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April 6, 2020

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

 
 

Feds Mandate Refunds as Airlines Propose Creative Credit Schemes

The US Department of Transportation reaffirmed the requirement for airlines to issue refunds when flights are canceled. United Airlines and jetBlue have previously insisted that mass flight disruptions resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 amount to exceptional circumstances, and were reluctant to issue refunds. American Airlines is currently offering travel vouchers worth 120% of the value of the ticket alongside the traditional refund option. United recently amended its frequent flyer program to extend members’ status until January 31, 2022. Delta made a similar announcement, extending benefits for SkyMiles Medallion members until 2021. Delta is also extending its rebooking window to up to two years for customers booked for travel through the end of May.

Skift | Related United extends Mileage Plus member status until 2022 — Business Traveller

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Coronavirus: Russia Bans Travel, UAE Gradually Lifts Restrictions

There are now over 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 around the world, over 6,000 of which are in Russia. On Friday, the country banned all inbound and outbound flights, even repatriation missions, as it seeks to limit the spread of infection. An Aeroflot flight from Moscow to New York was canceled on Friday at the very last minute and left passengers stranded. Emirates and Etihad Airways have resumed some flights to Europe and Asia only for foreign citizens who wish to leave the UAE; incoming travelers are not allowed. Meanwhile, Boeing announced that it would extend the temporary suspension of widebody jet production in Puget Sound, Washington, to protect the health of its employees.

New York Post | Related Emirates and Etihad airlines resume limited passenger flights — Gulf Today

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What We’re Made Of: Images in Motion’s IIM+ Helps Passengers Access News

Images in Motion CEO Ong Yong Beng says keeping the industry running during the coronavirus outbreak will require a collective effort. “Every company needs to help the airlines bear some of this loss in order to keep them afloat and continue flying with IFE,” he said. The content service provider has come up with IIM+, a solution that enables the live streaming of major news channels in flight at up to 90 percent reduction of the usual bandwidth cost, so passengers can keep tabs on updates while they’re in the air. The What We’re Made Of series looks at how the aviation industry is tackling challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

APEX Media | Related What We’re Made Of — APEX Media

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How COVID-19 Could Change Air Travel Forever, According to FTE

APEX’s Future Travel Experience (FTE) has painted a heavily researched picture of what air travel may look like following the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the predictions are new queuing rules, enhanced aircraft cleaning procedures and an ever-more important role for airline apps. As travelers become wary of touching surfaces, from check-in kiosks to in-flight entertainment screens, there is an opportunity for an airline’s app to act as a remote control. Last week, FTE announced that it is adapting to the new work-from-home reality by hosting virtual events in the coming months.

Future Travel Experience | Related FTE Updates 2020 Schedule, Adds Virtual Events — APEX Media

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What Does Launch of Mobile Streaming Platform Quibi Mean for IFE?

The current global pandemic has not stopped Quibi, a highly anticipated mobile streaming platform, to go forth with its launch today. “Quibi” – a portmanteau for quick bites – has investors from all over Hollywood including Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Media – even Alibaba Group. Branding.aero founder and president Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis sees a lot of potential for the platform. Not only could airlines partner with Quibi on video that would only activate once users are in the airport terminal or on board the plane, but they “could use Quibi to develop their own channels, content and series that project a specific lifestyle that further strengthens their brands,” he said.

APEX Media | Related Quibi has raised close to $2B, and it hasn’t even launched yet — The Verge

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Etihad Tests Automated Symptom Checker for Airports

Etihad Airways will partner with Elenium Automation to install devices that can monitor a traveler’s temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate. The touchless technology is integrated into an airport location, such as a check-in or information kiosk, a bag drop facility, a security checkpoint or an immigration gate, and will alert qualified staff of potentially ill travelers for further assessment. Etihad hopes to standardize this technology to minimize travel disruptions caused by viral outbreaks. “We believe the introduction of touchless self-service and automated health screening will encourage passengers to return to travel sooner,” said Aaron Hornlimann, CEO and cofounder of Elenium.

Arabian Aerospace | Related 430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced – New York Times

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IFPL Showcases Power Ports for Back of Armrest

During a virtual AIX showcase last week, IFPL demonstrated its latest in-seat power solution: two USB-A connectors mounted to the rear of a seat armrest that can still be accessed when the armrest is lifted. Cables are unimpeded by the movement of the armrest, and the sockets are reversible, minimizing customer induced damage. While the company has not yet ironed out an integration deal with a seatmaker, they have opened dialogue with “one of the larger seat manufacturers who have expressed an interest,” according to Dave Phillips, head of Business Development at IFPL.

Runway Girl Network | Related AdPower: IFPL Showcases Advertising Opportunities the Size of a USB Outlet — APEX Media

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

Today's POTD is in honor of schoolkids spreading hope by drawing rainbows! Captured at San Francisco International Airport by @flyvirgin747 (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

What if Safran Cabin could provide 80 trays for #COVID19 test kit product sterilization within 36-48 hours? With a quick 3D CAD model the machine code was generated and tooling materials were relocated to support this urgent request.

Safran Cabin @Safran_Cabin

 
 
 

Association News

Xiamen Airlines Calls for “Intense International Cooperation” in Wake of Coronavirus

Last week, Xiamen Airlines took to Facebook and Twitter to express support for a joint statement released by two United Nations (UN) specialized agencies, WHO and ICAO, regarding the impact of COVID-19 on civil aviation. The airline plans to strengthen the disinfection of its aircraft and monitor the health of its crew, in addition to a series of other measures. Read our C-Suite with chairman Dong Zhao to learn about Xiamen’s journey in becoming the first airline to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

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“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”

Dennis P. Kimbro

 
 

Until tomorrow

 
 

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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