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May 5, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Airlines Compete to Earn Traveler Confidence

A survey of over 2,000 Americans reveals that 75% feel uncomfortable flying on an airplane, while over a third of respondents want mandatory masks, distancing measures and temperature screening during their journey. Airlines and airports are listening. Frontier Airlines is offering a $39 seating upgrade that guarantees an empty middle seat. Air Canada will introduce an initiative called CleanCare+, which encompasses mandatory temperature checks, more personal space in economy class and other sanitization protocols. Many airlines are now mandating face masks for passengers, with KLM being one of the more recent to do so. Pittsburgh International Airport announced the implementation of autonomous cleaning robots, while United Airlines is exploring touchless luggage kiosks.

Frontier | Related Air Canada CleanCare+ Program Introduces New Personal Safety and Sanitary Measures – Air Canada



Coronavirus Claims Virgin Atlantic’s LGW Operations and Qantas’ Project Sunrise

Virgin Atlantic made an announcement this morning that pilots' union Balpa described as a “bombshell”: The airline will end its operations at Gatwick Airport and cut more than 3,000 jobs in the UK. The airline said that COVID-19 is the most “devastating” challenge it has ever faced, and is applying for emergency government loans. Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton noted that the union “will be challenging Virgin very hard to justify this." British Airways, Gatwick's second-biggest carrier, has indicated that it also might not restart its operations there. Meanwhile, Qantas has halted Project Sunrise, thereby pausing its order of 12 Airbus A350-1000 jets that were to fly 18–20-hour direct flights starting in 2023.

BBC | Related Coronavirus puts Qantas Project Sunrise on hold – Executive Traveller



What We’re Made Of: Clip Keeps Steady Amenities Supply With Sustainability in Mind

Cindy Lam, director of airline amenities supplier Clip, believes business travel will be upturned following the global pandemic. Instead of choosing to fly at the drop of a hat for a meeting or conference, companies might consider video conferencing instead. Meanwhile, Clip is trying to maintain business as usual by keeping a steady product supply and sustainability at the fore. These are “the core of our business,” Lam said. “We strive to have new products and concepts ready to be introduced as soon as we see an uptake in flights 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



IdeaNova Introduces Latest IFE Player With Fast Playback

One year after introducing the fifth version of its Inplay IFE player, IdeaNova Technologies has ushered in the sixth generation of the software, Inplay Web 6, with new features including picture-in-picture, scene seek, playlist and fast preview, which plays the content at 1.5 times the normal speed so passengers can squeeze in the end of their movie before they land. Customers that have already licensed earlier versions of the software will be able to upgrade to Inplay Web 6 free of charge. The Inplay IFE player provides a single playback platform for all digital rights management (DRM) and non-DRM content on PC, Mac and mobile.

APEX Media | Related IdeaNova Technologies Debuts Linux DRM Server and Updated InPlay Portal – APEX Media



LATAM Sells Flight Certificates That Accrue Value Via Plusgrade Portal

Starting today, LATAM Airlines customers can purchase flight certificates that increase in value over time. The airline is the first to participate in the Travel Again initiative, made possible by Plusgrade and Amadeus, which is offered to airlines and other travel companies free of charge. Airlines can determine how the credit increases in value over time, but Plusgrade recommends that airlines make the certificates most valuable soon after purchase, to accelerate the recovery of the commercial aviation industry.

APEX Media | Related Plusgrade Named Recipient of the Inaugural Deloitte Enterprise Fast 15 List – Businesswire



[PHOTOS] Factorydesign Reveals Middle Seat Isolation Concept

Factorydesign has found a way to make vacant middle aircraft seats more purposeful. The company’s isolation kit concept, designed to be placed on the middle seat, features an elevated table split by a translucent divider. Passengers on either side have access to a holder for a personal amenity kit with a mask, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The module avoids hard-to-clean seams or crevices and features copper trim, which studies have shown to be more hygienic than others. The concept is currently in development phase, with the company also exploring the use of a foam divider encased in leather.

The Design Air | Related Is Janus the solution to social distancing in economy class? – Aircraft Interiors International



Eurowings COVID-19 Campaign Welcomes Traveler Suggestions

As part of its new “Ideas Get Wings” campaign, Eurowings is launching an innovation competition in which customers and businesses are invited to suggest new products and services they wish to see implemented on board, during check-in or in the Eurowings app. As part of the submission criteria, the idea must add value by increasing traveler confidence or encouraging holiday bookings, for example. Suggestions should not require more than three months to implement. The winner will see their idea in action. Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof said this is an ideal time to consider ways to make the airline stronger, more popular and more customer-friendly once the coronavirus crisis is over.

Eurowings | Related CHA(LLE)NGE THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL. – Eurowings





A Lufthansa Boeing 747 flies over the Emerald City. Captured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by @jet_city_shuttergeek (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

A5: Overhauls are expensive! I believe simple retrofits like Aviointeriors' GLASSAFE or @FactorydesignUK's middle-seat isolation kit concept may do the trick, combined with increased public knowledge about HEPA filters and various cabin cleaning solutions. #AIXchat

Justin Mulfati @APEXJustinM


Association News

IFSA Scholarship Application Deadline Is May 15

The application deadline for the 2020 International Flight Services Association scholarship is next Friday, May 15. APEX members and their families are encouraged to apply. For more info, click here.


Vote for TripIt to Win a Webby People's Voice Award!

TripIt, APEX’s partner for the Official Airline Ratings and Passenger Choice Awards, has been nominated for a Webby in the Apps, Mobile, and Voice: Travel category alongside Expedia, Google Assistant, Hopper and Dorsia. The company is in the running for two awards: The Webby Award and The Webby People's Voice Award. While the first award is decided by the academy, the Webby People’s Voice Award is voted on by the public. To support TripIt, cast your vote by May 7!


> Quote of the Day

"You can measure success by the number of friends who have remained loyal to you, and you to them."

Richard E. Grant


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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