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January 6, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Testing Front-and-Center in Germany, Helsinki

Most travelers bound for Germany after January 11 will face stricter protocols upon arrival: they will need to show a negative coronavirus test result taken less than 48 hours before arrival and must take a second test after landing. A mandatory ten-day quarantine can be shortened to five days once the second test proves negative. Swissport is opening a COVID-19 testing facility at Zurich Airport tomorrow where travelers can receive results five hours after providing a saliva sample. Meanwhile, travelers arriving at Helsinki-Vantaa airport without proof of being free of the virus will be forced to take a COVID-19 test.

Business Travel News Europe | Related Helsinki-Vantaa airport to begin mass testing for travellers entering Finland – Helsinki Times



Replace Travel Bans With Testing, Says A4A

Airlines for America (A4A) asked the Trump administration yesterday to implement a COVID testing regime for all incoming US travelers in as soon as 14 days, and subsequently remove entry restrictions imposed on travelers from regions such as Europe, the UK and Brazil. “Given the scope of this requirement, we would appreciate the government’s consideration of making rapid testing available for this effort,” A4A CEO Nicholas Calio wrote in a letter to US Vice-President Mike Pence. The CDC claimed it is reviewing the efficacy of a testing program.

The Hill | Related U.S. airlines call for testing to replace bans – Travel Weekly



Tata Group May Merge Vistara and AirAsia India

Multinational conglomerate Tata has set up a strategy team to explore mergers, consolidation and rebranding of its airline ventures, according to two anonymous sources familiar with the matter. A tie-up between Vistara and AirAsia India may be on the table. Tata already announced it plans to raise its stake in AirAsia India to 84% and may want to own it outright. The company also placed an expression of interest for Air India. Aviation consultancy firm CAPA India said the nation could see a two-to-three airline system in the near- to medium-term.

Live Mint | Related Tata group’s aviation ambitions gather steam, team set up to explore options – The News Minute



Delta Selects Do & Co for DTW Catering Contract

Starting March 16, Do & Co will be Delta Air Lines’ sole hub caterer at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), a major milestone in the catering company’s US expansion plans. The 10-year contract will see it take charge of the entire onboard service across all short- and long-haul flights; in 2019, Delta operated 400 departures from this hub. Do & Co is confident that its gourmet offerings, operational reliability and efficient logistics will serve as a good basis when it participates in upcoming Delta catering tenders for other hubs.

Do & Co | Related Do & Co announces key contracts in London and Madrid – Pax International



American Follows Alaska in Banning Emotional Support Animals

After February 1, American Airlines will only allow trained dogs to accompany passengers on board for free; other animals must be transported in the cargo hold or as carry-on pets for an additional fee. Previously, various kinds of animals could accompany passengers without charge as long as a doctor vouched for their legitimacy as emotional support animals. Jessica Tyler, president of Cargo and vice-president of Airport Excellence for American, said the move will help better serve passengers with disabilities who travel with service animals while protecting staff. Alaska Airlines announced similar measures last week; more US carriers are expected to do the same.

American Airlines | Related Alaska Airlines announces revisions to its service animal policy – Alaska Airlines



Virgin Atlantic Hands Aeropeople One of its Biggest Contracts Ever

Aeropeople Engineering Services announced it has struck a multi-million pound deal with Virgin Atlantic to manage cabin interior maintenance, repair and refurbishment across the airline’s entire fleet. Aeropeople will oversee an 80-person team at Heathrow, where they will service Boeing 787 and Airbus A330/A350 aircraft in collaboration with interiors company Cabinair. “This is probably the biggest single deal that Aeropeople has ever won and is a great demonstration of our resilience during what has been a very challenging period for the sector,” said the company’s managing director Ian Peart, adding that he looks forward to extending Aeropeople’s 15-year relationship with the airline.

Aeropeople | Related Virgin Atlantic sells Dreamliners to aid post-COVID recovery bid – Sky



Swissport Consolidates European Activities

Swissport’s activities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark are now under one roof, with Thierry Miremont at the helm. Miremont served as interim CEO of Swissport in Belgium last year. The move will help the company reinforce its market development efforts in these regions. Swissport’s activities there include passenger services, ramp handling, air cargo handling and lounge hospitality. Luzius Wirth, Swissport's executive vice-president Europe, Middle East & Africa, thanked outgoing Belgian CEO Koen Gouweloose for his tireless efforts while underlining Miremont’s experience in turnaround management as crucial moving forward.

aviation24 | Related Chinese-owned Swissport agrees emergency takeover – Swiss Info





Last month, Emirates received this new Airbus A380, seen here on its first visit to Heathrow. Captured by @lhr_mark (via Instagram). 

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> Tweet of the Day

Our team is hitting the ground running in 2021! The window for our Launch Demo 2 mission opens this Sunday, January 10th, with opportunities to launch throughout January.

Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit


Association News

Have An Opinion on a Hot-Button Aviation Topic? Submit an Op-Ed!

APEX Media is accepting op-eds as part of a new series called Expert Opinions aimed at spotlighting informed views on current industry trends. If you would like to participate, email editor@apex.aero with your idea.


> Quote of the Day

“Biometrics will become increasingly important to the future of travel. Especially during the pandemic."

Christina Foerster, Lufthansa Group
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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