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March 30, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Southwest’s 100-Strong MAX Order Confirms Allegiance to Boeing

After suggesting last month that it was evaluating the Airbus A220-300 against the Boeing 737 MAX 7, Southwest announced a firm order for 100 Boeing jets with options for an additional 155. The first 30 aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2022. The airline has strategically operated a 737-only fleet since its inception 50 years ago. Southwest’s CEO, Gary Kelly, stated that the 737 family “has made significant contributions to [its] unparalleled success,” and added that today’s announcement underscores the airline’s appreciation for the MAX’s quieter engines, lower fuel burn and other benefits.

CNN | Related Southwest Orders 100 More Boeing 737 MAX 7 – Airways Mag



Safran Group Companies Secure Three Crystal Cabin Awards

The 14th annual Crystal Cabin Award ceremony took place via livestream on YouTube today. Safran Group received three awards – Safran Cabin won the Cabin Systems award for its SOPHY smart trolley solution; Safran Passenger Solutions won the IFEC award for its RAVE Bluetooth solution, which allows passengers to connect to an in-flight entertainment system’s audio using Bluetooth headphones; and Safran Seats took home the Passenger Comfort Hardware award for its Modulair S economy-class seat concept, developed in cooperation with the French university ENCSi.

APEX Media | Related Crystal Cabin Award 2020/2021 – YouTube



IATA Urges Replacement of PCR Tests with Antigen Method

According to a report commissioned by IATA, high-quality antigen tests are just as reliable as PCR tests for COVID-19, but can be processed 100 times faster and cost 60% less to administer. To illustrate the financial burden of PCR testing, a family of four traveling on holiday from the UK would need to take a total of 16 PCR tests at a cost of $2,100. As a result, IATA is advocating for governments to accept antigen test results, which detect viral proteins instead of genetic material, as part of entry requirements. Antigen tests were recently used in Barcelona ahead of an indoor concert that assembled 5,000 attendees.

IATA | Related 5,000 music fans in Barcelona rock out at experimental concert after COVID antigen tests – CBC



Next-Gen Aerion Supersonic Jet in the Works

In pursuit of the company’s vision of enabling travel between any two points on the planet in less than three hours, Aerion will develop a new commercial supersonic jet called the AS3. The 50-seat aircraft will have a range of up to 8,000 miles and a top speed near Mach 4. It will use synthetic fuels coupled with a process called direct air capture to lessen CO2 output, and will integrate technology that prevents sonic booms from reaching the ground. Aerion also tapped General Electric to create an exclusive dual turbofan engine design for AS3 that can generate 20,000 pounds of thrust.

executive traveller | Related This New Supersonic Airliner Will Fly From NYC to London in Less Than an Hour – Robb Report



Former Spirit CEO Provides Industry Forecast Ahead of Webinar

Ben Baldanza, a veteran industry executive who currently sits on the board of JetBlue, commented on the current state of commercial aviation ahead of his appearance as part of the IFSA Virtual Thought Leadership session tomorrow. He said that while most airlines are still losing cash daily, travelers are growing increasingly comfortable with the idea of flying as vaccinations roll out. He also explained that low-cost airlines are better positioned for recovery thanks to direct flight routes and a lack of widebody aircraft in their fleet.

APEX Media | Related Register for the IFSA Virtual Thought Leadership Series



Prague Airport Campaign Hopes to Attract Connecting Travelers

To increase its appeal as a transfer hub, Prague Airport launched a promotion in partnership with travel booking site Kiwi called Fly via Prague. Customers who purchase connecting flights through Prague will receive many airport benefits, including faster security check-in, savings on airport lounge access and shopping vouchers. Six routes currently form part of the promotion. Jakub Puchalský, a member of Prague Airport’s board of directors, said that younger passengers who value flexibility are contributing to the trend of self-connect traveling.

passenger terminal today | Related Your Connection via Prague Airport – PRG



Virgin Galactic Adds Shiny Spacecraft to Fleet

SpaceShip III, the next-generation aircraft produced by Virgin Galactic, was revealed today. Dubbed VSS Imagine, the shuttle will "enable improved performance in terms of maintenance access and flight rate," according to company representatives. Like its predecessor, VSS Unity, it seats six passengers but features a reflective livery. A third vehicle named VSS Inspire is being assembled. "VSS Imagine and Inspire are stunning ships that will take our future astronauts on an incredible voyage to space, and their names reflect the aspirational nature of human spaceflight," said Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier. VSS Imagine could begin glide test flights this summer.

Space | Related Virgin Galactic unveils new SpaceShip III – The Verge





Crew onboard an Aerolineas Argentinas flight bound for Ushuaia wave to the camera! Captured at AEP by @flywithmariela via Instagram.

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

> Tweet of the Day

We have been a proud supporter of @ukorbis and its blindness prevention programmes since 2012, and we are pleased to renew our sponsorship for a further 3 years. #QatarAirways

Qatar Airways @qatarairways


Association News

APEX/IFSA Calls for the Return of Open International Air Travel

AirAsia, one of aviation's most transformative industry players, will have its own dedicated guest session at FTE APEX Virtual Expo. The session will bring together senior executives from across AirAsia and its key partners to explore how they are successfully collaborating to reimagine what an airline business can be. Take a look at the list of confirmed speakers in anticipation of the complete agenda release.


> Quote of the Day

"More and more new SVOD platforms are developing, and Auditoriums Films’ new client base is reflective of this."

Natalie Gomez, Auditorium Films
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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