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15-Sep-20

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Today's Top Stories
 

 
 
 

SmartSky Sues Supplier, Slows System Start

Connectivity provider SmartSky now aims to bring its US-wide air-to-ground (ATG) network online in 2021, following troubles with a supplier that culminated in a lawsuit filed last week. The network was originally scheduled to launch in the second quarter of this year. SmartSky claims Wireless Systems Solutions (WSS) failed to deliver goods from $30 million worth of contracts over the past couple of years. Moreover, SmartSky accuses WSS of misappropriating intellectual property, allowing its technology to be resold by sister company DAG Wireless. WSS denies the claims.

SmartSky Networks | Related Gogo and SmartSky Networks Share 5G Plans - APEX Media

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Southwest Offers App-Free IFE Via Global Eagle's Airtime Portal

In spite of cost-cutting measures, Global Eagle is pushing ahead with updates to its in-flight entertainment (IFE) offering. The company has become the latest IFE provider to make content available via a browser, without requiring an app download or a Wi-Fi connection. While the app-free Airtime Portal is already used by airlines including Air France, Southwest is the launch customer for the updated version, which incorporates the latest media encryption standard, CMAF, to provide both optimized passenger experience and technical efficiency, Global Eagle president Per Norén told APEX Media. All titles are available on the app-free version, except early window content.

APEX Media | Related CastLabs Announces Latest Version of App-Less Playback Feature - APEX Media

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Delta to Borrow $6.5B Against Loyalty Program

Delta's SkyMiles loyalty program is a cash cow during normal times. And now, during far-less-than-normal times it is providing a funding lifeline for the carrier. The company plans to borrow $6.5 billion against the program's value, helping to fund operations through the pandemic. The move follows a similar transaction in June where United raised $5 billion against its MileagePlus program. American Airlines used its AAdvantage program as collateral against a $4.75-billion CARES Act loan. With this transaction, Delta indicated it will not borrow further under the CARES Act.

Travel Weekly | Related Delta raises $6.5bn in liquidity following SkyMiles deal - Breaking Travel News

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Airbus Continues Planning for Furloughs

Like nearly every other company in the industry, Airbus faces the prospect of major staffing cuts within its organization. While the group hopes to minimize involuntary cuts, a letter from CEO Guillaume Faury to Airbus' 130,000 employees suggests that as many as 15,000 roles will be removed. An Airbus spokesperson confirmed that a letter was sent "to ensure transparency and share information with our global workforce," but declined to comment on the contents of the message. French union officials accused Airbus of stirring up troubles in advance of additional negotiations scheduled in the coming weeks.

Money Control | Related Orders and Deliveries - Airbus

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Catering Supplier dnata's Expanded Dublin Facility Opens

Global catering supplier dnata commenced operations at its newly expanded facility in Dublin. Covering an area of 68,000 square feet, the new space quadruples the old facility and brings state-of-the-art equipment online. The expansion was driven by a deal with Aer Lingus, but dnata serves multiple other airlines in Dublin and across Ireland. With the new facility now in service the company hopes to further expand its roster of airline clients.

Dnata | Related Dnata's DUBZ launches home COVID-19 testing - Arabian Aerospace

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Etihad Maxes Out Biofuels Blend in Boeing ecoDemonstrator Flight

The latest round of Boeing's ecoDemonstrator flights concluded last week with a transcontinental flight featuring an Etihad 787-10 burning a 50/50 blend of traditional and sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). That mix rate is the maximum currently permitted for commercial operations, though it is available only in a very limited supply, according to Sheila Remes, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' VP Strategy. The team is optimistic that SAF suppliers World Energy and EPIC will scale up at affordable prices in the coming years. The ecoDemonstrator program also tested new communications services between pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers, as well as quieter landing gear systems from Safran.

Etihad | Related The Green Team: How Etihad and Boeing Are Fostering Eco-Friendly Innovation - APEX Media

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New Pod Sleeping Lounge Opens in Doha

Travelers with an extended layover at Doha's Hamad International Airport now have a new option for a rest. The sleep n' fly lounge, operated by Airport Dimensions, offers 24 sound-proof pods featuring a 180° reclining seat, four cabins with a double bed plus pull-out for a child and nine cabins with bunk beds. The pods can be reserved online in advance, but the facility is also open to walk-in and corporate guests, Priority Pass members and LoungeKey users. All pods are thoroughly disinfected after each use.

Airport Dimensions | Related Airport Dimensions acquires sleep lounge specialist OnGround Hospitality - Moodie Davitt Report

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 

 

Officials say Beijing Daxing International Airport could one day serve more than 100 million travelers per year.

This week, we're featuring photos from "Blurring Boundaries," originally published in the June/July 2019 issue of APEX Experience magazine, with the hope that we will return en masse to airports soon. 
 
 

> Tweet of the Day

Does the O'Hare dinosaur wear a mask now that they're required in the airport? You bet Jurassican. 😉 😷🦕

United Airlines @united

 
 
 

Association News

APEX Media Director Maryann Simson To Moderate World Aviation Festival Panel

World Aviation Festival 2020 will take place virtually from September 23 to 25, and APEX Media director Maryann Simson has been tapped to moderate a session focusing on in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC). On September 23 at 11:30 a.m. BST, she will interview Patrick Brannelly, divisional VP of Customer Experience, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Emirates, about the future of IFEC and retail post-COVID-19. Following the interview, at 11:50 a.m., Simson will moderate a panel discussion on the long-term impact of contactless travel on IFEC and ways to keep the product relevant. Brannelly will join panelists Tal Kalderon, content media and IFEC manager, El Al Israel, and Ultan O'Brien, head of Global Sales for IFE and Connected Platform (IFEC+), Viasat. Airlines and airports can sign up for complimentary access.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

"During these trying times, the need for quality media exposure and marketing support has never been greater."

Maryann Simson, APEX Media
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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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