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September 9, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Departing IAG CEO Willie Walsh Receives $1M Bonus

Outgoing International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh secured a massive payout from the airline as a parting gift. As he transitioned control to Luis Gallego, formerly CEO of Iberia, Walsh also confirmed a $1 million annual bonus, seen by many as egregious in the face of massive layoffs for frontline staff as IAG’s airlines restructure to account for reduced demand. Bankers and investors have, for the most part, been satisfied with Walsh’s run at the helm of IAG since 2011, while employees faced ongoing battles to maintain payscale and benefits during the same period.

The Guardian | Related IAG airline's Walsh hands control to Gallego with crisis in mid-air – Reuters



Qatar Airways CEO Calls For Uniformity in COVID Response

The lack of uniformity when it comes to border restrictions and quarantine requirements is the biggest challenge currently facing Qatar Airways, the airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker explained during CAPA’s recent virtual Australia Pacific Aviation Summit. Al Baker is calling for WHO, ICAO and IATA to work together on establishing uniform requirements so airports can open safely and efficiently. He also believes that ahead of the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, a globally-recognized health certificate detailing a passenger’s exposure and immunity to the virus should be introduced.

APEX Media | Related BOEING’S 797 SHOULD BE BASED ON 787-3 SAYS QATAR AIRWAYS – Airline Ratings



Virgin Australia Further Cuts Fleet, Routes Under New Ownership

Seven smaller destinations will be dropped from Virgin Australia’s domestic route map as the carrier continues its transition to new owners and a new approach to the market. Flights to Ayers Rock (Uluru), Albury, Cloncurry, Hervey Bay, Mildura, Port Macquarie and Tamworth are all affected. The company is also dropping Tonga from its international service, which was previously connected to Sydney. The carrier’s joint venture with Delta Air Lines is also suspended owing to Virgin Australia’s lack of flights between Australia and the US, though their codeshare agreement remains in place. As part of the restructuring, Virgin Australia will only operate Boeing 737s for the foreseeable future, with the fleet shrinking to 56 frames this year.

Executive Traveller | Related Virgin Australia Restructuring Sees Delta Partnership Suspended – Simple Flying



EconCore, Toray and Bostik Create New Thermoplastic Honeycomb Panels

A trio of companies are teaming up to deliver a new thermoplastic honeycomb panel technology that dramatically reduces production time and allows for more complex designs. Toray Cetex-reinforced thermoplastic laminates serve as the skin for the panel while EconCore’s thermoplastic honeycomb core delivers the necessary FST (fire, smoke and toxicity) qualification. These components are bonded by Bostik’s flame-retardant thermoplastics polyester web adhesive. EconCore’s molding process can deliver panels in about 60 seconds, compared to several hours of curing in the traditional approach. The new panels can also be easily recycled and repurposed into composites.

EconCore | Related A new type of thermoplastic honeycomb panel – Aircraft Interiors International



Pre-COVID Study Ranks Passenger Pain Points

Lufthansa Innovation Hub’s market intelligence branch, TNMT, conducted an analysis of 15,000 Tripadvisor reviews of 12 airlines from 2019. The study used Quid’s natural language processing and artificial intelligence technology to identify issues in the passenger experience and help airlines address them. Flight irregularities were the most discussed – 20% of the reviews mentioned the issue. Meals and onboard services were the second and third most relevant, with 15% and 13% of all reviews discussing these topics, respectively.

Travel and Mobility Tech | Related Airlines can address other passenger frustrations as they work to rebuild confidence – PhocusWire



Lilium Targets eVTOL Hubs at Dusseldorf, Cologne Bonn Airports

Dusseldorf and Cologne Bonn airports could become major eVTOL hubs under a deal signed with Lilium, a Munich-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The agreement highlights the value of digitally networked mobility for the region, Germany’s most densely populated. Lilium COO Dr. Remo Gerber hopes to see his company’s five-seat electric vehicles offering service from regional cities such as Aachen, Bielefeld, Münster and Siegen to the international airports “within 30 minutes, providing emission-free, high-speed connectivity at an affordable price.”

Lilium | Related Lilium welcomes Baillie Gifford as new investor, extends recent funding round to $275M – Lilium



Australian Company Launches PPE Kit

Australian travel retail beauty specialist Long Haul Spa launched a new amenity kit dubbed “Saving Face” for the COVID travel era. The kit includes a silk and cotton facemask plus anti-bacterial hand gel and a moisturizing cream. The kit is packaged in a vegan leather case from Louenhide. “With the focus on wellbeing and wellness, our personal space has never been more precious - we are all hyper-sensitive to what’s going on outside the mask but we also need to think about what lies beneath,” said Long Haul Spa's founder Christine Keeling.

Pax International | Related Honeywell Helping Improve Air Travel Health And Safety With New Safety Packs For Passengers And Crew – PR Newswire





In 2003, APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader flew on Concorde for the first and last time. Here he poses next to the speed meter as the aircraft reached Mach 2.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Great to welcome @VirginAtlantic’s brand new @Airbus A350-1000 to @manairport today on her delivery flight from @aeroport_tls! The latest to join the Virgin fleet, G-VDOT, goes by the name of ‘Ruby Slipper’! Isn’t she a stunner 😍 @AirbusintheUK @NATS @NATSManchester #Manchester

Adam Nadeem @ManAviation1107


Association News

CEOs of Delta, Avianca to Speak at FTE APEX Virtual Expo

The first crop of FTE APEX Virtual Expo speakers has been confirmed. Representing the Americas are Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, Avianca CEO Anko van der Werff and Los Angeles World Airports CEO Justin Erbacci. From the EMEA region, Virgin Atlantic CCO Juha Jarvinen, Ferrovial chief information & innovation officer Dimitris Bountolos and Finnair head of Digital Channels Esamatti Vuolle will all make an appearance. Finally, representing Asia-Pacific are Satyaki Raghunath from Bangalore International Airport, David Blackwell from Adelaide Airport Limited and Cebu Pacific Air’s VP of Marketing & Customer Experience, Candice Iyog. Register now!


> Quote of the Day

"Many times, we are so used to using our own technology that what seems trivial to us may not be so to the end user.”

Joaquín Alviz Martín, Renacen
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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