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April 6, 2021



Today's Top Stories


French Government Contributes to Air France Recapitalization

In an effort to help its national carrier through the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, the French government issued over $3.5 billion in direct loans to Air France in 2020. These will now be converted into bonds as part of a recapitalization of up to $4.7 billion following approval from the European Union. As part of the deal, Air France has agreed to make up to 18 slots available to competitors at Paris Orly Airport. In addition, the French state will double its stake in the Air France-KLM alliance from 14.3% to 29.9%, but France and the Netherlands reaffirmed they are not considering nationalizing the group. KLM said in a statement that the company “will also need capital.”

The Associated Press | Related Air France-KLM Partners with Accelya – Accelya



JetBlue Unveils Transatlantic Economy-Class Experience

JetBlue’s Airbus A321 aircraft, which will be used for transatlantic flights, are being equipped with 114 Collins Meridian seats in economy class, offering 18.4-inches in width and 32-inches of legroom. Passengers will be able to access live TV channels focused on news and sports via 10.1-inch, 1080P in-flight entertainment screens, and surf the Web using JetBlue’s unlimited free in-flight Wi-Fi service, powered by Viasat, on their personal devices. In addition to a new complimentary meal service, a partnership with Dig will allow passengers to customize seasonal, locally sourced meals using their seatback screens.

JetBlue | Related JetBlue Allocated Key Slots at London Heathrow – TravelPulse



Details Released About Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble

From April 19, residents of Australia and New Zealand will be able to travel between the two countries without having to quarantine. Travelers from New Zealand have been able to enter most Australian states without quarantine since last October, but until now the move has not been reciprocated. New Zealand’s conditions will be similar to what their citizens see when entering Australia: Individuals will be required to have spent the previous 14 days before the flight in Australia only. Those with cold or flu symptoms will not be allowed to travel, and all passengers must provide New Zealand’s authorities with details of where they will be staying.

BBC | Related Dig out your passports - Air New Zealand reuniting Kiwis and kangaroos – Air New Zealand



US Airlines Increase Staff as Travel Demand Returns

US carriers are continuing to increase staffing levels as demand for travel returns. On Monday, Southwest recalled 209 pilots from a voluntary extended leave program; they will return to active status on June 1. Elsewhere, a staff shortage led Delta Air Lines to cancel 100 flights over the weekend. To increase capacity on its remaining flights, it sold middle seats on Sunday and Monday, but Delta said its plan to block them until the end of April is still in place. “Delta teams have been working through various factors, including staffing, large numbers of employee vaccinations and pilots returning to active status,” the airline said.

TravelPulse | Related Southwest recalls 209 pilots as travel demand recovers – Reuters



ANA, JAL to Cut Back on In-Flight Audio Offerings

Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) are scaling back their in-flight audio offerings. Traditionally, the carriers have provided channels featuring music, "rakugo" comic storytelling and other content accessed via in-seat headphone jacks. JAL will end the service on domestic routes completely and stop distributing headphones on some aircraft. ANA plans to almost halve its audio programming on domestic flights from eight channels to four or five from April and will also cut audio programming on international routes. The airlines said passengers now prefer to listen to content using their own personal electronic devices.

The Mainichi | Related ANA to cut print in-flight magazines – Business Traveller



Marhaba Showcases Global Lounge Experience at DXB

Dnata's airport hospitality brand, marhaba, has unveiled a new lounge at Dubai International Airport's (DXB) Terminal 3 as a proof of concept for its new “marhaba global lounge experience.” The lounge features six distinct spaces, including a traditional lounge with an artificial fireplace as the focal point, as well as areas for dining, play and relaxation. There’s a space resembling a café for those wanting to work, which has capsules where guests can insulate themselves. A final “Flex” area can be repurposed to accommodate the needs of travelers at each new lounge location. In Dubai, there is a salon from Dubai-based brand PDL that provides spa treatments and coffee.

PAX International | Related Airport hospitality brands Plaza Premium Group and marhaba strike strategic partnership – The Moodie Davitt Report



Emirates Shares Catering Plans for Annual Ramadan Service

Emirates has collaborated with Dubai-based artists to design special-edition meal boxes as part of its annual Ramadan service, which will be available from April 13. The boxes will include a main, such as chicken, cauliflower and eggplant salad with tahini and mouhammara; or a baked potato and onion salad with Moroccan chicken and hummus; sandwiches, Arabic bread, dates, laban and water. Emirates is also serving a special Eid menu on select flights from May 13-16, which will see first- and business-class passengers offered traditional Middle Eastern dishes like mashwi al jider or lamb kofta with saffron tomato sauce and zereshk rice.

Emirates | Related Kosher Arabia kicks off production in state-of-the-art, certified kosher facility – Emirates Flight Catering





The first issue of #APEXExperienceMag in 2014 focused on in-flight entertainment content.

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

Wow! Our member airline @United is celebrating 9️⃣5️⃣ years in the skies. Can we get 9500 'Likes' to celebrate? 🎂 #StarAlliance #United #HappyBirthday

Star Alliance @staralliance


Association News

There's Still Time to Apply for an IFSA Foundation Scholarship!

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Foundation’s 2021 scholarship application cycle is open! The IFSA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of IFSA, which remains committed to supporting IFSA and APEX members, their families, and students pursuing a career in the aviation industry by awarding educational scholarships. The IFSA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more about the IFSA Foundation, click here.


> Quote of the Day

"The demand in 2014 was to have more in-flight entertainment content available on more devices and on more aircraft. For the most part, passengers have had that wish fulfilled."

Al St. Germain, Spafax
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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