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July 22, 2020

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

 
 

Global Eagle Files for Chapter 11

Citing a drastic shrinking of demand for its services, Global Eagle filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today. In the filing, CFO Christian Mezger said the company "had been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic" as its airline and cruise line partners had ceased or severely reduced their operations. Secured lenders will start a bidding process for company assets, which are valued at over $630 million, and consenting first-lien creditors have agreed to inject new financing with the goal of eventually having the company emerge from bankruptcy protection. Global Eagle carries $1.08 billion in debt and will begin cutting costs and drawing down its revolving credit line to stay afloat.

Hollywood Reporter | Related Global Eagle Reaches Agreement on Definitive Asset Purchase Agreement with Substantial Majority of Senior Secured First-Lien Term Loan Investors – Global Eagle

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Qatar Seeking $5B in Damages Over Airspace Blockade

Qatar Airways Group launched international investment arbitrations against the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, seeking compensation for damages caused by an airspace blockade imposed by the four nations. Qatar argues that it has transported passengers and cargo from those countries, but since 2017 has not been permitted to operate in or fly over them. Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said the four nations are in “breach of civil aviation conventions and several binding agreements,” and three years of negotiations have yielded no results.  

Qatar | Related International Court of Justice Rules Blockade Of Qatar Airspace Illegal – View From The Wing

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[PHOTOS] Inside MEA’s New A321neo

Middle Eastern Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo. Business class consists of seven rows of slate grey Recaro CL5710 seats in a 2-2 configuration, with a remote-controlled IFE monitor attached to the right armrest. Economy class features seatback IFE touchscreens at all 132 seats. The seats are set up in a 3-3 configuration and sport a weave pattern that allows for greater wear and tear. The aircraft also features a modernized livery, with swashes of red and blue on the back-half of the body and a more simplified cedar tree image on the tail.

The Design Air | Related Middle East Airlines Selects Panasonic Avionics for A321 Family IFE and Connectivity – Panasonic Avionics

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Plusgrade’s Predictive Tech Allows Airline Customers to Pay to Block Seats

Seven airlines are expected to launch Plusgrade’s Dynamic Seat Blocker in the next month, including Royal Jordanian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Philippine Airlines and Etihad Airways. The option to block seats is presented to an airline customer in the lead up to a flight either via email, with push notifications or during check-in. “The pricing will be determined by Plusgrade’s algorithms, but the min and max thresholds … will be customized by the airline,” said Pramod Jain, Plusgrade’s, COO. The company’s machine-learning technology considers factors including passenger preferences and route to determine which airline customers are most likely to purchase ancillaries.

APEX Media | Related LATAM Sells Flight Certificates That Accrue Value Via Plusgrade Portal – APEX Media

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PAC Announces Second EX1 Customer in Two Weeks

Air Tanzania has outfitted two Airbus A220s with Panasonic Avionics’ eX1 IFE solution. The package includes in-flight Wi-Fi, HD seatback monitors and laptop and USB charging at every seat. Air Tanzania also makes use of Panasonic equipment in two of its Boeing 787 aircraft and two other Airbus A220s. Ladislaus Matindi, CEO and managing director of Air Tanzania, said the selection “brings together the right culture, values, and expertise to fulfill our goal of satisfying our customers—which is part of our vision.” Last week, Middle East Airlines announced it would use the eX1 system in nine A321neos.

Panasonic Avionics | Related Air Tanzania gets 2 Airbus A220 – Eturbonews

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Airlines Finding Ways to Cope With Low Revenues

The second quarter of this year was United Airlines’ worst-ever, with revenue down 87% year-over-year. CEO Scott Kirby said it could have been even worse had the company not acted quickly at the beginning of the crisis to cut its schedule, complete the largest debt financing deal in aviation history and slash expenses. Elsewhere, the Belgian government will provide a $335-million loan to rescue Brussels Airlines. Yesterday, Cathay Pacific worked with Airbus to delay delivery timetables for A350 and A321neo jets it was slated to begin receiving this year, and is in talks with Boeing to do the same. Finally, Qatar Airways is saving money by temporarily grounding its fleet of 10 A380-800s.  

Breaking Travel News | Related Cathay Pacific pushes back Airbus A350, A321neo deliveries – Executive Traveller

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SpiceJet Acquires Travenues, Strengthens E-Commerce

Looking to make its e-commerce platform more robust, SpiceJet acquired Travenues, a subsidiary of price comparison and booking app Ixigo. SpiceJet will absorb the majority of Travenues’ 15 employees and incubate the fledgling company, which it has partnered with since last year. Rajnish Kumar, co-founder and chief technology officer of Ixigo, is optimistic that the deal can enable the company to disrupt airline direct sales and airline commerce.

Phocuswire | Related IndiGo & SpiceJet Eye Wet Leasing A330s To Launch London Flights – Simple Flying

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

American Airlines' gorgeous TWA retro at the gate just before sunrise on a warm summer morning. Captured at YVR by @dmairplane (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!
 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Farewell, #Queenoftheskies✈️Today, the last 747 in our fleet, VH-OEJ departed Australia for the final time – adding a special display en roo-te to the US🦘#747farewell

Qantas @Qantas

 
 
 

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

“I think we will see infection prevention protocols added to daily airline cleaning sequences."

Elliott Kreitenberg, Dimer UVC Innovations
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Until tomorrow

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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 apex.aero 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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