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October 15, 2020



Today's Top Stories


SKY express Orders Four A320neos, Becomes Newest Airbus Customer

Airbus added another four aircraft and a new airline to its order book this week. Greek carrier SKY express will take the A320neos directly into its fleet, plus a pair leased from ACG Aviation Capital Group. SKY express owner Ioannis Grylos sees the A320neo as key to the company’s transition to a new era, expanding its fleet from ATR turboprops. “The combination of the most advanced technology along with the fuel efficiency that this type of aircraft offers, are elements that perfectly match the business planning of SKY express for a contemporary fleet that respects the environment and offers safe and quality services to its passengers,” he said.

Airbus | Related SAS takes delivery of its first A321LR using sustainable jet fuel — Airbus



CEO Shift Afoot at Virgin Australia

CEO Paul Scurrah will step down from his role atop Virgin Australia as the company’s ownership transitions to Bain Group later this year. Former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka will take over at that time. The impending departure was fueled by rumors of disagreement between Scurrah and Bain over the latter’s new direction for the airline, which consists of only domestic and regional services on a much smaller fleet with a single aircraft type. Bain continues to insist that the carrier will not transition to a low-cost carrier model, instead keeping a “hybrid” offering in play.

Business Traveller | Related New Virgin Australia Will Appear the Same, But Operate Differently, CEO Says — APEX Media



Cathay Pacific Unifies Wi-Fi Portal With Deutsche Telekom

The in-flight connectivity login process and portal on Cathay Pacific flights will soon be consistent, regardless of the aircraft type and Wi-Fi supplier. The carrier contracted with Deutsche Telekom to develop a common interface that will sit in front of the Gogo 2Ku or Inmarsat GX systems on board. Cathay Pacific’s general manager of Customer Experience & Design, Vivian Lo, notes that the partnership delivers “a reliable partner offering strong support and high flexibility” for customer-facing needs as well as back-office functionality.




Calgary’s Maple Leaf Lounge Reopens With Local Cuisine

As Air Canada reopens its lounge in Calgary, Alberta, it is highlighting new biosafety measures as well as a focus on local suppliers. The revised lounge menu includes Alberta beef sliders and a western breakfast burrito, plus Village Ice Cream, hand-crafted in Calgary since 2012. The rest of the menu features Canadian chefs and vintners to round out the offerings. The health features include biostatic spraying of the space and a contactless ordering system that delivers food and beverages directly to passengers at their seats in the lounge.

Air Canada | Related Inside Air Canada's Vancouver Signature Suite business class lounge — Executive Traveller



LSG Group Prepares Space Food for Second Time

LSG Group will create meals for astronaut Mathias Maurer’s trip to the International Space Station at the end of 2021. To help ensure that the meals will taste great long after liftoff, LSG Group implements autoclaving, a sterilization method that uses high-pressure steam. The technology, which LSG Group used in 2018 to prepare “bonus meals” for ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst on the “Horizons” mission, extends meal shelf life up to two years without any cooling. It also leaves intact more vitamins and nutrients than other long-term food preservation methods.

APEX Media | Related Boingo Deploys Wi-Fi 6 at John Wayne Airport — Boingo



Finnair Brings In-Flight Catering to the Supermarket

Finnair is the latest airline to boost its catering division with plans to sell meals on the ground. The carrier announced that its business-class menu will soon be offered in local supermarkets under the “Taste of Finnair” branding. Kimmo Sivonen, store manager at K-Citymarket Tammisto, which will sell the Finnair meals, said the dishes have been modified to have less salt and spices than those offered in the air, where people’s sense of taste is dulled by high altitude. The airline hopes the increased production will allow it to bring back some of the many employees it laid off earlier in the pandemic.

Afar | Related With Few Passengers, Three Airlines Pivot To Selling Inflight Meals To The Public — View From The Wing



Embraer Launches Urban Air Mobility Division Called Eve

EmbraerX, the aerospace company’s incubator and innovation arm, is launching Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions as an independent company following years of growth under the parent umbrella. Eve is developing a full portfolio of solutions to enable the UAM market and ultimately benefit people’s lives, including the progression and certification of the company’s electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL), the associated comprehensive services and support network, and the creation of urban air traffic management solutions. André Stein, former head of Strategy for EmbraerX, has been appointed CEO of Eve.

Embraer | Related Exploring Business Opportunities of Air Mobility Services in Japan Utilizing eVTOL — Volocopter





#ThrowbackThursday: Last year's Family Day air show at SFO. United Airlines says the countdown to next year's Fleet Week is on! Captured by @jaspreettravels (via Instagram).

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

> Tweet of the Day

The results are in: Your risk of exposure to COVID-19 is almost non-existent on our flights (yes, even on a full flight). Learn more about the robotic mannequins, biodefense sensors and the results of this @DeptofDefense study.

United Airlines @united


Association News

The Next APEX Weekly Wrap is Taking Off Tomorrow

In tomorrow’s episode, hosts Maryann Simson and Seth Miller chat with Elise Weber, chief sales and marketing officer for SKYTRA, an Airbus subsidiary wanting to overhaul risk management in the air travel industry. Also covered are big changes at the top of numerous airlines and suppliers announced this week, and a company that’s 3-D printing rockets! Subscribe to the APEX YouTube channel or watch previous episodes.


> Quote of the Day

“There is a lot of enthusiasm and optimism about the coming year, as well as a shift towards more aspirational and positive stories when it comes to programming.”

Kirsten Cargill, Flame Distribution
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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