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May 20, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Qantas Cuts Costs, Virgin Australia Plans Domestic Expansion

Qantas has announced it will cut “several hundred” international cabin crew jobs through voluntary redundancy applications and implement a two-year wage freeze as it targets an annual cost reduction of at least $1 billion by the 2023 financial year. The carrier will also reduce travel agent commission on international tickets from 5% down to 1% from July 2022. Meanwhile, Virgin Australia is hiring 250 new personnel to support five new routes and increased frequencies as it plans to add over 700 weekly flights to its domestic network by October. Last month, Virgin Australia announced 370 new cabin crew roles. 

Travel Weekly | Related Coalition in talks with international airlines on digital vaccine passport for travel – The Guardian



Safran Corporate Ventures Invests in SkyFive

Safran Corporate Ventures has invested in air-to-ground in-flight connectivity (IFC) provider SkyFive. Sebastien Weber, CEO at Safran Aerosystems and a new member of SkyFive’s board, explained, “SkyFive's cutting-edge solution will complement our current offering and set us apart from other industry players in bringing an affordable and increased level of performance to the aircraft.” The investment was part of SkyFive’s Series A investment round, which was led by Safran Corporate Ventures together with STAR Capital. The investment marks Safran Corporate Ventures' first in Germany.

Safran Group | Related Consortium Pushes ATG Option for In-Flight Connectivity – APEX Media



Alaska Airlines Restores In-Flight Catering

Alaska Airlines has reintroduced a hot meal service in first class on transcontinental and Hawaii flights, offering two meal choices or a fruit and cheese platter. On other flights over 1,100 miles, the carrier will serve first-class passengers a “Fresh Meal Box,” with options including a garlic-marinated sirloin sandwich or Bristol Bay smoked salmon platter. On flights over 670 miles long, first-class travelers will receive smaller, more informal meals. A full drinks service, including alcoholic beverages, is also available in economy class, alongside new “Picnic Packs” and other fresh foods for purchase. All food is available to pre-order.

One Mile at a Time | Related Flying Chefs Return to Turkish Airlines Flights – Business Traveller



FAA Issues Warning Letter to Envoy Air

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a warning to American Airlines subsidiary Envoy Air that details "consistent evidence showing potential lack of airmanship" over the past two years. Envoy Air said several of the incidents in the letter were identified by its safety program, which includes weekly meetings between the carrier and the FAA. It added that Envoy Air is working with the FAA and its pilot union "to transparently and collaboratively examine the root cause of each potential issue and take any necessary corrective actions if needed."

CNN | Related American Airlines Welcomes Customers to a New Regional Concourse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – American Airlines



American, JetBlue to Offer NBA Livestream on Select Flights

A new multi-year agreement will allow passengers flying on American Airlines and JetBlue aircraft equipped with Viasat in-flight connectivity to livestream National Basketball Association (NBA) games. The NBA League Pass content will be available in time for the playoffs beginning May 22, said Viasat spokeswoman Chris Phillips, but won’t be accessible on US domestic flights or those to Canada and China due to licensing rights. JetBlue passengers can see the games for free, but American passengers must purchase in-flight Wi-Fi access. On the ground, a subscription to NBA League Pass content starts at $28.99 a month.  

BNN Bloomberg | Related ViaSat and fuboTV Execs Say IFC Partnership was Years in the Making – Via Satellite



AIM Altitude Delivers Horseshoe Bar for Emirates’ Final A380

AIM Altitude has delivered the Emirates interior for the last-ever produced Airbus A380 to the OEM in Hamburg. The milestone 123rd shipset marks a 15-year relationship between Emirates and AIM Altitude that is set to continue as AIM Altitude refreshes some of Emirates’ older A380s with a new interior introduced after 100 shipsets. Each shipset consists of the iconic horseshoe bar; a chiller bar that stands behind the main bar; left and right-hand sofas; a stand-up stowage with 55-inch TV screen; a storage unit for the cabin; and a waterfall feature for the top of the staircase.

Aviation Business News | Related AIM Altitude to launch single-aisle version of ARCA galley at AIX – Runway Girl Network



FTE APEX Virtual Expo: New Approaches to In-Flight Service

The way passengers purchase and consume food and beverages is undergoing a transformation. While airlines are considering removing food service from short-haul flights, food delivery giants like Just Eat are forging partnerships that allow them to deliver meals directly to the aircraft. A session including senior figures from Just Eat, Swoop, Transavia and Qatar Airways will explore these new approaches to in-flight catering and how they will impact the rest of the passenger journey. 

Future Travel Experience | Related Register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo





@encoreinflight CEO Jovita Toh attributes her success to the people she surrounds herself with.   

This week, we're looking back at illustrations by Felipe Vargas for the Travelogue feature in #APEXExperienceMag!

> Tweet of the Day

Congratulations to the Digital Technology team on the redesigned mobile app winning the People’s Voice Webby Award in the Mobile App/Travel Category. This is the second year in a row we have won a Webby.

We Are United @weareunited


Association News

West Entertainment is Looking for an Account Manager

West Entertainment is looking for a positive and passionate Account Manager for the world of in-flight entertainment. You will support the Account Director in servicing one of the world’s leading airlines with their entertainment needs and ensuring their long-term success. Fluent Japanese language is preferred, but not essential. The position’s location is flexible, but service hours are JST (Japan Standard Time). To find out more, please email talent@westent.com.


> Quote of the Day

"We’re going to give all of our attendees a very fresh perspective on what’s possible in a new world."

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA
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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