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December 13, 2019



Today's Top Stories



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


Qantas Selects A350-1000 for Project Sunrise Flights

Qantas has chosen the Airbus A350-1000 for its planned ultra long-haul nonstop services, but has delayed the final decision on whether to proceed with commercial operations until March 2020. Two Project Sunrise test flights have already been completed on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with a final trial flight to take place from New York to Sydney later this month.  In a statement, the airline said, “No orders have been placed, but Qantas will work closely with Airbus to prepare contract terms for up to 12 aircraft ahead of a final decision by the Qantas Board.”

Qantas News Room | Related Qantas Rejects Airbus and Boeing Project Sunrise Proposals – APEX Media



Wizz Air to Launch Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

Wizz Air has reached an agreement to establish Wizz Air Abu Dhabi in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company PJSC (ADDH), with operations expected to launch during the first half of 2020. The airline will focus on establishing routes to markets in which Wizz Air has existing, high-growth operations, namely Central, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa. József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings, commented, “ADDH's deep-rooted knowledge of the local market ... is invaluable and will boost the successful development of this low-cost airline.”

PR Newswire | Related Wizz Air Thinks It Has a Simplicity Advantage Over Ryanair – Skift



Airbus Acquires MTM Robotics, Receives Air France Order

Airbus has acquired industrial automation company MTM Robotics for an undisclosed sum. The announcement builds on a more than decade-long relationship between the two companies, with multiple MTM Robotics systems currently in use at Airbus manufacturing facilities. The MTM business will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Americas, retaining its current leadership, 40-person staff and facility in Mukilteo, Washington. The OEM has also received an order for 10 A350-900s from Air France-KLM (which will be operated by Air France), taking the airline group's total order for the type to 38 aircraft.

Breaking Travel News | Related United orders 50 A321XLRs – Business Traveller



Southwest to Share $125M From 737 MAX Compensation With Employees

Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX, said yesterday it has reached an agreement with the airframer on compensation for some of the financial losses it has endured. Details of the agreement were not disclosed but the airline said it would share $125 million with its employees. “This profitsharing award is based on the projected financial damages for annual 2019 due to the MAX groundings, just as if you had earned profitsharing on those projected profits this year,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said.

CNBC | Related Pilot Procedure Confusion Adds New Complication to Boeing 737 MAX Return – The Air Current



Qatar Launches Facebook AR Football Game

Qatar Airways is celebrating the launch of FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 this week with an augmented reality (AR) football experience developed by AliveNow. The immersive game leverages the new Facebook AR ads format to allow passengers to play directly from Facebook’s newsfeed without having to install any additional applications. It also includes call-to-actions to learn about travel packages to attend the FIFA Club World Cup.

APEX Media | Related Rossiya and AK-Service Update Kits for Kids – Inflight



Air New Zealand Opens Lounge at Nelson Airport

Air New Zealand has opened a lounge at Nelson Airport that can accommodate about 130 guests, nearly double the capacity of its previous space. The lounge, which overlooks the runway and mountains, features a café, a buffet with light refreshments, a self-service drinks station, work areas and quiet areas. The new lounge is part of the airline’s $60-million investment in lounges throughout New Zealand over the next two years. Most recently the airline opened its new triple-in-size regional lounge at Auckland Airport and there are plans underway to open new lounges in New Plymouth and Napier.

Air New Zealand | Related Heineken and KLM Open Europe’s Largest Airport Lounge at Schiphol – Airport World



American Airlines Adds Truly Hard Seltzer to Drinks Lineup

From January 1, 2020, American Airlines will begin serving Truly Hard Seltzer on select flights, with the aim of rolling out the drink on all flights by February 1. Marketed as a refreshing alternative to beer, wine or cocktails, the alcoholic beverage will initially be available in a wild berry flavor, but American expects to add more of the brand’s dozen flavor varieties in the future. It will be available for $8 in economy on most flights and will be complimentary on international flights. American is following in the footsteps of JetBlue, which became the first airline to offer Truly Hard Seltzer on board in November.

The Points Guy | Related JetBlue First Airline to Offer Hard Seltzer in Flight – Forbes





Birds of a feather. Captured by bertrand.cosse.1_a350 (via Instagram)

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> Tweet of the Day

Who doesn't want an enormous chocolate A380.

Gem @gem_lou32


Association News

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> Quote of the Day


“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

Nelson Mandela


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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