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April 8, 2021



Today's Top Stories


US Startup Airline Avelo Reveals Launch Plans

A new US-based low-cost carrier, Avelo Airlines, has announced plans to begin flying to 11 unserved western US destinations from Hollywood Burbank Airport in California starting April 28. Andrew Levy, Avelo’s CEO – previously co-founder and president of Allegiant Air and CFO of United Airlines – said, “Avelo is a different and better kind of airline, built from scratch to offer an affordable, convenient and caring travel experience.” The airline will operate Boeing 737-800 aircraft in a 189-seat single-class configuration. “After more than 20 years of steadily shrinking consumer choice, the American flying public wants and deserves more options and lower fares,” Levy continued. Fares begin at $19.

PR Newswire | Related Avelo thinks it’s the perfect time to start flying as travel picks up – CNBC



Walsh Issues First Press Briefing as IATA's Director General

During his first press briefing as director general at IATA, Willie Walsh said international air traffic in February 2021 stood at nearly 89% less than in February 2019. He called for the “development of global standards for digital COVID-19 tests and/or vaccination certificates,” but said that as soon as they’re no longer needed, IATA “wants to see these restrictions permanently removed.” During the briefing, Walsh also backed the opening of transatlantic flights: “Given the pace of vaccination roll out that has taken place in the US and in the UK, it should give people reason to be optimistic about transatlantic travel between the UK and US starting in a safe manner in the near future.”

TravelPulse | Related Willie Walsh calls for opening of transatlantic routes – Business Traveller



Airbus to Test New Laser Communication Terminal by 2022

Airbus and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research are to develop, construct and test UltraAir, a laser communication terminal demonstrator for aircraft capable of laser connections between an aircraft and a satellite in geostationary orbit. In the long-term, it could allow airline passengers to establish high-speed data connections with Airbus’ SpaceDataHighway constellation, and data transmission rates could reach several gigabits-per-second. The first tests will take place in laboratory conditions at the end of 2021. Ground tests will begin in Tenerife in early 2022 and an UltraAir demonstrator will be integrated on an aircraft for flight testing by mid-2022.

Airbus | Related Airbus W-IFE represents natural evolution of airframer strategy – Runway Girl Network



Korean Air to Test Inflight Dublin’s Wireless IFE

In May, Korean Air will begin a six-month trial of Inflight Dublin’s Everhub wireless in-flight entertainment (wireless IFE) solution. The trial will be free of charge as part of Inflight Dublin’s mission to help the airline industry recover from COVID-19 and will include a content package consisting of Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows, selected international content, documentaries and games, a digital edition of Korean Air’s in-flight magazine and selected video promos from the carrier. “We are delighted to be partnering with Korean Air and to expand our reach in the Korean market,” said Barry Flynn, Inflight Dublin’s CCO.

APEX Media | Related Inflight Dublin’s new partnership with Gladi8tor Gaming – Inflight Dublin



SFO, United Use SITA’s Smart Path System in Airport Biometrics Trial

United Airlines and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are testing a biometric airport experience using SITA’s Smart Path system. The experience enables domestic passengers to move through the airport by having their faces scanned at each touchpoint after linking their driver’s license to their facial biometric at check-in. Diana Einterz, SITA president Americas, said, “The ability to use existing airport infrastructure is key to quickly respond to the new health measures required by the COVID-19 pandemic and [is] cost effective for airlines at a time when passenger volumes will take time to fully recover.”

SITA | Related How digital health passes bring biometrics in aviation much closer – Phocuswire



Pitch Aircraft Seating Acquired by Causeway Aero

Causeway Aero has acquired Pitch Aircraft Seating. “Causeway’s focus is to further enhance the cost, durability and serviceability of the seats to make them the economy seat of choice for operators looking to fix total cost of ownership over the life of the product,” said its CEO, Michael Rice. “We will back this up with a range of new sales packages which will be introduced in the coming months, offering seats and other interiors products.” Causeway was awarded a contract to certify, manufacture and assemble Pitch Aircraft Seating’s PF3000 economy-class seat at its facility in Northern Ireland in 2019.

Aviation Business News | Related Pitch to showcase “Q Ultra-Slim” concept – Inflight Online



SIA Adopts Salesforce’s Holistic Customer Management System

As part of its digital transformation, Singapore Airlines (SIA) is deploying Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, 1Point, across its contact centers and customer feedback handling units from late 2021. The system offers a holistic view of a customer’s interactions, and employees will no longer need to toggle between multiple systems to retrieve customer data and information on products, services, policies and procedures or to perform transactions. 1Point will also be integrated with SIA’s in-house artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, paving the way for more consistent and personalized service across the airline’s ground-based touchpoints.

Singapore Air | Related Singapore Airlines updates Batik Motif with immaculate attention to detail – TheDesignAir





This photo from @jimwuyvryyzlaxspotter was used in the #APEXPOTD section of #APEXExperienceMag

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

> Tweet of the Day

The man recreating airplane meals to get through lockdown... via @CNNTravel #paxex Nice work Nik! @FlySOPLANE

Inflight Feed @inflightFeed


Association News

ICYMI: Japan Airlines Receives Diamond APEX Health Safety Certification

Following its participation in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit in March, Japan Airlines has received Diamond-level certification for its health safety-related efforts. Contact info@apex.aero to find out how to begin your health safety audit without charge. We aim to bring every airline possible up to Gold-standard health safety or higher.


> Quote of the Day

"Those of us who have been in the business a long time have always braced themselves for the next big crisis, but no one expected this."

Al St. Germain, Spafax
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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