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February 7, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Global Airline Traffic Recovering To Pre-Pandemic Levels

Global airline traffic rose to over half of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 according to data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Monday. Global traffic grew to 68.5% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels in 2022, and 64.4% from 2021. Since the beginning of the pandemic, airlines saw a sharp decline in travel in 2020 and 2021 and lost billions of dollars. Profits returned in 2022 as traffic picked up again. Analysts emphasize that full recovery to pre-pandemic levels depends on how quickly travel to and from China can return.

VOA | Related Global Airline Traffic Last Year Rebounds To Over Half Of Pre-Pandemic Levels - Reuters



Vistara Welcomes India’s 1st Airbus A321LR To Its Fleet

Indian full-service carrier Vistara has become the country’s first airline to take delivery of the Airbus A321 Long Range (LR) aircraft. The new plane arrived in Delhi, India, on February 4, 2023. Compared to other A320neo family jets, the Airbus A321LR boasts an extended range capability. The new aircraft can fly as far as 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) and can accommodate 206 passengers by utilizing extra fuel in three Additional Centre Tanks. Vistara currently has a total of 53 aircraft in its fleet with an average age of 2.9 years.

Simple Flying | Related Vistara Adds Airbus A321LR To Its Fleet, Focuses On International Expansion - Zee Business



Japan Airlines’ New First Class

Later this year, Japan Airlines is expected to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000, which will be the company’s new flagship aircraft, replacing the Boeing 777-300ER. Not only is the A350 a more modern and fuel efficient plane, but Japan Airlines is also promising “unprecedented” new premium cabins. While we don’t have any official details, it seems likely that the new cabin will have just six seats. Furthermore, we also have a sense of which of the two daily frequencies is most likely to have the new product.

One Mile At A Time | Related JAL Promises ‘Unprecedented’ New A350 First, Business Class - Executive Traveller



MAG Airports Offer British Sign Language Interpretation For The Hearing Impaired

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has partnered with online interpreting service SignLive to provide deaf customers with interpretation in British Sign Language (BSL) when using and contacting its airports. The service enables customers who want to communicate in BSL to connect via video with a certified interpreter who can provide two-way translation between the customer and an airport team member. Customers can log on to the SignLive app on iOS, Android or a web browser and find each airport listed in the community directory.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Bengaluru Airport Introduces Special Facilities For Persons With Disabilities - Hindustan Times



Flights Diverted After Further Drone Sightings At Dublin Airport

Flights have been diverted at Dublin Airport for the third time in four days after sightings of a drone on the airfield. Four flights were diverted to Belfast, one to Shannon and one to Manchester as a result, Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported. Flight operations were suspended for about 40 minutes and resumed at 19:45 local time on Monday, the airport said. It is illegal to fly drones within 5km (three miles) of the airport.

BBC | Related Dublin Airport Suspends Flights For Third Day In A Row Because Of Drone - Simple Flying



Cathay Pacific Reopens The Deck Lounge At Hong Kong International Airport

On Feb 6th, Cathay Pacific re-opened the business class The Deck lounge at Hong Kong International Airport. Located close to Gate 6 in Terminal 1, The Deck is designed in the signature StudioIlse blueprint across the airline’s network. Unique to The Deck is The Terrace, an open-ceiling L-shaped verandah featuring both table and individual seating, enabling visitors to take in panoramic views of the airport’s apron, taxi-ways and northern runway. To mark the reopening of The Deck, Cathay Pacific has also added a selection of new culinary delights at The Noodle Bar, an iconic favorite among guests at its signature lounges.

LoyaltyLobby | Related Cathay Pacific Reopens Singapore Lounge On Feb 22 - Executive Traveller



New Zealand’s First Winery Airline Takes Flight

Having a couple of wines onboard took its meaning to another level last week as Invivo Air took to the skies above New Zealand. The Saab 340, registration ZK-CIZ, took on the name ‘Cloud Wine’ for the inaugural trip. The almost 30-year-old Saab 340 whisked 30 guests on their curated trip to sample some of the best wine and food Queenstown had to offer. The plane’s interior was decorated with hanging vines. After the aircraft took off, wine tasting ensued. Eight different tipples were on offer, a tasting that led the passengers through a range of the Invivo wines available.

Simple Flying | Related The World’s First ‘Winery Airline’ Will Take Off In 2023 - Condé Nast Traveller




Today’s picture comes from @cyycspotter, showing a Turkish Airlines Airbus A350 taking off from Vancouver International Airport. Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

It’s amazing that Philippines Airlines offers free unlimited in-flight internet to all passengers on its A321neo flights. Only 5-months ago when I last flew them they were handing out 100mb vouchers to business class passengers. #paxex #avgeek

Your friendly neighbourhood Gecko @GeckoSunday


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 industry left 2022 in far stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel. This momentum is expected to continue in the New Year, despite some governments’ over-reactions to China’s reopening.”

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General
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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