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May 8, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Frontier Changes Policy Amid Backlash, Airlines Looking to Raise Funds

Frontier revised its COVID-19 policies to include temperature screenings for all passengers, while canceling its paid vacant middle seat option after facing backlash from travelers and Congress. The airline will now block middle seats from being sold by default. Airlines around the world are actively shuffling their operations to adapt to lower demand for travel. The Argentinian government has fast-tracked the merger of Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral in order to keep the former flag carrier afloat during “several critical months.” The Italian government is providing $3.26 billion in capital for the newly nationalized Alitalia. Facing a liquidity crisis, Korean Air is examining whether it can sell its three core businesses: its in-flight meal service, mileage program and aircraft maintenance division.

Travel Pulse | Related Aerolineas Argentinas, Austral to Merge as One Flag Carrier – Airways Mag



IAG, Lufthansa Announce Tentative Plans to Increase Service

British Airways is exploring the possibility of operating at 50% capacity starting in July, when other IAG-owned airlines intend to operate 1,000 flights per day. IAG CEO Willie Walsh, who delayed his retirement until September 24, believes that a return to full capacity will only transpire in 2023. Iberia chief executive Luis Gallego will replace Walsh. Lufthansa Group, which is in the process of negotiating a $9.78-billion bailout with the German government, will operate 80 additional aircraft in June to respond to growing demand. Spirit Airlines and jetBlue are seeing small signs of improvement as well, noting that bookings for May have outpaced those in April.

International Finance | Related Lufthansa to start flying 80 more aircraft in June to meet travel demand – Reuters



What We’re Made Of: How to Gain Traveler Trust, According to VX Consulting

Yen-Pu Paul Chen, founder of VX Consulting, says his company’s role is to observe changes in the airline industry brought on by the coronavirus and to communicate them to his clients. The trust factor, from passenger perception of aircraft cleanliness to how an airline handles flight disruptions and refund requests “may shape customer confidence in an airline’s brand,” Chen said. 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



Southwest Aircraft Hits and Kills Person at AUS

Police are investigating an incident where a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 struck and killed a person shortly after landing at Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. The pilot had made an effort to dodge the individual who died on scene and has not been identified. None of the 53 passengers and five crewmembers on board were injured. The aircraft had a dent in its left engine cowling, the part that houses the engine.  

Travel Pulse | Related Authorities Investigate Death on Austin Runway Where Southwest Flight Landed ­– New York Times



Delta and LATAM Form Trans-American Joint Venture

Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group have signed a trans-American joint venture agreement that will combine the carriers’ route networks between North and South America. News that Delta would buy a 20% stake in LATAM broke in September 2019, and the deal was finalized later that year. As a result of the deal, LATAM left the Oneworld alliance on May 1. “Late last year, we set out to build the leading strategic alliance in Latin America together with LATAM, and while the industry landscape has changed, our commitment to this joint venture is as strong as ever,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Business Traveller | Related Delta Expands in South America With $2.25 Billion Latam Deal – Bloomberg



JetBlue Delays Launch of London Routes

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes announced yesterday that the airline will be postponing the launch of its London routes, citing a “timing impact” amidst the coronavirus outbreak. “We’re probably going a little later than we intended. But the market will recover at some point and the need for us to enter that market and bring more competition is still as relevant in the future as it was in the past,” he said, on the carrier’s Q1 earnings call. Hayes added that the next two to three years will be focused on repairing the airline’s balance sheet. | Related JetBlue Announces First Quarter 2020 Results ­– Business Wire



Live Music Festival, Brought to You by Airports

Twenty-three airports across North America teamed up earlier this week to deliver JetStream Music Festival, a free, virtual concert that was streamed on Facebook Live. The performers represented each city of the airport on the bill. A virtual tip jar enabled those tuning in to make a contribution to the artists, many who have had to forgo concerts due to the current pandemic. JetStream was hosted by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, home of South by Southwest (SXSW), which was canceled this year. Other participating airports included Seattle-Tacoma, San Diego, Toronto Pearson and Louis Armstrong New Orleans.

Flying Mag | Related Watch JetStream Music Festival – Facebook





Green with envy for the S7 Airlines livery! Captured at Koltsovo Airport by @airalexsvx (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Until we meet again in the skies. A musical tribute from our cabin crew team to you. #EmiratesAtHome

Emirates Airline @emirates


Association News

Share Your Predictions on the Future of the Aviation Industry

At FlightPlan, hosted in partnership with APEX last week, Inmarsat Aviation launched an interactive poll to gather views and predictions from across the industry on possible paths to recovery from COVID-19. Hundreds of responses have already been shared, but it’s not too late to have your say. To share your thoughts on where the future of aviation is headed, visit the live survey here.


How Jetlag-Reducing Solution jetlite Came to Be

Achim Leder, co-founder and CEO of jetlite, met a professor from the University of Wuppertal, near Cologne. "I was telling him about how often I flew for work, and he said, 'I know how light affects the inner clock, and you are a frequent flyer. Is there a chance we can work together?'” The two decided to bring sunlight, in an artificial way, into the aircraft cabin. Thanks to connections at Airbus and the German Aerospace Center, testing took off. Thus, jetlite was born.


> Quote of the Day

"What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming."

Muhammad Ali


Until next week



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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