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September 8, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Cash-Strapped AirAsia Aims to Raise Significant Funds Before Year-End

AirAsia Group is looking to raise $600 million by the end of 2020 to make up for losses incurred due to COVID-19. A spokesperson confirmed the group is in discussion with investors to borrow approximately $240 million, supplementing the $360 million it may loan from banks. AirAsia resumed domestic operations in late April, but long-haul airline AirAsia X is still grounded due to severe liquidity constraints. On Friday, it was announced that BOC Aviation Ltd. is suing AirAsia X and its wholly owned leasing company, AAX Leasing Two Ltd., for $23 million following missed payments on four leased aircraft.

BNN Bloomberg | Related UPDATED: AirAsia X sued by lessor BOC Aviation – Asian Aviation



Renacen to Focus on UX for Updated 3D Seat Selection Product

Renacen has announced plans to update its 3D SeatMapVR product. The technology, which is currently used by airlines including Emirates, United Airlines, Austrian, Iberia and Etihad, allows customers to select their seats in a 3D virtual environment that’s integrated into the airline’s booking engine. Renacen will collaborate with Digital of Things, a Dubai-based user experience consultancy, to optimize 3D SeatMapVR’s interface and user experience. The collaboration is a result of Renacen being selected as a beneficiary of the INNOWWIDE program.

APEX Media | Related Seat-Side Views: Renacen’s 3DSeatMapVR Elevates Flight Booking – APEX Media



BA’s High Life Magazine Goes Digital

British Airways (BA) announced today that its in-flight magazine will no longer be printed, but Executive Club customers who wish to read High Life can do so digitally; BA will email it to them. It can also be downloaded for free on board using in-flight Wi-Fi. The magazine will now add rich media in the form of audio stories, photo experiences and live panels to every issue. BA will also keep customers updated with any changes to the airline’s customer experience and route network in real time. “We know our customers value technology and a contactless journey, especially in the current climate,” said British Airways’ head of Brand and Marketing, Hamish McVey.  

British Airways | Related About Us – High Life Magazine



Centogene and Lufthansa Perform 150K+ COVID-19 Tests

Centogene and Lufthansa reported that their walk-in coronavirus test center at Frankfurt Airport has been a success. They have screened over 150,000 people thus far and found 1% of samples to be positive. In August, virtually all results were digitally transmitted to travelers in less than 24 hours, with the results linked to their boarding pass. The test center was recently expanded to handle 10,000 tests per day; an average of 4,500 tests per day were carried out in July and August. While Centogene believes that broad-based testing is the key to preventing a further outbreak, Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, warns that false negatives are common in mass testing, which could potentially speed the transmission of the virus across borders.

Lufthansa Group | Related 'Giving back some freedom': Inside Germany's COVID-19 testing centre at Frankfurt Airport – CBC



Italy To Provide Alitalia With Over $200M in Emergency Cash

The European Commission has approved the Italian government’s plan to provide emergency funding to Alitalia. The airline will receive $235 million to offset coronavirus-related damages in line with European Commission rules. A report by an Italian parliament committee had found that Alitalia incurred damages worth around $295 million between February and June, but the government aid only covers the period between March and June. Margrethe Vestager, who serves as European Commissioner for Competition, noted that Europe’s “investigations into past support measures to Alitalia are ongoing.” She is referring to probes into over a billion dollars in loans provided to Alitalia during the last few years.

Aerotime | Related New Alitalia Starts To Take Shape – Airline Geeks



Schiphol and HMSHost International Introduce Mobile Food Ordering

Schiphol is placing QR codes on banners and media screens located at and after airport security to promote in-advance, contactless ordering from nearly all food outlets in Lounge 1. The system, developed with HMSHost International, allows travelers to pre-order and pay for food from restaurants such as Starbucks, La Place, Grand Café Het Paleis and Grab & Fly. Irene Muysson, head of Retail, F&B, Commercial Services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, said the service offers a way to pass the time while waiting in line at security and eliminates the need to queue for food in the terminal.

Schiphol | Related Schiphol launches service for transfer passengers – Schiphol



Emirates Clears 90% of Refund Backlog

Emirates processed over 1.4 million refund requests since March, 90% of the airline’s backlog. With the help of investments in additional resources to ramp up its processing capability, it has returned over $1.4 billion to customers since the pandemic hit. The airline also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who booked their Emirates flights through travel agents and global booking systems. Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark thanked customers for their patience, saying, “We understand that from our customers’ standpoint, each pending refund request is one too many.”

Emirates | Related Free COVID-19 cover – Emirates





When Air France announced its final Concorde flights would take place on May 30, 2003, APEX/IFSA CEO Joe Leader managed to secure tickets for a roundtrip flight in April.

This week, we're featuring #AvGeekTreasures from APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader

> Tweet of the Day

Thales has defined its #purpose as "building a future we can all #trust". It's the exact transcription of the DNA that has shaped the Group ever since it was founded more than a century ago.

Patrice Caine @Patrice_Caine


Association News

Over 120 Airlines and Airports Have Registered for FTE APEX Virtual Expo

Register today for free access to the FTE APEX Virtual Expo exhibition hall and join the 120+ airlines and airports already registered to attend. Airlines and airports that register by 30 September will get a complimentary Premium Pass with VIP access to all parts of the show. This includes access to the virtual exhibition hall, conference sessions and networking areas, as well as the opportunity to experience an array of announcements and launches from the various industry stakeholders involved.


> Quote of the Day

"The power of simulation as an effective communication tool has been realized by many fields in the COVID-19 fight."

Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures
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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