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April 15, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Blocking Middle Seats Reduces COVID-19 Exposure, Says CDC

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study conducted in part with Kansas State University has predicted that blocking middle seats on flights could reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by between 23% and 57%. The study did not explore virus transmission, explaining, “The extent to which exposure reduction might decrease transmission risk is not yet understood.” It also didn’t take into account the effects of wearing face masks, but based on other studies the CDC posited that “combining the effects of masking and distancing is more protective than either by itself.”

CDC | Related Delta to Stop Blocking Middle Seats on May 1 – CNBC



Three Airlines Detail Plans for IATA Travel Pass

More airlines have signed up to test the IATA Travel Pass. From April 19, Saudia will trial the solution on flights between Kuala Lumpur and Jeddah, and SWISS will make it available for use on services between Zurich and London Heathrow from April 22. Emirates commenced testing of the app today on select flights from Dubai to Barcelona and London Heathrow to Dubai. The carrier has partnered with Prime Health Care labs in Dubai and Screen4 labs in the UK, which are both authorized to securely send test results to passengers via the IATA Travel Pass app.

Emirates | Related Swiss to trial IATA Travel Pass – BTN Europe



SIA Creates “The Sound of Singapore Airlines” with DLMDD

Together with sonic branding agency DLMDD, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has created “The Sound of Singapore Airlines,” a new sonic identity that passengers will experience throughout their journey. It comprises three 10-minute instrumental tracks performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra for use during boarding, on landing and in SIA’s airport lounges. The tracks were inspired by the carrier’s new batik motif: Audio architect Dominic Murcott built a digital instrument to translate the ten flowers in the motif into melodic fragments. Composer Rohan De Livera used the instrument to create the symphonic melodies heard in the trilogy.

Transform Magazine | Related Singapore Airlines updates Batik Motif with immaculate attention to detail – The Design Air



ANA is Transitioning to Plastic-Free Meal Trays

From August, passengers traveling with All Nippon Airways (ANA) in economy class will be served meals on biodegradable, plastic-free trays made from bagasse, a waste fibre created by pressing sugarcane. The move will reduce the amount of disposable plastic used by ANA during in-flight service by approximately 30%, helping the carrier to meet its 2050 sustainability goals. Last year, ANA introduced plastic-free cutlery and straws, which decreased the amount of plastic it used by 25 tons compared to 2019.

Business Traveller | Related Digital Press Platform now on ANA – PAX International



Carol Clements to Lead JetBlue’s Digital, Technology Strategy

Carol Clements will take up the position of chief digital and technology officer at JetBlue on April 26, replacing Eash Sundaram, who retired earlier in 2021 after almost a decade in the role. Clements is joining JetBlue from Southwest Airlines, where she spent over ten years and led a company-wide technology initiative to enable its first international expansion. At JetBlue, she will be responsible for the carrier's information systems and technology strategies. “Carol will be leading our IT team during one of the most pivotal times for our airline and the industry,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s CEO.

JetBlue | Related The Aspirations of JetBlue to Be a Travel Tech Company – Skift



Blade to Invest in 20 ALIA-250 Aircraft

Blade Urban Air Mobility (Blade) has signed an agreement to add up to 20 ALIA-250 aircraft from Beta Technologies (Beta), each worth $4 million, to its fleet. Deliveries are set to begin in 2024, with operations to follow in 2025. On a full charge, Beta said the ALIA-250 will fly up to 250 nautical miles while carrying six people, including a pilot. Initially, the aircraft will operate from Blade’s existing private terminal infrastructure in the Northeast US, where Beta will install its purpose-built recharging facilities. According to Beta, they will be 10 times quieter than a helicopter when hovering, and even quieter during cruise flight.

FutureFlight | Related UPS Purchases Beta’s eVTOL Aircraft – Aviation Today



Alaska Airlines and SkyNRG to Advance US SAF Production

Alaska Airlines and SkyNRG Americas have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing to increased investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The MOU will see SkyNRG Americas focus on developing dedicated SAF production facilities at Western US airports. The company will use commercially available technologies that enable the use of municipal solid waste (MSW) and other waste-based inputs as feedstocks to generate SAF. However, Alaska and SkyNRG will work to maximize recycling and reduce waste streams before any conversion of MSW to SAF occurs.

Alaska Airlines | Related United Airlines to Lead Industry Switch to Sustainable Aviation Fuel with Global Corporations – United





A Sriwijaya Boeing 737-8 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Captured by @theonanta_.

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

> Tweet of the Day

"Saving the World at Business School, Part 1 & 2" w/ @HoffmanAndy will be on board with @British_Airways from June 1st on!

Ideas Roadshow @IdeasRoadshow


Association News

ICYMI: Scoot Receives Diamond APEX Health Safety Certification

Following its participation in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit in March, Scoot has become the first low-cost carrier to achieve Diamond-level certification for its health safety-related efforts. Contact info@apex.aero to find out how to begin your airline's health safety audit and receive detailed feedback without charge.


> Quote of the Day

"Although the focus for airlines in the immediate term will be on leisure travellers, we are already hearing from our airlines about future investment in the business traveller."

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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