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March 24, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Global Eagle Finds New Owners and Fresh Focus

A range of investment companies including Apollo Global, Eaton Vance and BlackRock now own all of Global Eagle’s assets. The connectivity and media company has emerged from the Chapter 11 restructuring process having shed $487.5 million of debt and added $217.5 million in liquidity in the process. “We are well-positioned to invest in innovation, drive growth in our business, and continue supporting our customers as they adapt to evolving passenger and guest needs,” said the company’s CEO, Joshua Marks.




Virgin Australia Reinstates Plated Meals in Business Class

From tomorrow, Virgin Australia is launching a new business-class menu, which will be served on plates instead of in boxes. Looking to forge a new identity while remaining competitive, the airline is providing unfussy yet flavorful dishes. Meal options include a lamb and rosemary pie or a pumpkin and prosciutto salad. Passengers will always have the option to receive a main breakfast, lunch and dinner dish depending on time of day, and drinks like beer, wine and spirits are complimentary. Seasonal produce will be featured throughout the year.

executive traveller | Related Virgin Atlantic brings back hand-plated meals in Upper Class – Business Traveller



Frontier A320s Now Flying With Recaro’s Lightest Seats

Recaro’s SL3710 economy-class seat made its North American debut yesterday onboard Frontier Airlines’ A320neo aircraft. Both companies worked together on customizing the seats to reduce their weight by 30% and thus help save fuel. They weigh in at under 40 pounds, require 50% less maintenance and feature revamped armrests, spacious tray tables and adaptable backrests. Frontier is slated to receive 156 Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft over the next six years, which will be equipped with 186 and 240 SL3710 seats, respectively.

Recaro | Related RECARO Aircraft Seating receives additional orders to outfit Alaska Airlines’ new B737MAX – RECARO



QuiverTree Partnership Streams Art to Passengers

Through a partnership with art streaming platform ikonoTV, QuiverTree Media will offer silent, contemplative videos depicting paintings and historical collections from around the world to travelers in-flight. “Providing the world with opportunities to access artistic experiences daily, contributes to greater openness in an environment that can increasingly appear to be full of barriers,” said Elizabeth Markevitch, founder of ikonoTV, referring to widespread museum closures. Guillem Gassó, VP Commercial at QuiverTree Media, said the move positions his company as a disruptive CSP and helps “unlock exceptional new opportunities for airlines.”

runway girl network | Related QuiverTree Media collaborates with Audible – Inflight Online



Cellular Pioneer Joins SmartSky as Chief Technology Officer

David Claassen, a veteran of the cellular and satellite industries, will direct SmartSky Networks’ technology strategy and execution as the company’s new chief technology officer. Claassen has already helped to develop some of the company’s core technical capabilities, and now SmartSky is now counting on him to lead its transition into an operational ATG network services provider. SmartSky is launching a next-gen IFC service later this year, along with digital applications designed to improve safety and unlock ancillary revenue sources.

smartsky networks | Related SmartSky Surpasses 200 Patents; Transformation of the Connected Aircraft Sector Has Begun ­– SmartSky



Vueling Directs Portion of Bailout Funds Towards Innovation

Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling is looking to build an “International Center for Digital Transformation of the Aviation Ecosystem” in Barcelona.The funding to do so will be sourced from aid previously received from the European government. “Our objective is to develop a productive fabric and a training and innovation campus of world reference,” the airline said in a statement. Vueling will partner with creative professionals from Nacar Design to look at transforming the airport and flight experience.

airline geeks | Related Vueling Setting up Barcelona as an Innovation Lab – Airways Mag



ABC International Updates In-Cabin Branding for Corsair

An Airbus A330-900 operated by French charter carrier Corsair has been updated with new branding panels from ABC International as part of its customer experience enhancement strategy. The three “Corsair” panels feature a chrome script and contrasting brushed metal backplate. They are located in highly visible locations: on the front row monument, the wall just ahead of the entry door and the wall of the galley in the aft section of the aircraft. “The main target of our designer was to give importance to a simple design by making it elegant,” said Alberto D’Ambrosio, ABC International’s CEO.

aircraft interiors international | Related ABC International in first for Japan Airlines – Inflight Online





In this APEX Experience story from 2019, Katie Sehl asks how aircraft interiors would look if more women were involved in the design process.

This week, we're continuing our celebration of Women's History Month by saluting some of APEX Media's female writers.

> Tweet of the Day

Have y’all seen the new @AlaskaAir lounge at @flySEA?! 😍😍😍 This is where I passed the time of my four hour layover in Seattle last night and I didn’t want to leave! ✈️✈️✈️

Stephanie Forrer @StephForrer


Association News

APEX Tech Sessions Return to Virtual Expo OnDemand Zone

APEX TECH logoFor three decades, the APEX Technology Committee has taken responsibility for identifying and educating the industry about technologies impacting the passenger experience. Across multiple sessions at this year's Virtual Expo, the APEX Technology Committee will cover topics such as in-flight connectivity in a post-recovery environment, the current state of programmatic advertising, emerging codecs and the beginning of dynamic content delivery. Learn more about the new activities in store for this year's FTE APEX Virtual Expo.


> Quote of the Day

"Primetime radio audiences, traditionally during drive-time, saw a direct impact as people stopped driving to work."

Larissa Abid, BBC World Service
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 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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