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November 17, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Are COVID-Safe Solutions Being Designed With Accessibility in Mind?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the minimization of interactions at airports, but accessible aviation consultant Mary Doyle highlights that passengers with disabilities “may require more notice so [they] can adapt to changes in processes and technologies that have been quickly introduced.” Fortunately, some companies are putting accessibility at the forefront of their touchless kiosk solutions, for example. “Our research led us to develop multiple channels of interaction – voice, movement detection and contactless scanning – between the passenger and the technology, to suit their preference,” explained Ilya Gutlin, CCO and board member, Elenium Automation.

APEX Media | Related [VIDEO] Accessible Aviation Training; Airlines Reach App and Out – APEX Media



Lufthansa, SWISS Launch Star Alliance Biometrics Platform

Enrol once, access seamless travel anywhere. That’s the goal of the Star Alliance Biometrics platform, starting this month with Lufthansa and SWISS’ Miles & More members at the airlines’ Frankfurt and Munich hubs. The two carriers are now on-boarding members through the Lufthansa mobile app. Passengers verify their identity and select which airlines and airports to use the service with, then they can pass through biometric touchpoints. Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance, noted, “This is a customer-centric solution that furthers our credentials in innovation, particularly its multi-airline and multi-airport capability.”

Star Alliance | Related Star Alliance Connects Airline Members With Biometrics – APEX Media



Aer Lingus Scores Access to oneworld

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a tentative approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint venture, opening up the potential for coordinated pricing and schedule activities with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia. Since 2015, Aer Lingus has been owned by International Airlines Group, which is also the parent of British Airways and Iberia. The DOT dismissed concerns of reduced competition, citing Norwegian’s presence in the market (although its fleet it currently grounded) and limited barriers to entry because newer single-aisle planes can operate many Ireland–US routes.

Paxex.aero | Related oneworld crowned Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Awards – Oneworld



Singapore Airlines Confirms A380 Cabin Upgrades

Singapore Airlines will standardize its remaining A380 fleet with a common cabin layout, indicating this week that four older configurations will be upgraded to the new standard. The newer layout offers a double bed arrangement for first-class passengers as well as some business-class seats. The premium economy section is expanded and features an upgraded in-flight entertainment offering in economy class. The retrofit should also see the A380s receive Inmarsat's GX Aviation in-flight connectivity kit, improving the Wi-Fi on board.

Mainly Miles | Related Singapore Airlines posts largest loss of US$1.7 billion as coronavirus cuts global travel – SCMP



Lufthansa Group Launches Buy-On-Board, Backed by Retail inMotion

When Lufthansa Group airlines launch their buy-on-board snack service in early 2021, they’ll have the support of an old friend. Retail inMotion (RiM), a subsidiary of LSG Group, is providing the digital platform to support its in-flight retail operations. “Our customers want more choice and quality,” said Heike Birlenbach, CCO at Lufthansa Airlines. “With RiM as a retail and IT partner, we can optimally implement the new concept and offer our customers a broader, high-quality selection of food and beverages onboard in the future.”

retail inmotion | Related Greater choice on board: fresh, high quality food and beverages with a regional touch – Lufthansa Group



Spafax Launches Cinéphile World Cinema Curation Package

Airlines have a new option for securing rights to global movie titles. The Cinéphile offering from Spafax delivers a curated suite of movies from more than 300 distributors for a flat fee, providing budgetary certainty and access to a broad range of content. The languages featured in the Cinéphile package include French, German, Italian, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese, with more expected to be added over the coming months. Outside of Cinéphile, Spafax will continue to offer its bespoke programming service.

Spafax | Related AirFi, Spafax Partner for Next-Gen IFE Content, Advertising Solutions – APEX Media



More Cuts as Pandemic Hits Japan, Germany

Six weeks after halting operations, AirAsia Japan formally declared bankruptcy. The company previously promised refunds for cancelled flights would be issued in April 2021 or beyond, but the issue remains unclear as the carrier has indicated it is “currently unable to settle the outstanding refunds” in a statement related to the bankruptcy filing. And component supplier Diehl Aviation announced cuts at its headquarters in Germany. The company expects 2022 sales levels to drop by 50% compared to 2019 and will trim its workforce by roughly 1,400 as a result.






In the latest #APEXExperienceMag, @lazydaycool explores how the air travel industry will be altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 10.4 November/December 2020 issue of APEX Experience magazine is now available!

> Tweet of the Day

Today was the first COVID free flight from EWR to LHR and it was brought to us by this great leader⁦ @Tobyatunited⁩ and his team! ❤️ the innovation from this team and the way we are Leading the Industry! Well done and congrats!

Kate Gebo @kategebo


Association News

Solutions Abound in the November/December Issue of APEX Experience Magazine

What will it take for the passenger experience industry to overcome the many challenges posed by COVID-19? The articles in this issue of APEX Experience magazine show that a good dose of innovation, the latest science and a boost in customer confidence are all part of the equation. Also in this issue: An exclusive interview with Candace McGraw, the CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport; the new antenna driving performance up while keeping costs down; the long-term effects of pandemic-prompted cleaning protocols on aircraft components; and medically-minded artificial intelligence at an airport near you.


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

"Confidence in travel is coming back, certainly in the domestic US market. We see that happening and that’s encouraging.”

Perry Cantarutti, Delta Air Lines
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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