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March 27, 2020

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

 
 

Airlines Request Exceptions to Refund Rule

According to European legislation, airlines are required to issue refunds to travelers affected by canceled flights. But due to financial constraints caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines are suspending refunds or dealing with them on a case-by-case basis. IATA is suggesting that regulators allow vouchers to be distributed instead of refunds. Airlines UK agrees, and added that “carriers should be permitted to defer [refunds] until the crisis period is over and as defined by air traffic volumes, rather than time period.” The Canadian Transportation Agency recommended adopting the voucher solution for the benefit of the “operational realities” of the country’s airlines.

Travel Weekly | Related UK airlines seek permission to defer refunds until after crisis — Business Traveller

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Singapore and United Airlines Secure Major Loans

Singapore Airlines’ majority shareholder, government-owned Temasek Holdings, said it would underwrite the sale of shares and convertible bonds for over $10 billion. DBS Group Holdings, Singapore’s largest bank, also provided a $2.8-billion loan to the airline. This financing package is the largest provided to any airline since the COVID-19 outbreak caused travel demand to plunge. While Singapore Airlines has cut its capacity by 96%, investors were confident that the company was well-positioned for growth beyond the current crisis. Meanwhile, United Airlines will borrow $500 million from Goldman Sachs Bank in the form of a one-year secured term loan.

Gulf Today | Related United agrees $500 million term loan with Goldman Sachs — Flight Global

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China Sets Limits on Flights, Entries

The Civil Aviation Administration of China will enforce new travel restrictions on March 29. Chinese airlines may only operate one international route once per week, while foreign airlines are allowed to maintain one route to China with no more than one weekly flight. Starting Saturday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs will prohibit foreign nationals and non-Chinese citizens from entering the country, even those who have a valid visa or residency permit. The moves come as China is experiencing an increase in the amount of imported cases of COVID-19. All but one of 55 new cases reported in China yesterday originated overseas, stoking fears of a second major outbreak in the country.

Business Traveller | Related Coronavirus travel: China bars foreign visitors as imported cases rise — BBC

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Aviation Manufacturers Producing Medical Materials

In response to the need for medical supplies, a number of manufacturers have begun shifting the types of products they are creating in their factories. Stratasys, which specializes in 3D-printed aircraft interior components, has set an initial goal of producing 5,000 face shields that it will give out for free. According to the company, one of the world’s top hospitals is down to six days’ inventory on hand. CRP Technology, which provides composite materials for the aerospace industry, is developing and manufacturing several functional prototypes of valves for reanimation devices and components for emergency respiratory masks. Sekisui Kydex has applied quick-response manufacturing to expedite orders from the medical sector for its Kydex and Allen materials, which are used in life-saving devices.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Stratasys Helps: Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis — Stratasys

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Government Approves UTC-Raytheon Merger

United Technologies’ (UTC) proposed merger with US contractor Raytheon was approved by the US Justice Department yesterday. The deal creates a new entity that’s worth about $121 billion and is the second biggest aerospace and defence company in the US, after Boeing. Some conditions were required to be met before the government could fully approve the merger: the companies agreed to divest Raytheon’s military airborne radios business, including facilities in Indiana and Florida, and UTC’s military global positioning systems, including a facility in Connecticut.

Reuters | Related Collins parent UTC cuts costs as it feels effects of coronavirus — Runway Girl Network

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Audio IFE an Antidote to Too Much Screen Time for Kids

A study published by JAMA Pediatrics shows that the brain structure of toddlers may be altered in those who frequently engage with screens. So it may come as a relief for parents traveling with their kids that airlines often offer audio entertainment options catered towards children, including music and audiobooks. “Audio solutions are the perfect antidote to screen time. They give children a breather and a chance to use their imagination … rest their eyes and use their ears and minds to conjure up pictures and thoughts,” says Philippa Starns, audio manager UK, Spafax.

APEX Media | Related [VIDEO] Panasonic and Toca Boca to Create Enriching In-Flight Map for Kids – APEX Media

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ANA App Integrates Mobility as a Service Feature

A new section of the All Nippon Airways app, called Airport Access, will integrate up-to-date flight status info and wayfinding features in a bid to offer Mobility as a Service (MaaS) functionality. MaaS describes the combination of various forms of transportation services into a single mobility service that is accessible on demand. Users can plan their whole travel itinerary by entering their departure point and what time they wish to arrive at the airport. Starting on April 1, Airport Access will allow passengers to purchase tickets for the Keisei Skyliner train, which connects central Tokyo to Narita Airport.

ANA | Related ANA Creates New Department to Prioritize Mobility as a Service — ANA

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

All systems go for this Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-841! Captured at Zurich Airport by @swiss_aviation_shots (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Last night, we came together at Heathrow to #clapforourcarers to show support for our front-line heroes. We applaud your selfless work every day and through this challenging time. #InThisTogether

Heathrow Airport @HeathrowAirport

 
 
 

Association News

APEX Welcomes AERQ as One of Its Newest Members

AERQ is a joint venture between LG Electronics and Lufthansa Technik, created with the goal of developing new products in the digitalization of the aircraft cabin designed to enhance the passenger experience. By manufacturing innovative aircraft components, Hamburg-based AERQ enables new perspectives for airlines. Learn about the different categories of APEX membership and apply now.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

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"Every weakness contains within itself a strength."

Shūsaku Endō

 
 

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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