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November 3, 2020



Today's Top Stories


US Airlines Bullish on Holiday Travel Demand

Many US airlines are reporting encouraging signs regarding holiday bookings despite an increase in coronavirus case numbers and politicians urging people not to travel during the festive period. Southwest Airlines’ president Tom Nealon said that the airline has studied July’s booking and cancellation patterns to identify warning signals about a decline in demand, but it has not seen similar patterns despite the increase in cases. Alaska Airlines’ CEO Brad Tilden said there is a "greater disconnect'' between COVID-19 cases and bookings because the airline industry’s safety message is getting across to travelers, while Allegiant’s CEO Maury Gallagher puts increased bookings down to “pandemic fatigue.”

USA Today | Related Can The Next President Of The United States Save The Travel Industry? — Forbes



Legal Challenge Against UK Treasury’s Plans to Axe Duty-Free

Dufry, Global Blue and Heathrow Airport are mounting a legal challenge against the UK Treasury’s plans to end tax-free sales and VAT rebates for outbound tourists on goods other than liquor and tobacco from January 1, 2021. In a joint statement, the companies said, “We believe there are solutions available that can address concerns, whilst protecting the UK’s competitiveness as a shopping destination and airport retail in a year that will be so critical as it recovers from the worst year in history.” The challenge is supported by the UK Travel Retail Forum.

Moodie Davitt Report | Related Duty-free ban a ‘staggering own goal’ for UK retail — Drapers



Panasonic Avionics’ Sales Down 60% Year-on-Year

Panasonic Corporation’s Connected Solutions unit saw sales decline by 27% year-over-year, to $3.59 billion, for the three-month period ending September 30. In its fiscal second quarter earnings report, the company explained, “This is due largely to decreased sales at [Panasonic] Avionics, which was impacted by a sharp decline in flight operations and a significant reduction in aircraft production.” Panasonic Avionics’ sales for the same period dropped by 60%, to $234 million from $581 million the previous year. Panasonic Corporation also said the “severe” situation in its Connected Solutions segment “is expected to continue in the second half [of the year] due to worse than expected deterioration of air passenger demand.”

Runway Girl Network | Related The Weekly Wrap: Panasonic’s New IFEC Deployment, AA and Jetblue Strike a Deal — APEX Media



Qatar Airways Partners With IATA on Carbon Offset Program

Qatar Airways has launched a voluntary carbon offset program in partnership with IATA. Passengers can opt into the program, which is one of only four globally to be approved by the Quality Assurance Standard, when booking flights through Qatar’s website or mobile app. Emissions will be offset by sustainable development expert ClimateCare, through the Fatanpur Wind Farm project in India. The project sees 54 wind turbine generators displace electricity created from fossil fuel sources from the Indian National Grid and avoids 210,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Qatar Airways | Related Air New Zealand Passengers Boost Voluntary Carbon Offsets — Airline Ratings



American Airlines’ New Wheelchair Weight Policy is Being Scrutinized

Power wheelchair user John Morris was recently denied boarding on a regional American Airlines flight because his 400-pound wheelchair exceeded the carrier’s 300-pound wheelchair weight limit for the jet he was set to fly. When he complained, John found out American Airlines introduced the limitation in June 2020. Kenneth Shiotani, an attorney with the National Disability Rights Network, believes the move violates the Air Carriers Access Act, a federal law that says an airline cannot refuse to carry a passenger on the basis of their disability. “If this really is a policy of not taking 300-pound wheelchairs, the vast majority of power wheelchair users are not going to be able to fly,” he said.

NPR | Related New federal requirements show airlines damage thousands of wheelchairs each year — USA Today



Garuda Indonesia to Join State-Run Holding Company

The Indonesian government will bring together nine state-run companies, including the national airline Garuda Indonesia, under a holding company. The goal is to energize the tourism sector by having the companies work together to offer enticing travel packages while bringing internal costs down. Joining Garuda and subsidiary Citilink are two airport management companies, a hotel, a department store, and tourist and heritage site operators. The government plans to provide $579 million in financial assistance to the holding company and own 60% of shares.

Nikkei | Related Bali Tourism Struggles to Survive during Pandemic — Jakarta Globe



Interjet Grounded for Two Days After Not Paying for Fuel

According to Mexican media, low-cost carrier Interjet had to abruptly cancel 19 flights scheduled on Sunday and Monday because it hadn’t prepaid for its jet fuel in accordance with the terms of Airports and Auxiliary Services, a government corporation responsible for the management, operation and development of airports. On its website, Interjet admitted that its cash flow has been disrupted by COVID-19. “Additionally, some of the company’s aircraft are undergoing maintenance tasks, which has caused a reorganization of flight itineraries,” the statement continued.

Mexico News Daily | Related Mexican Low-Cost Carrier Interjet Can’t Pay for Fuel, Cancels Flights — Airline Weekly





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Association News

APEX Airline Members: Participate in IAMA’s Survey

The Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (IAMA) is reaching out to technical experts within the airline community to gather pain points that will help shape the content and solutions for the IAMA Standard. IAMA invites APEX airline members to click here to complete a short survey. IAMA, along with various partners, works to develop standards that streamline communication and documentation within approved supplemental type certificate (STC) modification projects and implement the agreed standard throughout the full lifecycle of the modification – from RFP to after-sales support.


FTE APEX Virtual Expo Agenda Now Available!

FTE and APEX are excited to reveal the first 100 confirmed Virtual Expo speakers. Expect a memorable learning experience thanks to the participation of industry leaders, technology giants, disruptors, parallel industries, government agencies, academia and startups. Our high-level lineup of expert speakers will discuss topics ranging from airports of the future and the inflight experience of tomorrow, to how urban air mobility will integrate with and complement existing modes of travel. View the conference agenda and register now.


> Quote of the Day

“This is another example of how Delta and our startup partners have worked together to create a safer travel experience.”

Don Mitacek, Delta
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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