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April 23, 2021



Today's Top Stories


IATA, UNWTO Create Free Online Destination Tracker

IATA has collaborated with The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to develop Destination Tracker, a free online tool governments can use to share COVID-19-related information. Available on both the UNWTO and IATA websites, it will provide information on COVID-19 indicators, such as infection rates, positivity rates, and vaccination rollout by country; air travel regulations, including test and quarantine requirements; and destination measures, including the use of masks, curfews or regulations related to restaurants and attractions. The tracker builds on an agreement between the two parties made in 2020 to restore confidence in air travel.

IATA | Related IATA Welcomes WHO Emergency Committee Risk Management Recommendations – Aviation Pros



KLM Launches European IFC Service with Viasat

KLM has gone live with Viasat’s Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution on two Boeing aircraft this week. Passengers will initially be able to access the service free of charge, so that the carrier can gain feedback as it continues the rollout across a total of 18 Boeing 737-800s, which should enter service by early 2022. KLM has also announced plans to equip 21 Embraer E195s with the solution. Its European IFC offering will be available in three packages: Messaging, Surf and Stream. Messaging offers free access to 30 minutes use of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and other messaging apps, while the Surf and Stream options are paid-for. 

Viasat | Related KLM selects Viasat inflight Internet for majority of European fleet – Runway Girl Network



Delta Orders More A321s, Plans Atlanta Lounge

Delta Air Lines has exercised purchase orders for 25 Airbus A321s and added options for a further 25 of the type. Its firm orders for the A321 now stand at 125. “Adding these new efficient narrow-body jets to our fleet means more career opportunities for our pilots and more capacity to grow our network during the recovery,” said John Laughter, Delta’s SVP and chief of operations. Elsewhere, the carrier will open a new Sky Club lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, which will replace two older lounges located in Concourse D. Atlanta City Council has approved a plan to reimburse the airline for $33.1 million of construction expenses.

CNBC | Related City of Atlanta to Fund $33 Million Bill for New Delta Sky Club – FlyerTalk



Turkish Airlines Brings Back Hot Meal Services

On flights lasting longer than two hours and 15 minutes, Turkish Airlines has reinstated its premium onboard dining service for business-class passengers, as well as its hot meal service for those in economy class. Its premium menus are prepared by DO & CO and include a selection of hot and cold drinks, fresh juices and wellness teas. Premium passengers can choose from breakfast specialities such as Gözleme, a grilled flat pastry stuffed with cheese and spinach; and dinner specialities including grilled Turkish-style meatballs with sautéed zucchini and roasted red pepper bulgur pilaf.

PAX International | Related How Caterers are Serving Up Safely – Aviation Pros



Wizz Air’s Chatbot Can Answer COVID-19-Related Questions

Named after Amelia Earhart, Wizz Air’s newly launched chatbot Amelia can answer questions related to COVID-19, special assistance, baggage, payment methods, check-in, voluntary cancellation, travelling with infants and more. For other questions, a live chat option is also available. The airline said more topics will be added as Amelia learns from ongoing interactions with customers. Wizz Air’s chief customer and marketing officer, Zsuzsa Poos, explained, "We continue to invest in the technology to automate and digitalize our processes, in order to deliver high customer satisfaction."

Travolution | Related Airlines Use Chatbots to Automate Customer Service as Requests Soar – APEX Media



Airlines Make Sustainability Promises Surrounding Earth Day

Following Earth Day yesterday, JetBlue’s venture capital subsidiary JetBlue Technology Ventures announced it invested in Universal Hydrogen as part of the latter’s $20.5m funding round. Universal Hydrogen will now accelerate the development of its hydrogen logistics network and regional aircraft conversion kits. Meanwhile, Southwest has signed a memorandum of understanding with Phillips 66 to advance the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel. It covers the exploration of a future supply agreement involving Phillips 66’s Rodeo Renewed project in California, which aims to convert an existing refinery into one of the world’s largest renewable fuels facilities. 

JetBlue | Related Phillips 66 and Southwest Airlines collaborate to advance sustainable aviation fuel – Business Wire



FACC’s Antimicrobial Surface Coating Eliminates Viruses for a Year

FACC has created Pure Cabin, an antimicrobial surface coating for aircraft cabins, based on the TiO2 plus metal complex. After cleaning, the non-toxic, photocatalytic solution can be applied to all surfaces including laminate, leather, metal, injection molding and fabrics. Five minutes after the application, a special lamp can be used to check whether all areas have been reached. The company said a Pure Cabin coating eliminates practically all viruses, bacteria and fungi and one application can be effective for nearly a year. 

Aviation Business News | Related FACC and Airbus develop wings of the future – FACC





This week, we looked back at some of @fabrizio.morra's illustrations for #APEXExperienceMag, but his Instagram profile is full of other picture perfect images too.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Today, we celebrated #EarthDay by surprising our guests! 💙🌎 Our #AlaskaDelightFlight from SFO to JFK was full of nonstop fun. Including a future flight on us. Plus thanks to @GoodTravelerCO2 , all of our #AlaskaDelightFlights will be carbon offset!

Alaska Airlines @AlaskaAir


Association News

There's Still Time to Apply for an IFSA Foundation Scholarship!

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Foundation’s 2021 scholarship application cycle is open! The IFSA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of IFSA, which remains committed to supporting IFSA and APEX members, their families and students pursuing a career in the aviation industry by awarding educational scholarships. The IFSA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more about the IFSA Foundation, click here.


> Quote of the Day

"It’s really wonderful that a star as big as Bill Shatner is thinking about airline passengers and the value of the airline segment when it comes to film distribution."

Terry Steiner, Terry Steiner International
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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