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April 14, 2020

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Today's Top Stories
 

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

 
 

Senators Against Requiring Airlines to Repay 30% of Grants

Senators Edward J. Markey and Richard Blumenthal, members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, have expressed concerns about reports suggesting the Treasury Department will require airlines to repay 30% of any grants they receive under the worker support section of the CARES Act. Markey and Blumenthal worry that the measure could discourage airlines from accepting the aid, ultimately hindering their ability to retain workers. Industry furloughs continue: Triumph Group laid off 200 additional staffers and will furlough 2,300 workers in response to the shutdown of Boeing’s commercial aircraft production facilities, and General Electric is planning to furlough half of its aviation unit’s engine manufacturing staff.

Markey.senate.gov | Related Mnuchin Rebuffs Airlines, Holds Firm on Repayment for Rescue — Bloomberg

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IFE Distributors and CSPs Under Pressure During COVID-19

Five airlines recently canceled orders with content distributor Monster Entertainment according to chairman Andrew Fitzpatrick. Since airlines have cut capacity, Monster has also received requests from several content service providers (CSPs) to pay 50% of the usual cost for a half hour of content, signalling widespread constraints. Global Eagle, a CSP, has stated that it is too early to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on its operations, but has implemented several cost-saving initiatives last month. Some proactive Asian airlines may spur a comeback in sales as travel restrictions ease there.

Kidscreen | Related What We’re Made Of: Andrew Fitzpatrick, Monster Entertainment — APEX Media

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What We’re Made Of: Encore Inflight Keeps Business Afloat by Being Flexible

Encore Inflight has been trying to help airline clients and content service providers make ends meet by being flexible in how they support them. So far, this has meant allowing them to keep encoded files longer or offering content free of charge. “We are open to all possibilities to make everyone’s life easier. It is crucial to help our clients by providing logistically and financially sound options,” said Edwin Cheung, client service director, Encore Inflight, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. 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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India Extends Lockdown, More Airlines Fight for Survival

Yesterday, the Indian government extended the country’s suspension of all commercial flying by two weeks. The lockdown, which began on March 24, is expected to end May 3. Virgin Australia released a stock exchange statement asking for a two-day trading halt while the company makes decisions regarding “financial assistance and restructuring alternatives.” Norwegian Air shares tumbled this morning, with the company’s future hinged on creditors converting as much as $4.3 billion in debt in order to meet access terms for state aid. While Wizz Air is confident about the strength of its balance sheet, executives were forced to cut one-fifth of staff and return older leased aircraft to try to lower costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

India Today | Related Virgin Australia enters trading halt amid financing talks — Flight Global

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Lagardère Reboots Retail at Wuhan Airport

Lagardère Travel Retail announced the reopening of its 88 retail and dining outlets at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. The move is in line with the end of the territory’s 76-day shutdown, which helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Lagardère Travel Retail China CEO Eudes Fabre said that this development “is a testament to the dramatic improvement in the sanitary conditions in Hubei province.” He remains optimistic that “pent-up consumer demand” will translate into increased sales. Strict hygiene measures remain in place at the retail locations including the use of protective equipment, temperature screening and physical distancing.

DFNI | Related Wuhan airport reopens after months-long lockdown — Flight Global

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[VIDEO] Etihad Maintains and Refreshes Grounded Fleet

As Etihad Airways transitions from operating 200 flights per day to parking its entire fleet, the carrier released a video detailing all the work that must be done to maintain aircraft. The engine intake and exhaust need to be shielded from the elements, sensors must be blocked, batteries have to be disconnected and other items need to be preserved. When the fleet does return to flying again, travelers can expect a renewed cabin: Etihad is deploying around 200 people per shift working on a refresh program. Each seat is being inspected, and 10,000 seat and backrest covers have been replaced thus far.

Business Traveller | Related [VIDEO] Inside Brussels Airlines: how an airline prepares its fleet for hibernation – Brussels Airlines

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PGL-Condor Deal Falls Through

Polish Aviation Group (PGL), parent company of LOT, withdrew from its intended plan to acquire rival carrier Condor and form a leading European aviation group. Sources say that PGL had made the completion of its takeover deal contingent on financial guarantees that the German government considered unacceptable. Condor said there were various options about future ownership on the table and it was in talks about state aid to help navigate the coronavirus crisis. In September, Condor accepted a bridging loan from the German government after the collapse of parent company Thomas Cook.

Skift | Related LOT Polish Airlines parent agrees to buy Condor – Flight Global

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

Frontier Airlines' "Shelly the Sea Turtle" landing on runway 10R at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport! Captured by @305_aviation (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

We all share one big beautiful sky. 💙 For a brief minute, let us transport you to the clouds with Rhapsody in Blue performed by United Captain Beau B., set to footage provided by our employees from their previous travels. #UnitedTogether

United Airlines @united

 
 
 

Association News

Get to Know Antony McNeil, Global Food & Beverage Director, Singapore Airlines

Antony oversees the strategic direction and design of the onboard food and beverage experience at Singapore Airlines. He has more than 30 years of global hospitality and culinary experience. Speaking of SIA's recent partnership with an aeroponic farm, he says "We can now grow our greens according to demand using forecasted passenger loads. This reduces the likelihood of oversupply and waste and allows customers to enjoy farm-fresh produce." Read our Q&A with Antony here.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

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"Someday is not a day of the week."

Denise Brennan-Nelson

 
 

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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