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May 7, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Burrana Appoints New CEO

In the next few weeks, David Withers will transition to the role of non-executive chairman at Burrana, and Neil Nordstrom will take his place as CEO. Already serving as a board member for Burrana, Nordstrom is an operating partner for JW Hill Capital, focusing on transforming newly acquired businesses into fully functioning, high-performance teams. “For 12 years, Burrana has been the single focus of my energy, but it is the right time for me personally and the right time for the company to have a new CEO,” said Withers. In addition, Paul Margis will step down as chairman, but remain on the board.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Sizing Up: Burrana Aims to Be Valued at $200M Within Five Years – APEX Media



MHI to Complete Purchase of CRJ Program

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), parent company of Mitsubishi Aircraft, intends to close its $500 million purchase of Bombardier’s CRJ aircraft program on June 1. The deal, announced last summer, covers the CRJ’s maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing and sales activities, including support and service assets, but not CRJ production, which will conclude when Bombardier produces the remaining CRJs on order. The deal will mark the creation of a new Mitsubishi entity, MHI RJ Aviation Group, which will operate the CRJ program. By selling the CRJ, Bombardier will no longer be involved in commercial aviation, only business aviation and trains.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries | Related Boeing closes the door on Embraer, opens one for Mitsubishi – The Air Current



What We’re Made Of: Tangerine Holds on to Its Team to Overcome the Crisis

Five years ago, tangerine suffered a catastrophic flood at its office, leaving the design firm without a home for 10 months. Following the incident, the company had its best year ever. Director Melinda Darbyshire attributes the quick bounce-back to the company’s mindset, which is proving useful once more during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In our crisis planning, we’re leaving no one behind. We’ve made savings where we can, we are streamlining the business, but we are keeping all our people, as they are the creative heart of tangerine.” 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



The Weekly Wrap: Factorydesign’s Middle-Seat Concept, Virgin Atlantic & “Green” Bailouts

In this week’s episode of The Weekly Wrap, hosts Maryann Simson and Seth Miller mull the controversial topic of blocking middle seats on board, following IATA’s announcement that it views the practice as unsustainable and unnecessary. For another perspective on the great seat debate, Factorydesign’s Peter Tennent joins to discuss the firm’s “Isolate” screen concept for enhanced privacy and hygiene in the cabin. The hosts also discuss Virgin Atlantic’s latest cost-cutting measures – including its withdrawal from London Gatwick Airport – and delve into the “green” conditions of Air France-KLM’s government bailout.  

APEX Media | Related Satcoms for Aircraft Pt 3: Satellite Startups That Revolutionize In-Flight Connectivity ­– APEX Media’s YouTube channel



Indonesia to Resume Domestic Flights, Malaysia Airports Updates Its Procedures

New regulations in Indonesia allow certain people to travel despite an ongoing ban. Those exempted from the ban include state officials, private sector workers, employees of certain state-owned enterprises, repatriated Indonesian nationals, those needing emergency medical care and family of a deceased individual. Prior to departure, travelers must provide a return ticket and a negative COVID-19 test result or health documents from a hospital or clinic. As such, several Indonesian airlines are now resuming domestic services, including Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Wings Air and Batik Air. Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports have said passengers will not be allowed access to terminals without a face mask and that they should arrive three hours early to accommodate new procedures.

The Jakarta Post | Related Malaysia Airports introduces strict safety measures as domestic flghts resume – The Moodie Davitt Report



IAG, JetBlue Report Significant Q1 Losses Due to COVID-19

International Airlines Group (IAG) has reported operating losses of $577 million for the first quarter of 2020, most of which occurred in the last two weeks of March, said CEO Willie Walsh. He warned that results for the current quarter, during which capacity has decreased by 94%, will see “significantly worse” losses. IAG does not predict a “meaningful return” of passengers until July, but is expecting to carry just 50% of passengers in 2020 compared to 2019. As such, it will defer delivery of 68 aircraft. JetBlue, which has seen a similar decrease in capacity, has posted a $268-million quarterly loss, and revised its order book with Airbus to save $1.1 billion in aircraft spending through 2022.  

IAG | Related JetBlue reports loss, revises Airbus orders to save $1 billion through 2022 – Reuters



Abu Dhabi Airport Tests Cleaning Robot Across Airports and Cabins

Throughout May, Abu Dhabi International Airport will test the CoDi BOT UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) created by UAE-based Marakeb Technologies to sterilize airports and aircraft to combat viruses like COVID-19. The CoDi BOT UGV is operated remotely using real-time video and a high-speed 4G data connection. It was designed specifically to be able to move through aircraft cabins and has three central functions: targeting virus strains on surfaces with controlled bursts of germicidal UV rays, screening individuals using thermal infrared monitoring, and disinfecting areas using liquid cleaning agents. The project is a collaboration between Abu Dhabi Airports and Tawazun Strategic Development Fund.

Arabian Aerospace | Related Pittsburgh is first the U.S. airport to use robotic ultra-violet cleaning – International Airport Review





Playing around in Photoshop! Captured by @spotting_bm (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

Thanks @FlyAirNZ for the donation of thousands of blankets which will provide a wonderful addition to our #RedCross Parcels being distributed to Meals on Wheels recipients and former refuge families 👏 Read more:

New Zealand Red Cross @NZRedCross


Association News

Pitch Your Product During the FTE APEX Post-COVID-19 Airlines & Aircraft Webinar

 At times like these it is critical that stakeholders still connect and engage to share ideas, propositions, visions and learnings, and FTE and APEX are ensuring that happens through their upcoming virtual events. They will also include pitches from suppliers with unique solutions and visions for this new era of travel, so if you are a vendor interested in procuring a valued slot to showcase how your capabilities can support airlines at this critical time please contact by Tuesday May 11th to declare your interest.   


Track the Impact of COVID-19 on the Aviation Industry Day-By-Day

Updated daily, our coronavirus news page tracks the continuously evolving impact of the crisis on airlines, airports, passengers and the industry at large. Check back regularly and never miss a development. 


> Quote of the Day

"A minute's success pays the failure of years."

Robert Browning


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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