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February 20, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


[PHOTOS] Crystal Cabin Award 2020 Finalists Announced

A total of 24 innovations have been selected from over 100 entries as finalists for the 14th annual Crystal Cabin Award. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce on March 31, during Aircraft Interiors Expo. Included in this year’s list of finalists is Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Loft, which provides a space for passengers to socialize; Schott’s touch-controlled reading light, which allows passengers to adjust position and brightness; a cafe-inspired concept from the University of Cincinnati that turns the center of the cabin into a workspace; and the Spafax IQ analytics tool, which was a hot topic at APEX TECH last month.

APEX Media | Related Picking the Hits: How Air Canada Uses Data Analytics to Optimize Its IFE Content — APEX Media



KLM to Introduce Premium Economy Class

According to a report by Business Traveller, KLM’s CEO Pieter Elbers revealed that the airline will offer a premium economy class more in line with those found on Air France, Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights. Currently, KLM’s Economy Comfort class offers more legroom and seat adjustability, but lacks a separate cabin or leg rests. Elbers, quoted during a presentation of annual sales figures, said that the lead time for the project will be at least one year.

Business Traveller | Related Why We’re Excited For Emirates’ New Premium Economy Cabin — Simple Flying



Coronavirus: Updates From Air New Zealand, Qantas and Asian Airports

Air New Zealand plans to resume its Shanghai route starting March 30 and its Hong Kong services throughout April and May, both with reduced capacity. The plan is dependent on New Zealand’s government lifting a Chinese travel restriction. Meanwhile, Qantas announced it will reduce its flights to Hong Kong through to at least June 2020 to better match current demand. According to data from Boyd Group International, China’s airports are projected to face a 30% drop in passengers in 2020. Retail, food and service concessionaires at Singapore Changi Airport will be offered a 50% rebate on their monthly basic rental costs for six months to ease the financial burden caused by the decline in passengers there.

Business Traveller | Related Qantas cuts more Hong Kong flights — Executive TravellerCoronavirus puts major dent in China’s airport traffic — TTG Asia; Changi Airport concessionaires to receive six-month 50% rent rebate — Moodie Davitt Report



US Government Approves Electronic Real ID Applications

The federal government has granted permission to US states to allow Real ID applicants to submit their required documents electronically to speed up the process. As many as 57% of Americans are unaware of the October 1 deadline to obtain a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card to be allowed on domestic flights without a passport. Last week, US Congress introduced legislation allowing TSA Precheck membership to serve as a temporary alternative to a Real ID. Acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf said two-thirds of Americans still lack a compliant license.

USA Today | Related Airports warn of chaos with looming Real ID license deadline — NBC News



American Airlines Expands Meal Preordering for Premium Cabin Passengers

American Airlines has extended meal preordering to its regional subsidiary American Eagle, making the service available on nearly 1,900 daily flights – more than any US carrier, it says. Starting in March, premium-cabin passengers can preorder from a menu that includes a charcuterie plate, a Tex-Mex salad with adobo chicken, a Mediterranean turkey club sandwich, a hot-smoked salmon cold plate with seasoned potato salad and a curried chicken salad on croissant. “Ordering meals in advance is important to our customers, and we’re excited to bring this option to more flights,” said Raphael Girardoni, managing director of Food and Beverage Services, American Airlines.

APEX Media | Related Retail inMotion to Roll Out vPreo Duty-Free Preorder Solution for Airlines — TR Business



[PHOTOS] “World’s Thinnest Aircraft Seat” Trades Aluminum for Composite Materials

The Q Ultra-Slim is the thinnest aircraft seat in the world, according to developer Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems. The weight of the seat is reduced substantially thanks to the use of compression-molded sustainable bio-resins instead of aluminum, and the lack of a tray table. Replacing traditional economy seats with this model, which weighs just over 15 pounds, can reduce the weight of an Airbus A320 by 1,100 pounds. Pitch plans to exhibit the Q Ultra-Slim concept, developed as part of a grant-funded project by the Aerospace Technology Institute, at the upcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related In pursuit of ultimate 'high density' comfort — Pitch



Iberia Express and Immfly Get Serious With The Joker In-Flight Screening

Just a few days after The Joker snatched up Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Score, the film was screened on Iberia Express Flight I2 3730 from Madrid to Copenhagen. Passengers were surprised with free popcorn, earphones and mobile device holders during the event, which also celebrated the launch of a host of Warner Bros. content on board Iberia Express’ in-flight entertainment (IFE) platform, including A Star Is Born, Aquaman and Harry Potter. Immfly recently became the first IFE company to receive an investment from Boeing’s HorizonX venture capital division.

APEX Media | Related Boeing HorizonX Invests in Immfly for Digital Future — APEX Media





An easyJet aircraft with snow-capped Austrian mountains in the background. Captured at Innsbruck Airport by @lipx_spotter (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Our brand new Airbus A320neo HB-JDA landed safe and sound in Zurich. After a warm welcome by the airport fire department, the new plane was formally welcomed to the fleet and named Engelberg.

Swiss Intl Air Lines @FlySWISS


Association News

APEX Content Market Takes on Barcelona!

Barcelona is home to amazing art, architecture and food – and this year’s APEX Content Market! Join us in this beautiful city full of rich culture for a great opportunity to network with some of the industry leaders in in-flight entertainment. Don’t take our word for it, come see for yourself! AIRLINES: Register before February 28 for a chance to win three complimentary hotel nights at our host hotel and event venue, Crowne Plaza.



Reporting to a Senior Account Director for a group of airlines, you will manage one airline’s inflight entertainment account and be the main contact between the airline and Spafax. You’ll build, manage and own the relationship to ensure that the client’s objectives are achieved while delivering the efficient and collaborative service that Spafax are known for. This job is based in London. Click here to view the job board.
> Account Manager: Inflight Entertainment - Spafax

Reporting to the Account Manager, you will support the Aer Lingus account team in administering this account to deliver the entertainment offering on board. You’ll work within the internal team to ensure that the client’s objectives are achieved while delivering the efficient and collaborative service that Spafax are known for. This job is based in London. Click here to view the job board.
> Account Coordinator, AerLingus – Spafax


> Quote of the Day


"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."

Michael Jordan


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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