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January 11, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Divers Recover Wreckage From Indonesia Crash

On Saturday, a Sriwijaya Air flight carrying 62 travelers, including 50 passengers and 12 crew members, crashed in the Java Sea minutes after taking off. Flight SJ182 was headed to Borneo island from Jakarta when air traffic controllers lost contact with the Boeing 737-500. Yesterday, divers located parts of the wreckage and black boxes after sonar equipment on a navy ship detected a signal from the downed aircraft. The airline confirmed that the 26-year-old Boeing was airworthy, and mentioned that the flight was delayed due to bad weather. Witnesses recall there being heavy rain and poor visibility.

The Hill | Related Indonesia jet carrying 62 goes missing on domestic flight – CP24



ThinKom K/Q Band Antennas Pass AEHF Test

A pair of 17-inch ThinKom active diameter K/Q-band phased-array antennas were proven compatible with Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites. The hardware is based on the company’s Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) architecture. “The stabilized beam of the VICTS antenna eliminates the need for ‘de-hopping,’ requiring substantially less processing power than electronically steered antennas,” said Bill Milroy, chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions. He added that VICTS is the only phased-array technology that can work with very widespread waveforms.

Thinkom | Related Inmarsat, GDC, ThinKom update GX antenna, terminal options – Paxex.aero



Little Work for AA Employees Back From Furlough

The latest tranche of CARES Act funding, approved just before the new year, ensures carriers like American Airlines (AA) can distribute December back pay to furloughed employees. With its $3.5-billion share of government funding, AA can reinstate 17,500 employees – but a return to the payroll has not translated to a return to duty for many. AA is currently operating at about half its seating capacity compared to January 2020. Employees have been notified that they will be asked to return to their jobs in phases.

Travel pulse | Related 'Desperately needed': Travel industry praises COVID-19 stimulus package; $15 billion for airlines – USA Today



WestJet Cuts Flights in Response to New Travel Rules

More cuts at WestJet are in store for the next two months: The airline is reducing capacity by an additional 30%, which will affect 1,000 workers. According to CEO Ed Sims, WestJet saw “unprecedented” flight cancellations following the Canadian government’s announcement mandating COVID-19 tests for incoming travelers, which he says makes travel “unaffordable, unfeasible and inaccessible for Canadians.” The airline is suspending 160 domestic flights and 11 international routes, bringing operations down to levels not seen in 20 years. Talks regarding government aid are reportedly ongoing.

Bloomberg | Related Foreign airlines take Canadian wage subsidy ­– Globe And Mail



Emirates’ Strategy for its New Premium Economy Cabin

Despite the introduction of Emirates’ premium economy product coming years after other airlines, the timing could well result in new revenue-generating opportunities for the airline. With corporate travel budgets sure to be tighter following the COVID-19 pandemic, companies may feel purchasing a premium economy ticket is more justifiable than splashing out on business-class flights. However, those keen to try out Emirates’ new class of service will have to wait until it takes delivery of more premium economy-equipped Airbus A380s; for now, the carrier is only offering the existing seats as an upgrade option to its most loyal customers.

APEX Media | Related Op-Ed: COVID Will Revolutionize Premium Economy, Says Cabin Design Expert – APEX Media



EasyJet Procures Five-Year Loan

Supported by the UK government, a syndicate of banks have underwritten a $1.87-billion loan destined for easyJet. Funds under the government’s Export Development Guarantee do not carry preferential rates or require state aid approval. The cash will strengthen the airline’s balance sheet and go towards repaying around one billion dollars of short-term debt. “With our unmatched short-haul network and trusted brand, easyJet is well-positioned as customers return to the skies in 2021,” said easyJet's chief executive, Johan Lundgren.

Breaking Travel News | Related British Airways secures £2 billion loan backed by UK Export Finance – Business Traveller



Indonesian Domestic Airline Leases 30 COMAC ARJ21 Jets

COMAC’s ARJ21 will be operated by a non-Chinese airline for the first time. China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) signed a firm order to purchase 30 ARJ21 aircraft destined for Indonesian domestic airline TransNusa. CALC owns 49% of the airline and is looking to expand its operations. A total of 46 ARJ21 aircraft are in operation in China; the aircraft has not yet gained airworthiness certificates from the FAA or EASA.

Airway 1 | Related In-flight Wi-Fi tested on domestically developed airliner – Shine





"A China Southern A380 blasts off, heading home from YVR on a showery day."

This week, we’re featuring #AvGeekTreasures from longtime APEX Media contributor Howard Slutsken.

> Tweet of the Day

The #FlightOfFirsts AI176 landed at #BLRAirport earlier today, powered by an all-women cockpit crew. We are the first #Airport in South India with a direct, non-stop flight to be #USA. Stay tuned for updates! @airindiain @MoCA_GoI @HardeepSPuri

BLR Airport @BLRAirport


Association News

COVID-19 Update Page: Still Your Source for Top Industry News

The coronavirus crisis has forced airlines, airports and governments to work together and find innovative solutions to restore traveler confidence and uphold the highest levels of safety. To keep tabs on industry goings-on, and trace its recovery, keep this page handy. It’s updated daily with insights courtesy of trusted news sources and stories from our exclusive network of members.


> Quote of the Day

"The customer experience is significantly improved, even in an unfortunate situation like a cancelled flight, if they receive transparent and meaningful offers."

Tobias Wessels, Rebound Travel Technologies
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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