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May 18, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Thai Airways Waits on Acceptance of Rehabilitation Plan, Delays Q1 Results

Thailand’s government is planning to submit a rehabilitation plan for Thai Airways to a bankruptcy court tomorrow, marking a move away from a previous rescue plan which saw the carrier seeking a loan of $1.81 billion guaranteed by the government to help it through COVID-19. The airline has been given an extension on the deadline to submit its first quarter financial results to the Stock Exchange of Thailand. It claims that, since more than half of its total revenue comes from foreign branch offices, it has been challenging to prepare the necessary accounting documents due to travel restrictions and closed borders. 

Reuters | Related Thai Airways quashes bankruptcy rumours – FlightGlobal



Intelsat Embarks on Financial Restructuring Process

Luxembourg-based satellite company Intelsat, a Seamless Air Alliance member, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in a bid to increase liquidity and shift around half of its $15-billion legacy debt. With a commitment obtained for $1 billion of debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, Intelsat hopes to fund an accelerated clearing of C-band spectrum, which will be used by mobile phone companies to provide 5G services in the US. By doing so, the Federal Communications Commission has said that Intelsat will be eligible for $4.87 billion in accelerated relocation payments. The DIP financing will also allow the company’s day-to-day operations to continue as usual, said Intelsat. 

Intelsat | Related Intelsat CEO Steve Spengler Talks C-Band, Covid, and Chapter 11 – Via Satellite



Dedicated PPE Vending Machines Installed at LAS

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has installed three vending machines from California-based operator Prepango, which are dispensing personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes. Two of the machines are located in the Terminal 1 ticketing area, while the other is near the TSA checkpoint in Terminal 3. “The whole world is going through behavioral modification and learning new habits, so it's not unthinkable that someone could show up at the airport and not have the new necessities that are part of travel," explained airport spokesperson Christine Crews. The vending machines are a response to major US airlines now requiring passengers to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.   

TravelPulse | Related APEX Advises Airline Customers to Wear Face Coverings Throughout Journey – APEX Media



What We’re Made Of: Aeroméxico Connects People, Cargo, Projects and Ideas

For Aeroméxico, an airline is more than a business – it has the potential to be a catalyst for a better future. “We firmly believe that crises can yield opportunities,” said Andrés Castañeda Ochoa, chief customer and digital officer & EVP. The company is taking this time to reassess business processes and improve customer service while also lending a hand to the Mexican government and Red Cross. 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



Diehl Aviation to Provide Flight Computers for Volocopter

Diehl Aerospace, a unit of Diehl Aviation, has signed a contract to develop the primary and secondary flight control computers (FCCs) for Volocopter’s VoloCity electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Certification of the FCCs is expected in 2021, with initial development work having already begun at Diehl sites. The first VoloCity flight and entry-into-service is expected within two to four years. Diehl has said that in addition to the application of its flight control expertise to the eVTOL platform, it is now looking at new market potentials for other products within its portfolio, including cabin interiors and integration capabilities.

Transport Up | Related [VIDEO] Diehl Aviation Showcases Smart Cabin Concepts – APEX Media



Lufthansa Group to Explore Jet Fuel Made From Carbon Dioxide and Sunlight

Lufthansa Group has signed a Letter of Intent with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) and its spin-off companies, Climeworks and Synhelion, to accelerate the market launch of new sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). ETH Zurich has developed methods to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, using water and concentrated sunlight, convert it into a “synthesis gas that can be used to produce jet fuel,” the press release said. The partnership, instigated by SWISS and Edelweiss, will include an agreement regarding “acceptance quotas of SAF at a later date in order to support future demonstration projects of the partners.” 

Business Traveller | Related Carbon-neutral fuel made from sunlight and air – ETH Zurich



Banana-Based Fibers Provide a Sustainable Textile Alternative for Amenity Kit Makers

Clip is making amenity kits with Bananatex, a proprietary material made of fibers from leaf stocks of abacá, a banana plant that requires minimal water and no chemicals to grow. The material is durable, waterproof and fully biodegradable, but roughly 10 times more expensive per yard than cotton. According to Cindy Lam, director of Clip, cost will drop as demand for the material in adjacent industries increases, and as the pressure for airlines to go green mounts, so will the material’s appeal. Clip is already exploring the product’s viability with a small airline, and other banana-based fabrics are also being explored for airline customers by both packaging design company Albéa and France-based startup Green Whisper.

APEX Media | Related John Horsfall Launches Sustainable Scented Airline Pillows – APEX Media





Clear skies at Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport. Captured by @ignacio_spott (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

In response to a number of queries, we can confirm that we’re unable to stop Matt Damon returning to the US if & when he so chooses. That would be a repatriation journey. Even though some of us would like to, we can’t just keep the guy indefinitely. #MattDamon #DamoninDalkey

Dublin Airport@DublinAirport


Association News

How Can Airlines and Aircraft “Flight Back” From COVID-19?

Gain some clarity on the post-COVID-19 situation this Wednesday during the next FTE APEX Webinar & Pitch session addressing concerns unique to airlines and aircraft. Panelists from Boeing, Japan Airlines and the Airline Caterers Association, along with the CEOs of Finnair and Spirit Airlines, will lend their expertise. The broadcast is FREE to attend for airports and airlines! Register now. 


Don't Miss Episode Four of The Weekly Wrap!

Have you been keeping up to date with The Weekly Wrap, APEX's new YouTube series? During episode four, hosts Maryann Simson and Seth Miller discuss the future of in-flight media from print magazines to programmatic advertising, and take a look at the most interesting news from the FTE APEX Post-COVID-19 Airport webinar. Watch it now. With sincere thanks to West Entertainment for its support.


> Quote of the Day

"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."

Frank Capra


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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