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June 24, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


How COVID-19 is Affecting Carriers' A380 Plans

Airlines are taking very different paths with their A380 fleets following the outbreak of COVID-19. Emirates has confirmed that the aircraft will be taking off again on July 15 to operate flights to London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Having announced plans to retire its A380 fleet back in May, Air France is set to embark on a farewell flight for the superjumbo this Friday, June 26. Finally, Lufthansa is retiring half of its 14 A380s, but will keep the other half grounded until 2022, when they will decide if there’s still a market for the type at its secondary Munich base. “In Frankfurt, the chance that we will again operate any A380 is close to zero. That's all but decided,” said Klaus Froese, CEO of Lufthansa’s Frankfurt base.

Business Traveller | Related Au revoir: Air France operates its final A380 flight Friday – TPG UK



Inmarsat Brings Bandwidth to Individual Apps On Board

Inmarsat Aviation is working with Boeing to create a “smart pipe” for the Boeing 777X that allows bandwidth delivered through its GX Aviation and SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) solutions to be allocated to individual third-party applications. By giving multiple applications a unique service level agreement and guaranteed performance levels, they will each be able to work effectively at the same time. Philip Balaam, Inmarsat Aviation’s president, explained, “This enables airlines to unlock important operational benefits such as predictive maintenance, route optimization, modernized air traffic management and real-time crew communications, while also offering enhanced passenger entertainment, including high-speed internet and live television.” 

Inmarsat Aviation | Related FlightPlan: Aviation Leaders Debate the Feasibility of Free In-Flight Wi-Fi – APEX Media



LAX Tests Thermal Imaging Cameras

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is using thermal imaging cameras to test whether arriving and departing passengers have a fever, as part of its new Terminal Wellness Pilot Program in partnership with Carlyle Airport Group. If a participant does have an elevated body temperature, a medical professional will approach and request a secondary screening using a handheld thermometer. Departing guests with a fever will be advised not to travel, while arriving passengers with a fever may be referred to CDC staff on site. Participation in the program is voluntary, and travelers who do not wish to participate can use a different pathway.

Los Angeles World Airports | Related LAX Terminal Wellness Pilot - Testing Thermal Imaging Cameras to Help You Travel Safely at LAX – YouTube



Leisure Airlines, Swissport Make Staffing Cuts

Lufthansa Group is to close the German arm of SunExpress in a move that will result in 1,200 job losses. The airline, which is a joint venture between Lufthansa Group and Turkish Airlines, will place its focus on the Turkish tourism market, which it believes has growth potential. Another leisure airline, UK-based Jet2, is also planning cuts. The British Airline Pilots’ Association has announced that 102 of the airline’s pilots face redundancy, some of whom have only just moved there following the collapse of Thomas Cook. Ground handling operator Swissport, which has a presence at airports across the UK, is considering cutting up to 4,556 jobs – half of its workforce ­– as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Swissport CEO Jason Holt told staff, “There is no escaping the fact that the industry is now smaller than it was, and it will remain so for some time to come.”

Breaking Travel News | Related Airports giant Swissport set to halve its UK workforce – BBC News



Toronto Pearson Introduces COVID-19 Measures for Travelers and Staff

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is ensuring Toronto Pearson maintains the highest standards of cleaning and hygiene with its new “Healthy Airport” commitment, which includes touchless check-in, a disinfection corridor for airport workers, facility monitoring for congestion, autonomous floor cleaning machines and air quality monitors. GTAA is also working with Wipro to conduct a pilot of wearable tracing and physical distancing technology for airport workers, and will use data analytics company BlueDot’s insights platform to monitor and manage the risks presented by COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

Newswire | Related Where to From Here? What Will and Won’t Change About Air Travel After the Pandemic – APEX Media



How Acumen Makes Its Mark in the Congested Patent Space

Acumen holds more than 20 aviation patents – one is the basis of United Airlines’ Polaris business-class seat and Safran’s Optima, now on Air France’s Airbus A350s. The design consultancy’s most recently granted filing, dated December 10, 2019, proposes a seating arrangement for passengers with disabilities. The company has also patented, alongside ST Engineering, the world’s first expanding aircraft lavatory for passengers with reduced mobility. 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 New Aircraft Lavatory Concept Is Accessible to Passengers in Wheelchairs – APEX Media



Japan and European Commission Sign New Aviation Safety Agreement

A bilateral civil aviation safety agreement (BASA) between Japan and the European Commission will see the introduction of common rules reduce the time it takes for European manufacturers to achieve approvals for the export of aeronautical products to Japan. Both parties will now continue with internal procedures to conclude the agreement. The BASA marks a step forward in European Commission's Aviation Strategy for Europe, which aims to grow the European aviation business, as well as strengthen transport connectivity in line with the EU's Connecting Europe and Asia Strategy.

European Commission | Related Now On Display: Japan’s Air Force One Boeing 747 Interior – Forbes





Blue sky, blue sea. Captured by @thetwindoctors_.

June 20 marked summer solstice, so this week we're featuring only the most sunny #APEXPOTDs.

> Tweet of the Day

Today, I’ve published my second Administrator’s Intent to carry out objectives outlined in @TSA’s strategic plan through FY22. This phase focuses on insider risk, cybersecurity, surface transportation, checkpoint strategy, policy development, & more.

David P. Pekoske @TSA_Pekoske


Association News

Read the First Digital-Only Issue of APEX Experience Magazine

“What We’re Made Of,” the cover title of the latest issue of APEX Experience, is a statement about the airline industry's resilience and also the name of our Q&A series that offers a glimpse into how individuals are coping with the challenges brought on by COVID-19. This issue also recalls the disruptions the airline industry has weathered in recent history – SARS, 9/11, economic recession, Y2K – and turns to China to see what its recent resurgence in domestic flights may mean for the rest of us.


> Quote of the Day

“When people feel confident… that’s when the recovery will take shape.”

Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines
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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