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July 15, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Cuomo Adds Four States to New York Travel Advisory; NYC Airports Going Touchless

Yesterday, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo announced that the states of Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin have been added to New York’s travel advisory, while Delaware was removed. In total, travelers from 22 states are required to quarantine for 14 days when arriving in New York. JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports are all undergoing major renovations with a new prioritization of contactless technology integration. Larger terminals will make physical distancing easier, while self-serve baggage and check-in kiosks, touch-free restrooms and contactless payment will become the norm. Newark is testing sanitized floor mats while LGA outfitted antimicrobial buttons for its elevators.

Simple Flying | Related How New York’s Airports Are Going Touchless Amid COVID-19 – CN Traveler



Austria Bans Balkan Countries, Ryanair Cuts Flights in Response to Irish Quarantine

Austria expanded its country ban, adding Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia to the list while removing the Lombardy region of northern Italy. The new decree forces Austrian Airlines and Wizz Air, which offer many connecting flights from these countries, to quickly pivot. Meanwhile, Ryanair announced it would cut around 1,000 flights between Ireland and the UK in August and September due to a local quarantine measure introduced last week that affects all travelers arriving in Ireland from the EU. The airline questioned the logic behind the restrictions, which affect travelers from countries with infection rates lower than those in Ireland.  

Airways Magazine | Related Ryanair cuts 1,000 Irish flights in August and September – Business Traveller



Tripartite Collaboration Yields Infection-Reducing Seating Concept

Tapis, SIMONA Boltaron and Molon Labe Seating collaborated on an economy-class seat that leverages each company’s area of expertise to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the cabin. Tapis contributed an antimicrobial fabric that includes silver ion technology to cover the seatback, seat pan, armrests and headrest. The seat features a headrest that can be unfolded to act as a physical barrier between passengers. A vent is also integrated into the headrest that would distribute fresh cabin air directly in front of the passenger’s face. SIMONA Boltaron provided thermoplastic materials that can withstand frequent cleaning, UV-C disinfection and electrostatic fogging. Molon Labe provided prototyping and 3-D modeling services. The companies plan to complete the design by early 2021.

Inflight Online | Related New Boltaron product passes UV-C test by GermFalcon – Runway Girl Network



Alaska Airlines Will Join Oneworld Six Months Ahead of Schedule

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden confirmed that the company expects to join Oneworld by the end of this year. Once the carrier is part of the alliance, frequent flyers of other member airlines will have access to Alaska lounges, increased baggage allowance, priority check-in and other perks. Members of Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan may also claim Oneworld Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald status. A Oneworld spokeswoman said an update will be provided in the coming weeks.

Executive Traveller | Related Fast Track: Alaska Airlines Will Join Oneworld Alliance In 2020 – One Mile At A Time



Air Europa Resumes Flights With Simplified Wi-Fi Pricing

Air Europa is ditching data caps in its new in-flight Wi-Fi pricing structure. Passengers will be offered three options: Chat, Chat and Surf, and Chat and Surf Plus. The new plans range from €3 to €12 on European routes and from €5 to €30 for intercontinental service. The service is offered across the airline’s fleet of Dreamliner and Airbus A330 aircraft, as well as the new Boeing 737-800 aircraft for short-and medium-haul routes. The service is powered by Panasonic Avionics‘ ku-band eXConnect solution.

Paxex.Aero | Related Air Europa Resumes Athens-Madrid Direct Route Operations – GTP



Results Are in From FlightPlan Survey

The results of an industry poll conducted as part of FlightPlan: Charting a Course into the Future, an online broadcast hosted by Inmarsat and APEX, reveal that 60% of respondents expect the recovery of the aviation industry to take between 18 months and three years. The majority of industry professionals predicted domestic, low-cost and point-to-point travel will recover faster than international travel. Just 7% of respondents believed governments have done enough to support the aviation industry. “The results show a strong desire to accelerate recovery, an optimistic outlook for investment in passenger experience and sustainability initiatives, and a commitment to rebuild an industry fit for the future,” said Dominic Walters, vice-president of Inmarsat Aviation.  




Gategroup Digital Retail Solution Finds New Relevance Amid Pandemic

Gategroup reports that demand is rising for its ePax application, a passenger-facing digital retail solution that works in online and offline cabin environments. The service removes the need for a printed menu and retail catalogue on board, and also accepts digital payments. Central to the app is a social prediction capability provided by gategroup’s partner, Black Swan Data, that helps forecast consumer preferences and traveler demands based on passenger data. The companies have been collaborating on airline retailing services since 2018.

Gategroup | Related gategroup and Black Swan announce an alliance to transform airline retail services – gategroup





“With the success of Nintendo Switch and the rise of mobile gaming, indie games have gained a larger spotlight ... I would love to see this trend take off in flight.” — Sarah Eales, Service Product Manager of Inflight Games, Panasonic Avionics

This week, we're featuring Q&A profiles from past issues of #APEXExperienceMag. Read Sarah's Q&A here.

> Tweet of the Day

#Maldives 🇲🇻 opens it's borders with the arrival of the First scheduled commercial flight operated by @qatarairways 🙂🇶🇦✈️ #HappyToseeYouAgain #RediscoverMaldives

VelanaAirport @VelanaAirport


Association News

APEX Board of Director Nominations Are Open

APEX is looking for new members on its Board of Directors to help uphold and advance the standard of the association. Nominations are due July 31; submit yours today. A slate of candidates will be determined by the APEX Nominations Committee following discussions with each nominee. The election ballot will be distributed in August/September 2020.


> Quote of the Day

"Audio solutions are the perfect antidote to screen time. They give children a breather and a chance to use their imagination."

Philippa Starns, Spafax
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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