No Images? Open in Browser

August 28, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


China Domestic Aviation Nears Pre-COVID Levels While Europe Hits Plateau

Buoyed by widespread fare incentives and the annual “back to school” surge of Chinese students taking a holiday before hitting the books, domestic flight bookings in China rose to 98% of last year’s numbers in August, according to ForwardKeys. It’s unclear whether sustained flight discounts will be required to extend this trend into Q4, or if increased profitability will soon follow. In Europe, recovery has stalled due to rising infection rates and subsequent measures to control the virus, such as new “risk country” quarantine orders in Germany and the UK’s shrinking list of “travel corridor” destinations.

TR Business | Related European Travel Restrictions Tighten As COVID-19 Spread Accelerates – Aviation Week



Virgin Atlantic Offers Complimentary COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Up to $650k

Virgin Atlantic is offering free COVID-19 insurance, via Allianz Assistance, for travel between August 24 and March 31. The policy covers emergency medical expenses while abroad totaling $650,000 per customer, which the airline claims is the highest value offered by any airline to date, as well as quarantine costs of up to $4,000 per customer. Emirates was the first airline to offer free COVID-19 insurance, when it announced on July 23, that it would cover medical expenses of up to $170,000 and quarantine costs of $120 per day for 14 days, should a customer be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel.

Travel and Leisure | Related Emirates covers customers from COVID-19 expenses, in industry-leading initiative to boost travel confidence – Emirates



SkyFive’s Inroads to Chinese Connectivity Market Look Promising

Having announced a strategic partnership earlier this month with Airbus and with cooperation from China Mobile (a critical component for success in the Chinese marketplace), upstart air-to-ground (ATG) contender SkyFive is poised to move into ground-based technology demonstrations of its “native 5G” ATG solution before the end of 2020. China’s 5G ATG development roadmap describes plenty of spectrum allocated at the necessary frequencies and stakeholders believe a successful demonstration this year could lead quickly to airborne testing and network deployment in 2021. | Related Airbus and SkyFive team up to provide 5G Air-to-Ground technology solution for China – SkyFive



United Prepares to Cut 20% of Pilot Workforce

United will cut 2,850 pilot jobs during the months of October and November unless the airline receives further government aid. In July, the airline warned that 2,250 pilots, 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service and gate agents and 5,500 maintenance workers would be furloughed starting October 1, when the CARES Act contingencies that protect airline workers expire. Earlier this week, Delta and American airlines also announced updates regarding the layoffs that will occur as of October 1.

Airways Magazine | Related Two Major Airlines Have Announced Massive Layoffs – Forbes



Delta to Add Hand Sanitizer Stations in Cabin; WestJet’s Zero-Tolerance Mask Policy

Delta claims it will become the first airline to install hand sanitizer stations near the boarding door and lavatories on every aircraft. There will be up to five stations per aircraft, depending on capacity. Installations begin today on the airline’s Boeing 757-200 fleet. WestJet announced today that it will implement a zero-tolerance mask policy as of September 1. Penalties for non-compliance include denied boarding, removal from the flight and the suspension of travel on any WestJet Group aircraft for up to one year.

Delta | Related WestJet reinforces commitment to safety with zero-tolerance mask policy – WestJet



Clear Coat From Signature Plating Infused With Antimicrobial Elements

Noting a trend toward interior products embedded with germ and microbe inhibitors, Signature Plating has collaborated with one of its suppliers to infuse its durable clear coat finish with antimicrobial elements. The inhibitor is suspended in the clear coat and has been tested and certified to ISO 22196:2011 to reduce microbes on a surface for the life of the coating. The coating can be applied to metal-plated interior parts, which are popular in decorative finishes and high-touch areas.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Aereos Announces First Built-in #Antimicrobial High-Touch Parts for Aircraft Interiors – PR Newswire



Etihad Updates Mobile App

Etihad has updated its mobile app to allow customers to purchase upgrades and other extras. Customers can now pay using Etihad Guest Miles or choose from 10 other payment options. “To increase flexibility during the coronavirus pandemic, we established Travel Bank, an account which guests can use for future redemption on flights,” said Frank Meyer, chief digital officer, Etihad Airways. Other changes to the app, which is available for Apple, Android and Huawei smartphones, include Uber and Google Maps integration and flight status updates.

Etihad | Related ecoDemonstrator programme testing quieter, cleaner flights with Etihad – Etihad





First light, first flight! Captured by @aeromanu (via Instagram).

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

> Tweet of the Day

What do our adapted onboard services in our aircraft look like? In this #AskAustrian episode, Alice Ranzenbacher, Manager Austrian Product & Innovation, will tell you more about this subject and reveals how to protect yourself and others while flying. ✈️

Austrian Airlines @_austrian


Association News

FTE APEX Virtual Expo: Info For Airlines and Airports

Airline and airport employees who register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo before September 30 will receive a free Premium Pass with VIP access. This includes access to the virtual exhibition hall, conference sessions and networking lounges, as well as an array of announcements and launches from the various industry stakeholders involved.


> Quote of the Day

"This funny and joyful musical comedy of how a woman is determined in getting herself out of a tough situation will lift your spirits."

Elslyn Lua, Encore
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.


Connect with APEX


You have received this email because you are subscribed to this newsletter from

Change email frequency | Unsubscribe

Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) | 355 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor | New York | NY | 10017

©Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) 2020. All rights reserved.