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August 21, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Op-Ed: Industry Expert Calls for Unified Pandemic Response Among Airlines

In this installment of Expert Opinions, APEX Media's Op-Ed series, Blake Emery, formerly of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, surveys the state of aviation in the wake of the pandemic crisis and offers a suggestion on how airlines, as a collective, can claw their way back to viability: Be consistent. "Inconsistency causes the industry to lose credibility in the eyes of the flying public ... When airlines communicate their COVID-19 cleaning policies or the way air is being circulated and filtered in their aircraft, they should not be suggesting that their fleet is cleaner than the competition. Such misplaced attempts at differentiation will ultimately do more harm than good," Emery says.

APEX Media | Related Op-Ed: Cultivating Fear Isn’t the Way Forward, Says Founder and CEO of Mormedi – APEX Media



VuLiv’s Made-in-India IFE Solution Cuts Weight and Costs

Manoj Gupta, founder and CEO at VuLiv, is looking to revolutionize the IFE space with his company’s smartphone-based router/media hub hybrid. The home-grown solution, called VuScreen, is currently powering SpiceJet’s revamped IFE system and contributing to the airline’s goal of being more self-reliant. VuLiv also supplies the content, which goes beyond movies and TV shows, through partnerships with content production companies like Eros International. Travelers are able to book hotels and cars pre-flight and shop for products during the flight, as well as request assistance from flight crew, all from their smartphones. The solution costs just 1% of what SpiceJet was paying its previous IFE provider.

APEX Media | Related SpiceJet launches new in-flight entertainment system; check how to download it – Zee News



SES’ Four New MEO Satellites will be Launched by SpaceX

SES has procured four new O3b mPOWER satellites for its next-generation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) communications system. These, along with the initial seven satellites obtained, will be launched into space from Cape Canaveral using four SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. Each satellite is built by Boeing and can deliver connectivity services ranging from 50 Mbps to multiple gigabits per second. The constellation, slated to launch next year, is an evolution of the company’s current O3b cluster of 20 satellites that provide service to 50 countries. “O3b mPOWER is the cornerstone of our multi-orbit, cloud-enabled, high-performance network that will serve our enterprise, mobility and government customers into the next decade,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES.

SES | Related Half Year 2020 Results – SES



American Airlines to Drop 15 Destinations After CARES Funds Expire

The CARES Act relief package allowed airlines to continue serving lower-traffic destinations, but American Airlines announced that it would cut several of these from its network after the funding expires. As of October 7, the airline will cease operations to 15 airports across 13 states for at least a month. In many cases, American is the only airline providing year-round service at the airport. The company noted that the routes may be reinstated should the US government extend its subsidy of airline payroll.

Paxex.Aero | Related Southwest Aims To Keep Costs Lower Than Competitors By Saying No To More Federal Debt – Forbes



Rolls-Royce Invests in Reaction Engines Again, Eyes Heat Management Tech for Hypersonic Flying

Building on a two-year relationship with Reaction Engines, Rolls-Royce announced it would deepen its partnership with the company as it explores opportunities in supersonic and hypersonic aviation. Reaction is developing a hybrid rocket propulsion system built around a new air cooling technology which has been proven to work in the 1,832°F air produced at speeds of Mach 5. “We will also explore the use of Reaction Engines’ technology within our aerospace gas turbines and its potential application in future hybrid-electric propulsion systems,” said Mark Thompson, director of Global Strategy & Business Development, Rolls-Royce.

Flight Global | Related Reaction Engines and Rolls-Royce announce new strategic partnership agreement – Rolls-Royce



ACA’s Air Ionization and Purification System Distributed by Satair

Satair signed a commercial agreement to distribute Aviation Clean Air’s (ACA) aircraft ionization system. The patented technology deactivates airborne pathogens, viruses and bacteria while also tackling volatile organic compounds and odors. Howard Hackney, ACA’s managing director, said that the device neutralizes COVID-19 without creating ozone, meaning there are no health risks to humans. According to Matt Jessee, head of Business Development, Global Distribution, Satair, the product has been used for years in the military and other sectors. He said his company is proud to deploy the product in commercial aviation and help the industry recover.

Satair | Related ACA/IAE Keep Pace with Demand for Aircraft Interior Decontamination Unit – Aviation Pros



Lufthansa Group Issues $2.7B In Refunds This Year

Lufthansa Group announced it has paid out around 92% of refunds from the first half of 2020. In total, the group’s airlines gave over $2.7 billion in refunds to nearly 5.4 million customers. To increase its reimbursement capacity, the company adapted its processes and called numerous employees from other departments to work full-time on issuing refunds.

Lufthansa Group | Related Airline refunds: 'We're still waiting after five months' – BBC





"How do you implement startup mantras like “Fail fast, fail often” when safety is of utmost importance to airlines?" asks Gleb Tritus, managing director at Lufthansa Innovation Hub.

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

> Tweet of the Day

In our latest case study, we reveal how we helped a European airline optimize their WiFi package. Antenna with barsWhite heavy check mark We used a smart, analytics-based approach to find the best possible service combination. Revenue has been boosted by 30%!

Panasonic Avionics @PanasonicAero


Association News

Don’t Miss the Next APEX Weekly Wrap, Coming Monday!

Tune in for the next episode of the APEX Weekly Wrap, landing on Monday, in which APEX Media Director Maryann Simson will walk viewers through her first long-haul air travel experience since the coronavirus outbreak. Also, she and co-host Seth Miller catch up with Neutral Digital’s Dan Bambridge about how virtual reality and augmented reality is being embraced by the aviation industry in a post-pandemic world. Click here to subscribe to the APEX YouTube channel.


> Quote of the Day

“The gravity of the situation ... has given people around the world a heightened sense of mutual responsibility, a sense that all of society matters, every single one of us.”

Daniel Baron, LIFT Aero Design
Read the article


Until next week



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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