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February 24, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


Chinese Government Poised to Take Over HNA Group

HNA Group, which directly controls or holds stakes in a number of Asian carriers including Hainan Airlines, may be seized by the government of Hainan and have its assets sold to the nation’s three major flag carriers. The report, which began circulating last week, comes from anonymous sources familiar with the matter. HNA Group’s focus on acquiring non-aviation assets in recent years has left it short of cash and the conglomerate’s debts are mounting as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but China is intent on containing the downward economic spiral. None of the companies involved have provided a comment.

Bloomberg | Related Factbox: Airlines suspend China flights due to coronavirus outbreak — Reuters



Gilat Achieves GEO/LEO Satellite Switchover

Gilat demonstrated instantaneous Ka-band switchovers between GEO and LEO satellites using its electronically-steered antenna terminal on board a Honeywell Boeing 757 test aircraft. Michel Forest, director of Systems Engineering for the LEO Program at Telesat, commented on how the technology will help airlines future-proof their in-flight connectivity, saying that they could “access high-performing Ka-band connectivity today, and easily incorporate LEO low-latency connectivity without replacing terminals.”

Gilat | Related Comtech Telecommunications Corp. to Acquire Gilat Satellite Networks for $532.5 Million in a Strategic and Cash Accretive Transaction — Gilat



Contentino Launches In-Flight Entertainment Market Insight Service

Contentino has launched a new service following interest from airlines and content service providers at the 2019 APEX EXPO. The service uses an automated in-house software tool to generate reports based on data extracted from up to 40 airlines. “For any industry, analysis is very important. For in-flight entertainment, with its growing amount of content availability, it is crucial for any planner to know [not just] who is buying what and when … but also what is working and what is not,” said Murtuza Kagalwala, managing partner, Contentino.

APEX Media | Related APEX @ MMM 2018 - Murtuza Kagalwala from Contentino on Indian content trends – APEX Media



Celestia UK Receives Award for Development of New Antenna Systems

Scotland’s national economic development agency has awarded $3.23 million to Celestia UK to develop a fully electronic scanning antenna for use with satellite-based aircraft Wi-Fi applications. The company will develop a flat-panel electronically steered antenna prototype, incorporating multi-beam and phased-array technology. It will offer improved communications and connectivity performance for a new generation of low and medium orbit satellites.

Celestia UK | Related Cool Running: Carlisle IT’s Overheating Solution for Electronically Steered Antennas — APEX Media



Alaska Airlines to Add 200 New Jets By 2030

Alaska Airlines plans to buy 200 new airplanes over the next decade as part of a growth strategy that entails hiring thousands more employees, flying millions more passengers and generating billions more in revenue. The Boeing 737 MAX will make up a significant proportion of its future fleet, but it is unclear if Alaska will keep any of its previous-generation Airbus A319 and A320 jets beyond the next five years. The airline has also purchased two 737 MAX simulators for pilot training, which can only begin once the FAA recertifies the grounded aircraft type. Alaska hopes to have 10 MAX 9s delivered by year end.

Seattle Times | Related More ways to go global: Alaska Airlines to expand American Airlines relationship and join oneworld — Alaska Airlines



Capital One Lounge Will Open Next Year at IAD

Capital One plans on opening its first-ever airport lounge next year at Washington Dulles International Airport. Current projections are for a 9,100-square-foot space, located beyond TSA checkpoints, to be operated by TAV Airports. Amenities may include an observation deck, dining area, work spaces, conference room, quiet room, workout room, showers, spa services and a kids’ play room. Capital One cardholders may access the lounge, but terms and restrictions have not yet been announced.

Business Traveller | Related Amex Centurion Lounge Opens Today At Charlotte Douglas Airport — Forbes



Virgin Atlantic Puts Brakes on Car Service for Business-Class Customers

Citing low usage rates, Virgin Atlantic will no longer offer business-class customers complimentary chauffeur services to and from the airport. The service was only available with the purchase of Upper Class Flexible tickets, which 80% of business-class travelers do not gravitate towards. Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic’s new partners, Air France and KLM, do not offer chauffeur services. The airline stated it will be introducing eight additional A350 aircraft throughout 2020 and 2021 to allow more travelers to experience the aircraft’s Upper Class suite and new Loft area.

Executive Traveller | Related [VIDEO] Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss on A350, Velocity Plan & More – APEX Media





Inside the belly of the beast. Captured at London Luton Airport by @ruseofosiris (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Deeply honored to address @USHouse Subcommittee on #Aviation: “The Airline Passenger Experience: What It Is and What Can It Be?” on March 3 for @theAPEXassoc / @IFSAOnBoard. The positive steps being taken by our #airlines / #suppliers for #passengers will be center stage! #PaxEx

Dr. Joe Leader @joepleader


Association News

The IFSA Foundation Is Now Accepting Applications For Its 2020 Scholarship Cycle

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Foundation scholarship program is designed to advance the growing in-flight catering and hospitality industries, as well as the airline passenger experience industry, and support members of IFSA and APEX. The 2020 application cycle is now open. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2020, and scholarships will be awarded in August. APEX members and their families are encouraged to apply! For more information on the IFSA Foundation scholarships and criteria visit:



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


“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, that's what matters to me.”

Steve Jobs


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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