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February 16, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Blade And BETA Complete First Electric Air Taxi Flight In NYC Area

Blade Air Mobility Inc. and electric aerospace company Beta Technologies have successfully completed the first of its kind test flight of Beta’s eVTOL aircraft in New York. The flight marks a milestone for the duo, who are among the flood of companies racing to develop flying taxis that can ascend like a helicopter and fly like a plane. Blade already operates a ride-sharing business selling premium-priced seats on helicopters and charter planes to destinations.

Bloomberg | Related Blade Air Mobility and Beta Technologies complete historic electric vertical aircraft flight in New York - Vertical Mag



Air New Zealand Resumes Services After Cyclone-Led Cancellations

Air New Zealand resumed services to all airports on Wednesday after Cyclone Gabrielle led to 821 flight cancellations, affecting 49,000 customers. The nation's biggest carrier was forced to halt domestic and international operations from Auckland on Tuesday due to increased gusty winds in the afternoon, which led to further 300 canceled services. The carrier has added extra services to multiple cities in its international network, as well as between Christchurch and Auckland.

Reuters | Related ‘Absolute chaos’: Air New Zealand passengers caught in huge queues at Auckland Airport - NZ Herald



Cathay Pacific To Reopen The Pier First Class Lounge

Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong lounge portfolio will be back at full strength by the middle of the year, with The Pier First and The Wing Business lounges both set to reopen their doors. The moves come as Cathay continues to add aircraft, boost flights and revisit destinations, with the intent of being back to 70% of pre-pandemic capacity by the end of 2023. Under Cathay Pacific’s 2023 lounge roadmap The Wing Business will reopen in the coming months, complementing The Wing First in offering a full proposition at the top end of Hong Kong’s Terminal 1. 

Executive Traveller | Related Why Qantas has permanently closed these international lounges - Executive Traveller



Aeromar Officially Ceases Operations

Aeromar, the airline that up until today was the longest-operating Mexican airline, has officially announced it is ceasing all operations.The Mexican government rejected a rescue plan for Aeromar last November.  Aeromar is the second Mexican airline to cease operations in recent years, with Interjet being the first in 2020. Aeromar was serving 21 domestic and three international destinations before ceasing operations.

Simple Flying | Related Hit by pandemic, small Mexican airline Aeromar shuts down - ABC News



Prawns Are Out And Chicken Is In To Help Cut Airline Meal Costs

Singapore’s SATS Ltd., one of the world’s biggest airline caterers, is swapping prawns for chicken on menus more regularly to help save costs as the aviation industry emerges from the Covid pandemic. SATS’ quarterly income shrank to S$0.5 million from S$5.1 million a year earlier. Its shares slid as much as 8% the following day, before closing down 4.7%, their biggest loss in three months. Still, the results were an improvement from the previous quarter, when the company posted a S$9.9 million loss. SATS served 49.1 million meals in the first nine months of fiscal 2023, an increase of 25% from a year earlier.

Bloomberg | Related Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class 787 (SIN-SGN) - One Mile at a Time



Collins Aerospace Elements Suite And Secant Lighting Fly On Starlux

Collins Aerospace has revealed that a bespoke version of its new Elements premium suite, as well as its Secant Luminous Panel micro-LED system, have launched on the Starlux A350, which entered revenue service last month. This is the in-service debut for both Elements and Secant. Each of the 26 Elements business class suites places a premium on privacy with a door, 48.5-inch walls and a ‘halo’ feature angling inward at the top of the partition for an elevated sense of seclusion. Patented seating comfort and suspension technology ensures relaxation whether upright, reclined or lying flat.

Runway Girl Network | Related Taiwan's Starlux Airlines will start flying to the US in April - The Points Guy  



Expanded American Express Centurion Lounge Opens At Seattle

American Express has a new Centurion Lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It’s open to eligible American Express cardholders with the consumer or business versions of the Platinum Card, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card and Centurion members. The 14,000 sq ft lounge is situated on a newly created section of the terminal, offering expansive airport views as well as those of the distant Olympic Mountains. It also boasts of a 40-square foot mural designed by artist Harold Caudio depicting the Seattle skyline.

Forbes | Related Seattle-Tacoma opens nine retail units at redesigned N Concourse - Passenger Terminal Today




Today’s picture comes from @egccdan, showing a Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 at Manchester Airport.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Qatar Airways will return 30 stored Airbus A350s to service in the coming months, 12 of which have the Qsuite, while brand new Qsuite A350 deliveries will also restart. Could Singapore get the sought-after cabin product back on a permanent basis? #PaxEx

Mainly Miles @mainly_miles


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 demonstration is a big milestone in our transition from helicopters to electric vertical aircraft, and we are pleased that our partners at BETA have designed the right aircraft with the requisite range, capacity, and noise profile, for use in our key markets, including our homebase of New York City."

Rob Wiesenthal, CEO of Blade Air Mobility
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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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