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February 10, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Southwest Airlines Faces Tough Questions From Senators

Senators grilled Southwest Airlines’ chief operating officer, Andrew Watterson, on Thursday over the company’s holiday meltdown, which disrupted flights for as many as two million people during one of the year’s busiest periods. Southwest canceled 16,700 flights in the last 11 days of December. Lawmakers on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation posed questions about how the airline’s operations buckled during the holidays and the steps it was taking to prevent a similar breakdown in the future.  

New York Times | Related Southwest Airlines grilled over meltdown in Senate hearing: Highlights - USA Today  



Onboard London - Cape Town Virgin Atlantic B787 Upper Class

Virgin resumed the London-Cape Town route in November 2022, currently operated by the B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. All Upper Class seats are fully-flat, and feature the sustainable paper amenity kit, containing a bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, satin eye mask, socks, Ren toiletries and a pen. The dinner menu included the option of two starters, three main courses and two desserts as well as a cheese course with Port. The 11-inch touchscreen IFE monitor could be put to good use with a selection of 94 films and 25 TV shows.  

Business Traveller | Related Meeting the needs of the premium leisure traveller in the cabin - Runway Girl Network



Tax Incentives For SAF Could Soon Be Coming To Washington

A bill sponsored by Spokane Democratic Sen. Andy Billig would give tax incentives to manufacture and purchase alternative jet fuel, which are biofuels with a lower carbon intensity than conventional jet fuels. The bill would incentivize fuel producers to build alternative fuel production facilities in Washington by creating a business and operations tax rate of 0.275% for the manufacture and sale of sustainable aviation fuels. The tax incentive would go into effect July 1, 2024, but only after a facility capable of producing at least 20 million gallons of alternative jet fuel is operating in Washington. It would be in effect for 10 years.

The Daily News | Related Indian Oil Signs MOU With Lanzajet on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) - ARGS



Exploring Italian Intermodality With Lufthansa And ITA

Lufthansa and Italian state railway operator FS inked a memorandum of understanding via which the airline group hopes to achieve similar goals as with its German, Swiss and Austrian rail operator partnerships. The aim of the planned cooperation is in particular to bring passengers with FS rail connections to and from their respective flight connections at various Italian airports. Italian carrier ITA is also getting in on the act, with a bus partner in startup Itabus. Buses provide service to Perugia to the north of Rome and Pescara across the Apennine mountains on Italy’s Adriatic coast. This creation of what are essentially plane-train codeshares goes a long way towards regional intermodality, widening the catchment of the airports across the country.

Runway Girl Network | Related Lufthansa bids for ITA stake to revive Italy's loss-making airline - Reuters



Kevin Costner's Road Trip Audio App Now On JetBlue's IFE

Co-founder Kevin Costner’s travel app Autio is taking to the skies starting Wednesday in a newly announced partnership with JetBlue. This will provide passengers with access to more than 250 stories in 29 American destinations that can be streamed on the Avant seatback screens, available on about half of its fleet. Autio offers more than 10,000 pieces of audio content that bring American landmarks to life, as told by the most compelling storytellers, including former basketball player Phil Jackson, actor John Lithgow, and Costner himself.

Yahoo | Related JetBlue Announces Partnership With Kevin Costner's Road Trip App Autio - Simple Flying



Holland & Barrett Join Forces With WHSmith At London Airports

Holland & Barrett has partnered with WHSmith to offer a curated range of health, wellness and beauty products to customers traveling through the UK. The trial will see Holland & Barrett concessions added to three WHSmith Travel stores in Heathrow Terminal 2 airside, Gatwick North Terminal airside and London’s Euston Rail Station. A tailored offering of Holland & Barrett’s own brand best-selling vitamins, beauty products and travel essentials designed to complement the wider WHSmith range will be on sale in dedicated Holland & Barrett branded spaces in the three stores.

Airport World | Related WHSmith to offer Holland & Barrett products at two London airports - Passenger Terminal Today



Chicago O’Hare Airport Opens Terminal 5 Expansion

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) has expanded the eastern wing of Terminal 5. Passenger amenity space has increased by 75%, and the existing building has been expanded by approximately 32,500 sq mt, with additional renovations to 69,700 sq mt of the existing structure. This extension forms part of the airport’s US$1.3bn, four-year investment to expand and modernize ORD. The project has reportedly increased the terminal’s capacity by 25% to improve efficiency and reduce delays. Sustainable technology has been incorporated throughout the terminal, including water efficiency measures, roofing and 3,700 sq mt of environmental glass.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related United opens new Club lounge at Chicago O’Hare – Business Traveller




Today’s picture comes from @renan.spotter, showing a Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 at São Paulo International Airport. Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

Bagwati and I are comfortably seated on @airvistara (UK)'s #A321neo VT-TVE. I was in this seat (2A) on this very aircraft on UK08 - the flight where we drew the number 8 in the skies on UK's anniversary. This is without doubt the best way to get around India. #AvGeek #PaxEx



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.


> Quote of the Day

“This bill will help make the promise of a green economy a reality here in Washington by addressing climate change and creating family-waged jobs.”

Andy Billig, Democrat Senator from Spokane
Read the article


The next newsletter will be out on Monday.



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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