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June 17, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


FAA Must Improve Human Factor Research, Says Senate

According to a bipartisan US Senate bill unveiled yesterday, the FAA falls short when it comes to consideration of human factors during the product certification and approval process. Human factors played a key role in both Boeing 737 MAX disasters: the company had misjudged how pilots would react in certain emergency scenarios, and the FAA did not have human-factors experts play a key role in the certification of the aircraft. The agency now plans to hire eight such experts. The Senate bill will require the FAA to establish a human factors center of excellence and authorize $10 million annually through 2030 to hire scientific and technical advisors “with expertise in new and emerging technologies.”  

Aviation Week | Related ­Boeing restarts production of the still-grounded 737 MAX amid coronavirus-caused financial distress – Seattle Times



Lufthansa Bailout in Jeopardy of Not Passing; JetBlue Layoffs

Heinz Hermann Thiele, Lufthansa’s largest single shareholder, said he was not satisfied with Germany’s proposed $10.1-billion bailout, which would give the government a 20% stake in the company, as well as two seats on its supervisory board. Lufthansa fears that low attendance at its upcoming extraordinary general meeting may not yield enough votes in favor of the aid package, which may lead to insolvency. Meanwhile, a JetBlue memo obtained by Business Insider notes the company will lay off up to 300 employees at smaller airports and outsource positions at those facilities. In an email to employees, United Airlines announced it would enhance its voluntary exit packages as not enough staff have signed onto them. Under the new deal, flight attendants would receive a $1,500 health credit – to pay for health care, including prescriptions – for every year worked, up to $45,000.

Financial Post | Related JetBlue Planning Layoffs and Outsourcing Positions at Smaller Airports – Travel Pulse



How the Airline Industry Survived SARS, 9/11 and More

COVID-19 may be the most devastating event to have happened in commercial aviation history but it is not the first. In the past two decades alone, the airline industry weathered the impact of SARS, 9/11, the 2008 global recession, avian flu, Ebola and more. With the coronavirus, economists expect a U-shaped return to air travel with a sharp comeback. Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, which has been campaigning its new hygiene initiatives, said on the airline’s first quarter earnings call this year, “Demand will be there when it’s safe to travel. When people feel confident… that’s when the recovery will take shape.”

APEX Media | Related APEX Experience Magazine Issue 10.3



Pangea Introduces COVID-19 Passport

Israel-based Pangea has developed a solution that enables governments to issue biometric smart cards, which prove the holder is virus-free. The card includes a photo, digital signature, chip and hologram, and can be securely linked to a medical database. COVID-19 tests would be conducted during a predetermined period of time prior to a flight. Pangea plans to turn the smart card into a medical passport that includes all of the holder’s relevant information, including vaccinations.

Aviation Pros | Related The Weekly Wrap: Health Passports, Antimicrobial Surfaces & Mask Awareness Signage – APEX Media



Long Journeys Take a Back Seat to Short-Haul During Early Stages of Recovery

According to IATA’s analysis of forward bookings, the demand for long-haul flying is close to zero and there is measurable pessimism toward the prospect: just 45% of travelers are willing to return to airports within two months of travel restrictions lifting. “Forward bookings into the autumn period are down 82% on normal levels,” said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. However, short-haul flying is beginning to resume. Norwegian announced plans to reintroduce twelve aircraft into service next month on routes across Europe. Collins Aerospace developed a HEPA filter that can be retrofitted into short-haul Dash 8 turboprop aircraft, citing increased industry demand. Five airlines have already ordered the product.

Business Traveller | Related Collins Aerospace offers HEPA filter option for DASH 8 fleet – PAXEX.AERO



Tactility Takes Center Stage in Designworks’ Projects

Holger Hampf, president of Designworks, a BMW Group company, says developing a tactile design language is as important as honing a visual one. Lately, he’s had his eye on the sustainably engineered textiles of Byborre, which were used in BMW’s i Interaction Ease autonomous-mobility concept. Textiles like these have the added benefit of being able to embed ergonomic features and technologies, making them promising for aviation, Hampf says. When it comes to Designworks’ recent airline projects, Hampf explains how texture, warmth and tactility were used in the interiors of Taiwanese upstart Starlux Airlines, which advertises low fares, an economy-dominant cabin and a luxury cabin experience nonetheless. This article is part of a series that focuses on 10 of the aviation industry’s top design firms. It was first published in the April/May issue of APEX Experience magazine.

APEX Media | Related It Takes Ten – APEX Media



Accelya Buys Farelogix With Sabre Out of the Picture

Barcelona-based Accelya, which provides financial, commercial and analytics tools to more than 200 airlines, has acquired Farelogix for an undisclosed price. The deal comes after Sabre’s attempt to take over the company was blocked by authorities over antitrust issues. Accelya wants to build “an order accounting module” that simplifies the complexity of tax reconciliation for individual products and services. It will use Farelogix’s technology to reinvent its revenue management system by incorporating dynamic pricing and ancillary bundling. Accelya and Farelogix are not competitors and offer platform agnostic services, so they don’t expect to encounter roadblocks with regulators.

Skift | Related U.K. regulator blocks Sabre acquisition of Farelogix – Phocuswire





“Where to From Here?” written by APEX Media deputy editor @sirop.deval looks at what will and won’t change about the passenger experience of the future.

This week, we're featuring content from the first-ever digital-only issue of #APEXExperienceMag.

> Tweet of the Day

After more than three months, we are bringing back our parked aircraft from the airfield Dübendorf to Zurich-Kloten. Grüezi @zrh_airport ! 👋❤️

Swiss Intl Air Lines @FlySWISS


Association News

Calling All Startups! Join the Next FTE Virtual Pitch Event

The aviation industry is searching for innovative solutions to overcome challenges brought on by COVID-19. FTE APEX's Virtual Startup Pitch Events are an opportunity to share your product with the members of the FTE Innovation & Startup Hub, which includes 14 global airlines and airports and 321 startups. The first one will take place on 24 June, so act fast if you would like to be involved!


> Quote of the Day

“The main challenge facing airlines today is the same one we faced after September 11: Our customers are scared.”

Max Hirsh, University of Hong Kong
Read the article


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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