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October 20, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Inmarsat and Hughes Promise Unrivalled In-Flight Wi-Fi With GX+ North America

GX+ North America, a service from Inmarsat and Hughes, promises to offer North American airlines and their customers high-speed, reliable coverage for in-flight broadband, even when flying at full capacity over the busiest airport hubs. Prototype flights are planned for later this year, with commercial availability scheduled for 2021. Niels Steenstrup, SVP of In-Flight Business & Americas Market Capture at Inmarsat Aviation, believes connectivity-enabled in-flight services will enhance value during and after the pandemic. “Things like in-flight entertainment, contactless payment and contactless catering improve passenger confidence,” he told APEX Media.

APEX Media | Related Gen Z’s Online Shopping Habits Expected to Translate on Board, Says Inmarsat — APEX Media



American Airlines Plans for 737 MAX Return This Year

Passengers booking flights with American Airlines (AA) between New York LaGuardia and Miami International Airports for the week between December 29 and January 4 will be notified that the aircraft they’ll be flying on is a Boeing 737 MAX. Tickets go on sale for the week in question on October 24. The move relies on the MAX’s recertification by the FAA, and AA says once it goes through, the aircraft will be phased in on additional routes. EASA recertified the aircraft on October 16, but the FAA is still yet to review Boeing's final design changes.

CN Traveler | Related Boeing Max Judged Safe to Fly by Europe’s Aviation Regulator — Bloomberg



Seamless Air Alliance Defines OpenIFC-Compliant Hardware

Following on from Seamless Release 1 (SR1), its first set of technical documents published in February this year, Seamless Air Alliance has now issued Seamless Release 2.0 (SR2), which provides specific definitions for each network component within an IFC system. Together with SR1, these definitions mean that suppliers can design and deliver OpenIFC-compliant hardware to the industry. Seamless Air Alliance’s CEO, Jack Mandala, expects the new OpenIFC platform to quickly become a favorite of airlines, as it will help to drive down the cost of individual components and increase the upgrade and deployment cycle speeds.

APEX Media | Related Seamless Air Alliance Introduces Open In-Flight Connectivity Standards — APEX Media



Aeroflot Crew Allegedly Involved in International Smuggling Operation

Ten Russian nationals were charged on Monday with smuggling $50 million worth of Apple products from the US to Russia. Eight of those charged were arrested with two remaining at large. The crime syndicate relied on Aeroflot cabin crew to help move the stolen goods between the US and Russia, according to the charges. Hundreds of devices were moved on each trip, according to the US Department of Justice. As a result of the investigation 113 visas of current and former Aeroflot employees were revoked.

The Moscow Times | Related Ten Individuals Charged in $50 Million Russian Smuggling Scheme — US Department of Justice 



Paris, London Launch Airport COVID Testing Services

Passengers at the two main Paris airports face mandatory COVID testing as of October 26. All travelers arriving or departing are subject to a quick results antigenic test. Only those reporting negative results will be permitted to fly. Heathrow Airport is offering a similar service but only for travelers headed to Hong Kong or Italy. Those passengers can also present test results from an outside party rather than paying £80 for the one-hour results at the airport. The industry hopes that increased testing will help alleviate the need for quarantines upon arrival.

Connexion France | Related New Covid-19 testing options rolled-out at Heathrow — Breaking Travel News



Cathay, Finnair Outline Additional Job Cuts

Cathay Pacific Group is expected to trim about 18% of its workforce – far fewer than previously expected – as it reorganizes its operations to address the shift in demand driven by COVID-19. The group will also close its Cathay Dragon brand that focuses more on regional and mainland China routes compared to the long-haul services of the flagship Cathay Pacific operations, though it does not intend to yield its China services. Finnair is eliminating 700 positions out of 6,500 total employees globally.

South China Morning Post | Related Finnair cuts approximately 700 jobs, long-term temporary layoffs continue for thousands of Finnair employees — Travel Daily News



dnata Expands Ground Handling Services Into Indonesia With UNEX Partnership

A new strategic partnership in Indonesia will see global air services provider dnata invest and expand its footprint, joining PT UNEX Rajawali Indonesia (UNEX) to serve airlines across the country. The deal will see dnata and UNEX enhance ground handling capacity through joint investments in facilities, equipment and training. The collaboration will launch in Jakarta (CGK) with plans to expand it into other Indonesian airports in the coming years.

dnata | Related Bluebox and dnata Announce In-Flight Retail Partnership — APEX Media





“Putting it on plastic” has become second nature, but it all started with airline customers showing their metal.

This week, we're featuring throwbacks from past issues of #APEXExperienceMag. Read the latest issue here.

> Tweet of the Day

Happy #InternationalDayoftheAirTrafficController. Thank you for keeping an eye on the sky and on our safety! #ATC #AvGeek #safety

Safran Aerosystems @SafranAerosys


Association News

Exhibitors: Contact APEX Media for Tailor-Made Editorial, Advertising and Video Opportunities

APEX Media will be producing the official Virtual Show Dailies and personalized exhibitor interview videos for FTE APEX Virtual Expo, as well as offering editorial promotion, sponsored content via our website, daily newsletter, video platforms, social media platforms and other special products. Need to populate your trade show booth with engaging video? Let us know about your latest news, featured products and overall proposition, and we'll get to work! Learn more about our offerings or send us an email.


> Quote of the Day

“It is an honor to be selected by COMAC, they will benefit from all the advantages offered by our cutting-edge technology."

Benjamin Saada, Expliseat
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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