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January 20, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


Lufthansa Optimizes Operations With Google Cloud

Lufthansa Group will consolidate its data by leveraging Google Cloud’s infrastructure and machine-learning capabilities. The new platform will consider aircraft maintenance, crew assignment and more in order to provide recommendations to improve the rate of on-time arrivals and flight plan adherence in case of disruptions. The partnership aims to “positively impact the travel experience of the more than 145 million passengers that fly annually with [Lufthansa]," according to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian. 

Lufthansa Group | Related JFK announces Google partnership – Passenger Terminal Today



Hong Kong Express Suspends Pregnancy Testing

In February 2019, Hong Kong Express began requiring pregnancy tests for female travelers bound for Saipan, an American territory near Guam, with the goal of preventing travelers from giving birth there and potentially gaining US citizenship for their babies. The airline, now under new management, has issued an apology and vowed to suspend and review the practice. Late last year, a Japanese woman who grew up in Saipan spoke out about the humiliation she felt as a result of the policy, which discouraged her from flying to the island to visit family and friends.

Skift | Related Visitor arrivals up 95% in December – Saipan Tribune



Bek Air Stripped of Designator Code

On Friday, IATA notified Kazakh carrier Bek Air that it no longer meets the qualifications to retain its carrier code, Z9. The decision comes three weeks after a crash, which resulted in 12 fatalities, led to an enforced suspension of the carrier’s operations. Bek Air is appealing the suspension, arguing that it was doled out prematurely since the investigation had not reached any conclusions.

Flight Global | Related Government commission finds icing most likely cause of Bek Air crash — Astana Times



Where to Watch the 2020 Oscar Nominees in Flight

Hollywood award season might be two weeks shorter than normal thanks to an earlier-than-ever Oscars, but there’s still plenty of time to catch some of this year’s contenders on airlines’ in-flight entertainment systems. Plus, Netflix subscribers can preload hours of Oscar-nominated content onto their device of choice before they even leave for the airport – the media company received a total of 24 nominations, more than any other studio.

APEX Media | Related Will Netflix’s Personalized Content Artwork Be a Draw For Airlines? – APEX Media



Emirates Celebrates Chinese New Year

From January 23 to 26, Emirates’ first- and business-class travelers heading to or from China, Singapore and Malaysia will each receive a custom Emirates red packet with two chocolate gold coins inside, symbolizing a year of good fortune and blessings. What’s more, passengers traveling on Emirates flights to and from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam between January 23 and 31 will enjoy a selection of festive sweet treats across all classes inspired by Lunar New Year, which falls on January 25.

Emirates | Related JFK Airport Terminal 4 to celebrate Lunar New Year on Tuesday — QNS



Sleeping Pods Introduced at Istanbul Airport

Travelers in need of rest at Istanbul Airport can take advantage of an IGA Sleepod, a specialized sleeping cabin equipped with disposable sheets, a pillow, a charging hub and a luggage storage area. The airport has installed 25 pods, which can be rented by the hour.

Business Traveller | Related Top 5 Vendors in the Global Airport Sleeping Pods Market – Business Wire



Qatar’s Catering Subsidiary Will Donate Surplus Food to Charity

Qatar Aircraft Catering Company (QACC), Qatar Airways’s exclusive catering provider, will redistribute surplus food and beverages to good causes in Qatar through a partnership with Hifz Al Naema, the country’s oldest food bank. A total of 440—660 pounds of unserved or unopened food, including whole fruits, cereals, soft drinks, yogurt and chocolates, will be donated daily to people in need. QACC senior vice-president Michael Winner hopes to encourage other government and private sector organizations to partner with the 18-year-old catering company.

Qatar Airways | Related Qatar Airways launches Deutsche Bahn codeshare — Breaking Travel News





A Boeing 777-200 slowly taxis towards the gate. Captured by @belgianspotter (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King Jr. #MLKDay

Orlando International Airport @MCO


Association News

APEX TECH Exclusive: IFC Advancing the Industry!

Be a part of the panel discussion titled “IFC Advancing the Industry” at APEX TECH. The session discusses the demands of the modern airline passenger and the impact of digital natives, why business aviation will serve as a testing ground for new IFC systems and the challenges airlines face. Panelists include Julie Lichty, Panasonic Avionics' executive director of Digital Solutions and Services, Nancy Walker, SmartSky Networks' chief commercial officer, and Rebecca Wetzel, NetForecast's director of Marketing. Click here to learn more.


> Quote of the Day


“Your mind is like a parachute: If it isn’t open, it doesn’t work.”

Buzz Aldrin


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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