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June 29, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Boeing Gets Green Light for 737 MAX Tests

The Boeing 737 MAX is progressing towards recertification after the FAA cleared it for testing on Sunday. Authorities did not outline a specific timeline for the aircraft’s ungrounding. Test flights, which are conducted by FAA pilots, will take several days to complete, with the goal of putting the jet’s automated flight control system through its paces via simulated emergency procedures and a wide array of manoeuvres. In a letter to Congress, the FAA made it clear that other processes such as minimum pilot training requirements need to be reevaluated before a return to service.

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



Delta Continues Seat Blocking While Others Drop the Measure

Delta Air Lines revealed that it would continue to block middle seats and limit capacity until September 30 in an effort to offer “the highest standards in safety and cleanliness.” But last month, IATA deemed it safe for airlines to return to maximum capacity and encouraged implementing a multi-layered safety strategy that begins at the airport. American Airlines will stop blocking seats beginning July 1, but will allow customers who wish to move to a more open flight to do so for free. Air Canada and WestJet will also begin filling planes to capacity on July 1. In a recent meeting between airline executives and Vice-President Mike Pence, the Trump administration would not commit to mandating and performing temperature checks for all air travelers.

Travel Pulse | Related Airline Industry Tangles With Trump Administration Over Temperature Checks – Skift



Airlines Use Google Search Data to Plan Routes During Recovery

Google’s popularity as a travel search engine allows airlines to harness its data on consumer intent via the Google Flights Reporting Center. Now, Google is offering a new tool called Demand Explorer that provides a market-wide view of consumer intent based on general flight searches, and airlines like Air France and Lufthansa are adding it to their arsenal of market research tools. “Understanding demand across the globe at route-level allows us to make informed decisions about which routes we will restart first,” said Maximilian Vietmeier, manager of Online Strategy at Lufthansa Group. Julien Mallard, e-acquisition director at Air France, added that it allows the company’s revenue management, sales and network planning divisions to anticipate market recovery.

Skift | Related JFK Airport launches Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode at T4 – Airport Technology



Airbus Achieves Autonomous Taxiing, Take-Off and Landing

Airbus achieved autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing (ATTOL) of a commercial aircraft. The accomplishment was two years in the making: Airbus completed over 500 test flights to fine-tune the image recognition technology on board the A350-1000 test aircraft. The company is now evaluating how machine learning and automation can enhance future aircraft operations and improve safety by allowing pilots to focus more on strategic decision-making.

Airbus | Related Is autonomy the future of aerial mobility? – Airbus



Comac Celebrates Triple ARJ21 Delivery at PVG

Yesterday, Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac celebrated the simultaneous delivery of its ARJ21-700 jets to three airlines: Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines’ subsidiary One Two Three Airlines. The last of these airlines was purposefully conceived to operate this aircraft, a regional jet that can seat between 78 and 90 passengers. China reported an estimated 2.68 million flights were operated by domestic airlines, with an average load factor of 69%, during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival that ended Saturday.

International Flight Network | Related Chinese People Make over 78m Trips During Dragon Boat Festival Holiday – China Aviation Daily



Qatar’s A321neos Will Feature Lie-Flat Seats in Business Class

Qatar is in the process of replacing its fleet of Airbus A320s with A321neos, and CEO Akbar Al Baker revealed some details about the business-class cabin. Every seat will have aisle access, convert into a lie-flat bed and offer privacy, but will not feature the sliding doors that are found in the airline’s Qsuite business class. The seat will not be designed from the ground up but will be heavily customized in terms of fit and finish. The first of the 50 new aircraft on order were scheduled to be delivered this year, but the date was pushed to 2022 due to the current crisis.

Executive Traveller | Related 40 Success Stories: When Qatar Airways Raised the Bar For Business-Class Seating With Qsuite – APEX Media



Diehl Aviation Launches Cabin Confidence Concept

Diehl Aviation’s new product innovation initiative, dubbed Cabin Confidence Concept, was built to address the operational challenges that airlines are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to the health concerns of travelers. Its areas of expertise are threefold: Diehl’s portfolio can address air circulation optimization and purification, touchless cabin and lavatory features and UV-C-based disinfection of surfaces and water. The company is working on specific solutions that will be brought to market as soon as possible.

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





Twenty years ago, the Y2K bug also had the aviation world on edge. “Crisis Averted” looks at the preparedness initiatives and abundance of caution exercised by the airline industry in the lead-up to January 1, 2000.

This week, we're featuring throwbacks from past issues of #APEXExperienceMag. Read the latest issue here.

> Tweet of the Day

Thanks @BBCWorld @LVaughanJones for the live interview on #COVID19 this weekend with #UK #international #airline #flights and #travel on the horizon. We at @theAPEXassoc / @IFSAOnBoard look forward to air travelers being able to fly with even more safety, speed, and peace of mind!

Dr. Joe Leader @joepleader


Association News

APEX/IFSA CEO Announces Cancellation of In-Person EXPO in San Diego

The San Diego Convention Center has notified APEX/IFSA that it will not be able to host this year's EXPO. We are sharing the news immediately, though we still have many questions ourselves. APEX and IFSA are working through a number of activities, including official written notifications, hotel and vendor releases, and legal review. Please take our airline or supplier survey as soon as possible to help us determine how best to serve your needs moving forward.


> Quote of the Day

“Cleanliness will emerge as an important criterion when choosing an airline.”

Akira Mitsumasu, Japan Airlines
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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