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January 8, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Boeing Receives $2.5-Billion Fine from US DOJ

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a criminal charge against Boeing over allegations the OEM hid information from investigators after two fatal crashes involving 737 MAX aircraft. It said the charge of “conspiracy to defraud the United States” was being filed as part of a deferred prosecution agreement that will see Boeing pay more than $2.5 billion in fines: a $243 million criminal penalty, $500 million to people who lost relatives in the crash and $1.77 billion to global airlines affected by 737 MAX groundings. David Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO, said, “Entering into this resolution is the right thing for us to do—a step that appropriately acknowledges how we fell short of our values and expectations.”

The Hill | Related Boeing to close its storied Seattle manufacturing R&D center – Seattle Times



New Deal Sees Airbus Provide Satellites to Intelsat

Intelsat’s new software-defined network will run on OneSat satellites designed and manufactured by Airbus. The deal, which sees Intelsat set to receive two satellites operating in multiple frequency bands, bumps the number of OneSat satellites now in production to six (plus options), to be delivered to three operators in total. Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said his company’s latest investment “marks an important first step in evolving the world’s largest, most resilient integrated space and ground network.” He added that it will enable future Gogo Commercial Aviation in-flight broadband services, as well as other managed services across Intelsat’s customer segments. The two satellites will be delivered in 2023.




US Transportation Secretary Vacates Her Seat After Capitol Riot

Elaine Chao, US Transportation Secretary, was the first cabinet member to resign following Wednesday’s riot at the US Capitol. In a letter addressed to colleagues, Chao stated she felt “deeply troubled” by the “traumatic and entirely avoidable” incident. Her resignation will take effect Monday in order to give her staff time for an orderly transition; some Transportation Department members were considering following her lead until she convinced them to continue working until January 20. The department's general counsel Steven Bradbury is next in the line of succession, while Pete Buttigieg is president-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the department.

CNN | Related Joe Biden picks Pete Buttigieg to be transportation secretary – CNN



Australia, UK Increase Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19

From next week, travelers arriving in the UK – including UK nationals – must present a negative COVID test taken up to 72 hours before their journey or risk being fined. Those from countries not on the UK’s travel corridor list will still have to self-isolate for ten days, even with a negative test result. In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a range of new travel measures to reduce the threat of COVID-19. International air crew will be required to receive a test every seven days or on arrival, depending on circumstances, and to quarantine in dedicated facilities between flights. The changes mean “no special rules” for crew allowing them to “move about” in the community, Morrison said.

BBC | Related Scott Morrison unveils new measures to stop Covid-19 super variant ­– The Guardian



British Airways Denies it will Pay Over $4B in Data Breach Settlement

The legal firm overseeing upcoming settlement discussions with British Airways (BA) customers affected by a 2018 data breach suggested that, by admitting culpability, the airline stands to pay out as much as $8100 per claim. If every affected customer filed a legal case, the total value of the settlement would be over $4 billion. However, BA stated that it does not recognize the damages figures and “continues to deny liability.” Two data breaches exposed sensitive information such as billing addresses and credit card info; in total, 565,000 customers were affected.

inflight-online | Related British Airways slapped with biggest ever fine over data breach – Business Travel News Europe



Smart Label Indicates When Face Masks Need Changing

Smart packaging company Insignia Technologies developed a mask featuring a label that changes color when it has reached the end of its lifespan. According to health authorities, masks need to be changed every four to six hours. The technology was adapted from the company’s food packaging solution, which leverages labels with smart pigments to indicate freshness. Alluding to mask requirements currently in place for passengers and crew, David Kilshaw, CEO of Insignia Technologies, said the product can help ensure “PPE is being used responsibly and isn’t being worn for too long, or thrown away too quickly.”

inflight-online | Related Calculator created to help determine face mask lifespan – CBS



BA’s Euro Traveller Meals Must be Pre-Ordered

Travelers on British Airways’ (BA) short-haul flights will be able to pre-order meals designed by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, sold through a new online menu called Speedbird Café, up to 12 hours before their flight. Complimentary refreshments and snacks will still be offered on-board. BA says the move will help it reach its emissions goals by reducing food waste. “I am truly happy to be working with British Airways again,” said Kerridge. “A sandwich, made with care and great flavours, can be a perfect meal.” BA also announced a full in-flight Wi-Fi rollout across its Airbus short-haul fleet.

British Airways | Related Tom Kerridge Exclusive – British Airways





Willkommen in Newark! Captured at EWR by @baylakeaviation (via Instagram).

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> Tweet of the Day

This Friday, at noon (BRT), watch the short film "The flight of the impossible" in honor of the engineer Ozires Silva, an icon of the aeronautical industry. Visit our website and watch. #Embraer #EmbraerStories #WeAreEmbraer

Embraer @embraer


Association News

Last Chance to View Virtual Expo Content

FTE APEX Virtual Expo, which attracted over 4,000 attendees last month, will officially close its virtual doors today at 23:59 GMT. You still have the chance to browse through over 80 exhibitor booths from some of the leading airport and inflight-focused suppliers, as well as watch 40+ hours of educational conference content from over 180 speakers around the world, including exclusive announcements, the latest FTE Think Tank unveiling and inspirational CEO keynotes. Airline and airport employees can still obtain a premium pass for free, and entrance to the exhibition hall remains complimentary to all.


> Quote of the Day

"An accurate fever scan can be positioned as a service to passengers and not another checkpoint."

Peter Sorckoff, Fazing Labs
Read the article


Until next week



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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