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February 2, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Qatar Airways, Airbus Reach Settlement In A350 Legal Case

Qatar Airways and Airbus have reached a settlement in a long-standing legal dispute over the safety of the A350 jetliner. The companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the settlement was amicable and mutually agreeable. Thus ends a $2bn row over the safety of Europe’s premier long-haul jet – an unprecedented public rift that led Airbus to revoke dozens of other jet orders from the carrier. Qatar Airways had grounded A350s over what it described as fuselages degrading at an accelerated rate.

Al Jazeera | Related Airbus has changed the design of its A350 flagship jet amid its dispute with Qatar Airways over peeling paint - Business Insider India  



Almost 9,000 Passengers Are Stuck After Auckland Flooding

Over 9,000 passengers were left displaced after heavy rain disrupted operations at Auckland International Airport. The airport was forced to close and restrict operations over the weekend as heavy rain battered the city. Capacity was already limited for Air New Zealand because of peaking summer traffic, now compounded with multiple cancellations and delays. Air New Zealand is currently attempting one of its largest-ever passenger recoveries rebooking over 9,000 passengers stranded around the world.

Simple Flying | Related Air New Zealand Adds Japan and Samoa Recovery Flights - Simple Flying



United Airlines And Partners To Develop Ethanol-Based SAF

Blue Blade Energy is a new joint venture between United Airlines, Tallgrass, and Green Plains for developing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) utilizing ethanol as feedstock. The companies intend to invest up to $50m for the development of this technology. They plan to build a pilot facility next year and a full-scale facility by 2028. Tallgrass will be responsible for managing the technology’s research and development work, including the development of the pilot plant and managing the construction of the production facility. Green Plains will deliver the low-carbon ethanol feedstock and manage operations after the pilot facility is built while United will support the SAF development, fuel certification and into-wing logistics.

Airport Technology | Related Japan working with Singapore, U.S. to procure more jet biofuel - The Asahi Shimbun



SAUDIA Strengthens Its Role As An East / West Connector With Free Stopover Visa

SAUDIA has announced that it will be offering a free four-day stopover visa for all passengers.  The “Your Ticket, Your Visa'' service will see SAUDIA passengers being issued with a 96 hour transit visa within three minutes of purchasing their ticket. The stopover service is the latest milestone reached by SAUDIA in its on-going program to enhance service levels, attract visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and position its Jeddah hub as a key East / West gateway. The 96-hour visa is valid for any international SAUDIA gateway, which now includes NEOM Bay.  

APEX | Related Air New Zealand Adds Japan and Samoa Recovery Flights - Simple Flying



Singapore Airlines Unlocks Unlimited Free WiFi In Business Class

Business class travelers on Singapore Airlines flights can now enjoy free unlimited WiFi, an extension of the same perk available to the airline's first-class passengers. The airline previously offered business class passengers a free starter package of 100Mb, after which they had to pay anywhere between US$4 and US$16 for a range of packages – the most expensive of which lasted for just three hours. The airline says free WiFi will continue as part of a revamp of its inflight connectivity packages.

Executive Traveller | Related Japan Airlines extends free Internet to E190s as 2Ku equipage begins - Runway Girl Network



Qatar Airways Signs Merchandising Deal With ATPCO

ATPCO announced it has signed a multi-year deal with Qatar Airways for its Routehappy merchandising solution. The agreement will see ATPCO create and distribute  all content types—Amenities, Universal Ticket Attributes, Universal Product Attributes—for the carrier to all third-party distribution channels that subscribe to Routehappy. Content will be distributed via indirect channels. The deal will enable Qatar Airways to update visual content for multiple sales channels and industry partners such as Amadeus, Kayak, Sabre, and Trip.com so each channel is consuming consistent and accurate content straight from the source.

Travel Daily Media | Related ATPCO Commits to 'Dynamic' Airline Offers - Business Travel News



Pre-Order Meals On Lufthansa Flights February Onwards

Lufthansa passengers will be able to pre-order fresh meals for European flights of 60 minutes or more starting 8th February. Travelers will be able to pre-order high-quality, fresh products as early as 30 days and up to 36 hours before departure. The order can then be conveniently made online via the new Pre-flight Shop and paid for cashless on board. Independent of this, passengers will still be able to choose from a wide range of Onboard Delights.

Aviation24.be | Related Why is this major airline asking passengers to skip meals? - The Points Guy




Today’s picture comes from @ltmcmedia, showing an Horizon Air Embraer ERJ-175LR in retro livery at Paine Field Airport.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Who would have thought the $100 million spent by @Delta to refurbish their #B777-200LR fleet just before they were retired (due to #COVID19) would end up wowing passengers at @airindiain . Such is the #aviation industry. Unpredictable as ever. #AvGeek #PaxEx

VT-VLO @Vinamralongani


Association News


New innovations and the future of connectivity, how are you prepared and what's your organization doing to orchestrate “the next?” Join us at 2023 APEX TECH, 21 March – 23 March in Los Angeles, CA, and learn from and network with airlines and service providers. Registration is now open! Register before February 20th and benefit from a special early bird rate.


The Crystal Cabin Awards

The Crystal Cabin Awards is a highly sought after and renowned accolade for innovation in passenger experience and aircraft interiors. Submit your idea in the 2023 race by Wednesday, February 8th 2023. Show the world what the future of air travel will look like. Winners will be crowned during the Aircraft Interiors Expo on June 6th in Hamburg.


> Quote of the Day

“The production and use of SAF is the most effective and scalable tool the airline industry has to reduce carbon emissions and United continues to lead the way. This new joint venture includes two expert collaborators that have the experience to construct and operate large-scale infrastructure, as well as the feedstock supply necessary for success. Once operational, Blue Blade Energy has the potential to create United’s largest source of SAF providing up to 135 million gallons of fuel annually.”

Michael Leskinen, President United Airlines Ventures
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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