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February 23, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Initial NTSB Assessment of 777 Incident Points to Metal Fatigue

During a news briefing yesterday, US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman Robert Sumwalt said that damage to one of the engine fan blades involved in Saturday’s Boeing 777-200 incident is consistent with metal fatigue. The board will perform further inspections today to look into why the engine cowling separated from the aircraft and determine the cause of the engine fire. While a metal fatigue crack was also found on a Japan Airlines 777 that experienced a similar incident in December, Sumwalt underlined the importance of understanding all the facts before making comparisons.

CNBC | Related NTSB Media Briefing on the investigation into United 328 engine incident – youtube



SITA Publishes 2020 Air Transport IT Insights

The 2020 iteration of SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights report has shown that key investment priorities for airlines and airports between 2020 and 2023 are the touchless journey, biometric identity, support for remote workers and adapting to new health and safety protocols. 84% of airlines and 89% of airports are prioritizing a completely touchless check-in process, with an accelerated focus placed on mobile services and automated baggage drop-off through 2023. Efficiency and security were also cited as key focuses by both parties.

APEX Media | Related SITA launches Health Protect, a secure way for airlines to share health information during the pandemic – SITA



New Virgin Lounge Features Mobile Food Ordering, Wine Tasting

After months of delays due to COVID-19 and Virgin Australia’s bankruptcy saga, the airline’s Adelaide Airport lounge has finally opened. It can host 283 guests in the 11,800 square foot space. Dining options have expanded to include fresh wraps, salads, protein bowls and more. Patrons can scan a QR code printed on their table to take advantage of mobile ordering. Coffee and alcohol are served at the bar, which doubles as a space for South Australian wineries to provide seasonal tastings. Workspaces and shower facilities are also available. Virgin Australia’s chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said it sets the bar for the airline’s future lounge expansions.

executive traveller | Related Virgin opens ‘lounge of the future’ in Adelaide – Australian Aviation



Air France, Air New Zealand Test Digital Health Passports

Noting that verifying hard copies of COVID-19 test results is time consuming, Air France is to test the ICC AOKpass on flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Guadeloupe and Martinique during a four-week period. The mobile app allows travelers to carry a secure record of the results of their COVID-19 test and present it for verification at the airport. Participation in the trial is voluntary, and feedback will be collected and shared with other Skyteam members. Meanwhile, Air New Zealand announced it will be among the first to test the IATA Travel Pass on flights between Auckland and Sydney, starting in April.

businesswire | Related Air New Zealand to trial IATA Travel Pass on Auckland-Sydney route – Business Traveller



Lufthansa Sets Up Certification Center for Smoother Check-In

In an effort to work COVID-19 test certificate verification into the digital travel chain, Lufthansa is testing a Group Health Entry Support Center for customers on select routes. Travelers leaving Frankfurt for Istanbul, and those flying from Newark bound for Frankfurt or Munich can send in their COVID-19 test certificates and confirmations of digital entry applications to the center 72 hours before departure. They will receive an email upon verification that the documents are sufficient. The process will also speed up check-in and boarding.

lufthansa group | Related Lufthansa Group first to implement Star Alliance biometric platform – Future Travel Experience



ORD, DFW and FLL to Receive Improvement Funding

The FAA announced that the first tranche of its 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants will be going to Chicago O’Hare International (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW), and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (FLL) airports. ORD will receive $25 million as repayment for the construction of its new runway; DFW will be granted $31 million to develop part of its taxiway system; and FLL will get $20 million to go towards a runway extension. The FAA program awards approximately $3.2 billion in funds every year; 1,500 grants will be awarded in 2021.

transportation today news | Related Burlington International Airport receives $14.5m for upgrade work – Airport Technology



Airbus Joins Green Energy Coalition

Airbus announced it has joined the Coalition for the Energy of the Future as it looks to work with other members to find sustainable aviation solutions. “We believe this coalition will foster the development of creative projects with effective results that will pioneer new mobility models across the sector,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice-president Engineering, Airbus. The coalition plans to address seven projects related to sustainable mobility this year. These include research and development around hydrogen and ammonia as fuel sources.

airbus | Related Paris Region, Groupe ADP, Air France-KLM and Airbus explore opportunities generated by hydrogen in airports – Airport Business





The route, and aerial refueling points, were set; 14 crewmembers were about to embark on a 23,452 mile journey.

This week, we're celebrating the first airplane to circle the world nonstop. The journey began on February 26, 1949 and took 94 hours to complete.

> Tweet of the Day

Introducing the Ryanair #JerusalemaChallenge 👀 we can't wait to be back in the skies 🛫

Ryanair @Ryanair


Association News

Join APEX and Commit to the Future of the Airline Industry

APEX members accelerate advancements to every aspect of the passenger experience. More than 300 international and regional airlines, aircraft manufacturers, motion picture studios, content providers, avionics systems manufacturers, airports and others form our community. Members also receive event registration discounts. Learn about the different categories of APEX membership and apply now.


> Quote of the Day

"There’s a way to sell more while making your customers happy – these two ideas are far from mutually exclusive."

Pramod Jain, Plusgrade
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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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