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April 14, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Canadian Government Outlines Terms of Air Canada Bailout

The Canadian government has agreed to loan Air Canada up to $4.7 billion on the proviso that $1.12 billion of the funds are used to refund customers that have purchased non-refundable fares since February 2020 but haven’t been able to travel. The financing deal between the two parties has also seen the carrier agree to resume flying to regional communities that it stopped serving following the onset of COVID-19. Finally, Air Canada has said it will maintain employment at its April 1 level at a minimum, and has accepted restrictions on awarding dividends and senior executive compensation.




Israel Announces Plans to Welcome International Travelers

Israel will open its borders to vaccinated groups from May 23, but visitors will still need to undergo a PCR test before departure and a serological test to prove they’ve been vaccinated on arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Individual travelers will be allowed to enter Israel in the second stage of its reopening, but the timeline remains unconfirmed. Meanwhile, easyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren is optimistic about European travel from the UK. “I would expect ... that by the time it comes to travel reopening, that most countries in Europe should be [on the UK’s green list].”




Air Astana Opts for Media Carrier’s Digital Press Solution

Following a three-month test run, Media Carrier has been awarded a contract to provide Air Astana with its Media Box digital press solution. As such, passengers will gain access to around 1,000 publications free of charge via various channels including the Air Astana website and mobile app. Other titles can also be downloaded for a fee. "The use of digital media has taken on a new significance with coronavirus," said Aigerim Zhambyl, project manager, Air Astana. "In particular, the hygiene aspect of each passenger using only their own mobile phone or tablet has been a decisive argument for us to expand our range of digital services."

Media Carrier | Related All Nippon Airways (ANA) digitises its inflight media – Aircraft Interiors International



IBS Software to Overhaul Gulf Air’s Falconflyer Program

As part of its ongoing digital transformation, Gulf Air has partnered with IBS Software to enhance its Falconflyer loyalty program. Using IBS Software’s iFly Loyalty platform, Gulf Air will introduce a revamped Falconflyer mobile app designed to deliver personalized offers and rewards. Program partners will gain access to a new B2B engagement channel that provides relevant insights and data. “Gulf Air shares our passion for customer engagement, and we’re thrilled to be working with a business that implicitly understands the transformative impact customer loyalty will play in the recovery from COVID-19,” said Anand Krishnan, IBS Software’s CEO.

Gulf Air | Related AAdvantage Celebrates 40 Years of Loyalty Innovation – American Airlines



Qatar’s UK Music Rights Court Case Rolls On

The UK High Court has ruled that Qatar Airways must disclose documents relating to the advertisement and promotion of its in-flight entertainment (IFE) system as part of an ongoing case initiated by UK-based Performing Right Society (PRS), which alleges that the carrier’s IFE infringes thousands of its licensed musical works. Qatar Airways argued that the claim should be stayed on the basis it has a stronger connection to Qatar than to the UK, but the High Court held that the claim engaged not only UK and Qatari copyright law, but also the laws of many other territories where the airline flies to and from, and potentially those it passes over in transit. 

World IP Review | Related PRS copyright infringement case against Qatar Airways can go ahead in UK – Music Week



Aena Ventures Accelerator Program Begins at Barcelona El Prat

Five startup companies taking part in the six-month Aena Ventures accelerator program have moved into a control tower at Barcelona El Prat airport. They will each receive just under $60,000 to implement their ideas and are eligible to enter into an agreement with Aena worth up to approximately $2.4 million to deploy their initiatives. Participants include Airbot, which offers a multi-channel chat solution to improve communication between airports and passengers; Meep, which is exploring a route-planning solution that combines all means of transport; and Dubz, a solution to streamline baggage claim, check-in and passenger drop-off to homes and hotels.

Aena | Related San Diego International Works With Honeywell To Monitor Airport Behavior – Times of San Diego



United Works with Corporations to Fund SAF-Powered Flights

United Airlines’ new Eco-Skies Alliance program will see more than a dozen global corporations including Deloitte, DHL, Nike and Siemens contribute towards the purchase of approximately 3.4 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2021, thereby eliminating around 31,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. "While we've partnered with companies for years to help them offset their flight emissions, we applaud those participating in the Eco-Skies Alliance for recognizing the need to go beyond carbon offsets and support SAF-powered flying, which will lead to more affordable supply and ultimately, lower emissions," said United’s CEO, Scott Kirby. 

United | Related New consortium launches first in-flight emissions study using 100% SAF – Aerospace Technology





A Boeing 737 MAX 8 back at LAX. Captured by @minesfielding.

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> Tweet of the Day

Pop your headphones on, sit back, relax and dream of where we'll be flying you to next. So, where are we going?

Virgin Atlantic @VirginAtlantic


Association News

Dr. Joe Leader to Speak at International Ultraviolet Association Event

APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader will be speaking during the "Enhancing The New Normalcy With Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection" event held by the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) from April 27-28. Tune in at 3.05 PM EST on April 27 to hear Dr. Leader take part in a panel discussion about the expectations of passengers post-COVID-19 and the challenges faced by providers of public transportation. Register here.


> Quote of the Day

"Some of our airline clients that cut back to quarterly content cycles are beginning to return to monthly cycles. We’re also seeing the demand for IFE promos return."

Niall McBain, 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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