fuel – AviationPros



[PHOTOS] Cool Kid-Friendly Holiday Airline Offerings

Airlines for America’s recent holiday travel forecast predicted that over the Thanksgiving holiday, a record 31.6 million passengers were expected to fly on US-based airlines alone. Over the peak holiday travel season, many travel with children, which is something airlines are increasingly taking into account. From themed amenity kits to special in-flight magazines, games and food and beverage options, kid-friendly carriers are making holiday travel merrier and brighter for families everywhere.

APEX Media | Related [VIDEO] Panasonic and Toca Boca to Create Enriching In-Flight Map for Kids – APEX Media





Getting ready to depart in the sunset 🛫. Captured by @jspottercas (via Instagram)

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Association News

Early Bird Registration Available for APEX TECH

APEX TECH is the premier two-day technology conference that sits at the heart of the passenger experience community. Spearheading the industry with conversations on elevating the passenger experience through technology, APEX TECH provides attendees the opportunity to connect with other leaders and forward-thinkers. Save $100 with early bird registration and secure your seat today.



The Inflight Entertainment Account Manager has the main responsibility of managing airline accounts and constantly delivering customer service with care and thoughtfulness, representing Touch values. Click here to view the job board.
> Inflight Entertainment Account Manager (Europe / North America) - Touch Inflight Solutions Inc.

This role, reporting to the VP - Marketing & Sales Support, will see you developing, maintaining and enhancing the brand image of the company. You will take ownership of developing communications for corporate use and offer input on promotional material and collateral. Click here to view the job board.
> Marketing and Communications Manager - Burrana


> Quote of the Day


"Better a man honor his profession than be honored by it."

Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin


Until next week



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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