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June 24, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Thales Debuts Next-Generation AVANT Up IFE Offering

Thales has revealed its new in-flight entertainment offering, AVANT Up, including 4K QLED HDR displays that are 30% lighter than its previous seatback screens. The displays were created in partnership with automotive infotainment company Harman, which is wholly owned by Samsung. The AVANT Up solution also includes Thales’ Pulse smart power supply system, which supports USB A, USB C and wireless charging, and dynamically allocates the 350 Watts available at every triple-seat across up to six devices. AVANT Up is set to launch on a wide-body aircraft due to enter service in the first quarter of 2023. 

APEX Media | Related Thales Partners With Airfree for Airport-Style Duty-Free Platform – APEX Media



SIA Launches Live Online Shopping In-Flight via KrisShop

From June 28, the KrisShop e-commerce platform will be available via Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, allowing live online shopping in-flight. The solution, which leverages air-to-ground connectivity to enable real-time updates on product availability and credit card authorization, was created in partnership with airfree, Panasonic Avionics and Thales. It will initially be available on selected Airbus A350 aircraft. Passengers will be able to browse over 4,000 duty-free products that can be delivered on their next SIA flight or directly to their homes. 

Singapore Air | Related SIA's KrisShop unveils new 'Batik Label' concept store – Marketing Interactive



Gary Kelly to Step Down as Southwest CEO Next Year

Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly will be replaced by Robert Jordan, the carrier’s EVP Corporate Services, in February next year. Jordan joined Southwest in 1988 from Hewlett-Packard. Since then, he has led projects to build out the airline's website and frequent-flyer program. During the pandemic, he played a key role in creating programs to encourage employees to take voluntary leave or buyouts. “It truly feels as if we are at the dawn of a new era as a company,” Kelly said in a memo to staff. He will continue on as Southwest’s executive chairman until at least 2026. 

USA Today | Related Happy 50th Birthday, Southwest Airlines. Here’s To Doing Things Very Differently, And Succeeding – Forbes



Air Cairo to Deploy Moment’s Wireless IFE

Air Cairo, the low-cost carrier arm of Egyptair, is deploying Moment’s wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, Flymingo Box, across its fleet of seven Airbus A320 aircraft. The solution supports 100 simultaneous streaming sessions via a browser-based platform. Hussein Sherif, Air Cairo’s chairman and CEO, said, “We were on the lookout for a full-service IFE company that could support us in all aspects from provisioning the hardware, to creating an engaging IFE portal and sourcing a variety of content.” The deal marks Moment’s entry into the African and Middle East market. 

PaxEx.aero | Related Moment Joins GIFAS – Moment



Hong Kong, Caribbean Airlines Announce Redundancies

Hong Kong Airlines has laid off approximately 700 more employees, leaving between 100 and 200 left across the airline. A spokesperson for the carrier said it is going into “survival mode.” In addition, it will reduce salaries for senior management by as much as 36%. Elsewhere, Caribbean Airlines is to cut around 25% of its staff, which amounts to 450 employees, as part of its restructuring plans. It will also put a number of its aircraft into storage. “Put simply, passenger demand in the short- to medium-term is not going to recover sufficiently to support the existing company structure,” the airline explained.

The Standard | Related Caribbean Airlines to cut staff as demand slumps – Breaking Travel News



Cathay Pacific Threatens Redundancies if Crew Aren’t Vaccinated

Cathay Pacific has cited vaccination as a "critical component" of its recovery and told Hong Kong-based aircrew they must receive a COVID-19 vaccination by August 31 or risk losing their jobs. The airline said staff rostering has become "difficult" because of a need to segregate vaccinated and unvaccinated crew. 90% of Cathay Pacific’s pilots and 65% of flight attendants have been vaccinated or have appointments to receive the vaccine, but the airline stated that it is "clear that only fully vaccinated aircrew will be able to return without quarantine from most places."

BBC | Related United Airlines Will Require Fully Vaccinated Crew On Flights to High-Risk Destinations – Paddle Your Own Kanoo



DOH, Smiths Detection Introduce Advanced Screening Technology

As part of its Smart Security Program, Hamad International Airport (DOH) has introduced a new screening lane in its transfers’ hall in partnership with Smiths Detection. The technology means passengers no longer have to remove liquids or large electronic devices from their bags. It also incorporates boarding pass scanners prior to security, which means a passengers’ belongings can be electronically tagged to their boarding card. Once they remove their possessions from the tray, the system scans it to ensure nothing is left behind. Finally, a shoe screening capability means passengers don’t need to remove their footwear.  

Hamad International Airport | Related Hamad Airport and Hamad Bin Khalifa University partner to enhance passenger services – International Airport Review





Here’s to beautiful light, warmth, and love with @AlaskaAir. Captured by @ingridbarrentine.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Ode to Canada, our new on-board pre-flight safety video is set in some of Canada’s most spectacular scenery and iconic locations. A celebration of what makes our country so beautiful and unique, from coast-to-coast-to-coast. #FlyTheFlag

Air Canada @AirCanada


Association News

ICYMI: Air France Receives Diamond-Level Health-Safety Certification

Following its participation in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit in March, Air France has received a Diamond-level certification for its hospital-grade approach to the wellbeing of passengers and staff. Head to airlinehealthsafety.com to find out how to begin your health safety audit without charge. We aim to bring every airline possible up to Gold-standard health safety or higher.


> Quote of the Day

"We’ve heard the death cries for embedded IFE for a long time, and frankly, that’s not happening."

Cedric Rhoads, Thales InFlyt Experience
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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