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January 18, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Singapore, Emirates Vaccinate Airline Workers Against COVID-19

Today, Singapore embarked on a two-month-long mission to vaccinate 37,000 frontline workers in the aviation and maritime sectors. The vaccination centre for aviation workers including cabin crew, cleaners, security screeners and baggage handlers at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 has been equipped to deliver 2,000 doses per day, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. Emirates has also begun vaccinating UAE-based employees as part of the country’s goal to vaccinate half the population by March. It is working with the Dubai Health Authority and the Ministry of Health and Prevention to make both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm vaccines available to staff. 

Staits Times | Related Emirates to vaccinate UAE-based pilots and crew – Business Traveller



OneWeb Secures More Capital, Dials Down Planned Constellation

OneWeb has secured new funding from Hughes Telecom and SoftBank and “streamlined” its further constellation plans, reducing the number from 47,884 satellites down to 6,372. OneWeb said the adjustment demonstrates the commitment and vision of new owners, the UK Government and Bharti Global, who seek to deploy a cost-effective and responsible satellite network. The investments from Hughes ($50 million) and Softbank ($350 million) bring the total equity raised since the firm’s emergence from Chapter 11 protection to $1.4 billion.

OneWeb | Related OneWeb Streamlines Constellation – OneWeb



Hrdlicka Overhauls Leadership Team at Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia has announced significant changes to its executive leadership team as it transitions into a mid-market airline under new CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka. Key appointments include Alistair Hartley, previously IAG’s director of Strategy, as chief transformation officer; David Marr, who is currently chief operating officer at Woolworths Group, as chief financial officer; and Nick Rohrlach, who was most recently co-CEO at Jetstar Japan, as CEO of Virgin Australia’s Velocity program. Many are replacing contractors or filling vacant positions. “I put quite a lot of priority on people coming in who were full of energy and passion, who don't mind change and can handle navigating uncertainty without difficulty,” Hrdlicka said. 

Brisbane Times | Related Virgin Australia announces Executive Leadership Team appointments – Virgin Australia



AtYourGate Tests Robot Use for Contactless Airport Deliveries

AtYourGate is testing to see if Gita, a robot created by Piaggio Fast Forward, can help with contactless food and retail deliveries at airports across its network. Gita follows an AtYourGate employee to the customer, then the employee pushes a button to open Gita’s lid to allow the customer to retrieve the order themselves. AtYourGate’s CEO, PJ Mastracchio, believes Gita – which can carry up to 40 pounds – will cut labor costs significantly: “When dealing with IROPS [irregular operations], catered meetings or special events, the unit will allow one [employee] to carry dozens of orders," he said. AtYourGate will test a total of eight robots through April. 

APEX Media | Related Airport Food Delivery Trend Picks Up During Pandemic – APEX Media



Volocopter Applies for US Type Certification, Plans Tests in France

With initial tourist flights already planned in Singapore for 2023, Volocopter is actively seeking expansion in the US and Europe. This week, the company revealed that the Federal Aviation Administration is considering certifying its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. If successful, this could open the door to flights in cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. Across the Atlantic, the Pontoise-Cormeilles-en-Vexin airfield near Paris will play host to additional testing of the VoloCity aircraft, and a selection of other eVTOL technologies, from June 2021. 

Bloomberg | Related Paris to launch Urban Air Mobility tests in June – Aerospace Testing



Delta, Turkish Announce New Hygiene Measures

Airlines continue to prioritize hygiene. In the coming months, Delta’s Global Cleanliness division will place almost 100 “clean ambassadors” at over 55 US airports to ensure a consistently safe experience across its facilities and aircraft. The quality assurance program they will follow was developed with the Mayo Clinic, Emory and RB (the makers of Lysol). It will include a regular audit of cleaning procedures. Turkish Airlines has launched a new in-flight video, “TK Extra Care,” in collaboration with its ambassador Dr. Mehmet Oz, producer and host of “The Dr. Oz Show.” The video explains the airline’s COVID-19-related hygiene protocols.  

TravelPulse | Related Turkish Airlines Launches “TK Extra Care”, a New Hygiene Programme in Collaboration With Dr. Oz. – Al Bawaba



IEG and Gunnebo Partner on eGates for Canadian Airport Lounges

Lounge-lovers flying through Canadian airports will soon be able to access their oases contact-free thanks to a collaboration between leading aviation IT firm IEG and Gunnebo Group. IEG’s lounge management system can now read boarding passes at self-service electronic gates (eGates) manufactured by Gunnebo to recognize the passenger and conduct any affiliated loyalty checks. Upon a boarding pass scan, the eGates will open and permit passage if travellers have the correct credentials for entering the lounge. If they aren’t authorized, a message will pop up asking them to see an agent for help.  

IEG America | Related Winnipeg International Airport Launches Vision-Box Automated Border Control eGates for NEXUS Travellers – Vision-Box





"An ANA B777-300ER arrives into LAX." Captured by @southbay_dan_aviation (via Instagram).

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

> Tweet of the Day

Today's sequence of events for #LaunchDemo2 went exactly to plan, from safe execution of our ground ops all the way through successful full duration burns on both engines. To say we're thrilled would be a massive understatement, but 240 characters couldn't do it justice anyway.

Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit


Association News

Begin Your Airlines' Health-Safety Audit Today

So far, APEX Health Safety Powered by SimpliFlying has audited 12 global airlines, including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Etihad, JetSmart, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, Spirit, Sri Lankan, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Will yours be next? Contact info@apex.aero to find out how to begin your health safety audit without charge.


> Quote of the Day

"We are in an enviable position of confidence, fuelled by substantial investment and ambitious growth.”

Neil Cairns, Acro Aircraft Seating
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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