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April 7, 2021



Today's Top Stories


EASA Certifies Boeing 737 MAX 8-200

One week after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the Boeing 737 MAX 8-200, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has also certified the aircraft type. As a high-density version of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the 8-200 can seat 200 passengers. Ryanair is set to be the launch customer for the new variant and increased its order from 135 to 210 last December. The carrier expects to take delivery of 16 737 MAX 8-200 aircraft, each equipped with 197 seats, by the end of 2021, with the rest to be delivered by December 2024.

Aviation 24 | Related FAA Certifies High-Density Boeing 737 MAX Destined for Ryanair – The Air Current



Vaccine Passports Cause Unease in US, Qatar Operates Fully Vaccinated Flight

The concept of vaccine passports is creating tension in the US. Despite the fact that a range of businesses, including airlines, are eager to see them rolled out, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced, “The government is not now nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential … There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate.” Meanwhile, Qatar Airways flew what it claims was the world’s first flight to carry only vaccinated crew and passengers on board yesterday.

Fortune | Related Qatar Airways to Operate World’s First Fully COVID-19 Vaccinated Flight – Qatar Airways



HAECO Cabin Solutions Receives TSO for Vector Light Seats

HAECO Cabin Solutions has received Technical Standard Order (TSO) certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for the design and production of Vector Light, the newest member of its Vector seating line. Airlines can choose from either a recliner or fixed-recline version, which both use titanium and carbon fiber in a patent-pending structure. Doug Rasmussen, president and group director, HAECO Cabin Solutions, said a fully equipped seat weighs in at “7.9kg per passenger,” and that the company expects “to begin delivering Vector Light to customers in Q4 2021.”

Haeco | Related HAECO Develops Cabin Cargo Solutions in Response to COVID-19 – APEX Media



United to Prioritize Diversity with New Pilot Recruits

United Airlines plans to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030 through its United Aviate Academy and is hoping that at least half will be women or people of color. The carrier and JPMorgan Chase are committing $1.2 million each in scholarship funds, and United has partnered with Sallie Mae to offer private student loans for those needing additional financing. United will leverage relationships with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association and the Professional Asian Pilots Association to recruit a diverse group of candidates.

Travel Weekly | Related United Airlines buys flight-training academy to speed up hiring of 10,000 pilots – CNBC



JetBlue Enlists Panasonic Avionics for Sport 24 Access on A321LRs

Panasonic Avionics is the provider of the live sports offering on JetBlue’s Airbus A321LR aircraft, which will begin operating transatlantic flights this year. Passengers will have access to one channel of live sports, Sport 24, with satellite-based streaming facilitated by Viasat, the airline’s connectivity provider. “This reinforces Panasonic’s ability to offer its services to any airline, on any in-flight connectivity provider,” said Ken Sain, Panasonic Avionics’ CEO. Almost 1,000 aircraft are installed with Panasonic’s Live Television service, which includes Sport 24.

Panasonic | Related JetBlue reveals transatlantic economy class upgrades – Aircraft Interiors International



ePassi Gives Finnair Plus Members More Ways to Spend Points

Finnair Plus members can now use reward points to purchase services from over 15,000 sport, culture and well-being providers in Finland by downloading the ePassi app and connecting it to their Finnair Plus account. Later in 2021, members will be able to use reward points to pay at restaurants. Currently, individuals can only pay the total sum in points, but will soon be able to combine points and money. Karolina Baszarkiewicz, head of Loyalty at Finnair, said, "We want the program to be relevant beyond flying."

Finnair | Related Finnair Plans to Electrify Fleet with Heart ES-19 Aircraft – AIN Online



Lufthansa Turns A350 into Flying Climate Research Lab

After four years of planning and with involvement from 10 companies, Lufthansa has converted an Airbus A350-900 into a flying climate research lab. The certified 1.6-ton aircraft will measure around 100 different trace gases, aerosol and cloud parameters at an altitude of nine to 12 kilometers, known as the tropopause region. The data will be used to assess the performance of current atmospheric and climate models. Dr. Andreas Zahn of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology said, "No other observation system worldwide, neither on ground nor on satellite, can provide such high-resolution multi-parameter data from the free atmosphere."

Lufthansa | Related Lufthansa A350 Departs Hamburg for 15 Hour Falklands Flight – Simple Flying





@angeisse designed this image for the second installment in our three-part Publisher's Notebook series.

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

> Tweet of the Day

On the occasion of World Health Day, we wish everyone around the world the best of health and wellbeing. #worldhealthday2021

Air Arabia @airarabiagroup


Association News

How Aircraft Cabins Have Changed Since 2014, According to Al St. Germain

In the second installment of APEX’s Publisher’s Notebook series, Spafax’s EVP Al St. Germain explores how COVID-19 has impacted the aircraft cabin. After seven years serving as publisher of APEX Media, Spafax has elected to move on from the role, with great appreciation to APEX for the opportunity. APEX’s platforms will continue strong as ever under the ongoing direction of the association working with a new partner.


> Quote of the Day

“I think there’s a real sea change in terms of how our member airlines are looking at partnerships. It’s going well beyond the conventional things around schedule, network and customer benefits.”

Rob Gurney, oneworld
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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