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November 19, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Viasat Buys Out KA-SAT JV From Eutelsat

After being part of a joint venture for several years, Viasat and Eutelsat agreed to go their separate ways. Under the €140million deal, Viasat will take over full ownership of the KA-SAT satellite and the Euro Broadband Infrastructure (EBI) wholesale business. The move allows Viasat to increase its direct retail satellite services capacity, including to airlines, in advance of the ViaSat-3 satellite launch scheduled for 2022. Eutelsat will continue to support its customers through its recent acquisition of Bigblu Broadband and its recently activated KONNECT Ka-band satellite, as well as KONNECT VHTS slated for launch next year.




KLM Signs as Recaro SL3710 Launch Customer

KLM’s newest planes will feature Recaro’s latest seats on board. The E195-E2 aircraft, slated for delivery starting early in 2021, will fly with the SL3170 seats in the economy-class cabin. The SL3710 is Recaro’s lightest seat, helping to reduce fuel burn. The carrier will also deploy the BL3710 on board for business-class passengers, bringing extras like a six-way headrest to the premium cabin. KLM will also retrofit some of its E190 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft with the Recaro products.

Aviator | Related KLM selects Recaro SL3710, BL3710 for short-haul fleet – Paxex.aero



[PHOTOS] Behind the Scenes of Delta’s COVID Protocol at LAX

Delta Air Lines invited APEX Media to visit Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last week to take each step of the customer experience, from airport to aircraft. The tour included a behind-the-scenes look at the electrostatic cleaning process that happens after every flight. “There’s nothing more important to us than our employees’ and our customers’ well-being,” said Sandy Gordon, senior vice-president of Airport Operations, Domestic Stations for the West Region at Delta.

APEX Media | Related Delta Introduces Vyv Antimicrobial LED Lighting – APEX Media



How Medical AI Is Helping the Aviation Industry Fight COVID

More than 22,000 Etihad Airways passengers completed a Medicus AI COVID-19 risk assessment in the two months since the service launched with the airline. “The medical-reasoning engine operates based on the exact reasoning doctors use when looking at an individual’s health data,” said Baher Al Hakim, CEO, Medicus AI. Meanwhile, Fazing Labs has developed a thermal imaging system called Thermal Gateway, which detects fever in 0.4 seconds, allowing airlines to quickly screen for possible COVID-19 cases. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect patterns that would be invisible to conventional testing.

APEX Media | Related Read the latest issue of APEX Experience Magazine



Alaska Airlines Brings Cargo Into the Cabin With HAECO Seating Conversion

Alaska Airlines wants to carry more cargo on a handful of aircraft, but does not want to pull out the main cabin seats to do so. HAECO stepped up to the challenge, delivering an FAA-approved seating modification that allows boxes to be safely stored on board without significant cabin modifications. The seat storage solution adds 13,500 pounds of additional capacity to its Boeing 737-900s, bringing the total to 30,000 pounds. “HAECO’s design will allow us to maximize the available space, increase our cargo capacity and protect the supply chain by connecting critical cargo to the communities we serve during this public health crisis,” said Torque Zubeck, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo.

Cargo Airports & Airline Services | Related 100 Solutions to Pandemic Problems, Part 4: Aircraft Interiors – APEX Media



Norwegian Seeks Bankruptcy Protection in Ireland

With government support having dried up, Norwegian is moving forward with legal protections to restructure its business and debt. The carrier sought protections under Irish law for two of its subsidiaries, including its aircraft leasing arm, to protect its most valuable assets as it tries to survive the COVID winter. As part of the evaluation, the Irish authorities will determine if the carrier’s business model is sufficiently viable to justify discharging some of the obligations. Considering the current industry state and history of losses, that could be a challenging bar to overcome.

The Guardian | Related Norwegian cuts staff and planes after bailout refusal – Business Travel Europe



SITA, Orange Business Services Upgrade Connectivity at 60 Airports

SITA’s AirportHub shared connectivity platform delivers a managed network connectivity solution for airlines at more than 600 airports around the world. More than 60 of these locations are now offering even faster service thanks to an upgrade with Orange Business Services’ Flexible SD-WAN portfolio. The solution provides on-demand bandwidth while optimizing costs by utilizing multiple transport technologies in an application-driven network, with real-time visibility and control over the network. SITA intends to continue the SD-WAN rollout to more of its airport locations, supporting airport and airline applications as they shift to more data-intensive cloud deployments.

SITA | Related SITA steps up smart border solutions to support new regulations for entry and exit to the EU Schengen Zone – SITA





In the latest #APEXExperienceMag, @fergandronicus explores the role of artificial intelligence in slowing the spread of COVID-19 during travel.

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

> Tweet of the Day

In the spirit of mālama, we’re planting a tree for every flight to Hawai‘i through the end of 2020. Join us by sponsoring your own Alaska Airlines Legacy Tree—or by volunteering when you visit. Learn more about planting the seed for a great trip now.

Alaska Airlines @AlaskaAir


Association News

The APEX Weekly Wrap Is Back!

After a one-week hiatus, the APEX Weekly Wrap is back. Tomorrow’s episode will feature an excerpt of an interview with easyJet’s chief commercial and customer officer, Robert Carey, which was recorded during Inmarsat’s recent FlightPlan event. Also covered are this week’s biggest news headlines, including the ungrounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX, the launch of the Star Alliance Biometrics platform, and JetBlue’s newly updated Mint experience. Make sure you don’t miss it by subscribing to the APEX YouTube channel.


> Quote of the Day

“Before the pandemic, private travel was mostly a question of time-saving. Now, there’s the added component of social distancing.”

Lukas Kaestner, Hamburg Aviation
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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