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February 10, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Viasat MOU to Improve IFC in Russia

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) aiming to advance in-flight connectivity (IFC) for airlines flying into and over Russia marks the establishment an initial roaming agreement between current Viasat satellites and Russian Gazprom Space Systems (GSS) satellites, with Viasat operating in Russia leveraging Russian telecom operator TMC's license. Viasat has initially procured access to Ku-band capacity on GSS satellite Yamal-401. The cooperation will provide Viasat's airline customers with roaming connectivity over Russia; provide IFC services on domestic flights within Russia; and enable Russian and other international airlines to roam onto the Viasat global satellite network when outside of Russian airspace.

PR newswire | Related Airline Panel Reveals What’s on the Horizon for IFEC – APEX Media



New Isotropic Antenna Sees High Investor Interest

Having secured millions of dollars in funding via equity and grant support, Isotropic Systems can now accelerate the development of its new multi-beam antennas. The company’s unique radio frequency optics technology allows the antenna to simultaneously link with many satellites in multiple orbits without compromising performance. John Finney, Isotropic Systems’ founder and CEO, said the technology exceeds the capability of any single satellite system. The UK government, SES, Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures and other investors pitched in $40 million, enabling Isotropic to open a 20,000 square foot testing facility in the UK and roll out its new terminals by early 2022.

isotropic systems | Related Isotropic Systems' breakthrough tech to take UK space industry global – Isotropic Systems



United Lays Out eVTOL Strategy Involving Archer Aviation

As part of its effort to invest in new technologies that decarbonize air travel, United Airlines will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist air mobility company Archer Aviation with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft. The airline then plans to acquire a fleet of up to 200 of Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with Mesa Airlines, which a partner would operate for customers looking for an economical way to get to United’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments. Archer estimates it could launch consumer eVTOL flights by 2024.

United Airlines | Related Archer lands $1B order from United Airlines and a SPAC deal – Tech Crunch



All Etihad Flight Crews Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Etihad Airways claims it is the first airline in the world to only operate flights with pilots and cabin crew who have received a COVID-19 vaccination. The news is the result of a coordinated effort between health authorities in Abu Dhabi and the airline’s “Protected Together” employee inoculation initiative that allowed staff to receive the injection at work. In the US, Delta Air Lines transformed part of a concourse at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport into an employee vaccination center, and doses began being administered on Monday to those aged 65 and older.

business traveller | Related Delta CEO Ed Bastian discusses testing, vaccines and blocking middle seats on CNN – Delta Air Lines



CLEAR Health Pass Eliminates Quarantine Upon Arrival in Hawaii

Beginning February 18, travelers flying into Honolulu airport from LAX on Delta and United airlines flights can use a health passport developed by CLEAR to link their negative COVID-19 test results to their verified identity ahead of their journey. Doing so will exempt travelers from a 10-day quarantine upon arrival. CLEAR’s Health Pass also helps travelers find testing options by providing a nationwide directory of healthcare entities, labs and at-home solutions. On Monday, CLEAR received $100 million in strategic funding that will allow it to grow in industries beyond aviation.

aviation pros | Related CLEAR's Latest $100mm Funding Round Fuels Expansion Strategy – PR newswire



SITA Solutions Feature Prominently at New BIA Terminal

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) made use of SITA technology to enhance operational efficiency at the newly constructed Bahrain International Airport (BIA) passenger terminal. SITA’s airport management technology was paired with its Flight Info Displays Systems, which helps with information sharing and managing traveler flow. SITA Smart Path touchless biometric kiosks were delivered with Flex, the company’s cloud-based passenger processing solution, along with an end-to-end baggage reconciliation system. “We are excited to become one of the most advanced airports in the region and look forward to delivering a smarter, safer, and more comfortable travel experience,” said BAC’s CEO, Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah.

SITA | Related Inside Bahrain International Airport's new art-infused passenger terminal – National News



CTT and Munters to Jointly Develop Next-Gen Humidifier Material

Aircraft humidity control systems supplier CTT Systems has partnered with climate solutions company Munters to improve upon the current evaporative media, or pad, used in aircraft humidifiers. High humidity in the aircraft helps reduce instances of fatigue, jet-lag, red eyes, dry skin and the spread of viruses. “The result of this cooperation will not only help the aviation business meet stringent health and safety requirements. It will also benefit other industries that have the same tough requirements in terms of indoor air quality, cooling and humidity,” said Daniel Unge, global director, Marketing & Product Management, Munters.

munters | Related The New Standards and Sensors Set to Improve Cabin Air Quality – APEX Media





Trading his business-class seat with an anxious elderly flyer was "one of the happiest things" Tiezheng has ever done.

This week, we’re featuring #AvGeekTreasures from Tiezheng Bu, a frequent flyer who documents his travels on YouTube under the name "Vicarious Voyager."

> Tweet of the Day

Family moments with @VirginAtlantic . ❤ I was dressed as Tinker Bell and my brother seems to be a tiny pilot! My love of fancy dress never did disappear... #VirginFamily @richardbranson @sambranson

Holly Branson @HollyBranson


Association News

Read About JSX CEO Alex Wilcox’s Vision for the Future of Air Travel

Alex Wilcox, CEO and co-founder of JSX and member of the APEX board of governors, was recently interviewed by Authority Magazine as part of its “The Future Of Air Travel” series. Read the article to find out more about Wilcox’s exciting and varied aviation career thus far, and his plans for “hop-on jet carrier” JSX, which was named “Best Overall” in North America at APEX’s 2020 Regional Passenger Choice Awards.


> Quote of the Day

"Our smart solutions involving aircraft interface devices and managed connectivity provide ways to offload from safety pipes onto broadband pipes."

Nicole Grainger, Collins Aerospace
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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