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May 4, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Buffett Sells Billions Worth of US Airline Shares

After disposing of airline investments worth billions of dollars, Berkshire Hathaway chairperson Warren Buffett noted that the CEOs of United, Delta, American and Southwest airlines were “excellent” and not to blame for their financial downturn. While uncertainty reigns in the industry, other private equity firms have shown confidence in online travel companies. Tough times continue for Boeing as United Airlines informed the airframer it will be taking less than half of the new 737 MAX jets it originally ordered. Rolls-Royce, in turn, is seeing less demand for its engines and announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK, or 35% of its workforce in that country. According to the South African government, the country’s flag carrier is “dead” and will be replaced by a new "financially viable and competitive" airline.

Skift | Related United Cancels More Than Half Its Boeing 737 Max Orders – Travel Pulse



The Weekly Wrap: FlightPlan, Connectivity & COVID-19 Medical Checks

The second episode of The Weekly Wrap sees hosts Maryann Simson and Seth Miller reviewing the most interesting takeaways from FlightPlan, the online broadcast from Inmarsat and APEX, which took place earlier this week. Dominic Walters, VP Marketing Communications and Strategy at Inmarsat Aviation, makes an appearance to share the two key insights he gleaned from FlightPlan. The hosts also discuss the future of medical testing pre- and post-flight as airlines and airports introduce new health-related procedures throughout the air travel journey.

APEX Media | Related Subscribe to the APEX Media YouTube Channel



What We’re Made Of: PressReader Gives Access to Its Content for Free

PressReader is in the process of deploying numerous “goodwill campaigns” together with its airline, hospitality and maritime partners. On April 17, Turkish Airlines let its Miles&Smiles loyalty program members know they could access the PressReader app free of charge for the next two months. PressReader is also using the lockdown to diversify its business, by offering the app to property management companies as a perk for residents in lieu of amenities like gyms and pools, which are currently closed. 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



VIE Offers COVID-19 Test, Heathrow Eliminates Another Terminal

Travelers entering Vienna are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result from a maximum of four days earlier in order to avoid 14 days of government-mandated self-isolation. Vienna International Airport is now offering onsite tests that can provide a diagnosis and medical certificate in three hours or less for a cost of around $200. Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport, which is using only one runway, has closed Terminal 4 after shutting down Terminal 3 in late April. Southwest and Japan Airlines are the latest to introduce new health policies, including blocking middle seats in aircraft and requiring passengers to wear face masks.

Business Traveller | Related Southwest Promise – Southwest



Report Details Four Possible Post-COVID-19 Scenarios

COVID-19 Air Transport Near Term Impacts and Scenarios, the first part of the Air Transport 2035 research study conducted by Fast Future, Future Travel Experience and APEX, highlights four possible outcomes for the aviation industry over the next two years. The scenarios follow what Fast Future CEO Rohit Talwar calls “the driving force model of scenario development,” and forms a matrix based on two key axes – economic recovery and industry collaboration. The research shows that the industry remains committed to improving customer experience and service, with 48.5% of survey respondents predicting investment in this area will increase over the next 24 months.

APEX Media | Related FTE, APEX & Fast Future report: Digital transformation, automation and CX among investment priorities for airlines and airports amid COVID-19 disruption – Future Travel Experience



American Airlines Standardizing Cabin Configurations Across Fleet

American Airlines shared an image of its new Boeing 787-8 business-class cabin, featuring the Rockwell Collins Super Diamond reverse-herringbone product, which currently appears on its 777-200 and 787-9 aircraft, and dividers added between center seats. The airline is performing other retrofits across its parked fleet as well, having budgeted around $440 million for this operation, which it views as a long-term cost-cutting measure. American will increase the seat count in its older Airbus A321s to 190, and the refurbished aircraft will include Wi-Fi, power outlets and more room in the overhead bins. The airline’s Boeing 737-800s are also getting denser, moving up to a 172-seat configuration to match the MAX.

The Design Air | Related American Airlines Moves Full Steam Ahead With 737 And A321 Retrofits – Simple Flying



Virgin Spacecraft Makes Glide Flight Over New Mexico

On Friday, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo completed an unpowered glide over its New Mexico hub. This test was previously carried out with success at its former headquarters in California. The six-passenger SpaceShipTwo is designed to be transported to an altitude of about 50,000 feet by a carrier aircraft before being dropped. At that point, the aircraft’s rocket motor will engage and blast it into suborbital space. Travelers who ride the spacecraft will get to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said he was “grateful for the commitment displayed by everyone involved” in achieving the unpowered flight during a challenging time. | Related Supporting our local communities in New Mexico in the fight against COVID-19 – Virgin Galactic





May the fourth be with you! This All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 features a livery inspired by R2-D2. Captured at Brussels Airport by @green14aviation (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

We understand how important it is for the industry to stay connected. Join us on Tuesday 5 May at 16:00 BST to talk about all things #aviation in our first live Twitter chat. Don’t miss out! #AIXchat

Aircraft Interiors Expo @aix_expo


Association News

Very Few Spots Left for Post-COVID-19 Airports Session

The FTE/APEX Post-COVID-19 Airports session will offer insight from suppliers with solutions for how the airport experience will evolve to restore consumer confidence and enhance operations in the post-COVID-19 reality. Learn how airports can deliver a more contactless, seamless, automated, sanitized and digitally powered travel experience that puts the passenger in control of their journey. Airports and airlines register free!


Watch FlightPlan, an Online Broadcast for the Aviation Industry

If you weren’t able to tune in for FlightPlan last week the recording is available to watch. During the online event, hosted by Inmarsat and APEX, more than 50 leading voices exchanged views on the present and future of aviation. Over 3,000 viewers tuned in from almost 100 countries worldwide for a series of live debates, interviews and news analysis.


> Quote of the Day

"A decision is something you polish."

Paul Gleason


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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