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January 14, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


New Boeing CEO Calls for Employees to Embrace Accountability

In an email sent yesterday to all Boeing employees and published on its website, new CEO David Calhoun wrote that getting the 737 MAX back in service is a “primary focus”. He also stressed the importance of rebuilding trust with stakeholders and fostering an “inclusive environment that embraces oversight and accountability.” Calhoun’s tenure begins just days after troubling internal communications, in which employees criticized the development of the 737 MAX, were made public.

Boeing | Related Boeing employees ridicule 737 MAX, regulators in internal messages — Reuters



In-Flight Catering Industry Cooks Up Virtual Kitchens

Singapore-based in-flight caterer SATS recently announced a partnership with French virtual-solutions company Dassault Systèmes. Together, they are implementing 3-D digital twin technology to make pre-flight meal prep as efficient as possible. “With the virtual kitchen, SATS is able to test out and simulate in-flight catering operations when an order from an airline comes in for certain types of customized meals, before actual production,” said Masaki Konno, managing director, Asia Pacific South, Dassault Systèmes.

APEX Media | Related Digital Twin-ception: How SITA is Building the Virtual Airport of the Future—APEX Media



Slashing Air Passenger Duty Could Help Flybe Stay Afloat

The British government is considering cutting the rate of domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD) industry-wide. As a regional carrier that operates nearly 40% of all British domestic flights, Flybe claimed that APD, which helps offset the environmental impact of air travel, disproportionately affects its customers. The government is also considering short-term funding to save the airline, according to the BBC. Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots union BALPA, commented that the airline “plays an incredibly important role connecting the regions and nations of the UK and onwards to Europe.” The carrier operates around 75 aircraft, serving over 80 airports.

Business Traveller | Related APD cut being considered to save Flybe — Buying Business Travel



OneWeb, SatixFy Enable Higher Throughput to Designated Areas

OneWeb and SatixFy UK will add a digital technology pathway payload that will pave the way for satellites with a higher level of flexibility to efficiently support peaks in demand. The beam-hopping capability will enable an aero terminal to operate on both LEO and GEO simultaneously, maintaining continuous in-flight connectivity. What’s more, maximum capacity can be directed from multiple sources to hotspots like busy airports. "The improved performance, greater efficiency and targeted capacity, together with sophisticated ground infrastructure, puts us at the forefront of LEO communications network services," said OneWeb’s chief technical officer Massimiliano Ladovaz.

PR Newswire | Related [Video] Ben Griffin Discusses Next Steps for OneWeb—APEX Media



Global Entry Program Adds Facial Recognition at 15 Airports

Travelers with Global Entry memberships passing through customs and immigration at 11 US airports and four international airports can now forego traditional screening measures like fingerprint and passport scanning thanks to facial recognition technology. The technology matches passengers’ face scans to pictures in government databases. The CBP is looking to generally employ facial recognition at airports for both departing and arriving passengers, but biometric technology is not without its critics. Last year, a study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that facial recognition algorithms are less adept at identifying minorities.

Conde Nast Traveler | Related Racial bias in facial recognition software: What travelers should know as TSA, CBP expand programs — USA Today



Qatar Announces Codeshare With German Railway Operator

Qatar Airways passengers headed to Germany can enjoy a more seamless journey to and from eight of the country’s key destinations thanks to a new codeshare agreement with Deutsche Bahn, one of the largest railway operators in Europe. “We have witnessed significant growing demand between Germany to Qatar and beyond,” said Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker. Qatar Airways currently operates 35 weekly flights between Doha and Germany. All travelers will arrive via Qatar Airways’ Frankfurt gateway en route to Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Hannover, Leipzig, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Munich or Hamburg.

Breaking Travel News | Related More Germans are swapping planes for trains because of climate worries — European Sting



Lighter Mattresses Increase Pilot Comfort in Test Run

El Al Israel Airlines outfitted the crew rest area in one of its Boeing 777 aircraft with Vanema’s Octaspring foam spring mattresses. One pilot claimed to have experienced “better quality rest” resulting in “increased flight safety.” El Al Airlines plans to continue monitoring further crew feedback before rolling out the program across its entire Boeing 777 fleet. In 2017, Octaspring was awarded the Crystal Cabin Award for Best New Material Innovation in Aircraft Interiors.

PAX International | Related [VIDEO] Vanema Springs Into In-Flight Bedding — APEX Media





Having a bath in style. Captured by @bud_airside (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!


> Tweet of the Day

@chicagosmayor joined CDA Comish Jamie Rhee & @Chicago_Police Cmdr. Bill Mullane at the ribbon cutting for O’Hare’s new 20,000-sq.ft. CPD facility which created 200+ jobs. The previous facility is being demolished as part of the $1.2 bill #ORD21 T5 expansion project.

O'Hare Intl. Airport @fly2ohare


Association News

APEX TECH Exclusive: Measuring IFEC from a Passenger Perspective!

APEX TECH provides a crucial forum for experts to discuss ongoing special projects of the APEX Technology Committee, setting specifications and standards for the airline industry focused upon applying new technologies to the passenger experience. At this year’s TECH, attend the “Measuring IFEC from a Passenger Perspective” session in which the APEX Connectivity Working Group will provide an update on its work toward developing a definition of metrics to measure the IFE and connectivity services provided to airlines. APEX TECH returns to Los Angeles on 29-30 January. Register here.


Catch Up on APEX Media's Coverage From CES

APEX Media was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Check out our coverage, including the smart tourism panel featuring APEX/IFSA CEO Joe Leader, Delta CEO Ed Bastian's keynote, Hyundai's air taxi, Gentex's dimmable windows and smart cabin lighting concept and more!



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.


> Quote of the Day


“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

Maya Angelou


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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