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April 20, 2020



Today's Top Stories



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


Virgin Australia, South African Airways Battle Insolvency

Virgin Australia has reached the end of the line financially. The company’s board of directors held an emergency meeting today to discuss entering voluntary administration and appointed Deloitte as the insolvency practitioner. Trade unions pleaded for the government to consider bailing out the airline. CEO Paul Scurrah is expected to address the company’s future tomorrow morning. South African Airways is also facing an untenable situation as the coronavirus wiped out virtually all travel demand. The carrier is planning on terminating the contracts of all of its 4,700 employees and liquidating aircraft, real estate and landing slots. Finally, four of Norwegian Air's staffing companies are filing for bankruptcy, affecting 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew based in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, the UK and the US.

Financial Times | Related Collapse of South African Airways appears imminent — Breaking Travel News



HAECO Creates Flexible Cabin Cargo Solutions

In just four weeks, HAECO Cabin Solutions – a business unit of HAECO Group – has created a new range of four main-deck cargo solutions that can be used by airlines to ensure adherence to social distancing measures, while maintaining revenue. “[Our solutions help airlines] optimize passenger versus cargo yield, use the cargo packages to distance passengers and maintain proper weight and balance requirements,” said David Kelly, VP Marketing and Strategy, HAECO Americas. The products are suitable for both single- and wide-body aircraft, with HAECO estimating that the time frame for order, certification and delivery will be just over one month.

APEX Media | Related These Airlines Will Next Remove Seats To Carry Cargo And Medical Supplies On Passenger Aircraft Turned Into Freighters — Forbes



What We’re Made Of: Stellar Entertainment Stresses Need for Continuity in IFE Delivery

Like so many airline vendors, Stellar Entertainment has been working tirelessly to ensure airlines that still require in-flight entertainment services are receiving them. This is possible thanks to suppliers that have been flexible and understanding under the current difficult circumstances, says Sam Allen, director of Licensing, Stellar Entertainment. “We must be supportive of one another, and feel confident that this pandemic will pass, and that the industry will thrive again.” 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



Airlines Freeing Middle Seats to Help Limit Spread of COVID-19

Delta Air Lines and easyJet announced they will temporarily leave middle seats empty to support physical distancing efforts, with Delta also boarding passengers by row, from the rear of the aircraft to the front. Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Qantas have also abolished booking middle seats, while American Airlines is blocking off 50% of its middle seats and JetBlue is blocking about a third of seats based on aircraft type. Starting today, travelers arriving in or departing from Canada will have to prove they have a non-medical mask or face-covering with them during the boarding process; if they can't, they can be prevented from continuing their journey.

Future Travel Experience | Related Coronavirus travel upside: More airlines banish the dreaded middle seat — USA Today



Etihad Catering Division Feeding People in Need

Government entities, business organizations and community centers have called on Etihad Airways’ catering division, EAS Catering, to provide meals to those impacted by COVID-19. With an in-house food laboratory, EAS Catering is well-positioned to ensure products are safe to consume. “We increased microbiological swabbing of surfaces and hands in order to validate disinfection and hand washing efforts, which are direct indicators of virus viability,” said general manager Andrew Caines. Since the start of the pandemic, EAS Catering has cooked and delivered over 15,000 meals a day to people self-isolating or under quarantine, frontline medical staff, humanitarian drives and various businesses across Abu Dhabi.

Etihad | Related The Green Team: How Etihad and Boeing Are Fostering Eco-Friendly Innovation — APEX Media



UK CAA Oversees $435M Disbursement to Would-Be Thomas Cook Travelers

The UK Civil Aviation Authority processed approximately 340,000 Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) claims from people who lost future travel bookings when Thomas Cook ceased operations last September. The claims total nearly $435 million dollars, the largest amount in the ATOL scheme’s history. CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said that the process was hugely complex as dedicated teams needed to sort through “incomplete data and fraudulent claims.” The CAA is accepting new claims until September.

Breaking Travel News | Related The Holidaymaker: Who was Thomas Cook? – APEX Media



Collins Names New President of Interiors Business Unit

Troy Brunk has been named the new president of Interiors Business at Collins Aerospace, replacing Dave Nieuwsma who is now president of the Avionics strategic business unit. Brunk has spent 27 years at the company filling various leadership roles. Most recently, he served as vice-president and general manager for the Communication, Navigation & Guidance Solutions portfolio. In his new role, Brunk will manage a portfolio of aircraft interior systems for seating, lighting, galley, oxygen, passenger service, evacuation, de-icing, lavatory, waste and potable water, for commercial and military customers around the world.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related [PHOTOS] EL AL Launches Collins Silhouette MOVE Divider on Redesigned 737-800 – APEX Media





A Eurowings crew member's moment of "reflection." Captured at Düsseldorf International Airport by @flyjoso (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Our team of skilled technical engineers make sure each aircraft receives care and attention; engines are wrapped, sensitive objects like antennas and valves are covered and daily security checks will be performed while the aircraft are long-term parked. 💙

SAS - Scandinavian Airlines @SAS


Association News

Join FTE’s Webinar on Post-Pandemic Scenarios for Air Transport

The key findings from the first FTE / Fast Future survey exploring the impacts of COVID-19 on the air transport industry will be unveiled during a webinar on Thursday, April 23, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT. APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader, as well as representatives from FTE, ACI World and Bulatsa, will discuss the resulting implications and strategic priorities for the industry. Register now.


> Quote of the Day


“You have to put up with the risk of being misunderstood if you are going to try to communicate.”

Edie Sedgwick


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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