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November 16, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Consolidation Coming in Korea

The Hanjin Group, parent of Korean Air, will acquire rival Asiana Airlines as part of a multi-billion dollar deal. “Korean Air’s acquisition and the expansion of its routes, fleet and capacity will give the airline the competitiveness to compete with global mega airlines,” said Hanjin Group. The transaction is being funded in part by the Korean Development Bank to help secure the nation’s position as a global aerospace leader and the Incheon hub as a critical stop for passenger and cargo flows. The combined operation should propel Korean Air into the top 10 airlines on a global scale.

Business Traveller | Related What Would A Korean Air-Asiana Airlines Merger Look Like? – Simple Flying



Air New Zealand Hosts In-Flight Movie Premiere

While other carriers around the globe are offering flights to nowhere to boost revenue, Air New Zealand is back to running true promotional events in the air. The latest World Premiere in the Air event flew from Auckland to Dunedin carrying popular Kiwi band SIX60 and a planeload of fans. Customers traveling on flight Z660 were treated to a surprise performance by SIX60 at the gate lounge in Auckland and are the very first in the world to see the documentary titled SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out, alongside the band themselves.

Scoop | Related Air New Zealand inflight quiz now on Instagram – Air New Zealand



100 Solutions to Aviation's COVID-19 Problems: Part 4

A staggering number of companies are taking on the challenge of reducing COVID-19 transmission on aircraft. Some solutions present different takes on physical barriers and seat partitions, while others, like Diehl’s Portable UVC Light Unit, work on a molecular level to kill germs. The full list of 100 solutions, sponsored by Diehl, will be featured in the next issue of APEX Experience magazine, which will be released tomorrow.  




Abu Dhabi Trials AI for Crowd Control

Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways and ConvergentAI are collaborating on an AI-powered system that aims to reduce queuing and improve operational performance across the airport. A subset of outbound passengers will receive a pre-departure message with a suggested arrival time at the airport, staggered from other travelers. The goal is to improve social distancing and reduce queues. On an operational level, the program aims to smooth ground handling processes, including the dispatch of teams for baggage handling and aircraft fueling.

Airports International | Related Etihad’s early-warning system at Abu Dhabi airport to identify medically at-risk travellers – Gulf News



Qatar Airways Begins 777 IFE Retrofit

Qatar Airways is updating the in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens across its Boeing 777 fleet. The carrier is the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ new EcoFW 10” HD screens and completed the first aircraft retrofit last week. The new screens are lighter and more reliable than the prior generation and the effort also includes a new server to increase content available on the Oryx IFE platform. The upgrade can be accomplished in an overnight maintenance visit, reducing aircraft-on-ground time and helping to keep costs down for the program.

Panasonic Avionics | Related Qatar Airways Adds Additional Flights to the U.S. – Airline Geeks



Factorydesign Pushes Forward With HeadZone

Factorydesign is moving forward with development of its HeadZone privacy attachment for seats, first tipped at the beginning of the pandemic. The lightweight, recyclable, cardboard solution provides “wings” to isolate a passenger’s head with minimal weight and cost considerations. The company partnered with Global Aviation to bring the kit to market, following continued interest from airlines. The product will soon be available for airline customers, according to the two companies.

Aero-Mag | Related MONOCLE ON DESIGN episode 456 – Monocle



Gategroup Stabilizes Finances With Restructured Debt

Global catering company Gategroup Holdings announced an agreement with RRJ Capital and Temasek to deliver more than three quarters of a billion dollars in new liquidity. A mix of equity and debt, the deal marks what Gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol calls “a key milestone” in the company’s efforts to stabilize and plan for the future. With passenger numbers massively depressed, particularly in the long-haul markets the catering company supports, revenue is similarly light.

Reuters | Related Restructuring of the Group’s Financial Indebtedness – Gategroup





This week, we're looking back at past covers of #APEXExperienceMag. Here's what they looked like in 2019!

The next issue of APEX Experience magazine will be released tomorrow, you'll find it here!

> Tweet of the Day

Congratulations on your 100th Anniversary @Qantas! We're proud to be your partner. Today we're sharing some of the highlights of our journey together so far. Looking forward to many more!

Airbus @Airbus


Association News

More FTE APEX Virtual Expo Speakers Announced

Begin preparing for FTE APEX Virtual Expo by viewing the event agenda. New speakers have been announced, including Andrés Castañeda of Aeroméxico, Linda-Patrice Celestino from Etihad Airways, Jungy Han from Incheon International Airport Corporation and Greg Forbes representing Delta Air Lines. The Virtual Expo Show Preview, an interactive digital magazine, is also out now. Use it to mark your diary for a number of exclusives, including a sensational line-up of CEO keynotes, a new FTE APEX Think Tank, APEX Tech sessions, and a live broadcast of the APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Meeting.


APEX0415v3 Request For Comments

The HDR update of APEX0415 is nearly done and the Working Group requests your input. After approval for the work at the January 2020 TECH meeting and in spite of COVID impact, after six months of activity being led by co-chairs Andy Rosen of DSR, Juraj Siska of Ideanova, and Philip Watson of Panasonic Avionics and assisted by about a dozen faithful working group members, the result of their work to more clearly specify HDR for IFE use is now open for comments. Most notable changes are the addition of a 1080p HDR profile (§5.2.5), a display requirements section (§9), and HDR best practices (§10.7). Please review the spec in the APEX Member’s Only section, Resources/Technical Specifications and provide comments by 29 November 2020. A changed marked version is provided for your convenience. Send comments to Nicole Blackshear at nblackshear@apex.aero.


> Quote of the Day

“It’s definitely the cleanest time ever in the world to travel … in terms of aircraft, hotels, everything."

Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic
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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