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December 3, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Ryanair Hinges Recovery Plan on 737 MAX

Boeing announced that Ryanair has ordered 75 additional 737 8-200 MAX jets, bringing the airline's total number of firm orders with the OEM to 210. Ryanair is the launch customer for this variant of the aircraft, which seats nearly 200 passengers. Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary said that the MAX aircraft will enable the airline to offer lower fares beginning next year. "As soon as the COVID-19 virus recedes … Ryanair and our partner airports across Europe will – with these environmentally efficient aircraft – rapidly restore flights and schedules, recover lost traffic” and boost tourism.

APEX Media | Related Ryanair agrees to buy 75 extra 737 MAX jets in boost for Boeing – Reuters



Unlocking New Digital Advantages: Q&A With Inmarsat President Philip Balaam

In a recent survey of almost 10,000 respondents conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, satellite and connectivity operator Inmarsat revealed how people feel about the future of flying. In this Q&A, president of Inmarsat Aviation Philip Balaam delves into some of the findings and shares how digitalization is at the heart of aviation recovery. This article originally appeared in the Expo Daily Experience: Preview. Read the full issue and register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo.

APEX Media | Related Intelsat 2020 Inflight Connectivity Survey – Intelsat



Oman Air’s “My Space” Offers Blocked Middle Seat

Passengers looking to keep their distance on board have a new option from Oman Air: My Space. The offering allows travelers to choose a seat during the check-in process and pay extra to keep adjacent seats empty. While airlines have mostly given up on blocking seats on board, some passengers still prefer the additional space, and with loads generally low, especially on longer international flights, this is an opportunity to generate a bit of extra revenue and deliver a more comfortable experience for travelers.

Oman Air | Related Stumbling Block: Plusgrade’s Dynamic Seat Blocker Helps Airlines Address Obstacles – APEX Media



Gategroup Completes Acquisition of LSG Europe

Gategroup’s core catering business got a strong boost in Europe as it closed on the acquisition of LSG’s European operations. The deal, first announced one year ago, covers catering operations in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain, as well as retail outlets, equipment and train catering operations. Xavier Rossinyol, gategroup CEO, sees the deal as supporting the company’s response to COVID-19 with “a high degree of flexibility, partnership and trust of all parties involved.”

Gategroup | Related Gategroup reaches debt deal with RRJ, Temesek and lenders – Reuters



US DOT Tightens Service Animal Rules

US airlines will soon be able to limit animals in the cabin. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will soon be able to limit the type and number of animals on board and restrict service animals to trained dogs. The move effectively closes a loophole whereby travelers were avoiding airline charges for carrying a pet in the cabin or limiting the types of animals that could fly. The DOT expects that airlines could see more than $50 million annually in revenue from restoring those fees.

CNN | Related [PHOTOS] From Alligators to Pigs, Airport Therapy Animals Make Travelers Smile – APEX Media



Star Alliance’s Biometrics Platform Enhances Airline and Airport COVID-19 Safety Collaboration

Lufthansa Group is the first Star Alliance member to use its biometric platform. The program is first being rolled out at Terminal 1 in Frankfurt, but the airport has plans to extend it to other passenger processing zones, including baggage drop-off, in the near future. “Biometrics will become increasingly important to the future of travel. Especially during the pandemic, these touchless processes are a big plus,” says Christina Foerster, an executive board member at Lufthansa Group. This article originally appeared in the Expo Daily Experience: Preview. Read the full issue and register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo to learn more about the role of biometrics in the fight against COVID-19.

APEX Media | Related The Hands-Off Passenger Journey – APEX Media



Gogo Upgrades IFE, Moving Map for BizAv

Business jets with the Gogo AVANCE in-flight connectivity product received an upgrade this week. The company announced a new release of its Gogo Vision IFE solution including integration of FlightPath3D’s moving map solution. For an additional fixed monthly fee, jet owners can add up to 150 streaming movies, digital magazines and news feeds from Bloomberg to their flights. The upgrade can be activated over-the-air, with no downtime on the systems.

Paxex.aero | Related Intelsat Completes Acquisition of Gogo Commercial Aviation, Announces Leadership Appointments – Business Wire





Sarah Sze's sculpture Shorter Than the Day is composed of slim metal rods and 1,200 photographs of the New York City sky.

The photo essay featured in the latest issue of APEX Experience magazine takes a close look at the dazzling artwork that fills the new Terminal B at LGA.

> Tweet of the Day

Retail inMotion is pleased to announce a long-term full outsource agreement with @FlyFrontier! In summer 2021, we will introduce major brands and beloved products into the Frontier retail on-board offering. Stay tuned!

Retail inMotion @RetailinMotion


Association News

Need Solutions to Pandemic Problems? Talk to These Exhibitors at Virtual Expo

With COVID-19 top of mind, companies in the FTE APEX Virtual Expo exhibition hall are showcasing innovative products that aim to restore traveler confidence across the entire passenger journey. Aircraft interiors are being made safer thanks to Collins Aerospace and Boeing. Meanwhile, airport experience innovations courtesy of NEC, Vision-Box and Xovis are poised to increase traveler confidence. Buzz and Formia are both supplying valuable amenity kits with PPE, and PXCom, Inflight Dublin and AirFi are transforming in-flight service with their newest products. Learn more in the preview edition of Expo Daily Experience.


Remembering Southwest's 10-Minute Turn

Short turnarounds were once celebrated for keeping fares low and passengers happy. During Southwest's early days, Bill Franklin, the airline's first vice-president of Ground Operations, came up with an idea that saved the company from bankruptcy: reduce the refueling, cleaning and turnover time – “the turn” – for aircraft to a mere 10 minutes. Today, even the fastest turns make Franklin’s brainchild seem like a fever dream. Read the throwback from the 10.4 issue of APEX Experience magazine.


> Quote of the Day

“We are optimizing our cleaning tasks to fit into the scheduled turn times, as the amount of extra staff available to clean during the turns decreases as we increase our flight schedule from March, April and May levels.”

Brian Parrish, Southwest
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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