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May 6, 2020

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

 
 

Cons Outweigh Pros of Blocking Middle Seats, IATA Says

Considering the minimal risk of viral transmission aboard aircraft, IATA has spoken out against leaving middle seats vacant. IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac is advocating for a layered approach to biosecurity that “keeps the cost of flying affordable.” Face masks for passengers and crew, temperature screenings, distancing during boarding and deplaning and increased cleaning are measures that “reduce the already low risk of onboard transmission” without reducing load factors well below the break-even level and thereby increasing fares by as much as 54%. Meanwhile, IATA is appealing for $10 billion in assistance for the African travel and tourism sector. De Juniac noted that the COVID-19 crisis “could take Africa’s development back a decade or more.”

IATA | Related Urgent Appeal to International Community to Support African Travel and Tourism Sector – IATA

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United Will Cut Staff After CARES Period, GE to Lay Off 13K Employees

According to an internal memo, United Airlines will lay off 30% of management staff in October. United is restricted from firing employees until September 30 under the terms of the CARES Act, but with costs outweighing revenue by billions of dollars, the company must take “strong and decisive action” to stay afloat in the long term, said Kate Gebo, the airline’s executive vice-president for Human Resources and Labor Relations. Up to 30% of United’s pilots could also be displaced, according to a separate memo. The airline also reduced the maximum value of flight credits offered to travelers who voluntarily give up seats on overbooked flights from $10,000 to $2,500. Meanwhile, as part of a $3 billion cash savings plan, GE Aviation will fire 25% of its workforce representing up to 13,000 individuals.

The Hill | Related An Update on COVID-19 GE Aviation Business Impact – GE Aviation

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What We’re Made Of: Collaboration More Important Than Ever, FTE Says

Despite moving a few of its events online this year, Future Travel Experience CEO and founder Dan Coleman says it’s more important than ever for the aviation industry to work together. The upcoming FTE APEX webinars provide opportunities for virtual collaboration while many work from home. However, Coleman stresses, “Industry events, where you can meet and build relationships with hundreds of people in one trip, will become even more essential and valued.” 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 Register for FTE APEX Webinars

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Qatar Airways to Ramp Up Service by End of Month, Cut Jobs

Qatar Airways has maintained flights to at least 30 destinations during the COVID-19 crisis and now feels confident to begin planning the gradual reintroduction of additional service. The company aims to have 80 destinations in its schedule by the end of June, including 23 in Europe, four in the Americas, 20 in the Middle East and Africa and 33 in Asia Pacific. By the end of May, the airline plans to grow its network back to over 50 destinations, resuming services to Manila, Amman and Nairobi. The carrier will not be immune to staff cuts: In an internal memo, CEO Akbar Al Baker revealed that the company would need to seek government aid and “make a substantial number of jobs redundant – inclusive of cabin crew.”

Qatar Airways | Related QATAR AIRWAYS PLANS JOB CUTS DUE TO COVID-19 – Airways Mag

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Somalian Cargo Flight Crash Claims Six Lives

On Monday, a cargo mission in Somaliland ended in tragedy after an African Express Airways Embraer EMB 120ER Brasilia crashed moments before it was due to land at Bardale. The incident killed two Kenyan pilots and four passengers. Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry pleaded for the federal government of Somalia and international agencies to move quickly with investigations “because it impacts humanitarian operations at a time of highest need.” Officials did not cite a cause for the crash, but Reuters reports that a witness believes the plane could have been shot down.

Airways Mag | Related Coronavirus: Somalia probes Kenyan aid plane crash – BBC

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Heathrow Will Share Results of Bio-Screening Trials, Iberia to Test Staff for COVID-19

Heathrow Airport will begin testing UV sanitizing, contactless security procedures and equipment, and camera-assisted temperature screening with the aim of setting an international standard. The airport’s operator is looking to examine both the effectiveness of the solutions and passenger sentiments toward them, and will share their results with other airports in order to reach a consensus on what protective measures are required once travel restrictions are eased. In order to protect its employees from COVID-19, Iberia will administer a voluntary blood test to detect antibodies in employees returning to work after a furlough. Those returning to work from sick leave must be tested for coronavirus. The company also ramped up disinfection procedures, issued PPE to employees and is encouraging remote working.

Flight Global | Related Iberia to Offer Covid-19 Antibody Tests to All Employees – Iberia

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Carlisle IT Offers Turnkey Cabin Reconfiguration and Certification

Airlines looking to quickly pivot their passenger aircraft operations to focus on cargo transport during the COVID-19 crisis can look to Carlisle Interconnect Technologies. The company is offering rapid development, and EASA DOA approval, of complete cabin reconfiguration, as well as support for special missions including patient transport, restraint solutions, cabin seat removal and more. The IAMA-member company uses supplemental type certificates for airlines, avionics manufacturers, and maintenance, repair and overhaul partners.

Carlisle | Related Cool Running: Carlisle IT’s Overheating Solution for Electronically Steered Antennas – APEX Media

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

All lined up! Captured at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport by @aviation_bombay (via Instagram).

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

 
 

> Tweet of the Day

It's #TravelAgentDay! Thank you to our travel agent partners who represent our brand and support our passengers throughout their travel experience. They're an essential part of our business and they deserve to be recognized for everything they're doing during this difficult time.

Porter Airlines @porterairlines

 
 
 

Association News

One Week to Go Until FTE APEX Airports Webinar and Pitch Session

More than 150 airlines and airports have registered for FTE APEX virtual events. Join them next Wednesday for a session full of exclusive interviews, discussions and Q&A with senior industry figures, plus pitch sessions from dynamic suppliers including Elenium Automation, Vision-Box, ACOREL and others! Be the first to learn about new products, services and visions to support airports as they recalibrate for the post-COVID-19 world.

 
 

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

"What kept me sane was knowing that things would change, and it was a question of keeping myself together until they did."

Nina Simone

 
 

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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