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April 14, 2022



Today's Top Stories


TSA Extends Travel Mask Mandate to May 3

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will extend the federal mask mandate for all transportation networks, including on aircraft and in airports, through May 3. The mandate was set to expire on April 18 but has been extended due to a new COVID-19 surge fueled by the BA.2 variant. The extension was ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which stated, “To assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, the CDC Order will remain in place at this time.”

The Hill | Related Biden renews push for sustainable aviation fuel tax credit – Reuters



Viasat Receives Approval from China for A320 IFC Installation

Viasat’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) hardware solution has received a Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for installation on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. The certification is Viasat’s first in China. It will enable Chinese airlines to move forward with installing and deploying Viasat’s IFC system, including antenna, radome, modem, server and WAPs, on Airbus A320s. With the hardware certified, Viasat will work to expand its direct relationships with Chinese airlines, a market currently dominated by Panasonic Avionics for long-haul service.  

PaxEx | Related Delta Air Lines on Track to Equip 500 Jets with Viasat Connectivity This Year – Aviation Today



Austrian Airlines Receives First SAF Delivery from OMV

Austrian Airlines has begun receiving its first deliveries of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from Austria-based oil and gas company OMV at Vienna International Airport. The supply contract signed at the end of 2021 and the subsequent partnership between OMV and Austrian Airlines is expected to transform Austria into an innovation hub. OMV expects to increase its SAF production at its Schwechat refinery, which uses used cooking oil as its primary feedstock, from 2,000mt this year to 700,000mt by 2030.

Airport Technology | Related British Airways takes first delivery of Sustainable Aviation Fuel from Phillips 66 – Business Traveller



KLM Launches New Business-Class Menu and Tableware

KLM has launched new Business Class menus on flights departing Amsterdam featuring dishes from chef Jonnie Boer of three Michelin-starred restaurant De Librije, and wine pairings from sommelier and De Librije co-owner, Therese Boer. The dishes will include traditional vegetarian stew, baked salmon with broccolini, and chicken thigh in a star anise gravy and will feature fresh ingredients from local suppliers. Additionally, KLM will introduce new tableware designed by Marcel Wanders in the second half of this year, including bone china crockery and a “sustainable food tray” made from polypropylene.

Business Traveller | Related deSter partners with designers for Finnair tableware – PAX International



Bluebox to Provide Wireless IFE to Aeroflyer’s Boeing 737 Fleet

Bluebox Aviation Systems has been selected by a new charter airline, Aeroflyer, to provide wireless streaming services across its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. Bluebox’s digital platform will be deployed on the carrier’s first two aircraft using Bluebox’s battery-powered Bluebox Wow hardware before upgrading to the aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Wow as the airline expands its fleet. The Bluebox system will offer movies, TV programs, and a moving map to Aeroflyer’s charter customers and can be adapted to align with airline customers chartering Aeroflyer aircraft to supplement their fleet.

Bluebox Aviation | Related QantasLink to deploy BlueBox Aviation Wireless IFE system – Economy Class and Beyond



American Airlines New 787-9 to Focus on Premium Cabins

American Airlines plans to update its new Boeing 787-9 fleet with new premium cabin seats, according to new documents shared with employees. The aircraft will feature a new layout, going from 30 to 51 business-class seats, 21 to 32 premium-economy seats, 36 to 18 Main Cabin Extra seats, and 198 to 143 economy seats. The business-class and premium-economy cabins will feature new seat models, with the business-class cabin featuring seats with privacy doors and a “premium walk-up bar.” Thalys will provide its Inflyt In-flight entertainment system and Wi-Fi will be provided by Viasat.

PaxEx | Related Air New Zealand Plans A New Boeing 787 Business Class Cabin – Simple Flying



Birmingham Airport Targets Net-Zero Carbon by 2033

Birmingham Airport (BHX) has published its roadmap to net zero carbon by 2033. The airport will make a multi-million-dollar commitment to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 60% over the next four years by investing in on-site renewable energy generation, energy-efficient lighting and energy management technology. The airport will source 40% of its electricity from solar power and transition to 100% green tariff electricity from April 2022. BHX will increase its electric vehicle charging points to 25, update its heating and cooling infrastructure, invest in emerging technologies, and collaborate with stakeholders on lower-carbon technologies, aircraft and operations.  

Passenger Terminal Today | Related YVR announces new Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 goal – International Airport Review





An American Eagle Embraer E170SE prepares to land in Indianapolis. Captured by @michaelavphotos

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> Tweet of the Day

Qatar Airways’ inspiring new brand refresh campaign invites people to ‘Let’s Fly’ as the world reopens and travellers once again take to the skies in search of new experiences and memories. #QatarAirways

Qatar Airways @qatarairways


Association News

Save the Date: Content Market

APEX Content Market provides an intimate and productive setting for all airline content needs, including the best in TV, movies, games, GUIs, apps and audio! APEX Content Market will be hosted alongside Future Travel Experience EMEA / Ancillary in Dublin from June 8-9. This year only, APEX Content Market will be an appointment-only driven event, taking advantage of the incredible promenade of the Royal Dublin Society overlooking the FTE EMEA show floor. As the only global industry event focused on connecting in-flight entertainment content buyers with worldwide content distributors, APEX Content Market is your chance to browse what is expected to be a sold-out show floor. Be sure to Save the Date to get ahead on planning your in-flight content for the upcoming year.


> Quote of the Day

"Our investment to become net-zero will escalate immediately with a multi-million-pound outlay up to 2025, focusing on renewables and energy efficiencies."

Nick Barton, Birmingham Airport
Read the article


Until next week



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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