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March 3, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Universal Hydrogen Takes To Skies With Largest Hydrogen Fuel Cell

As a Universal Hydrogen-branded plane, equipped with the largest hydrogen fuel cell ever to power an aircraft, made its maiden test flight in eastern Washington, co-founder and CEO Paul Eremenko declared the moment the dawn of a new golden age of aviation. The 15-minute test flight of a modified Dash-8 aircraft showed that hydrogen could be viable as a fuel for short-hop passenger aircraft. That is, if Universal Hydrogen — and others in the world of hydrogen flight — can make the technical and regulatory progress needed to make it mainstream.

TechCrunch | Related ZeroAvia Test-Flies Largest Plane Yet Powered By Hydrogen-Electric Engine - De Zeen



Virgin To Limit SkyTeam Elite Plus Access To Heathrow Clubhouse

Virgin Atlantic has officially joined SkyTeam, becoming the alliance’s first UK member carrier. SkyTeam has also sent out a release detailing the expected benefits. Business Traveller had reported that eligible members of Aeromexico’s Club Premier loyalty programme can now access Virgin’s Heathrow Clubhouse, but there will be limited access for other elite customers. However, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members will receive SkyPriority airport services, and Flying Club members can now earn and redeem points on SkyTeam member airlines.

Business Traveller | Related Virgin Atlantic Is Now SkyTeam Alliance Member - LoyaltyLobby



Cathay Pacific To Offer Passengers Michelin Star-Worthy Meals

Less than a month after the announcement that the airline will be ​​giving away over half a million free flight tickets, Cathay Pacific has revealed plans to take the city’s rich culinary heritage to the skies. Working alongside Michelin-starred Dudell’s, the collaboration celebrates Hong Kong's vibrant gourmet scene through an exclusively curated menu of authentic local delights. Available only to First and Business class customers flying out of Hong Kong, passengers will be served three courses; appetizer, main and pudding.

Condé Nast Traveller | Related Cathay Pacific Launching Michelin-Starred Menu For Business And First Class Passengers - The Points Guy



Singapore Airlines’ Paper Serviceware Trial Criticized As Cheap

Singapore Airlines (SIA) on Thursday announced a trial of the serviceware in economy class and premium economy class on selected flights in a Facebook post on Tuesday. However, the announcement was met with some criticism and confusion on social media. Some commenters said the move made SIA appear cheap and that it was a cost-cutting measure despite the airline’s recent increase in profit. SIA has clarified that while it will seek more feedback, the new serviceware will actually help reduce single-use plastics on board and there are no cost savings involved.

Bangkok Post | Related Singapore Airlines Trials Paper-Based Serviceware For Medium & Long-Haul Flights - The MileLion



Sacramento International Airport Deploys Biometric Technology For International Flights

Sacramento International Airport has become the latest airport to deploy biometric technology. From March 2nd, passengers on international flights will be able to proceed through selected departure gates without a passport or boarding pass. Instead, details of their identification and travel itinerary will be stored digitally and checked using facial recognition technology. The technology is being rolled out by Amadeus, and the airport hopes that its introduction will save time and reduce stress for passengers, as well as make the screening process more efficient.

Simple Flying | Related Riyadh Airports Company Trials Facial Recognition Technology At KKIA - Zawya



US Airlines Forecast To See Busiest Ever Spring Break Travel Season

U.S. passenger airlines are expected to carry a record number of passengers this spring, according to a new forecast from trade group Airlines for America. That’s big news for the industry that, due to a pilot shortage and other constraints, has struggled to recover to pre-pandemic capacity levels despite robust travel demand. A4A estimates that some 2.6 million people a day will fly on average during the months of March and April, which would represent a 1 percent increase from 2019.

Airline Weekly | Related Airlines Defy Gravity As Economic Gloom Fails To Bring Them Down To Earth - Financial Times



Smiths Detection Launches Compact Computed Tomography X-Ray Scanner

Security firm Smiths Detection has launched the Hi-Scan 6040 CTiX Model S, a smaller-footprint version of its security operator-preferred, computed tomography (CT) passenger checkpoint scanner. This model, which is 20cm narrower and 350kg lighter than the Hi-Scan 6040 CTiX, can be integrated into existing and new airport or critical infrastructure checkpoints. The Hi-Scan 6040 CTiX Model S uses the power of CT x-ray scanning to eliminate the need to remove electronic devices, liquids and gels from hand luggage by producing 3D volumetric images, reducing the number of trays and speeding up the security screening process.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Luton Airport’s New Light Rail Link To Open With Restricted Timetable - Evening Standard




Today’s picture comes from @andimuhrifky, showing an Air Asia Airbus A320 aircraft at Sepinggan Airport.

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

> Tweet of the Day

The Qatar business class lounge is so beautiful I mean look at that staircase 😍✈️ the water feature was so pretty! #paxex #avgeek

Lindzze @LindzzeB


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. Register now.


> Quote of the Day

“We think it’s a pretty monumental accomplishment. It keeps us on track to have probably the first certified hydrogen airplane in passenger service.”

Universal Hydroden Co-founder & CEO, Paul Eremenko
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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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