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April 28, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Eutelsat Takes 24% Stake in OneWeb

Eutelsat has invested $550m in OneWeb, bringing the latter’s total financing to $1.9 billion. Neil Masterson, OneWeb’s CEO, explained, "We now have 80% of the necessary financing for the Gen 1 fleet, of which nearly 30% is already in space." The investment sees Eutelsat take a 24% stake in OneWeb and gain access to similar governance rights to the UK Government and Bharti Global, the company’s other leading shareholders. It is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021 and will allow both companies to explore GEO/LEO configurations for future service integrations. 

OneWeb | Related OneWeb receives major investment from Eutelsat – BBC News



UK to use NHS App as Vaccine Passport

The UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that development work has begun on the NHS app, which many UK citizens already use to book GP appointments, so that it can show whether people have been vaccinated against or tested for COVID-19 before international travel. Shapps promised that a list of possible “green” holiday destinations, where passengers won’t be required to quarantine on return to the UK, will be released within a fortnight. “The data does continue to look good from a UK perspective,” he said.

The Guardian | Related France Becomes First Country in Europe to Launch Digital Health Pass for Travel – Travel + Leisure



How Global Eagle is Embracing Changes to the IFE Ecosystem

In the latest edition of Quick Takes, Global Eagle’s SVP Content & Media Services, Terri Davies, explains how the disruption COVID-19 caused to the conventional content pipeline allowed the company to discover exciting new content for its clients. “Content libraries need to be intuitively curated and displayed so the passenger can navigate and make their selections with ease,” said Davies, citing streaming subscription services, where “there’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to choosing what to watch.” She added, “We are excited to be working on AI-driven auto-recommendations to mirror the at-home streaming experience.”

APEX Media | Related Quick Takes – APEX Media



ANA’s Domestic Fleet to Feature Hands-Free Lavatory Doors

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is installing hands-free lavatory doors, which it developed together with JAMCO Corporation, across its domestic aircraft fleet, including 11 Boeing 787-8s, two Boeing 787-9s and eight Boeing 777-200s. The modification allows passengers to unlock the lavatory door with their elbow using a large inner door locking knob and an additional handle. Signage has been placed near the lavatory to provide operational instructions. Passengers will first see the first door in service from May 1, and ANA is hoping to roll the product out across its international aircraft fleet in the future. 

All Nippon Airways | Related ANA and Jamco co-develop touch-free lavatory door – Aircraft Interiors International



All Delta Cabin Crew to Receive Apple iPhone 12

Delta Air Lines has partnered with Apple and AT&T to provide each of its flight attendants with an iPhone 12. Paired with AT&T’s 5G network and equipped with an A14 Bionic chip, the smartphones will enable Delta’s crew to access new immersive training, including videos, photos and augmented reality, from anywhere. Soon, the devices will also have access to a real-time digital catering inventory, so that crew can locate items by using the iPhone 12 camera and augmented reality to visualize where they are stowed. 

Delta | Related How long will masks be required on planes? Flight attendants say mandate should be extended – USA Today



Eastern Nears Completion of AirFi Wireless IFE Installation

Eastern Airlines has nearly completed the installation of AirFi’s FASE (Fully Autonomous Semi-Embedded) wireless IFE solution onboard ten Boeing 767s. Each aircraft uses four AirFi Venus boxes, which are placed in the overhead bins to create a closed Wi-Fi network. The carrier is using the solution to provide passengers with IFE content under the brand “Eastern Entertainment.” Eastern is planning to use the platform to launch a new buy-on-board catalog, so that passengers can order and pay for food, beverage and comfort items from their seat. The airline is also working with AirFi America (MEKCO Group) to retrofit the aircraft with in-seat USB power.

Inflight Online | Related AirFi, Spafax Partner for Next-Gen IFE Content, Advertising Solutions – APEX Media



Andy Masson Joins Panasonic Avionics

Andy Masson, who most recently served as CEO of Adient Aerospace, has joined Panasonic Avionics as VP Product and Portfolio Management. In his new role, Masson will guide the company’s product and services strategy, improve and expand customer-focused product management processes, and manage development and execution across the product lifecycle for Panasonic’s in-flight entertainment and connectivity products, digital solutions and aftermarket services. 

Panasonic Avionics | Related Panasonic Avionics and 8Tree Announce Partnership to Offer dentcheck Service – Aviation Pros





JetBlue's inaugural A220 flight between Boston and Tampa. Captured by @theairchive.

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

> Tweet of the Day

VMS Eve returns to the skies above @Spaceport_NM. This flight tested an upgrade that will further improve the performance of our mothership during its smooth climb to release altitude. Pilots were Nicola Pecile and Mark Stucky; also onboard was Flight Test Engineer, Jake Varhus.

Virgin Galactic @virgingalactic


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

“We expect to see changes in both the type of traveler that is flying and the type of content they consume.”

Terri Davies, Global Eagle
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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