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March 13, 2020

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

 
 

US Travel Ban on EU: Airlines Cap Soaring Fares

The US government’s suspension of travel from most of Europe caused demand for flights, and ticket prices, to skyrocket as foreign nationals on both sides of the Atlantic tried to get home during the short time between the President’s announcement and the start of the ban. In response to the issue, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines each announced they would cap fares affected by the travel suspension to about $1,000. The ban does not apply to US citizens, but Americans returning from Europe must pass through one of eleven Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved airports. Yesterday, American Airlines announced it would further cut flights, reducing international capacity by 34% during the peak summer travel season, including a 50% reduction in transatlantic capacity for the month of April.

Travel Pulse | Related American cuts international capacity by 34% — Flight Global

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IATA: Airlines Need Crisis Assistance During Outbreak

In response to the US travel ban on Europe, IATA warned of wide-ranging economic fallout. Director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac noted that airlines will suffer “enormous cash-flow pressure” and that governments need to explore extending lines of credit, reducing infrastructure costs and lightening taxes to avoid a “sectoral financial crisis.” Norway has moved to suspend its airline taxes and passenger fees. Feeling the effects of a cash crunch, Air France-KLM has withdrawn $1.2 billion available from its revolving credit facility. In Australia, the government warned citizens to avoid all but essential overseas travel as COVID-19 continues to spread. Virgin Australia will further pare back its domestic services by 7% in the final quarter, from April to June.

Moodie Davitt Report | Related ​Air France-KLM draws down €1.1bn credit facility — Flight Global

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Sea-Tac to Introduce Its Own Policies Around Biometric Air Exit

The Port of Seattle Commission has directed staff to introduce new policies around the implementation of Biometric Air Exit, a federally regulated program that uses facial recognition to confirm the identities of departing international passengers, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The Commission authorized an RFP for up to 30 biometric exit systems so that the port, not the federal government, controls the traveler engagement aspects of the process. Other major US airports have implemented the program, but Sea-Tac is the first to pair it with policies designed to enhance traveler experience and education: It plans to introduce standards for how airline staff must treat customers during the process, for avoiding unintended image capture and more.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related ACLU sues U.S. government agencies for records on facial biometrics deployments and plans – Biometricupdate.com

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Recaro’s Sprint Program Speeds Up Seating for Leased Aircraft

Recaro Aircraft Seating’s new Sprint program, which streamlines seat production for leased aircraft, has launched with the installation of the first shipset on a Boeing 737 aircraft owned by Air Lease Corporation. “The feedback we gathered from lessors reflected a clear need for seats with a shorter lead time,” said Sophie Moeller, regional sales director, Customer Service at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “[We created] a pre-developed seat that could be ordered and shipped within two months, and Sprint was born.”

APEX Media | Related Raising Seat Awareness: Recaro’s iSeat Collects Data to Inform Design — APEX Media

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Air Canada Launches Second Signature Suite Lounge

Scheduled to open tomorrow, Air Canada’s new Signature Suite lounge at Vancouver International Airport takes the form of an exclusive restaurant offering fine dining, with almost 80 of the 90 seats available at dining tables. A seasonal à la carte menu has been created by David Hawksworth, with locally sourced Canadian produce accounting for 90% of ingredients. There’s also a tended bar with barista-pulled coffee and premium alcoholic beverages. While there is no dedicated working area, there are power outlets along the walls and under the bar. Showers are located in Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge downstairs.

Executive Traveller | Related PHOTOS: Air Canada Opens Maple Leaf Lounge in LaGuardia’s New Terminal – APEX Media

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Seatback IFE Introduced on United Boeing 777s

United Airlines redesigned the layout of its highest-capacity aircraft type, the Boeing 777-200. Economy-class passengers will benefit from Panasonic Avionics seatback screens that were removed from other United 777s that have undergone reconfiguration. The new high-density configuration features 362 seats. Compared to previous iterations, four extra first-class seats were added while six economy seats were removed. These aircraft are used on some of the airline’s longest domestic flights, including to Hawaii from its mainland hubs.

paxex.aero | Related United Airlines to Present at the 2020 J.P. Morgan Industrials Conference — United

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New Lounge Opens in Australia’s Busiest Airport

Plaza Premium opened its third lounge in Australia. The space at Sydney Airport’s International Terminal features floor-to-ceiling windows and hosts high tea in the afternoon. It also houses a bar serving local beers and beverages. Sustainable materials were used in its construction, including locally sourced Tasmanian oak. The Wi-Fi-enabled lounge seats up to 70 guests and offers recharging pods and access to shower facilities. Plaza Premium now boasts over 80 locations at over 35 international airports across the globe.

The Design Air | Related How Plaza Premium Lounge’s Song Hoi-See Transformed The Airport Experience — Forbes

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

An Edelweiss Airbus A340 lands in Costa Rica. Captured at Juan Santamaría International Airport by @skyhawk_photography (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

We're proud to announce the launch of our new campaign to celebrate the remarkable women in #aviation driving the sector forward, from all corners of the industry. Discover the #WomenBehindAviation interview series today. #AIX2020

Aircraft Interiors Expo @aix_expo

 
 
 

Association News

APEX Shares Airline Best Practices Regarding COVID-19

To help establish common guidelines that airlines should follow during the coronavirus pandemic, APEX has outlined a list of recommendations. APEX encourages feedback from members of the airline industry to further modify this list – if you have additional suggestions to add to our next update, please contact APEX CEO Joe Leader directly at leader [at] apex.aero.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

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"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

Jimmy Dean

 
 

Until next week

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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 apex.aero 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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