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December 8, 2020

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Today's Top Stories
 

 
 
 

COVID Testing for Travel Grows in North America

American Airlines is dramatically expanding its pre-flight COVID testing options. Previously limited to just a handful of destinations, the carrier will now offer a $129 mail-in test option, in partnership with LetsGetChecked, for travelers destined for any cities, states or territories with restrictions. Other airlines could also see a similar expansion of testing options in the coming weeks: Empower Clinics signed a marketing agreement with SimpliFlying to offer its testing services to airlines, cruise lines, hotels and other parts of the hospitality industry.

Reuters | Related Empower Clinics Signs MOU With Simpliflying to Become North American Priority COVID-19 Testing Partner for Airlines and Travel Bubbles – Guru Focus

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Airbus Offers Wireless IFE Infrastructure Option

Streaming in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems are now available directly from the aircraft manufacturer. Airbus delivered its first new aircraft, an A321, with the infrastructure on board. But the airframer is not getting into the content business, at least not yet. It is providing a platform that multiple content suppliers can integrate with, easing implementation challenges. Open Software Platform has secured five launch customers and four service providers so far, with Titan Airways taking delivery of the first line-fit aircraft in late October.

Paxex.Aero | Related Contemporary Retrofit: Boeing Digital Direct Marks Company’s Entry into Wireless IFE Space – APEX Media

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Partnerships Abound as Onboard Retail Integrates With IFE

Digital platforms are the keys that will unlock ancillary revenue streams, which are more important than ever as airlines cope with a massive shift in their business models. Thus far, digital has largely been absent from the in-flight retail landscape. Several partnerships, inspired or accelerated by the pandemic, are changing that. What can we learn from AirFi's partnership with Spafax, or Bluebox's agreement with dnata? This article originally appeared in the Expo Daily Experience: Preview. Read the full issue and register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo.

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

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Malaysia Airlines Adds Traditional Music During Boarding

Malaysia Airlines is bringing passengers a sense of place from the moment they step on board. In line with the airline’s Fly Malaysia campaign, focused on promoting the beauty of Malaysia to the world, an original, three-minute soundtrack will meet passengers as they board. Co-produced by the airline’s new in-flight content service provider, Aeroplay Entertainment, the track features a mix of traditional instruments, offering a taste of Malaysia while still factoring in a fresh and contemporary feel.

Aeroplay Media | Related Stellar Launches New Boarding Music for Virgin Australia and VARA – APEX Media

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Digital Push Drives Catering Changes, According to LSG Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalization of pre-flight, in-flight and onboard services, according to a survey by LSG. Airlines around the world expect this to improve the quality and predictability of the flight experience, with passengers benefitting from broader choices through things like pre-order or pre-selection of meals. Moreover, the findings of the customer survey suggest catering will remain an important indicator of an airline’s service level in the future, particularly given how often photos of meals are shared on social media.

LSG Group | Related LSG Group uses Virtual Reality for Concept Development and Product Presentations – LSG Group

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Norwegian Expands Restructuring Efforts

Following a successful transition of its Irish subsidiaries into that country’s bankruptcy reorganization process, Norwegian will now seek a restructuring of the parent company under Norway’s laws. “Our aim is to secure jobs in the company and to contribute to securing critical infrastructure and value creation in Norway,” said Norwegian's chief executive, Jacob Schram. He expects to massively cut costs and fleet size as part of that effort.

Breaking Travel News | Related Norwegian Air files for bankruptcy protection in Ireland – The Guardian

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Finnair Takes Santa Flights Virtual

Finnair is offering passengers a VR-powered “flight” to visit Santa. Participants can admire the starry skies and the dramatic northern lights from their seat during the flight. After landing in the wintry city of Rovaniemi, customers will be able to cross the Arctic Circle and enter Santa’s cabin to meet Santa Claus himself. The 30-minute sessions cost €10 per person, with the proceeds supporting UNICEF’s work to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on children worldwide.

Finnair | Related FINNAIR IS STILL SANTA’S FAVOURITE AIRLINE – Finnair

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

During his keynote address at APEX EXPO 2019, @spiritairlines CEO Ted Christie unveiled two new seating products: updated Big Front Seats and new economy-class seats.

As #FTEAPEXVirtualExpo kicks off this week, we’re highlighting some of the most memorable moments from last year’s APEX EXPO in Los Angeles.
 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Greetings #FTEAPEXVirtualExpo attendees! Make sure you download a copy of the Official Show Daily. One is ready today and there will be a new one tomorrow, plus a wrap issue on December 10th! Find it at info booth and press stand xx. #PaxEx #airline #Travel

Maryann Simson @JetwayMJ

 
 
 

Association News

FTE APEX Virtual Expo is Now Open!

The first-ever FTE APEX Virtual Expo is in full swing. Premium Pass holders: don't forget to enjoy real-time, face-to-face interaction during the virtual networking sessions. Over 1,500 organizations (including 175 airlines and 167 airports) have registered to attend. For those in the EST time zone, the next networking session is at 5:00 p.m. The OnDemand Speaker Zone is also up and running: view the agenda and product demo schedule. Finally, be sure to view a panel discussion on future proofing strategies featuring Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, Virgin Hyperloop, this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. EST; see the full auditorium agenda for more details. We hope you enjoy your time at FTE APEX Virtual Expo.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“Over the last several years, CVG has leaned heavily into technology to enhance the customer experience. But the pandemic is heightening the adoption of additional solutions.”

Candace McGraw, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
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Until tomorrow

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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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