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February 16, 2021



Today's Top Stories


CDC, White House Not Recommending COVID Testing for Domestic Flights

The CDC stated that while it is not recommending travel of any kind right now, it is also not advocating for mandatory point of departure testing for domestic travel. The agency instead suggests that those who do travel get tested in the days before and after their trip. In a separate briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, "Reports that there is an intention to put in place new [travel] requirements such as testing are not accurate.'' The statements come after US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared on television suggesting domestic testing may become reality. The aviation industry is against such a move, saying it would exacerbate an already overburdened system.

USA Today | Related Airlines push back on mandatory COVID-19 testing for flights – The Hill



SkyTeam Launches Directory of COVID-19 Test Providers

Testing Labs Locator, powered by TrustAssure, is a new directory created by SkyTeam that lists more than 15,000 COVID-19 testing locations in over 75 countries. It includes details of available tests as well as contact details and opening hours for each location, with the aim of helping passengers find and book a COVID test with a trusted health provider. “We will continue to expand our offering with TrustAssure and other health providers to ensure a seamless and safe travel experience for our customers and employees,” said Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam’s CEO.

business travel news europe | Related Star Alliance Members Excel Among Launch Airlines in COVID-19 Audit Program – WebWire



Intelsat Reorganization Plan will Cut Debt by More Than Half

Intelsat announced it will be filing a Plan of Reorganization as part of its Chapter 11 proceedings that will reduce its debt from nearly $15 billion down to $7 billion. The motion has won the support of key creditors and resolves many complex issues among them. Intelsat will continue to engage with stakeholders to gain additional support for its plan ahead of a court hearing on March 17. The company hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 proceedings in the second half of 2021.

Intelsat | Related Intelsat Undertakes Financial Restructuring to Pave the Way for Future Innovation and Growth – Business Wire



BA Teams Up With UK-Based Disinfection Brand Against COVID-19

A new partnership between British Airways (BA) and UK-based disinfection brand Dettol will see the airline begin using Dettol products as part of its cleaning protocols, a move that has been supported by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dettol products will also be available for passengers at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, with hand sanitizer stations set to be installed at all check-in desks, self-service bag drop stations, lounges and departure gates. In addition, each passenger will be handed a packet of Dettol antibacterial hygiene wipes when boarding their flight.

British Airways | Related Globe-Trotter and British Airways Commemorate Boeing 747's Retirement With Limited Edition Carry-On – Hypebeast



AtYourGate Employees Soon to Provide Airport Assistant Service

A new alliance between in-airport food delivery service AtYourGate and airport concierge company SkySquad will see AtYourGate staff receive training with a view to providing SkySquad’s Airport Assistant service, which helps customers navigate throughout the airport on departure, arrival or during layovers. “Many people have not traveled in over a year and we want to help make their re-entry into the travel world easier than ever,” said SkySquad’s CEO, Julie Melnick. The SkySquad/AtYourGate service will begin operations at Boston Logan, JFK, Newark Liberty and Philadelphia airports in the coming months – all locations AtYourGate already serves.

APEX Media | Related Contactless and Cute: Robots Aiding Airport Food Delivery – APEX Media



Air Quality Coalition Calls for Additional Filtration, Air Sensors

The Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) launched a campaign advocating for the installation of contaminated air warning sensors and additional filtration. GCAQE claims that over 50 aviation safety recommendations on this topic have gone unheeded. The coalition explained that in all passenger aircraft except the Boeing 787, cabin air is sourced from the hot compression section of the engine and may contain traces of synthetic oil and hydraulic fluid. GCAQE released a video in over 40 languages in conjunction with its campaign.

aviation business news | Related GCAQE Call for filters and sensor – Vimeo



Artists Turn Etihad Aircraft Parts Into Art; Finnair Recycles A319 Onsite

Instead of sending its obsolete carpet and fabric rolls, emergency equipment, sidewalls, windows and seats to landfill, Etihad Airways partnered with UAE designers to upcycle them into works of art. Some artists also chose to melt and cast scrap metal components found in Etihad’s parts warehouse. Etihad is displaying the art pieces at its headquarters and hopes to commission similar work in the future. Meanwhile, Finnair is dismantling and recycling an Airbus A319 aircraft at Helsinki Airport for the first time in order to optimize cost efficiency. Usually, this operation is performed elsewhere in Europe.

Etihad | Related Finnair to dismantle and recycle an A319 aircraft at Helsinki Airport – Finnair





Gabriel Ebensperger designed this wondrous view from the cockpit for a story about pilot-turned-writer Mark Vanhoenacker.

This week, we’re featuring some of our favorite illustrations from #APEXExperienceMag travelogues.

> Tweet of the Day

Astronauts are testing a virus-fighting surface coating that could help keep you and your community healthy. The unique, zero-gravity @Space_Station laboratory will help test its effectiveness.

The Boeing Company @Boeing


Association News

FTE APEX Business Model Transformation Think Tank, Part Two at 2021 Virtual Expo

The key recommendations from the FTE APEX Business Model Transformation Think Tank were unveiled during FTE APEX Virtual Expo last December. The team shared a vision for redefining the passenger journey in the areas of food and beverage, as well as the end-to-end baggage experience. In May, we will share results from the resulting proof of concept projects that are now running, and the latest thinking around these ideas. Learn more.


> Quote of the Day

"You can plug any caterer at any station into our technology and control what each caterer is supposed to do for you.”

Kian Gould, Omnevo
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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