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Today's Top Stories


Airbus Pushes Hydrogen for Zero-Emissions Future

Airbus unveiled a trio of hydrogen-powered concept aircraft today as the backbone of the company's plans to bring zero-emission commercial aircraft into service by 2035. Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, "strongly believes that the use of hydrogen - both in synthetic fuels and as a primary power source for commercial aircraft - has the potential to significantly reduce aviation's climate impact." The three designs - a turbofan single-aisle aircraft, a smaller turboprop and a larger blended-wing - cover a broad swath of the passenger capacity and range needs of the industry.

Airbus | Related KLM and TU Delft present successful first flight Flying-V - KLM



Gulf Air Unveils Flat-Bed Business Class on A321neo

Gulf Air is the latest carrier to bring flat beds to its single-aisle business-class cabin. The carrier unveiled its newest A321neo with 16 Collins Aerospace Diamond seats on board. The color scheme and design patterns follow the lead of Gulf Air's flagship 787s. Gulf Air will operate a sub-fleet of eight A321neo aircraft with this premium cabin configuration. "The aircraft is the perfect size [for] a flight to Europe as it boasts the epitome of the overall boutique experience with the opportunity to provide more personalised service, cosier cabin and faster boarding and disembarking," the airline said.

The Design Air | Related Gulf Air Selects Thales GX Connectivity for Dreamliners & A321neo LRs - APEX Media



Lufthansa Grounds Additional A380s, A340s as Recovery Slows

Lufthansa Group now expects demand of just 20-30% of 2019 levels by the end of 2020, revised downward from a previous target of 50%. With that in mind, the carrier will place an additional eight A380s and ten A340s into long-term storage, only to be reactivated "in the event of an unexpectedly rapid market recovery" according to a company statement. The Group will also further reduce headcount and cash burn, aiming for $470 million per month in losses and 20% fewer management positions by the first quarter of 2021.  

Lufthansa Group | Related Lufthansa flags further cuts to planes, staff as outlook worsens - Reuters



Spafax's Buzz Set to Break the IFE Content Cycle, Increase Flexibility

APEX Media spoke to Paul Colley, Spafax's senior vice-president of Technology, about how the company's new Buzz and Sprint products will help airlines align more closely with the content experience travelers are used to at home. "Airlines will see a difference in terms of content being able to be scheduled outside of the standard monthly refresh cycle," he said. The content service provider is also introducing a team of specialists in specific types of content who will share their expertise across multiple airlines.

APEX Media | Related What We're Made Of: Niall McBain, Spafax - APEX Media



Delta Air Lines, LATAM Secure First Regulatory Approval for Joint Venture

Brazilian regulators approved the Delta-LATAM joint venture plans last week, the first of several governments to green light the deal. The airlines aim to deliver a seamless travel experience between North and South America once all approvals are received. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and the United States must also all approve the deal. A prior JV between American Airlines and LATAM was scuttled by Chilean regulators, triggering a cascade of events leading to the Delta-LATAM partnership. The carriers do not expect similar troubles this time around. Brazil issued no conditions in granting its approval.

Business Travel News | Related Delta and LATAM receive approval in Brazil for joint venture agreement - Loadstar



Tax-Free Shopping Shift Could Shed UK Visitors

At a time when retailers are desperate for demand, the UK government appears poised to remove a significant lure for international travelers. Tax-free shopping for non-EU visitors allowed travelers to claim a VAT refund on £2.5-billion worth of purchases in 2019, about 10% of their total spend. The government plans to remove that option at the end of the year, however, placing businesses and potentially tens of thousands of jobs at risk. A group of British retailers and manufacturers, as well as London's largest airports, signed a letter this week urging the Government to reconsider the plan.

The Guardian | Related Thales Partners With Airfree for Airport-Style Duty-Free Platform - APEX Media



Abu Dhabi Plans Faster Connections for Transit Passengers

Passengers from partner airports in Europe and North America will soon face fewer checks while transiting at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Thanks to a new partnership and streamlined security protocols, the airport expects transit times up to 27% shorter under the new Fast Track Flight Connections initiative. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, describes the program as "part of our wider efforts to support the growth of air travel and transport in the post-pandemic era." He also hopes the faster connections "further positions Abu Dhabi as a global hub, bridging the East and West."

Arabian Aerospace | Related Schiphol launches service for transfer passengers - Schiphol






Catch a glimpse of Allegiant Air's Vegas Golden Knights livery! Captured at Portland International Airport by @kpdxspotter (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

All together now. Today our fourth flight test 777-9 joined the rest of the #777X fleet at Seattle's Boeing Field after a safe, successful first flight. WH004 will test cabin systems, extended operations and more as part of our robust test program.

Boeing Airplanes @BoeingAirplanes


Association News

Have You Heard? BBC, Vision-Box Will Exhibit at FTE APEX Virtual Expo

From household names through to the most innovative startups and scaleups, industry suppliers of all stripes will be exhibiting at FTE APEX Virtual Expo. This December, interact virtually with over 30 exhibitors (and counting)! Some companies that have recently signed up include BBC Studios / BBC World News, Media Carrier, Touch, Claims Handling Solutions and Vision-Box. Don't miss your chance to connect with them live - register now!


> Quote of the Day

"We're only hiring people who already have medical qualifications in either nursing or pre-hospital care."

Shaenaz Voss, Fiji Airways
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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