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August 20, 2020

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

 
 

Southwest Becomes Only US Carrier to Decline Government Loan

Wary of further investment downgrading, Southwest is reversing course on its decision to take a $2.8 billion loan from the US Treasury Department offered via the CARES Act. The company is already on S&P’s negative watch list, and the conditions of the government loan would have diluted shareholder value, making it more difficult for the airline to raise money via public debt markets in the future. The company has raised $13.2 billion this year in low-interest debt on the strength of its investment grade debt rating, and feels it has reduced its cash burn rate enough to remain solvent for at least two years. Southwest estimates that August revenue will be down 70% to 75% year-over-year, slightly better than its previous estimate of 70% to 80%.

Forbes | Related Southwest reports a slight rise in demand – Travel Weekly

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Poland’s Largest Charter Airline Orders Up to Four Boeing 737 MAX Jets

Boeing announced that it has received an order for two 737 MAX aircraft from Enter Air with options for two additional jets, marking the first MAX order of 2020. Grzegorz Polaniecki, general director of the Polish charter airline, said he was convinced the MAX would be “the best aircraft in the world for many years to come.” The airline owns 22 Next-Generation 737s, and if the new purchase agreement is fully exercised, its 737 MAX count will rise to 10. Boeing has also settled with Enter Air for losses borne as a result of the MAX grounding.

Breaking Travel News | Related Enter Air reaches agreement with Boeing over 737 MAX damages – The First News

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SITA Announces Most Extensive Biometric Deployment at PEK

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), the second-busiest facility in the world, is now outfitted with SITA Smart Path contactless technology. The process involved installing over 600 biometric checkpoints throughout the airport, including 250 lanes of automatic gates, 80 kiosks and 30 self-bag drop stations, which will process passengers from international flights. After enrolling into the facial recognition system during check-in, travelers can quickly make their way through bag drop, immigration, security and boarding. The system is also present in duty-free shops, speeding up the payment process. Previous trials at PEK showed the system could process over 400 passengers boarding an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes.

SITA | Related SITA steps up development of a self-sovereign identity for air travel – SITA

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Collins Unveils Suite of Touchless Lavatory Features

Having collaborated with airline partners, the Interiors division of Collins Aerospace is set to produce a range of solutions that render the aircraft lavatory more sanitary. These include splash guard-equipped toilets, new antimicrobial surface coatings, touchless mechanisms and more. Pierre Vignal, director of Engineering for the Structures and Integration Group for Interiors at Collins Aerospace, said that the products will be available next spring. The company will also put an emphasis on products that cater to the brand differentiation needs of airlines.

Collins Aerospace | Related Collins Aerospace Adds QR Code Functionality to Common-Use Airport Kiosks – APEX Media

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New Economy Sleeper Seat Coming in 2021?

Lseat is a new aircraft seat that offers a sleeping position while maintaining pitch between rows in economy class, allowing existing seating density to be maintained. When transitioning to sleep mode, the seat lowers itself, the cushion tilts downward and a leg and footrest extend below the seat in front. Yves Hendrickx, Lseat’s founder and CEO, said that an Lseat would cost travelers 10% more than the standard economy fare. Certification, which Hendrickx predicts could be completed as early as 2021, is in progress. A retrofit kit will be offered that allows existing seats to be converted to Lseat.

Aviation Week | Related Unpacking the Perks of Premium Economy – APEX Media

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NEC Leverages Red Hat OpenShift for Narita Biometrics

NEC has chosen Red Hat OpenShift software to form the backbone of its One ID biometric rollout at Narita International Airport. The solution requires travelers to submit a photo of their face at check-in, which the system uses for identification during security screening, baggage storage and boarding, negating the need to present a boarding pass and passport at these stages. Red Hat’s cloud-based solution can support usage spikes at peak travel times. Toshifumi Yoshizaki, senior vice-president, NEC Corporation, said that coupling the software with NEC infrastructure produces “an agile and highly scalable” solution. One ID will be rolled out at Narita’s terminals 1 and 2 in the near future.

Business Wire | Related NEC and SITA announce global aviation partnership agreement to deliver the future of digital identity at airports – SITA

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SIA Diversifies Revenue by Deploying Staff to Other Companies

Singapore Airlines’ customer service staff will soon have the option to lend their talents through speaking engagements, courses, workshops and other roles at external companies. The first program, which launches next month, will allow staff to become Patient Care Officers (PCO) at a general hospital in north Singapore. Following a 20-day training period, PCOs will support nurses in caregiving. In April, 60 SIA staff members supported care teams at the hospital. SIA is exploring further avenues of collaboration with the hospital, including lending its expertise in crew resource management.

Business Times | Related SIA cabin crew trainers to conduct course for patient care officers at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital – Straits Times

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

"Coming from an environment where content strategy is a mix of creativity, data and branding, I see the potential for a huge shift in IFE," says Amanda Walsh, former Director of Partnerships at Stellar Entertainment.

This week, we’re featuring Q&A profiles from past issues of #APEXExperienceMag.
 
 

> Tweet of the Day

How does it feel to fly after a long break brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic? What do the on-board safety measures feel like? We interviewed some of our passengers who flew recently.

Finnair @Finnair

 
 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

"I think a greater feeling of control and an increased level of communication with travel providers can do more than a hazmat suit to boost confidence."

Jaime Moreno, Mormedi
Read the article

 
 

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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