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April 16, 2021



Today's Top Stories


US DOJ Intensifies Antitrust Probe of AA, JetBlue Partnership

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has ramped up its antitrust probe into the partnership between American Airlines (AA) and JetBlue, which was announced in July 2020. It is allegedly concerned that the partnership could lead to increased fares at key traffic hubs including Boston and New York. "After years of trying, unsuccessfully, to add flying in airports like LaGuardia and Newark, it is clear that the only path for JetBlue to grow is through this alliance," commented JetBlue’s corporate communications team.

The Hill | Related Spirit Cites Ecuador Routes In Complaint Against American-JetBlue Alliance – Simple Flying



ECJ Rejects Argument Against EAN

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has rejected the argument initiated by Eutelsat and supported by Viasat that Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) – operated together with Deutsche Telekom – infringes upon EU law. "EAN is an asset for Europe as a whole and it is proving very popular with passengers and airlines. Inmarsat looks forward to continuing to provide the rapidly growing number of EAN users with a world-leading in-flight connectivity experience," said Brad Swann, Inmarsat’s general counsel. The ECJ’s decision is final and binding.  

Inflight Online | Related EAN now on 250 aircraft in Europe – PAX International



Qantas Welcomes International Passengers With Access to First Lounges

Qantas has extended its 14-year partnership with Accor, which will continue to manage the carrier’s lounges for a further seven years. The airline will reopen its First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, and its International Lounge in Brisbane, in line with the launch of the trans-Tasman travel bubble on April 19. Typically reserved for its Platinum Frequent Flyers, the lounges will be open to passengers traveling in business class, Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members until the airline's Business lounges reopen. “If you’re making a comeback, you should do it in style. That’s why we’ve decided to open our First lounges ahead of our other lounges and give more of our customers the opportunity to experience them,” said Qantas’ CEO, Alan Joyce.

Qantas | Related Trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia to start on 19 April – The Guardian



More Travelers to Prioritize Mental Wellbeing Post-COVID-19

A study conducted by Collinson has revealed that 73% of travelers worldwide said they will prioritize their mental wellbeing more when they travel than they did pre-COVID-19. “The Return Journey” compared data collected from passengers in 2019 and 2020 to analyze how the pandemic has affected people’s attitudes toward travel. 81% of travelers in Singapore said they expected travel to be more stressful in the next year, an opinion shared by 78% of respondents in Hong Kong and 67% in Japan. Significantly, 87% of global travelers said they wanted access to socially distanced spaces where they could relax away from crowds during their journey. 

Moodie Davitt Report | Related As COVID-19 Cases Trend Downward, More People Comfortable to Travel – J.D. Power



Virgin Australia Details Domestic Recovery Plan

Virgin Australia is to reintroduce 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet, the first three of which will enter service this month, with the remainder set to do so by October. The aircraft will support the return of more than 80% of Virgin Australia’s pre-pandemic domestic capacity by mid-June. Jayne Hrdlicka, the carrier’s CEO, said, “Today, we are operating around 850 weekly return flights, and as we approach the June school holidays, we will add another 220 return flights per week to our schedule.” More than 220 cabin crew will return to the skies, and a recruitment drive to fill an additional 150 cabin crew roles is also underway.

Virgin Australia | Related Virgin Australia holds back on NZ bubble flights – Executive Traveller



Adient Aerospace Shares Ovation Design Details

Following its acquisition of LIFT by EnCore in 2019, Adient Aerospace has redesigned the company's Ovation economy-class seat, which is optimized for the Boeing Sky Interior. There are two Ovation models: a single-aisle, short-haul version for the 737 dubbed Ovation Express; and a twin-aisle, long-haul version for the 787 known as Ovation Wide Body. Both focus on comfort, ease of maintenance and customization options, which include the ability to change the seatback cove shells. 

Runway Girl Network | Related Adient Aerospace completes certification of Ascent suite – Aircraft Interiors International



EHang to Test Longer-Range VT30 Aircraft

While revealing its 2020 financial results, EHang confirmed plans to start flight tests of a new hybrid-electric aircraft model, the VT30, on May 25. The company said the VT30 would fly up to 186 miles, complementing the all-electric EH216, which can only operate up to 22 miles on a full battery charge. EHang also announced plans to introduce a piloted version of the fully autonomous EH216. 

FutureFlight | Related Blade Orders 20 eVTOL Aircraft From Beta Technologies – Vertical Mag





A United Boeing 737 MAX 9 at Denver International Airport. Captured by @michaelrodeback.

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

> Tweet of the Day

The new terminal at DCA is set to open next week. The last flight out of 35X will depart to Albany on Monday.

Sam Sweeney @SweeneyABC


Association News

APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Meeting to be Broadcast at FTE APEX Virtual Expo

Attendees at this year's FE APEX Virtual Expo will be able to watch a virtual broadcast of the annual APEX/IFSA Board of Governors meeting, which will consider key industry priorities placed forward by APEX and IFSA's Board of Directors. The board will share their views and formally agree on their strategic guidance for both associations. Register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo here.


> Quote of the Day

"More and more airlines are developing their IFE offerings to incorporate wireless entertainment after recognising the cost, operational and hygiene benefits the system delivers."

Barry Flynn, Inflight Dublin
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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