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January 11th, 2024



Today's Top Stories


Etihad unveils extensive expansion plan, aims for 18 million passengers

Etihad Airways, the UAE's national carrier, has revealed an ambitious expansion plan for 2024, aiming to reach 18 million passengers by 2025 and ultimately targeting 30 million passengers annually by 2030. The strategy involves adding new destinations, and increasing flight frequencies to various locations, anticipating a surge in passengers exceeding pre-COVID levels. The long-term vision, supported by ADQ Holdings, envisions expanding the network to over 125 destinations, emphasizing connections between short and medium-haul destinations in the GCC, India, and Asia to long-haul destinations in Europe and the East Coast of America. The growth plan also highlights the significance of the new Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The Aviator | Related

Etihad Airways reveals ambitious expansion plans for 2024 - Economy Middle East



Google Wallet for Wear OS now shows airline boarding passes

Google Wallet for Wear OS now supports airline boarding passes, expanding its capabilities beyond loyalty cards. The update, available on Wear OS 3.5+ devices, presents a new notification displaying the boarding pass QR code, enhancing the smartwatch's utility for travelers. This follows the December addition of loyalty card support, which excluded certain cards like health insurance and COVID passes. The improvement aligns with Google's effort to enhance Wallet's functionality on both phones and Wear OS, with recent support for transit systems like Clipper cards in San Francisco and SmarTrip in Washington, DC. The long-overdue feature contributes to making Google Wallet for Wear OS more versatile.

9 to 5 Google | Related

Google Wallet now shows airline boarding passes on your smartwatch - Android Authority



IATA on achieving 5% carbon reduction by 2030

The aviation industry aims to achieve a 5% reduction in carbon intensity for fuels used in international aviation by 2030, following agreements at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) and the Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3). With global events setting the stage, airlines face the challenge of producing 14 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) by 2030 to meet the target. While demand for SAF is robust, supply remains limited, reaching only 0.5 million tonnes in 2023. IATA says that policy support, feedstock diversification, and the development of a robust SAF accounting framework are crucial for achieving sustainability goals.

IATA | Related UK aviation industry calls for more state help to switch to greener fuel - Financial Times



London Heathrow airport has its busiest ever December as transatlantic travel booms

London Heathrow Airport experienced its busiest December on record, with 6.6 million passengers passing through the airport. The surge in demand for transatlantic travel and a bustling Christmas contributed to the milestone, with 1.6 million passengers flying across the Atlantic. New York's JFK airport claimed the top spot as the most popular destination for the year. The robust December performance brought Heathrow's total annual passenger numbers to 79 million for 2023, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The airport aims for further growth in 2024, with a forecast of approximately 81.4 million passengers. Transatlantic travel and increased passengers from the Asia-Pacific region were key drivers of success.

City AM | Related

British Airways is increasing its minimum connection time at Heathrow — but at what cost? - The Points Guy



Finnish Border Guard to continue DTC border control pilot at Helsinki Airport

The Finnish Border Guard will extend its pilot project on the use of digital travel documents at Helsinki Airport. The Digital Travel Certificate (DTC) pilot enables Finnair passengers to London, Edinburgh, and Manchester to use a designated border control checkpoint, expediting the process. Launched in August 2023, the pilot is restricted to Finnish citizens. It has also been tested in a similar project for air traffic between the Netherlands and Canada, providing data for the European Commission's legislative needs in line with its digital identity policy package. The DTC project aims to enhance efficiency in border control processes.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Finland Starts Testing Digital Travel Documents Again - Schengen Visa News



Eurowings turns to SITA to improve baggage operations

Eurowings has signed a five-year contract with SITA to implement SITA Bag Journey for real-time tracking of passenger bags throughout the journey. This will enhance the baggage experience for passengers, streamline baggage operations, and reduce mishandled baggage costs. SITA Bag Journey offers an end-to-end view of the bag's journey, providing real-time details of the bag's location inside the airport. The deployment will help Eurowings comply with IATA's baggage tracking resolution 753, tracking bags at key stages: check-in, loading onto an aircraft, transfers, and arrival. Mishandled baggage has been a significant issue for the industry, costing billions annually.

Runway Girl | Related Eurowings adds routes to expand network from Berlin - Airways Magazine



Fraport and Lilium to collaborate on development of commercial eVTOL network

Airport operator Fraport and Lilium N.V., the developer of an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet, have announced a strategic collaboration. They will explore planning and approval steps for cutting-edge infrastructure to implement commercial eVTOL operations at airports. The collaboration begins by preparing Germany for regional electric air mobility, working with industry groups and the German government to accelerate regulatory work. The partnership aims to analyze future mobility concepts for vertiport networks suitable for electric aircraft and examine the design of vertiport concepts at and around airports. This collaboration complements Lilium's existing partnerships at airports in Germany.

Vertical Magazine | Related




Today’s picture comes from @air_dan_photography, featuring a Luxair Q-400 departing London City Airport Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

“Greetings from seat 1F onboard @IndiGo6E 's 32 day old #A320neo VT-IQO. It's so new that the new plane smell is still very much intact ! The legroom in row 1 is extraordinary. Totally worth the extra cash. #AvGeek #PaxEx

VT-VLO @Vinamralongani


Association News

NEW Online APEX Merchandise Store

We are thrilled to announce the launch of an online APEX Store. ‘Tis the season of giving, and what better way to spread holiday cheer than treating your colleagues and team to a gift from the APEX Store. You can find the perfect holiday gift and show your support for your APEX community. Start Shopping.


APEX TECH | 28-29 February 2024 | Los Angeles, CA, USA

Come embark on a journey to explore the latest advancements and innovations in the world of Inflight Connectivity, Media Content and Supply Chain, Data Capture and Intelligence, and Ancillary and Passenger Experience Use. Join us at 2024 APEX TECH, 28-29 February, in Los Angeles, CA, and learn from and network with airlines and service providers. Registration is now open!


> Quote of the Day

“We had hoped SAF would be about 0.5% of total aviation fuel by now but it is only 0.2%. SAF production is increasing though, and we hope additionally that SAF will be 6% of renewable fuels in 2024, which should get us to SAF representing 0.5% of total jet fuel.”

Hemant Mistry, IATA’s Director, Energy Transition
Read the article


The next newsletter will be out 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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