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May 14, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Russian Gov to Provide Airline Aid, US Relaxes CARES Act

The Russian government has issued an order to distribute over $315 million in state funds to airlines suffering losses as a result of COVID-19. The Aeroflot Group, which is 51.2% state-owned and includes Aeroflot, Aurora, Pobeda and Rossiya, is set to receive a third of the financial aid, while the rest will go to other major carriers including the S7 Group, UTair and Ural Airlines. In the US, the DOT is relaxing airlines’ obligations under the CARES Act. Airlines will be allowed to exempt 5% of the locations in their service obligation list or five locations, whichever is greater, providing they submit their requests to DOT by May 18.   

Reuters | Related US DOT relaxes CARES Act route commitments – FlightGlobal



Astronics Expects to Be Cash Flow Positive This Year

Astronics reported a net loss of $67 million in the first quarter of 2020, mostly due to a decrease in sales in its aerospace division. In response, the company has reduced costs to save $55-$60 million throughout the rest of this year, which means it would be cash flow positive even if sales decline between 30% and 35% compared to 2019. Cost-cutting measures include a 30% reduction in staff and a 50% reduction of 2020 capital expenditures. Astronics’ defense and government business has not been significantly affected by COVID-19. 

Astronics | Related 40 Success Stories: When Astronics Took Charge of the Airplane Cabin – APEX Media



What We’re Made Of: Valour Consultancy Forecasts Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 on Air Travel

As specialists in market trends and analysis, Valour Consultancy is helping clients answer questions about what the post-pandemic air travel industry will look like. "The longer this goes on, the more airlines will run out of liquidity, leading to bankruptcies, nationalization or consolidation causing a huge change in the industry landscape,” said senior consultant and cofounder Craig Foster. He adds that there will be major changes to global fleets as airlines reorganize to optimize operational efficiencies. 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



More Airlines Plan to Resume Flights

More airlines are planning to resume flights as the toughest lockdown measures begin to be eased around the globe and borders reopen. Emirates will operate scheduled services to nine international destinations from May 21. It will also offer connections in Dubai for customers traveling between the UK and Australia. Flydubai is now offering bookings for journeys after June 5 to destinations including Bahrain, Georgia, Jordan and Oman. Korean Air is also set to expand its international operations in June to 146 flights per week on 32 routes, compared with 55 flights per week on 13 routes in May.

Emirates | Related Flydubai to resume flights from June 4 – Business Traveller



Azul, Qatar Plan Aircraft Deferrals

Brazil-based Azul Linhas Aéreas has delayed the delivery of 59 Embraer aircraft until 2024 or later. The aircraft, which have a total list price of $4.16 billion, were due to be received by the airline between 2020 and 2023. “With this support, we are able to ensure that we have the liquidity and the resources required to optimize the airline for the future,” said Azul CEO John Rodgerson, in a press release. Qatar Airways is in talks with Airbus and Boeing to defer aircraft orders for “several years,” with CEO Akbar Al Baker also revealing plans to reduce the carrier’s fleet by 25%.   

Azul | Related Coronavirus: Cathay Pacific could get cash injection from shareholder Qatar Airways – South China Morning Post



ATPCO Solutions Helps Airlines and GDSs Seamlessly Navigate Fee Changes

From June 7, an automated solution developed by ATPCO will allow American Airlines to override existing fare rules and waive change fees in the Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport global distribution systems (GDSs) so that travel agencies won’t have to manually process fee waivers and ticket validity extensions implemented by airlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eloise Rorke, ATPCO’s product development lead, explained, “Each airline was trying to come up with their own solution and nothing was working the same way across all channels. ATPCO saw this happening and, as a service organization to the industry, started looking for ways to help.”     

Travel Weekly | Related ATPCO to help airlines integrate crisis messaging into flight shopping – PhocusWire



MGR Foamtex Enhances MGRSoftWall NextGen With Antimicrobial Tech

In response to COVID-19, MGR Foamtex has enhanced its MGRSoftWall NextGen product – a lightweight dual-density foam developed in collaboration with Zotefoams for use on seat shells, monuments and around sleeping areas – with Biomaster antimicrobial technology. The result is a hygiene-focused offering known as MGRSafeWall. The product allows for 3D decorative surfaces made using 3D CNC stitching, meaning there are no gaps in the foam’s surface and therefore no space for microbe entrapment. Furthermore, the magnetic attachment system allows for easy removal and replacement of the product if desired. MGRSoftWall NextGen was submitted for entry to the 2020 Crystal Cabin Award.  

Inflight Online | Related Formia Presents The Clean Kit for Hygiene-Conscious Travelers – APEX Media





What a sky! Captured by @archipilot69 (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

I’ve landed in Hong Kong after flying from Paris CDG, via London Heathrow. I now have to wait ~8 hours before I get my #COVID19 test results and thus have ample time to tweet about my experience.

Laurel Chor @laurelchor


Association News

Time Flies: KLM’s Emergency Polar Suits

Last year, in an article about voyages to the extremities of Earth, the New York Times unearthed a curious example of airline apparel: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ “polar suit.” These thick metallic suits were designed to protect passengers and crew against the cold in the polar area, in case of an emergency landing,” according to Frido Ogier, senior editor of Corporate Communications AMS/CO at KLM’s Heritage Centre.


> Quote of the Day

“The unexpected connections we make might not last, yet stay with us forever.”

Sofia Coppola


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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