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July 9, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


United Warns One-Third of Staff Face Layoffs, US Airlines Stop HK Flights

In a memo sent to staff today, United Airlines announced that 36,000 workers were at risk of involuntary furlough come October 1, the day the CARES Act contingencies that protect workers no longer apply. The majority of employees at risk are flight attendants, airport customer service staff and gate agents. Those that are let go may be called back to work once travel demand resumes. Meanwhile United and American Airlines are suspending service to Hong Kong in the face of new mandatory testing rules for airline crew members.

Travel Pulse | Related American, United cancel Hong Kong flights amid Covid-19 testing requirement for aircrew – Business Traveller



Digital Initiatives by Global Airline Alliances and Etihad Boost Traveler Confidence

Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance, which collectively represent over 50% of the world’s air traffic, have joined forces to produce a one-minute animated video describing new procedures and protective measures travelers can expect during their journey. “We have seen an incredible level of cooperation within the entire aviation community to implement multiple layers of protection around health and hygiene,” commented Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam’s CEO. Meanwhile, Etihad Airways has partnered with Sitata, a Canadian travel risk management company, to launch an interactive map on its website that outlines information that can impact travel arrangements across the carrier’s network.  

Aviation 24 | Related Etihad Airways partners with Sitata to launch interactive map with COVID-19 information – Etihad



Crew Module of ICAO Aviation Recovery Guidelines Being Tested

The ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce guidelines that refer to crew safety will be validated and tested during trials that will involve the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, Changi Airport, Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Singapore Airlines. The guidelines call for air crew to remain in crew accommodations at all times during layovers, and outline social distancing and hygiene measures. Data will be collected by the participating parties for all phases of the flights and will be analyzed and reviewed to strengthen the guidelines where necessary.

Future Travel Experience | Related Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis – ICAO



Touchless Tech Primed for a Resurgence?

In 2014, Neutral Digital unveiled a series of gadgets at APEX EXPO that would allow passengers to navigate the in-flight entertainment system without physically touching it. What was a fun, novel idea at the time is now poised to catch on in a new way thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak. Adam Randall, co-founder and COO of Neutral Digital, says that the current crisis offers “an opportunity to redefine customer engagement” in the aircraft cabin and across the broader passenger journey. From seat selection to duty-free shopping, the travel industry is looking to immersive content that can safely deliver a memorable experience.

APEX Media | Related Cathay Pacific A350 VR – Neutral Digital



Future Aircraft Cabins Could Be Filled With Algae-Based Amenities

Each year, PriestmanGoode challenges students enrolled in the MA Textiles course at London’s Royal College of Art to consider an industry brief, with the winner securing an internship at the studio. This year’s brief was to develop a sustainable new luxury aesthetic for transport environments in 2030, and winner Yanjie Zhang responded by showcasing the versatility of algae as a raw material for cabin amenities, tableware and other fixtures. Yanjie transformed a combination of sodium alginate and alginate fibre into threads for weaving a variety of products including an ultra-absorbent tissue, a flexible seatback storage pocket and soft-touch blanket.

APEX Media | Related Moving Past Plastic: PriestmanGoode Believes a Sustainable Future is a Varied One – APEX Media



Boom Supersonic Prototype Will Fly in 2021

Boom Supersonic has announced that a prototype of its supersonic commercial jet, Overture, will be revealed on October 7. The XB-1 prototype, which measures one-third of the scale, should begin test flights by next year. This stage will demonstrate the technologies that are key to supersonic flying, including advanced carbon fiber composite construction and computer-optimized high-efficiency aerodynamics. The company plans for Overture to begin revenue service in 2030. Flying at speeds exceeding Mach 2, a trip from New York to London would take just over three hours.  

CNN | Related Boom Supersonic Commits to Carbon-Neutral Aircraft Program – APEX Media



Istanbul Airport’s Numerous Video Walls to Operate in Sync

When the Istanbul Airport expansion project is fully complete in 2025, it could serve as many as 200 million travelers at once. Mediaport Marketing, the airport’s digital advertising operator, is prioritizing synchronization of its vertical video walls and standalone displays to provide a seamless experience. Advertising and informational content will be displayed simultaneously across the facility’s 726 Samsung displays, powered by Navori software that keeps images synchronized down to one-twentieth of a second. “As the main terminal building occupies a 15,000,000 square-foot area alone, the early phases of the rollout have offered a reliable proving ground for [Mediaport’s] exacting network requirements,” said Jerome Moeri, CEO, Navori Labs.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Istanbul Airport CEO: “Big Data, biometrics and IoT allow for more collaboration and an open exchange of data between stakeholders” – Future Travel Experience





An Air Canada 787-9 getting towed to its gate. Captured at Vancouver International Airport.

This week, we're highlighting the work of Jimmy Wu, which was featured in the latest issue of #APEXExperienceMag. Read it here.

> Tweet of the Day

📢 GREAT NEWS: @airfrance joined the SkyBreathe community! 👏👏 We are honored to help them reduce their carbon emissions and improve fuel savings! 🌎 #aviation #airline #airtravel #greenaviation #climatechange

OpenAirlines @OpenAirlines


Association News

What’s Coming Up In Tomorrow’s APEX Weekly Wrap Episode?

In tomorrow’s episode of The Weekly Wrap, hosts Seth Miller and Maryann Simson find out more about LAV4ALL, FACC’s accessible lavatory retrofit solution, from the company’s VP Aftermarket Services, Christian Mundigler. The duo also discusses how three airline alliances are working together to boost traveler confidence. Finally, they break down a host of in-flight connectivity news from companies including Gilat, Gogo, OneWeb and Viasat. Subscribe to the APEX YouTube channel or watch previous episodes.


Make Your Voice Heard: Take the APEX/IFSA Member Survey

With this year's EXPO cancelled, APEX and IFSA are working through a number of activities, including official written notifications, hotel and vendor releases, and legal review. How can you help? Take our quick airline or supplier survey as soon as possible to help us determine how best to serve your needs moving forward!


> Quote of the Day

"We try to bring ingenuity by rethinking baseline features."

Denis Altmann, Recaro Aircraft Seating
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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