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January 5, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Breakthrough in Qatar Airspace Blockade Dispute

A senior White House official announced that Saudi Arabia will sign an agreement leading to the opening of its air, land and sea borders to Qatar today. The rift dates back to 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade against Qatar over accusations of terrorist support in that country. The other three countries are also expected to lift the blockade as Washington throws its support behind initiatives that build a united front against Iran. When the blockade was in place, Qatar Airways paid Iran to operate circuitous routes over that country.

Skift | Related International Court of Justice Rules Blockade Of Qatar Airspace Illegal – View From The Wing



Delta Selects Viasat for In-Flight Wi-Fi on Single-Aisle Aircraft

Delta Air Lines has selected Viasat’s Ka-band in-flight connectivity offering for more than 300 narrow-body aircraft, including both new delivery and retrofits on A321ceo, 737-900ER and select 757-200 aircraft. Delta expects to bring Viasat’s technology on board these aircraft starting this summer. “In working with Viasat, we gain the tools needed to deepen customer interactions and bring us closer to delivering more personalized in-flight content as well as an ability to consistently provide free, fast, streaming Wi-Fi in the future,” said Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer, Delta.

Viasat | Related Q&A: Accelerating the future of in-flight connectivity at Delta – Delta Air Lines



AOKpass Digital Health Certificate Now Accepted at Changi Airport

International SOS, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and AOKpass have announced the first use of ICC AOKpass, a digitally verifiable COVID-19 health certificate for entrance to Singapore. All travelers from Malaysia and Indonesia will now be able to use the technology to digitally authenticate their COVID-19 test results during immigration at Changi Airport. "The use of blockchain technology is a critical step in combating the challenges of forged tests and medical records, while enabling quick and secure verification of COVID-19 test results for travelers to have peace of mind throughout their journey,” said Dr. Chester Drum, co-founder of AOKpass.

Phocuswire | Related British tech firm launches ‘fit to fly’ digital health passport for air travel – Mobi Health News



Receive Booster Brings Improved Performance for QEST's Ka-band Anenna

QEST’s new Ka-band antenna system combines “proven” mechanically steered antenna technology with a new receive booster, which the company says results in a product “far superior to any single-beam phased array antenna system.” It offers enhanced cost efficiency through judicious use of spectrum and coverage down to zero degrees, or even negative elevation angles. The company claims the product is future-proof as it is compatible with GEO as well as future NGSO satellite constellations and supports switching between satellite systems. The company recently spun off QEST Antenna Technology as a new business to focus on electronic steering and other innovations.

Paxex.Aero | Related QEST announces powerful next generation Ka-Band antenna system – QEST



AirAsia Loyalty Platform Gets Name Change

BIG Loyalty, AirAsia’s ten-year-old points system, will now be known as Big Rewards as the company embraces e-commerce offerings beyond the world of travel. “The word ‘Rewards’ spells out the benefits for our members and is a stronger and more attractive proposition in today’s e-commerce world,” explained company CEO Spencer Lee. The platform allows customers to earn and spend BIG points on retail, food and lifestyle products, and is the home of BIG Xchange, where users can convert points accumulated in other programs to BIG Points.

AirAsia | Related BIG Loyalty introduces BIG Points Expert character, BIGGIE – AirAsia



Ryanair’s “Jab & Go” Ad Sparks Investigation

Britain’s Advertising and Standards Authority is launching an investigation after it received 1,600 complaints about a new Ryanair commercial promoting a seat sale for “Easter and summer holidays” in Europe in anticipation of the widespread rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine. Offended viewers found the airline’s “jab & go” campaign trivialized the impact of the pandemic. The airline stood by the ad, saying, “It is clear that vaccines will mean an end to COVID travel restrictions in mid-2021.”  

USA Today | Related Ryanair December Traffic Down 83% To 1.9m Guests 73% Load Factor As Covid-19 Continues To Impact Traffic – Ryanair



TRSDC Selects daa International to Run Red Sea International Airport

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has chosen daa International to manage the Red Sea International Airport, which will begin operations by the end of 2022 in support of TRSDC's broader luxury tourism project. daa International will ensure the airport design benefits passengers, before planning and executing a full operational model when it opens to the public. The transport network at the site, including the airport, will be powered by 100% renewable energy in line with TRSDC’s commitment to sustainability. It awarded the airport design contract to Foster + Partners in October 2019.

Breaking Travel News | Related Aecom wins Saudi Red Sea airport development work – Trade Arabia





A Jets jet after touchdown! Captured at Mexico City International Airport by @angelgh94 (via Instagram). 

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

> Tweet of the Day

It's vital that any lockdown is accompanied by measures to support our aviation sector, through grants and further liquidity measures such as APD relief, together with an acceleration of the roll-out of pre-departure testing and the vaccine.

Airlines UK @airlines_UK


> Quote of the Day

"We have a very strong push from within to do everything we can to reduce our environmental impact."

Ben Smith, Air France-KLM
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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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