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February 19, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Board of Directors Set to Steer NXTCOMM’s Commercial Introduction

NXT Communications Corporation (NXTCOMM) is ready to bring its Ku-band electronically steered antennas to market and has named new board members: Scott Zimmer, David Horton, Stephen Newell and Curtis Reusser are all current NXTCOMM employees, while Lawrence Soriano is currently president of grocery and retail corporation Western Pioneer. “This is the right board to support the management team at this critical stage in NXTCOMM’s growth,” said Zimmer. The company has sent 50-centimeter panel evaluation units for production and will begin demos in Q2 of this year.

nxtcomm | Related NXTCOMM board of directors video – NXTCOMM



Hydrogen Startup Scales Up with New Execs, Prototypes

Universal Hydrogen, a startup looking to market a hydrogen distribution and logistics solution for the aviation sector, as well as the first certified hydrogen powertrain for regional aircraft, announced the hiring of new executives. The company's Strategic Advisory Board members include former Airbus CEO, Dr. Tom Enders; former FAA Deputy Administrator, Dr. Lourdes Maurice; and John Leahy, former Airbus CCO. Bombardier’s former VP Marketing Rod Williams also joined as CCO. With fresh liquidity recently secured, Universal Hydrogen is testing an “iron bird” prototype of a fuel cell powertrain suitable for regional and eVTOL applications.

businesswire | Related Universal Hydrogen Wants to Get Fuel-Cell Planes Ready to Fly by 2024 – Bloomberg



IdeaNova’s Inplay Video Chat Feature Keeps Passengers Connected

Before social distancing protocols took effect, it was easy to take for granted the number of interactions passengers have with one another and with crew during a flight. IdeaNova Technologies (IdeaNova) hopes to keep the social aspect of flying alive with a new video chat feature baked into its Inplay IFE portal. The function is just a click away for passengers, allowing them to hold video conferences with crew and fellow travelers directly from their seats. Linda Oglesbee, account manager at IdeaNova, argued that this feature will outlast the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to how convenient and helpful it is.

APEX Media | Related IdeaNova Updates InPlay Software With Dynamic Ad Capabilities – APEX Media



Airbus, Air France-KLM Disclose 2020 Losses

Airbus has reported a loss of $1.3 billion for 2020. Overall sales came in at around $60.2 billion, a decrease of approximately $25 billion compared to 2019. Across the same period, aircraft orders were also down by 500 jets from 768 in 2019 to 268 in 2020. “Many uncertainties remain for our industry in 2021 as the pandemic continues to impact lives, economies and societies,” said Airbus’ CEO, Guillaume Faury. Air France-KLM made an operating loss of $5.4 billion in the year to 31 December 2020. Revenue for the group declined by 59% versus 2019, while passenger numbers shrank by 67% year-on-year.

The Hill | Related Air France KLM makes €4.5 billion operating loss – Business Travel News Europe



Pier D Expansion Complete at YVR

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) revealed the results of its $300-million Pier D international terminal expansion, the largest the airport has seen in 25 years. Eight new gates were added, along with a wide range of retail and dining options including Pacific Farms Market, a marketplace offering five made-to-order food stations serving coffee, baked goods, sushi and poke, pizza, and juices and smoothies. Travelers will also find quiet spaces for yoga and prayer, a private nursing room, a pet relief area and an atrium that brings the outdoors in: an open roof allows sunlight, rain or snow to nourish the small forest within.

future travel experience | Related Vancouver International Airport completes $300M terminal building expansion – Daily Hive



TSA Launches Recruitment Drive for 6,000 Security Officers

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is looking to recruit 6,000 Transportation Security Officers by the summer to support screening operations across 430 US airports. The demand comes in response to anticipated seasonal travel trends, as well as the progress being made vaccinating the general public against COVID-19. “We expect to screen a higher number of travelers regularly by the summer months and will need additional officers to support our critical mission,” said Melanie Harvey, Security Operations, TSA. Benefits include access to medical coverage, vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans.

TSA | Related TSA Screened More Than 4 Million Passengers Over the 3-day Weekend – Travel + Leisure



Retail Revisions, New Runway and Terminal Coming to GDL

The Design Solution was tapped to reimagine the commercial space at Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) as it expands by 1,500 square feet. The architectural company’s mandate is to unify the airside zones, which have grown increasingly disparate over the past few decades following numerous different expansion projects. Traveler flow will be rationalized so that passengers “have much more direct engagement with stores, restaurants, bars, pop-ups and seasonal event experiences,” explained The Design Solution’s director, Graeme Johns. The $300-million project will be completed by 2023. GDL is also receiving an additional runway and new terminal building.

moodie davitt report | Related New terminal for Mexico's Guadalajara – Passenger Terminal Today





Francisco Javier Olea provided stunning illustrations for Human First, Mary Doyle's account of flying with a wheelchair.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Our friends at Delta TechOps searched their library but no longer have wiring or maintenance manuals for these original World Business Class seats. Perhaps someone at @CollinsAero may have old files? (We need to take them apart to get them in the museum!)

NorthwestAirlines @NW_Airlines


Association News

Do You Have an Opinion You'd Like to Share with the APEX Audience?

APEX Media is accepting pitches for op-eds as part of a new series called Expert Opinions, which is aimed at spotlighting informed views on current industry trends. If you would like to participate, email editor@apex.aero with your idea.


> Quote of the Day

"We can’t rely solely on market leaders to invest in “green” initiatives. Sustainable aviation will only work effectively if we collaborate."

Andrea Häussermann, Recaro Aircraft Seating
Read the article


Until next week



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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