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September 3, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Job Cuts Coming at Embraer, United Airlines

Embraer is trimming 4.5% of its workforce, approximately 900 employees, as it faces the slowing commercial aviation market in the short- and medium-term. The company also cited the collapse of its joint venture with Boeing in driving the need to reduce its engineering capacity. The number was reduced via voluntary leave programs and employment buyouts. United Airlines similarly announced a revised furlough plan, reducing the involuntary furlough and layoff count to approximately 16,000. The furloughs will take effect October 1. Much like Embraer and other US airlines, the total number of cuts was offset through buyouts. Unlike Embraer, however, United is holding out hope for an intervention by the US government to fund the payroll and keep the employees on staff.

Embraer | Related United Plans 16,000 Furloughs As Airlines Cut Jobs During Pandemic Downturn – NPR



Truly Touchless Kiosk Upgrade Introduced by Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace unveiled its Kiosk Connect solution yesterday, allowing passengers to check in for a flight or create a bag tag at a kiosk without ever touching the screen. Scanning a QR code links to a dedicated website with the full functionality of the kiosk replicated to travelers. At the end of the process, boarding passes or bag tags are printed by the kiosk and the passenger continues with their journey. United began offering a touchless bag tag option earlier this year, and other airlines are also now offering a similar service.

Collins Aerospace | Related United plans touchless bag tag kiosks –



Frontier Airlines Faces Probe Over Refunds

The Colorado Attorney General (AG) wants the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to investigate Denver-based Frontier Airlines and its handling of passenger refunds as flights were slashed from the schedule earlier this year. The carrier pushed passengers to accept vouchers rather than refunds, triggering more than 100 formal complaints to the AG’s office. Tens of thousands of passengers have similarly complained to the DoT about the practice but, other than issuing a guidance letter suggesting refunds are the appropriate action, the Department has refused to take action.

TravelWeekly | Related Frontier Airlines plans to furlough nearly 400 Denver workers in early October – Denver Post



Tel Aviv, Toronto to Launch COVID-19 Testing at the Airport

McMaster HealthLabs (MHL), Air Canada and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) will partner on a voluntary COVID-19 testing program at Toronto Pearson International Airport, hoping to convince the Canadian government that travelers with a negative test can skip the current 14-day quarantine required of arriving passengers. John Gilmour, MHL's CEO, is focused on “providing data to help determine if an airport-based COVID-19 surveillance program is feasible.” In Tel Aviv, a three-year tender was issued to Omega Institute for Modern Learning in cooperation with Rambam Hospital to build a testing facility in the terminal for arriving passengers and a drive-through testing facility for departing travelers. A 14-hour test result will cost around $13.50, while a four-hour option raises the price to $40.

Moodie Davitt Report | Related McMaster HealthLabs, Air Canada and Greater Toronto Airports Authority to Conduct a Voluntary COVID-19 Study of Arriving International Travellers – Air Canada



Thai Airways Launches In-Flight Dining on the Ground

Passengers hankering for Thai Airways’ penne pasta carbonara, mixed seafood yakisoba, bak kut teh with rice and more can now get their fix at a pop-up café located in the airline’s Bangkok headquarters. Customers arrive at the café via traditional airstairs and can sit in the airline’s colorful aircraft seats while dining. Tables made of aircraft wheel components add to the aviation theme at the restaurant.

Khaosod English | Related AirAsia opens an airplane food restaurant in Kuala Lumpur – CNN



Ultraviolet Light Put to Work for Cleaning in San Antonio, Helsinki

San Antonio International Airport is turning to robots to help combat COVID-19. It is the first airport in the world to purchase and deploy the Xenex LightStrike robot that uses bursts of UVC light to destroy the virus on visible surfaces in room-sized areas. The technology is already in use at healthcare facilities for similar disinfection efforts. Helsinki Airport will trial a UVC disinfection method for the bins at its security checkpoints as it hopes to “raise hygiene standards to a new level,” according to executive director Ulla Lettijeff. The system, supplied by Finnish company LED Future, will allow the airport to process the empty trays after each use.

Finavia | Related San Antonio International Is First Airport in the World to Purchase and Deploy Virus and Bacteria Defeating Xenex LightStrike Robot – Business Wire



Will the Pandemic-Induced Comfort Content Trend Translate to the Skies?

With homebound viewers yearning for simpler times during lockdown, comfort content has made a huge comeback of late. Zoom reunions with the casts of hits like Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Goonies have clocked 2 million-plus views a piece on YouTube. “We have always tapped into [this kind of] content – ask any airline that has Friends or The Big Bang Theory on board how well it is performing,” said Andrea Whyte, director of Commercial Content Strategy at Spafax. “But I think during the pandemic ... it [became] true ‘comfort content,’ with people depending on the shows and movies they love to relieve their anxiety.”

APEX Media | Related The Entertainment Airlines Should Be Providing During a Pandemic, According to IFE Distributors – APEX Media





“Everyone looks different, but they are also similar. Almost everyone had a smartphone and was in need of an Internet connection.” – Mustafa Çankaya

This image was featured in a photo essay in a previous issue of APEX Experience magazine. 

> Tweet of the Day

After a temporary interruption, #AirFranceMagazine is back, an opportunity to fly away to new horizons. ✨ Discover it now in our lounges, in the #AirFrancePlay app and online!

Air France Newsroom @AFnewsroom


Association News

Would You Like to Tell Your Story at FTE APEX Virtual EXPO?

The FTE APEX Virtual Expo has the goal of showcasing future trends and successful transformation strategies that will help businesses survive, bounce back and future-proof their propositions. You can play a key role in this groundbreaking event! If you represent an airline, airport or key transport stakeholder and have an inspirational story of how your company has responded to COVID-19, we want to hear from you. Contact FTE CEO Daniel Coleman to take advantage of this unique opportunity to address thousands of attendees from around the world.


> Quote of the Day

"Regardless of the disinfection efforts airlines make, it’s the sight of a cabin’s visibly inadequate cleaning that can harm passenger trust."

Paul Chen, VX Consulting
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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