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January 6, 2022



Today's Top Stories


Qatar Airways Seeks $618M in Airbus A350 Dispute

Qatar Airways is seeking $618 million in compensation from Airbus in an ongoing dispute with the manufacturer over erosion to the surface of its A350 aircraft, including gaps in a layer of lightning protection. The airline is also seeking an additional $4 million for each day that its 21 damaged A350s remain grounded. The claim, launched in December, cites Airbus’ failure to provide a full root-cause analysis needed to satisfy Qatar Airways’ questions surrounding the airworthiness of about 40% of its A350 fleet. Airbus said it plans to deny the airline’s claim “in total.”

Reuters | Related British Airways and Qatar Airways mark the next milestone in their Joint Business – Travel Daily News



England Scraps Pre-Departure Tests for Inbound Travelers

From tomorrow, fully vaccinated individuals traveling to England are no longer be required to take a test before departure. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a pre-departure test “discourages many from traveling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring significant extra expense.” From Sunday, travelers will be able to take a lateral flow test purchased from a private company on day two after their arrival in England instead of a PCR test. Unvaccinated passengers must continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and isolate for 10 days.

BBC News | Related Travel sector welcomes end of pre-departure COVID-19 tests for England – The Guardian



RJ and Tamatem to Launch In-Flight and In-Lounge Gaming

Royal Jordanian (RJ) and Jordan-based mobile games publisher Tamatem have signed a contract to launch in-flight games onboard Royal Jordanian flights. The agreement, signed by the carrier’s vice-chairman and CEO, Samer Majali; and Tamatem’s founder and CEO, Hussam Hammo; will include several games offered on SkyConnect, Royal Jordanian’s wireless in-flight entertainment system. It also covers the installation of arcade machines, tablets and charging stations in the Crown Lounge at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport.

Al Bawaba | Related Bandai Namco Shares Their Vision Of In-Flight Gaming – Panasonic Avionics



Korean Air Streamlines Passenger Experience with e-DOC System

Korean Air’s new e-Document (e-DOC) system digitizes 23 forms, from pet transportation to unaccompanied minor and health condition declarations. Information gathered during passengers’ reservations, such as contact details and frequent flyer numbers, will automatically be added to the documents for convenience. The data is stored and managed on a secure server, strengthening the airline’s security and making information available in real time. “[It] is the result of Korean Air’s efforts to enhance customer-centric services,” said Seungbum Lee, Korean Air’s EVP and chief customer service officer.

Korean Air | Related Regulator to Speed Up Review of Korean Air’s Asiana Takeover Deal – Korea Bizwire



CLEAR Acquires Virtual Queuing Company Whyline

CLEAR has acquired virtual queuing and appointment technology provider Whyline. Founded in 2015, Whyline’s partners include Newark Liberty International Airport, Los Angeles World Airports, Charleston International Airport and Western Union. The deal will see CLEAR leverage its combined technologies and platforms to expand into new industries like banking and retail, while further developing virtual queuing in existing industries like airports. CLEAR recently added virtual queuing to its offering with the launch of “Reservation Lane powered by CLEAR” at Orlando International Airport.  

Phocuswire | Related Clear and Uber Team up to Make Getting to the Airport Easier – Travel + Leisure



Emirates Shutters A380 Onboard Bars, Lounges in Response to Omicron

Following a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, Emirates has again closed the bar and lounge onboard its Airbus A380 aircraft to protect staff and passengers from the new Omicron variant. The carrier has also temporarily suspended its pre-departure refreshments service in business class. The update comes days after ​​the UAE said it would ban unvaccinated citizens from traveling abroad from January 10 and that fully vaccinated citizens will require a booster to be eligible to travel.

The Points Guy | Related UAE travel: Bans, flight suspensions and new COVID safety rules you must know – Khaleej Times



JetBlue Launches “Sustainable Travel Partners” Program

On Wednesday, JetBlue announced the launch of its new “Sustainable Travel Partners” program, which helps airlines’ corporate travel partners make their business travel more sustainable. Participants have access to a suite of offerings to help them meet their corporate sustainability targets, including complimentary carbon offsetting on domestic flights, sustainable aviation fuel purchasing options, personalized emissions reporting, and custom planning and target-setting support. Inaugural program participants include Biogen, Deloitte, ICF and Salesforce.

Business Wire | Related JetBlue Announces Major Leadership Change – Travelpulse





N318AS with its Disney livery back in the skies after being grounded due to the pandemic. Captured by @vegas_aviation

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

> Tweet of the Day

Today, SWISS welcomed its fifth Airbus A320neo to its fleet. Aircraft HB-JDE has been named “Mürren” after the beautiful and well-known ski resort in the Bernese Oberland. The SWISS fleet now numbers seven aircraft of the advanced and fuel-efficient A320neo family.



Association News

Download the 2021 Airline Health Safety Yearbook

To celebrate their commitment to employees and passengers throughout COVID-19, SimpliFlying has created a free eBook containing interviews with 18 CEOs and senior leaders at airlines that have taken part in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit. Each participant discusses the most important thing they learned during the pandemic, new measures that most improved the passenger experience during this time and what they will focus on in 2022 and beyond. Download it now


> Quote of the Day

“We plan to actively engage in ESG management and further improve customer convenience by providing innovative solutions.”

Seungbum Lee, Korean Air
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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