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October 6, 2020



Today's Top Stories


US DOT Denies Mask Mandate Request

The transportation industry’s front-line employees were handed a setback as the Department of Transportation (DOT) denied a request to mandate mask usage by passengers on airplanes, trains and other modes of commercial transportation. The request sought a consistent application of rules to protect employees working in the confined spaces. The rejection of the request came with a note that the DOT “shares the concerns” expressed but also that it believes the CDC guidelines are sufficient to address risks.

The Hill | Related Fight breaks out on plane after passenger refuses to wear face mask — NBC News



Funding, Buyouts and Recoveries on the Horizon

Tata Sons, which owns a 51% stake in AirAsia India, is in discussions to buy out the remaining 49% held by AirAsia. In other news, Breeze Airways raised an additional $83 million in August, enough to see the carrier through to its service launch, now planned for March 2021. The carrier, backed by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, has adjusted its route plan yet again while remaining focused on nonstop routes between secondary markets. Avianca also moved forward this week, with Colombia opening its borders to international routes and a $2-billion rescue financing package approved by the US Bankruptcy Court overseeing the company’s reorganization.

Times of India | Related Breeze Airways raises $83 million in new financing — Travel Weekly



XpresCheck Launches Rapid COVID Tests

From tomorrow, XpresCheck will begin rapid testing for COVID-19 at John F. Kennedy and Newark International Airports, allowing passengers to receive results within 13 minutes. The “Abbott’s portable, rapid molecular ID NOW COVID-19 test” is an addition to XpresCheck’s existing testing options, including PCR and antibody tests. XpresCheck said it is in discussions about linking the results from its partnered labs directly to health passport apps, and is working with major airlines to support the creation of air bridges between US cities and international destinations.

Globe Newswire | Related Government set to clear pilot scheme for airport Covid testing this week — Travel Weekly



Ready 2 Order Launches Lounge Dining App

Global airport lounge networks will soon have a new option to help deliver fresh food to passengers. Ready 2 Order, backed by the Collinson Group, makes it easy for lounge operators to bring food back to their facilities without the traditional buffet setup. Customers access the menu via a QR code or NFC link and selections are delivered to their seat or a common collection point, depending on the lounge. The service leverages technology from strategic partner Grab and is online in two Mexico City Grand Lounge Elite locations. Further pilot launches are planned in October across India, USA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the UK.

Collinson Group | Related Readymade solution: Brisbane Airport partners with snapfresh to deliver vending machine meals — Moodie Davitt Report



American Express JFK Centurion Lounge Coming Soon

The newest and largest American Express Centurion Lounge will soon open at JFK Airport in New York City. The 15,000-square-foot facility features a number of NYC-specific elements.The six distinct work and play areas include a speakeasy-themed bar and an Equinox Body Lab with wellness offerings tailored to the pre-flight experience. James Beard Award-nominated chef Ignacio Mattos, of Estela, Flora Bar, and Café Altro Paradiso in Manhattan, is overseeing the menus.

CN Traveler | Related American Express Centurion Lounge Opens At Charlotte Douglas Airport — Forbes



Singapore Airlines Brings Amenity Kits Back to Business Class

Singapore Airlines will deliver in-flight amenity kits to business-class passengers starting later this year. The move comes in partnership with British perfumers Penhaligon’s and was driven by amenities supplier Buzz. Inside the kit are three Penhaligon’s skin care products: Quercus Lip Balm, Quercus Hand Lotion and Quercus Facial Mist. Quercus is a cologne with notes of citrus and basil, supported by jasmine, cardamom, lily and amber. The product will launch with the carrier’s “at-home” services this month and take flight as its aircraft return to the skies in the coming months.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related SIA@Home — Krisshop



Lyon to Launch Biometric Airport Experience

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport is launching an app-based, contactless travel experience powered by facial recognition technology. Airport operator VINCI cooperated with IDEMIA and RESA to develop and implement the solution. Passengers will scan their face via Mona, the airport app, and then use that, along with a verified boarding pass and travel documents, to access security checkpoints, e-Gates and aircraft boarding. The program trial will launch on October 15 with TAP and Transavia.

Business wire | Related Facial Recognition Tech That Works With Masks — APEX Media





"Shrimp wanton noodle soup has got to be the best in-flight snack."

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

> Tweet of the Day

We’ve sponsored a McMaster HealthLabs study with over 15,000 voluntary COVID-19 tests taken by international customers arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport. Over 99% have tested negative. We believe that a test-based strategy may be a safe alternative to the 14-day quarantine.

Air Canada @AirCanada


Association News

Keep Track of the Latest COVID-19 Aviation News

The coronavirus crisis has forced airlines, airports and governments to work together and find innovative solutions to restore traveler confidence and uphold the highest levels of safety. To keep tabs on industry goings-on, and trace the beginnings of its recovery, keep this page handy. It’s updated daily with insights courtesy of trusted news sources and stories from our exclusive network of members.


> Quote of the Day

"We set out to develop a site that is indicative of APEX’s innovative spirit, displays a streamlined design, and delivers a better user experience for our members.”

Robin Applebaum, APEX
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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