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August 25, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


AA to Begin Electrostatic Spraying; Delta Will Shed Pilots

American Airlines (AA) is adding a new electrostatic spraying product to its cleaning routine. SurfaceWise2 from Allied BioScience is billed as the first-ever long-lasting product approved by the EPA that will help fight the spread of COVID-19. AA will begin using it across its entire main and regional fleets in the coming months. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is officially following through with a staff reduction plan it alluded to in early June, when it suggested nearly 2,600 pilots could be let go once the CARES Act expires in October. The number has diminished to 1,941 due to the greater-than-expected participation in the airline’s voluntary exit packages.

American Airlines | Related Delta plans to furlough nearly 2,000 pilots in October – The Hill



APEX Media Wins Gold Tabbie Award for 40th Anniversary Section in APEX Experience Magazine

Last week, Trade, Association and Business Publications International (TABPI) announced the recipients of its 2020 Tabbie Awards, honoring APEX Media with a Gold Tabbie for the 40th Anniversary section in the September/October 2019 issue of APEX Experience magazine. Of the achievement, TAPBI judges wrote, “The mix of industry history, personal reflections, accessible writing, timelines, photo essay, and fresh design elements creates an all-around winner. And kudos for not stopping with the look back — highlighting up-and-coming thought leaders at the end rounds things out nicely.”

APEX Media | Related APEX Experience Magazine 40th Anniversary Section



Iran Reveals Results of UIA Black Box Analysis

On Sunday, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, Touraj Dehghani-Zanganeh, shed light on the contents of the flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders retrieved from the wreckage of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. The aircraft was operating normally until it was struck by two missiles 25 seconds apart. "Nineteen seconds after the first missile hit the plane, the voices of pilots inside the cockpit indicated that the passengers were alive," said Dehghani-Zanganeh. After this, the recorders stopped working, making it impossible to assess the impact of the second missile.

Flight Global | Related Garneau, Champagne pan Iran’s report on downing of Ukrainian jetliner – Canoe



Vistara Partners With Plusgrade to Launch New Seat Upgrade Program

Looking to bolster its ancillary revenue and offset losses experienced in 2020, Vistara partnered with Plusgrade to create a new option for travelers called Vistara Upgrades. Customers can use the online program to upgrade from economy to premium economy or business-class cabins by placing a bid. The tool also sends email alerts about upgrade opportunities to eligible travelers. According to Vinod Kannan, chief commercial officer at Vistara, allowing more travelers to access unsold premium seats will rebuild passenger loyalty. “Personal space, comfort, privacy and high-end service… are all things that our travelers are looking for as they consider returning to the sky,” Kannan said.

Business Wire | Related Plusgrade’s Predictive Tech Allows Airline Customers to Pay to Block Seats – APEX Media



ACI Asia-Pacific Calls for Removal of Quarantine as Tourism Plummets

According to the UN, the global tourism industry has taken a $320-billion hit in the first five months of the year. Reduced travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has put 120 million jobs at risk around the world. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that developing countries and small businesses are especially vulnerable. The latest forecast from Airports Council International Asia-Pacific estimates that Asia-Pacific and Middle East airports will lose 55% and 60% passenger volume respectively by the end of the 2020, and urged governments to replace quarantine requirements with testing and contact tracing protocols in some cases to encourage recovery.

USA Today | Related ACI Asia-Pacific calls for end to quarantine – Passenger Terminal Today



SWISS Supplements Geneva–Zurich Connections with Trains

Swiss International Air Lines introduced Airtrain rail service between Geneva’s Cornavin central station and Zurich Airport in collaboration with Swiss Federal Railways to supplement the airline’s reduction in flight frequency between both cities. The rail service offers additional flexibility for travelers and can reduce layover times. Ten Airtrains will be operated per day traveling in either direction and will be assigned SWISS flight numbers. Similar services are already offered to SWISS customers on the Basel-Zurich Airport and Lugano-Zurich Airport rail routes.

Webwire | Related Swiss swaps planes for trains to Geneva –



Korean Air Officially Announces Sale of Retail and Catering Units

Korean Air signed a business transfer contract today with private investment group Hahn & Company to transfer over its in-flight retail and catering divisions. The $834-million deal will see the airline acquire a 20% stake in the spun-off corporation, which will ensure a stable supply of in-flight meals and duty free products. Korean Air ran the world’s most successful in-flight retail business according to The Moodie Davitt Report, although last year’s sales dipped by 5.6% as the South Korean won depreciated against the US dollar.

TR Business | Related Local reports – Korean Air to sell inflight retail and catering arms to Hahn & Company for US$840 million – Moodie Davitt Report





A Boeing 787 caught over Heathrow. Captured by @u.k.spotter (via Instagram).

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

> Tweet of the Day

Delta COO Gil West took our industry to a new level. He took @Delta to a flight level where cancelations could be measured in hundreds of days. While his legacy will continue, he will be missed with sincere thanks from all of us at @theAPEXassoc, @IFSAOnBoard, and @FutureTravelX!

Dr. Joe Leader @joepleader


Association News

Does Your Product Belong in the APEX Media COVID-19 Solutions Handbook?

APEX Media is putting together a compendium of 100 COVID-19 solutions, to appear online and in the next issue of APEX Experience magazine. Does your company have an innovative solution that can help airlines and airports be more hygienic, inspire confidence in travelers or otherwise navigate the increasingly complex post-pandemic landscape? E-mail with "COVID-19 Solution" in the subject line, and include a product description and image for the opportunity to be included in this industry resource.


> Quote of the Day

"What better way to take one’s mind off the pandemic than to settle in with a heart-warming comedy!"

Cathie Trotta, Penny Black Media
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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