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September 4, 2020

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

 
 

Virgin Australia Finalizes Funding

Virgin Australia has secured its future, with creditors accepting the terms of Bain Capital’s refinancing of the company. Under the terms, all passengers will keep any outstanding credits or vouchers and the Velocity Frequent Flyer program remains untouched. Unsecured creditors take a hit, however, limited to repayment of 9-13 cents on the dollar for their claims. The restructuring deal will also see the carrier dramatically shift its fleet and route network, dropping long-haul service and concentrating on Boeing 737 flights within Australia and to nearby markets.

Virgin Australia | Related What Virgin Australia may look like following Bain’s buyout – CNBC

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Airlines Secure Slot Waivers in Europe for Upcoming Winter

Airlines, airports and regulators have agreed on terms for waiving the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ slot rules across Europe for the upcoming winter 2020 season. Airlines have been calling for the waiver so they can keep their previously allocated slot portfolios intact, even with reduced flights between the end of October 2020 and March 2021. Under the agreement, airlines must return the slots immediately if they are not being used, but will not forfeit them unless they are leaving an airport completely. New entrants will be able to access the released slots for the current season, but may not be able to claim them for the following year if the original assignee wants them back. The winter waiver proposal follows a summer waiver issued at the start of the pandemic.

Business Travel News Europe | Related Hong Kong Extends Unused Slot Waiver Until March 2021 – Simple Flying

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Spirit Airlines Brings Facial Recognition to Bag Drop Kiosks

Spirit Airlines is hoping that kiosks can verify passengers’ identities rather than having humans take on that role. An updated check-in process rolled out at Chicago’s O’Hare and New York’s LaGuardia airports uses facial recognition to match an ID to the passenger at the kiosk for bag drop and flight check-in. The carrier is working with the TSA to validate the technology for broader deployment across its operations. Spirit is quick to point out that the facial recognition details remain in the kiosk and are never transmitted to government authorities.   

Spirit | Related Spirit Airlines Avoids Pilot Furloughs in October – PaxEx.aero

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Air New Zealand Focuses Closer to Home as CCO Departs for Global Opportunities

Air New Zealand will focus on operations in Australasia and the Pacific Islands in the medium-term as the airline looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Cam Wallace, chief commercial and customer officer. The focus on markets closer to home has resulted in Wallace’s decision to depart the airline to pursue individual global opportunities. Wallace, who has been with Air New Zealand for 19 years, will leave on September 30. However, he will provide consultancy support to CEO Greg Foran until the end of the year.

APEX Media | Related Air New Zealand financial results reveal massive cost of COVID-19 – Newshub

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Op-Ed: Visual Simulation Is Key to Passenger Confidence Recovery, Says Tech Expert

In this instalment of Expert Opinions, APEX Media’s Op-Ed series, Zain Jaffer, founder and CEO of tech investment firm Zain Ventures, describes the technology that he believes will play the largest role in reviving the aviation industry. “Visual simulation has been used throughout this pandemic by doctors, scientists and designers ... The same technology can demonstrate [aircrafts’] safe airflow management system, and equip airlines with a visual language to address passenger concern," Jaffer says.

APEX Media | Related Op-Ed: Airline Cabin Cleaning Is an Opportunity for Differentiation, Says VX Consulting Founder – APEX Media

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Trip Planning Gets Easier with United’s COVID-19-Aware Travel Guide

Are the museums open? Can I dine at restaurants? What sort of medical testing or quarantine requirements exist for entry? These questions and many more drive the booking process today as potential travelers consider the impact of COVID-19 on their plans. United Airlines hopes to answer these kinds of questions with its new Destination Travel Guide interactive map, available through its website and mobile app. The color-coded map currently focuses on US states, but will be expanded internationally in the coming weeks.

Future Travel Experience | Related Destination Travel Guide – United Airlines

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Airplane Mode Video Game Promises Full In-Flight Experience

Airplane Mode, a new game for PC and Mac, recreates the passenger experience on a long-haul flight from New York’s JFK airport to Reykjavik or Halifax. The game situates the player in the window seat and features a pre-flight safety video, meal service, magazine and in-flight entertainment. Randomized events, including a crying baby and turbulence, occur sporadically. “Airplane Mode immediately stood out to us as something different — a totally deadpan, 90 percent earnest and serious simulation that's 10 percent winking at the player,” said Clayton Neuman, vice-president of AMC Games, which will be releasing the game later this year.

Travel and Leisure | Related VIRGIN'S NEW 6-HOUR ADVERT IS INTENTIONALLY BORING AND PRETTY CREEPY – The Independent

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

“This project connects the world. It is what we need nowadays.” – Mustafa Çankaya

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

> Tweet of the Day

UP AND AWAY: Daredevil David Blaine rose into Arizona's morning sky on September 2, clutching 52 helium-filled weather balloons. The illusionist's latest stunt, called "Ascension", lasted about 30 minutes. He reached almost 25,000 feet before parachuting back to earth.

CBS News @CBSNews

 
 
 

Association News

Join APEX and Commit to the Future of the Airline Industry

APEX members accelerate advancements to every aspect of the passenger experience. More than 300 international and regional airlines, aircraft manufacturers, motion picture studios, content providers, avionics systems manufacturers, airports and others form our community. APEX provides its members with benefits that are more important now than ever, including networking opportunities and exclusive resources for research and education. Learn more about becoming an APEX member.

 
 

Catch Up on Previous APEX Weekly Wrap Episodes

The APEX Weekly Wrap will be back next Friday. In the meantime, there’s lots of aviation-related content to explore on the APEX YouTube channel. Subscribe now.  

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“I’ve seen Home Alone perform better than most new releases on one airline completely out of season in February.”

Andrea Whyte, Spafax
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Until Tuesday. Enjoy the long weekend!

 
 

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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