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January 4, 2021



Today's Top Stories


For JetBlue, A220 Marks Beginning of New Era

JetBlue took delivery of a brand-new Airbus A220 on New Year’s Eve, the first of 70 it has on order that are slated to replace the carrier’s 60 Embraer 190 (E190) aircraft. "That airplane is so flexible for us," said JetBlue's head of Revenue and Planning, Scott Laurence, referring to the A220’s advantageous combination of long range and a nearly 30% lower direct operating cost per seat compared to the E190, while burning 40% less fuel. After a breaking-in period on shorter routes, JetBlue plans to fly the aircraft on transcontinental circuits and serve secondary markets made viable by this aircraft, which boasts a range of 3,350 nautical miles.

Business Insider | Related Delta’s new A220 interior a modern, elevated experience for domestic travelers – Delta Air Lines



COVID Test and Quarantine Both Required for Travelers to Canada

Effective January 7, the government of Canada is mandating that all air travelers aged five or older present a negative COVID-19 PCR test to their airline within 72 hours of departure. Controversially, a 14-day quarantine is also required upon entry. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair said quarantine remains the “strongest defence against the spread of the virus,” while the minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne alluded to the virus’ unpredictable nature as the basis for the legislation. The National Airlines Council of Canada decried the plan’s tight timeframe and lack of specificity, while IATA called the new rules “counter-productive”.

Government of Canada | Related New COVID-19 testing rules for air travellers kick in Jan. 7 – CBC



IAG Group Adapts to Comply With Post-Brexit Ownership Rules

To make sure its EU-licensed airlines still comply with ownership and control rules following Brexit, IAG Group is implementing a national ownership structure for Aer Lingus and adapting the group’s long-standing national ownership structure in Spain. The IAG board of directors has been reduced to 11 and now has a majority of independent EU non-executive directors, as does the IAG nominations committee. Elsewhere, IAG Group member British Airways has received commitments for a five-year export development loan amounting to £2 billion. It hopes to draw down the funds during January, which will be used to enhance its liquidity as demand for air travel returns.

IAG | Related British Airways secures £2bn in export development loans – Breaking Travel News



Alaska Airlines Ends Free Ride for Emotional Support Animals

In December, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced it would no longer require airlines to allow emotional support animals (ESAs) on board free of charge, even if presented with a doctor’s note. The DOT made one exception for dogs trained to help a person with a physical or psychiatric disability. Last week, Alaska Airlines became the first US carrier to revise its animal policy, bringing it in line with the new DOT rules. "This … will help us reduce disturbances onboard, while continuing to accommodate our guests traveling with qualified service animals," said Ray Prentice, director of Customer Advocacy at Alaska Airlines. ESAs will be banned for all bookings starting January 11; some pets may still be transported for a fee.

Alaska Airlines | Related U.S. tightens definition of service animals allowed on planes – Travel Weekly



Turkish Technic Launches Six Terabyte Server and WAP Products

MRO center Turkish Technic has completed the design, production and certification process of a server and wireless access point (WAP), adding IFC products to its portfolio, which also includes aviation seats and galleys. The server can store six terabytes worth of media, which the company says is three times more than its rivals. The WAP has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual band radio. The hardware enables passengers to stream content stored on the server or connect to the internet. The kit is installed on a Turkish Airlines aircraft as part of an agreement forged last year with Global Eagle.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Turkish Technic sees wireless hardware fly on Turkish Airlines – Runway Girl Network



AirAsia Boosts Supply Chain Capabilities With BlueYonder

Thanks to a partnership with supply chain partner AC2 Group, AirAsia integrated Blue Yonder’s warehouse management solution to digitally transform its supply chain capabilities and operational agility. Its analytics capabilities will help the airline unlock efficiency by customizing product offerings on each flight based on passenger preferences. The scalable solution is ready to serve the airline’s “creative vision” for its omni-channel fulfillment strategies, including at-home delivery. “The digital optimization of our supply chain network comes at a great time as we are focused on resuming operations to pre-COVID-19 levels in all of our key markets as soon as possible,” said AirAsia Group head, Supply Chain, Siva Indran.  

AirAsia | Related APEX in Profile: Sereen Teoh – APEX Media



New Indian Regional Airline Begins Operations

Flybig, a new regional airline, hopes its ties to over 15,000 travel agents in tier-two Indian cities will translate into success. It operated its first scheduled route yesterday, from Indore to Ahmedabad. It plans to add the Indore–Raipur route to its network next week, and Ahmedabad–Bhopal next month. By the end of March, the airline will have daily flights connecting all three cities. Its fleet consists of two turboprop jets, one of them wet-leased from SpiceJet. Only snacks will be provided on board, due to the short flying times. Airlines in India are now allowed to fly at 80% capacity, and the domestic travel industry is showing signs of improvement.

Money Control | Related Airline Startup Of The Week: India’s flybig Airlines – Simple Flying





One of the many pretty sights on the London–Tokyo route! Captured by @flight_video_gallery (via Instagram). 

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

> Tweet of the Day

Congratulations to Leah Douglas, #PHLAirport’s Director of Guest Experience and Chief Curator, recipient of Artblog’s 2020 “Art Angel of the Year” Liberta Award.

PHLAirport @PHLAirport


Association News

Just a Few Days Left to Experience Virtual Expo!

Time is running out to dive deep into the insights and strategies shared at FTE APEX Virtual Expo, the air transport industry's first major digital trade show that attracted over 4,000 attendees. The event remains open as a resource until 23:59 GMT on January 8. That means that over 70 exhibitor booths will remain yours to peruse, along with 40+ hours of educational conference content from over 180 speakers. Airline and airport reps can obtain a premium pass for free. Learn more.


> Quote of the Day

"Connected ancillaries – access fees, sponsorship, premium services, e-tail, affiliate sales and digital advertising – represent both the most significant, and the least-well exploited, opportunity."

Philip Balaam, Inmarsat 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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