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January 7, 2021

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Today's Top Stories
 

 
 
 

As Dust Settles on Capitol Riot, Airlines Take Preventive Measures

Protesters began stirring the pot ahead of yesterday’s chaotic riot at the US Capitol, from in-flight skirmishes being reported on Washington-bound flights to Senator Mitt Romney being heckled at his boarding gate. Following the massive protest, the industry is on high alert. Sarah Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said that anyone who “acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim” should be barred from flying. American Airlines’ response includes increased staffing at three DC-area airports and halting the sale of liquor on flights to and from those facilities. A Delta Air Lines spokesperson said the carrier continuously consults with law enforcement agencies to enact “seen and unseen” safety protocols.

USA Today | Related Flight Safety During Political Violence – AFA

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New FAA Rules Pave the Way for Supersonic Flight Testing

Several companies are developing supersonic aircraft, intent on eventually making commercial flights a reality. But the FAA generally prohibits flying at speeds above Mach 1 in the US, and applying for authorization was tricky. A new rule will change this by providing clear and streamlined guidance for companies ready to operate supersonic test flights. “The FAA supports the new development of supersonic aircraft as long as safety parameters are followed,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, adding that the agency will take environmental impact into account when authorizing flight tests.

Tech Crunch | Related FAA Announces Final Rule to Facilitate the Reintroduction of Civil Supersonic Flight – FAA

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Boeing to Close Advanced Developmental Composites Center

To save money and make more efficient use of facility space, Boeing decided to shut down its Seattle-area building known as the Advanced Developmental Composites (ADC) Center, a decades-old research and development hub where the materials science behind key parts of the 787 Dreamliner and military jets were ironed out. The ADC building will not be sold, but will be vacated within the next four to six months; 29 employees will be affected. Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace spokesperson Bill Dugovich says he is concerned “not only for the loss of the existing work, but also for upcoming work on any new future airplanes.”

Seattle Times | Related Boeing says its composites R&D center will be turned to other purposes, ending an era – Geekwire

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Opinion: Non-Cash Refund Alternatives Key to Airline Recovery

Tobias Wessels, founder of Silicon Valley-based Rebound Travel Technologies, believes that personalized alternatives to cash refunds can both increase airline customer loyalty and improve the passenger experience. Alternatives could include high-value items for travelers such as “a future flight credit, a mileage credit, a confirmed upgrade to the next class of service and even free flight segments,” he said. The company’s cash retention platform has another benefit too: “A customer that makes a choice between a refund and an alternative through our platform creates a unique fingerprint. That data can be used as a powerful signal by an airline to reduce or eliminate chargebacks,” Wessels explained.

APEX Media | Related Expert Opinions – APEX Media

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Losses Incurred in 2019 Spell Trouble for Thompson Aero Seating

The latest financial figures reported by Thompson Aero Seating, one of the top manufacturers of business- and first-class aircraft seating, reveal that 2019 operating losses nearly quintupled to $191 million as the company made massive investments in its manufacturing capabilities. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting demand for its products, managers at the Chinese-owned company stated that this material uncertainty cast “significant doubt” on its ability to continue operations, and additional funding would be required from shareholders or lenders.

Irish News | Related Thompson Aero Seating sees financial challenges, seeks additional funding – Paxex.aero

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Contactless COVID-19 Testing Station Opens at Riga

Travelers and employees at Latvia’s Riga Airport can get tested for COVID-19 in a fully contactless and automated way. The E.Gulbis Laboratory machine, located at the exit of arrivals hall E, can dispense and collect saliva-based self-testing kits. The paid service is currently only available to those who have access to Latvian-recognized authentication tools. Results are sent via email. E.Gulbis and Latvia Airport are exploring the possibility of establishing a permanent COVID-19 test point at the arrivals hall of the passenger terminal.

Travel Daily News | Related Automated clinical analysis dispense / collect machines – EGL

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Singapore Cafe Will Serve Japan Airlines Meals

A travel-themed restaurant in Singapore will serve Japan Airlines (JAL) meals prepared by the airline’s local in-flight catering company SATS. There will be 600 meals in stock, to be sold at around $18 each. Diners can order either a chicken takiawase tamago dish or salmon miso yaki, which come with chilled udon noodles, a bowl of spinach, corn and shimeji mushrooms broth and JAL's signature earl grey chiffon cake. JAL souvenirs are also on sale, including model planes, chopstick holders, wrapping cloth and more. Additionally, customers who purchase the special meals can save up to 28% off the price of their next flight to Japan.

Mothership | Related Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur’s Airplane-Themed Dining Experience – One Mile At A Time

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 basks in golden-hour light. Captured at George Bush Intercontinental Airport by @hotelwhiskeymedia (via Instagram).

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

> Tweet of the Day

@Satcom_Guru, bravo on this graphic: an amazing visual illustration of #IFC and tech convergence -- the innovation ecosystem will continue to grow in 2021, with @NxtComm1's #antenna innovations fueling new cost-effective #InflightConnectivity! #satellite #airlines #PaxEx

NXTCOMM @NxtComm1

 
 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

"Customers want a seamless experience ... They don’t want to have to relearn an in-flight device, like we expect them to do now."

Paul Harper, Harper & Co.
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Until tomorrow

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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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