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October 9, 2020



Today's Top Stories


APEX Weekly Wrap: Wireless IFE Streaming Charts Course to Recovery

In today’s episode, hosts Maryann Simson and Seth Miller focus on the influx of recent in-flight entertainment and connectivity news. AirFi’s CEO, Job Heimerikx, joins to discuss the company’s latest deployment for North America’s Eastern Airlines, as well as its progress with AirFi LEO, a lightweight IFC product. Also explored is Bluebox Aviation Systems’ new partnership with dnata for in-flight catering and retail, ZIPAIR’s choice of Panasonic IFC, KLM’s 101st birthday and more.




Comtech, Gilat Scrub Merger Plans

Satellite communications companies Comtech and Gilat scrapped plans for a merger first announced in January 2020. The announcement also comes with a $70-million payment by Comtech to Gilat to settle outstanding litigation. The companies anticipated a “perfect marriage” that would combine their technologies and drive both businesses forward, according to a joint statement. Alas, the COVID-19 pandemic skewed the market so that the settlement was agreed upon as the best course of action.

Gilat | Related Gilat Reports Q2 2020 Results — Gilat



IATA Pushes Safety of Air Travel With Airbus, Boeing, Embraer

"The risk of contracting the virus on board appears to be in the same category as being struck by lightning." This is the message IATA's CEO Alexandre de Juniac shared as Boeing, Airbus and Embraer came together in a joint press conference to highlight independent research studying the risk of disease transmission on board. The three manufacturers each approached the question from a slightly different angle and came back with data suggesting that transmission risk is spectacularly low, as are the number of confirmed cases. Ultimately the group hopes to restore passenger confidence and boost bookings.

Business Travel News Europe | Related Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing High on IATA’s Agenda, Director General Says — APEX Media



Middle East Airlines Chooses Recaro for Airbus A320 Seats

Beirut-based Middle East Airlines took delivery of the 10,000th Airbus A320 family aircraft this week, growing its A321neo fleet. The carrier also announced that the 11 NEO planes will be fitted with Recaro seats in both economy class and the premium cabin. The business-class CL5710 seat offers an integrated leg rest and power controls, along with a 50-inch pitch. The CL3710 is a premium economy-class offering, with six-way headrest and other comfort features for long-haul flights.

Arabian Aerospace | Related Wizz Air selects ELeather for 32,000 new seat deal — Inflight Online



Thales Brings Facial Recognition Boarding to MAD

Passengers in T4 at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD) will have the option to pass through the terminal and on to the plane using facial recognition rather than boarding passes and identity cards. The program, being tested with Iberia at two gates, allows registered travelers to clear fast-track security and the boarding gates without displaying documentation. A dedicated mobile app is required, as is registration of details at dedicated kiosks in the terminal, though the hope is to eventually streamline those parts of the process as well.

Thales Group | Related Facial recognition: top 7 trends — Thales Group



Improved Filtration, Increased Humidity Set to Fly

A pair of in-flight filtration companies are teaming up to improve cleanliness and humidity of the air on board. Camfil and CTT Systems will jointly produce updated solutions that integrate the Camfil filtration platform with the CTT humidifier systems used on the flight deck and in crew rest bunks. The initial objective is to reduce ozone and/or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) without increasing the complexity or maintenance requirements of the systems. The companies will initially target CTT’s broad install base on Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s.

My News Desk | Related Teague’s AirShield ventilation design aims to reduce COVID-19 risk for air travelers — Geek Wire



Contentious Third Runway at LHR Would Be Built in 2030

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) revised its plans to build a third runway, pushing the completion date from 2026 to 2030. The project is in front of the UK Supreme Court, which is to decide whether the new runway would contravene the terms of the Paris Agreement by contributing to increased carbon emissions. The Court of Appeal previously derailed the project. An airport spokesperson said the expansion would be compliant with all legislation.

Independent | Related Heathrow third runway ruled illegal over climate change — The Guardian





"Chicken curry, broccoli and steamed jasmine rice."

This week, we're featuring photos captured by @notatravelbloggr, which were included in the April/May 2020 issue of  #APEXExperienceMag.

> Tweet of the Day

Watch our VP of Global Sales, Hernan Abbes, talk about the importance of our airline customers and how the Welcome Aboard Collection is helping them ease passenger anxieties and create a healthier travel experience. #COVID19

Panasonic Avionics @PanasonicAero


Association News

Join APEX and Commit to the Future of the Airline Industry

APEX members accelerate advancements to every aspect of the passenger experience. More than 300 international and regional airlines, aircraft manufacturers, motion picture studios, content providers, avionics systems manufacturers, airports and others form our community. Members also receive a discount when registering for FTE APEX Virtual Expo. Learn about the different categories of APEX membership and apply now.


> Quote of the Day

"Cross-industry partnerships can offer a great deal to the future prosperity of air travel."

Monica Wick, RedCabin
Read the article


Until Tuesday



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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