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April 2, 2021

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Today's Top Stories
 

 
 
 

United Brings Pilots Back; Ends MAX Waiver

About 300 pilots who were set to be employed by United Airlines before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis are now being rehired. Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice-president of flight operations, cited rising vaccination rates and increased travel demand as reasons for the move. Spirit Airlines resumed hiring pilots and flight attendants last month. Another change at United involves the cancellation of its Boeing 737 MAX waiver option. Soon, travelers scheduled for MAX flights will no longer be allowed to request a refund or free change. Prior to the 737 MAX groundings, the airline operated around 2,000 flights using that aircraft every month.

cnbc | Related United Airlines Adjusts Boeing 737 MAX Passenger Flexibility – Airways Mag

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APEX Joins Industry in Request for SAF Tax Credit

In a letter addressed to US lawmakers, including Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, APEX and a host of other aviation industry stakeholders urged the Biden-Harris administration to support the inclusion of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blender’s tax credit in its American Jobs Plan. SAF remains more expensive than regular jet fuel, and the signatories believe that a 10-year, $1.50 - $2.00 per gallon SAF blender’s tax credit, depending on the greenhouse gas emissions reduction potential of the fuel, would help reduce its cost.

nbaa | Related FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan – White House

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Korean Air Buyout Spells End for Asiana Brand

Woo Kee-Hong, president of Korean Air, confirmed yesterday that the airline will phase out Asiana Airlines’ fleet and brand once both companies are merged. This includes the consolidation of Asiana’s low-cost brands Jin Air, Air Busan and Air Seoul. Korean Air aircraft older than 20 years will be replaced by newer models as well. The merger, first announced last year, is currently being scrutinized by antitrust authorities and has been delayed until 2024. Woo said that Korean Air and Asiana Airlines account for less than 40% of passenger slots at Incheon International Airport, “significantly lower” than comparable airline groups in other continents.

executive traveller | Related Korean Air delays merger of Asiana to 2024 – Korea Times

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Frontier Makes Long-Awaited Stock Market Debut

While Frontier Airlines initially indicated its intention to go public in 2017, delays followed by the global pandemic stalled the plan until yesterday when company CEO Barry Biffle and other reps rang the NASDAQ opening bell. Frontier looked to capitalize on its recent return to positive cash flow and offered 30 million shares of stock at $19 per unit, which would inject $266 million into the airline. “It improves our financial stability. It strengthens the balance sheet, and I think it just punctuates and encapsulates all of the success we have had as a company,” said Biffle. The stock closed 15 cents below its opening price.

denver post | Related Frontier Airlines Stock Falls In Debut – Investors

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Intelsat IFC Survey Paints Post-Pandemic Picture

To determine how in-flight connectivity (IFC) demands have changed in light of the pandemic, Intelsat conducted a survey of airlines, service providers and equipment manufacturers. Almost three-quarters of respondents signaled that remote work capabilities like video conferencing will become essential to the onboard offer. Almost half indicated they supported a free in-flight Wi-Fi model, and nearly two-thirds believed that sponsored access via partnerships is the way to achieve this. Demand for IFC is expected to grow by 10% annually over the next decade.

intelsat | Related Global Online Content Consumption Doubled in 2020 – Forbes

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Revamped Sabre Storefront Makes Comparison Shopping Easier

Travel software company Sabre announced a new API feature that will help customers compare various airline offerings via its Sabre Red 360 solution in the coming weeks. Airlines can use this new classification method to clearly outline the different purchase configurations that exist within a single flight and capitalize on merchandising opportunities. Airline offers are becoming increasingly customizable, making it “easy to understand the cost, but harder to understand what the experience will be" for customers, argued Wade Jones, chief product officer at Sabre. The company partnered with multiple travel agencies to pilot the API.

pr newswire | Related Sabre announces acquisition of Radixx – Sabre

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Aena Facilities Carbon Neutral by 2026

The board of directors at the world’s busiest airport operator approved a climate action plan that will allow its facilities to be carbon neutral by 2026. Aena, which manages 46 airports in Spain, will invest nearly $646 million over the course of the decade. According to the plan, all airports will run on solar energy, while improving HVAC systems to be more efficient and replacing 78% of its ground handling fleet with electric vehicles. Amparo Brea, Aena’s director of Innovation, Sustainability and Customer Experience, will serve as the company’s chief green officer and oversee all sustainability initiatives.

aena | Related Aena selects participants for airport technology accelerator – Passenger Terminal Today

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

United in Utah. Captured at Provo Airport by @michaelrodeback via Instagram.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Our Egg-citing hunt is on! Easter is the time where fun always hatches! To welcome the holiday with some fun, why not try your hand at our Easter Egg Hunt? Can you spot the plane hidden in our designs? Happy Easter everyone!

Cathay Pacific @cathaypacific

 
 
 

Association News

Malaysia Airports Group CEO Exclusive Interview

FTE APEX Virtual Expo will host an exclusive interview with Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, Group CEO, Malaysia Airports. Today, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is one of the largest airport operator groups in the world, managing 39 airports across Malaysia and one in Turkey. We will ask how MAHB has dealt with the pandemic, and learn more about its 4.0 digital transformation strategy. Register now!

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“Airlines have pivotal moments in their history … For Alaska Airlines, joining oneworld is one of those pivotal moments.”

Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines
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Until next week

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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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