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February 21, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


Coronavirus: IATA Predicts Quick Recovery After Sharp Decline in Demand

A report from IATA demonstrates a potential 13% full-year loss of passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region, and claims that airlines around the world could lose a total of nearly $30 billion in revenue this year. The association forecasts a similar impact on demand as that experienced during the SARS outbreak: a sharp decline followed by an equally quick recovery. Over 200,000 flights have now been canceled or proactively removed from schedules to, from and within China due to the coronavirus, according to Cirium. British Airways announced an extension of its flight cancellations to Beijing and Shanghai until April 17, and temporarily suspended one of its two daily flights to Hong Kong until March 31. Meanwhile, EgyptAir announced it will resume flights to and from China starting February 27.

Buying Business Travel | Related Huge flight cancellations continue in China as coronavirus spreads — Breaking Travel News



Frontier Airlines Mulling IFEC Inclusion in Fleet Refresh

Frontier Airlines will accept delivery of 175 new Airbus A320neo family aircraft by 2024, but it is unclear whether or not they will come equipped with in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC). Industry veteran and Frontier’s senior director of In-Flight Experience, Stephen Howell, notes that the company’s reputation for low fares and environmental friendliness is a direct result of its decision to forego seatback IFE screens, modems, servers, wireless access points, antenna systems or the wiring and cabling needed to support IFEC technology. “A significant driver of our fuel efficiency is centered around aircraft weight. Lower aircraft weight saves fuel, reduces C02 emissions and … helps reduce costs,” he said.

Aviation Today | Related Frontier Airlines Ranked First Among U.S. Carriers in Fuel Efficiency by ICCT Report — Frontier



Good Call: FlightHub and JustFly Automate Coronavirus Refund Requests

Sister online booking websites FlightHub and JustFly launched an automated hotline to quickly respond to cancellation, rescheduling and refund requests in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The team of developers created a matrix table that includes all possible combinations of reservation attributes that are eligible for a refund, as guided by respective airline policies. As of February 11, 5,000 refunds had been instantaneously processed – no verbal communication required. At some points, over 200 refunds were processed per hour.

APEX Media | Related Coronavirus: APEX Encourages Normal Air Travel With Added Vigilance — APEX Media



Passengers Scoff, United Reverses Biscoff Decision

United Airlines said yesterday that it will reintroduce Lotus Biscoff cookies in May, after news that the airline will swap the cookies for Oreo Thins as of March 1 caused backlash on social media. United’s intention was to give passengers in economy class more options. In August, the airline replaced Byrd’s Maple Leaf Wafers with Lotus Biscoffs, which are also offered on American and Delta airlines. United flight attendants recently began offering complimentary snacks in a basket instead of simply asking each economy-class passenger for their snack choice.

The Points Guy | Related United Airlines makes a change in free economy snacks — Chicago Business Journal



Travelers Happy With Self-Driving Wheelchairs, ANA Says

After promising trials, All Nippon Airways plans to make Whill’s Next and Doog’s Garoo self-driving wheelchair available for travelers making connections at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport this year. For each transfer, a group of passengers is guided by one porter who operates the lead wheelchair as the others automatically follow. According to Tatsuno Naoki, manager of the airline’s Innovation Strategy Corporate Planning department, passengers have been excited to try the service and happy with the results. “Most of them do not worry that they are all being taken care of and supported by only one agent,” he says.

APEX Media | Related New Aircraft Lavatory Concept Is Accessible to Passengers in Wheelchairs — APEX Media



Japan Airlines’ Self-Bag-Drop System Debuts

As part of Japan Airlines’ Smart Airport Program, the carrier collaborated with material-handling company Daifuku to develop a self-bag-drop system. Six units are now operational at Haneda Airport Terminal 1 for domestic flights, and a total of 38 units will be introduced by the summer. The system features a screen with instructions and two cameras for reading tags and recognizing the number and shape of items of baggage. The four-step check-in process is expected to greatly reduce queuing times.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Self Bag Drop facility launched at Hyderabad International Airport — Telangana Today



Virgin Australia Opening New Adelaide Lounge in April

After February 25, the existing Virgin Australia lounge at Adelaide Airport will shut down as the airport expands its international arrivals and departures terminals. Virgin Australia's business-class passengers, frequent flyers and other customers with lounge access will have the option of entering a temporary pop-up lounge 90 minutes before flight departure. The new lounge, slated for an April unveiling, will feature a unique design, different from its domestic siblings.

Executive Traveller | Related Virgin Australia bows out of Hong Kong market — Flight Global





A Lufthansa A350 looking cool under some dramatic clouds. Captured at Frankfurt International Airport by @spotterfromworld (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

🎞️ Have a look at this clip for some exclusive looks behind the scenes of the production of our former Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Aviationtag edition! The full video can be found in our YouTube channel. Get your 🏷️ now! #aviationtag #a380 @aviationtag_com


Association News

How Would You Measure Seat Comfort?

APEX has formed a task group to rethink how the industry measures seat comfort. As such, APEX is calling out to industry experts to pitch their ideas, with the intention of establishing APEX Seat Space, a comparative rating system that takes into consideration seat depth and width as well as other elements such as the headrest, recline, in-flight entertainment, etc. To participate, please contact APEX executive director Katie Geraghty at



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


"The good thing about flying solo is it's never boring."

Steve Fossett


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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