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August 3, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Complimentary Apple TV+ Takes Flight on American Airlines

Passengers can get a free taste of Apple’s subscription streaming service on their next American Airlines flight equipped with internet access. The airline is making Apple TV+ available in flight for free and waiving the internet access fee. Apple’s content is accessible via the airline’s app or a web browser. Seatback IFE will be preloaded with a selection of Apple TV+ content. The airline plans on rotating the selection of Apple TV+ films and shows every month.

The Points Guy | Related American Airlines becomes first carrier to offer free Apple Music access inflight – Future Travel Experience



Virgin Galactic Reveals Design of Supersonic Passenger Jet

Virgin Galactic today unveiled preliminary renderings of its supersonic jet, which would have capacity for 9 to 19 passengers. The renderings show delta wings and the jet will be capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 3, at an altitude of 60,000 feet. Rolls-Royce, which built turbojet engines for the discontinued Concorde jet, signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Virgin Galactic to provide the engine. No definitive timeline has yet been set for the project. Boom Supersonic announced last week that Rolls-Royce will provide the engine for its Overture passenger jet.

Virgin Galactic | Related Boom Supersonic and Rolls-Royce Agree on New Collaboration for Supersonic Overture Engine Program Design – Boom Supersonic



White House Opposes Airline Face Mask Mandate

A group of 18 US House Democrats last Thursday introduced legislation that mandates face coverings on airplanes and in airports. If passed, The Healthy Flights Act would require airlines to provide masks and personal protective equipment to all customer-facing crewmembers and would also introduce a civil penalty for passengers who refuse to wear a face covering. The White House called the bill “overly restrictive” and said “such decisions should be left to states, local governments, transportation systems, and public health leaders.” Aviation industry leaders are eager for a federal requirement for passengers to wear masks.

Reuters | Related New Legislation Requiring Passengers to Wear Masks on Airplanes and in Airports – US House of Representatives



United Will Resume 25+ Routes Next Month; More Job Cuts At LATAM

United Airlines is planning to expand its service next month with flights to Asia, India, Australia, Israel, Latin America and other locations. The airline intends to fly 37% of its overall schedule in September as compared to the same period last year. Domestically, United intends to fly 40% of its schedule. The goal is to cater to the current demand for leisure travel. Meanwhile, LATAM announced it failed to strike a deal with unions on reducing pay, and would resort to laying off pilots and flight attendants as a result. A third of the airline’s total crew is expected to be affected.

United Airlines | Related LATAM airline says it will lay off 2,700 crew – Buenos Aires Times



MEA Mandates COVID-19 Testing for Travel to Lebanon, Ireland May Follow

Travelers bound for Lebanon on a Middle East Airlines flight are now required to conduct a PCR test before departure. Upon arrival at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport they must undergo another test paid for by MEA, the results of which will be available after 48 hours. Ireland’s Minister of State for International and Road Transport and Logistics is considering implementing similar protocols. The country announced it would be introducing random testing at its airports in response to the rise in cases in other countries.

Arabian Aerospace | Related IRELAND TO INTRODUCE COVID-19 TESTING AT AIRPORTS – Airways Mag



Astronics Reports Net Loss Amid Downsizing Efforts

In its Q2 financial report, Astronics outlined $123 million in revenue and a net loss of $23 million, which includes a $12.6 million write-down of goodwill and $4.9 million in restructuring-related severance charges. “The second quarter saw the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the commercial aircraft industry, which is the market in which we typically generate two-thirds of our revenue,” said president and CEO Peter J. Gundermann. The company noted that the airline aftermarket did not weaken as much as expected. It predicts total revenue for 2020 could be 35% lower than 2019. Astronics addressed market conditions last quarter by downsizing and reducing operating costs.

Astronics | Related Amadeus reports a loss of €89M, kicks off additional €250M cost-reduction plan – Phocuswire



KIX Automates Gates for Fast Travel

Japan’s Kansai International Airport installed electronic pre-security gates supplied by Vision-Box last week. The airport now features five banks of 12 e-gates in Terminal 1, where staff are no longer required to manually scan traveler boarding passes. Vision-Box CEO Miguel Leitmann said the KIX contract represents “another positive step forward” in increasing the company’s presence in Japan.

Airport World | Related E-gates installed at international departures in KIX – Kansai Airports





Could the added weight of an in-flight connectivity system reduce fuel burn in the long run?

This week, we’re featuring @jorgedelapaz's stunning creations for #APEXExperienceMag.

> Tweet of the Day

British Airways staff and #AvGeeks hunt for B747 souvenirs. @BBCNews

Luis Eduardo Vanegas P. @luisevanegas


Association News

[VIDEO] APEX and FTE Embraced the Switch to a Virtual Expo, Says APEX/IFSA CEO

Earlier this month, APEX and FTE announced that they would be jointly hosting a virtual event on December 8 and 9, to replace the in-person events usually held during the second half of the year. “It is really exciting because, historically, associations have been viewed as perhaps slow to change,” APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader told PAX International. “APEX and IFSA and our incredible FTE team members really are embracing this change wholeheartedly.” Learn more about the event and register now.


> Quote of the Day

"Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Latin Americans were just getting the opportunity to fly at low cost."

Clyde Hutchinson, Viva Air Labs
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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