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January 19, 2021



Today's Top Stories


IATA Travel Pass Available to Passengers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Etihad and Emirates are preparing to launch IATA’s Travel Pass – a secure app designed to allow passengers to manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccination. From April 2021, Emirates passengers traveling from Dubai will be able to validate COVID-19 PCR tests and share them with the airline through the Travel Pass app, which will auto-populate the details on Emirates’ check-in system. Use of the IATA Travel Pass will also be offered to Etihad Airways passengers on select flights from Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2021. If successful, it will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network.

IATA | Related Etihad Airways one of the First Airlines Globally to Launch IATA Travel Pass – IATA



Boeing 737 MAX to Return to Service in Canada This Week

Transport Canada has cleared the Boeing 737 MAX to fly from Wednesday following a vigorous 22-month review process, but has issued an "airworthiness directive" detailing design and maintenance changes that need to be made beforehand. It will also require additional training for Canadian airlines' flight crew. WestJet is expected to begin using the type on three weekly round trip flights between Calgary and Toronto from Thursday. Air Canada has outlined plans to reintroduce the 737 MAX from February 1 on flights between Toronto and five Canadian destinations: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

CBC | Related VIDEO: Air Canada to resume Boeing 737 MAX commercial operations – Air Canada



KLIA to Introduce Single Token Journey Initiative

During the first half of this year, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) plans to install facial recognition technology at 50 self-check-in kiosks, 20 check-in counters and 56 eGates at security checkpoints and boarding gates across Terminals 1 and 2. The move marks the first phase in the rollout of its Single Token Journey initiative, which will replace physical travel documents with biometric identification authentication. The technology will eventually be integrated with KLIA’s app, so that passengers can enrol themselves before arriving at the airport. In the future, it could also become part of making retail purchases and accessing airline lounges.

Malaysia Airports | Related New face biometrics implementations announced at airports on three continents – Biometric Update



COVID-19 to Further Drive Innovation in Premium Narrow-Body Seating

With IATA predicting travel won’t return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024, JPA Design’s business development manager, Richard D’Cruze, believes the industry will continue investing in premium products for single-aisle aircraft. While short-haul adaptations of long-haul business-class seats are currently being used as a stop-gap, D’Cruze acknowledges that companies like Adient, Aviointeriors and Stelia are all focusing on more spatially efficient business-class seating for narrow-body airframes. “We are currently working on two narrow-body business-class concepts for airlines with more in the pipeline, which is a clear indication of the demand in this segment,” he said.

APEX Media | Related [PHOTOS] STELIA Unveils Business-Class OPERA Seat ­­– APEX Media



EAN Reaches 250-Aircraft Milestone

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom have fitted a total of 250 aircraft, including British Airways’ entire short-haul fleet, with the necessary hardware and systems to connect to the European Aviation Network (EAN). The in-flight connectivity solution has seen an accelerated rollout since entering commercial service and is now available on board flights operated by British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, which are all part of IAG Group. “EAN is perfectly adapted to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and a true game-changer in in-flight connectivity,” said Rolf Nafziger, SVP Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Global Business. The installation time currently stands at less than nine hours per aircraft. 

Inmarsat | Related Inmarsat named world’s leading inflight internet service provider – ADS Advance



Mzaalo to Provide Content for SpiceJet’s IFE System

Mzaalo, an ad-supported, blockchain-based entertainment platform, is to provide the content for SpiceJet’s in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, SpiceScreen. SpiceScreen was launched in August 2020 and is powered by Mojo Boxx (formerly VuLiv), which uses specially formatted Android smartphones as onboard media hubs. Mzaalo’s platform offers over 50,000 hours of content including Bollywood films, regional cinema, music videos and more, which SpiceJet’s chief marketing officer, Debojo Maharshi, said Indian travelers prefer.” Manoj Kumar Gupta, founder of Mojo Boxx, added, “Our partnership with Mzaalo will enable us to create deeper engagements with flyers not just in [the] sky, but even before departure and after arrival.”

Exchange4Media | Related VuLiv’s Smartphone-Based IFE System Powers SpiceJet’s Revamped Offering – APEX Media



Air New Zealand Crew to Participate in COVID-19 Saliva Testing Study

Air New Zealand is doing its part to help scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) better understand the effectiveness of saliva testing for COVID-19. A number of Air New Zealand employees already undertaking regular surveillance testing will be invited to participate in an ESR study, which the airline hopes will unlock the potential for faster and less intrusive testing for pilots, crew and other airline staff. The study will run over two to three months and will take place alongside existing nasopharyngeal swabs. ESR will compare the accuracy of both the saliva and regular nasopharyngeal tests in a laboratory. 

Air New Zealand | Related Covid-19: Pre-departure test extended to all passengers from next week – Stuff.co.nz





"A VivaAerobus Airbus A320 high above the clouds." Captured by @cap.palomares (via Instagram).

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PAX International @paxintl


Association News

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APEX Media is accepting pitches for op-eds as part of a new series called Expert Opinions, which is aimed at spotlighting informed views on current industry trends. If you would like to participate, email editor@apex.aero with your idea.


> Quote of the Day

“Customers can take their items out of the robot without ever having to come near our people.”

PJ Mastracchio, AtYourGate
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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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