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April 29, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Delta to Install Viasat IFC Across its Domestic Fleet

Delta hopes to have equipped over 300 aircraft with Viasat’s high-speed Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) by the end of the year as part of a broader rollout across its entire domestic mainline fleet by the end of 2022. The airline is also introducing Delta Portal Platform on Viasat-enabled aircraft this summer, which will allow passengers to connect, purchase, browse and stream at a cost of $8 per flight per device. Users will also be able to access free messaging via the platform. Delta’s first Viasat-enabled aircraft, a new Airbus A321ceo, will enter regular service on May 1. 

Delta | Related Apple teams up with Delta and AT&T to deploy iPhone 12 to 19,000 flight attendants – 9 to 5 Mac



[PHOTOS] Avelo Airlines’ First Flight

US startup Avelo Airlines completed its first flight yesterday between Burbank and Santa Rosa using a 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The cabin is equipped with 189 reclining Acro slimline seats, 60 of which offer extra legroom with a 32- to 35-inch seat pitch. The remaining seats have a standard 29-inch pitch. The carrier’s chairman and CEO, Andrew Levy, revealed that the carrier removed one of the two aircraft galleys to open up more space in the cabin. Avelo is aiming to embody what Levy refers to as “The Soul of Service,” and focused on hiring crew that embraced its values.

APEX Media | Related Meet Avelo: America's Newest Airline – PR Newswire



Back-to-Front Boarding Increases COVID-19 Risk, Says Study

A new study suggests that boarding aircraft from back-to-front, a policy temporarily adopted by airlines including Delta, JetBlue and United to reduce contact between passengers, could double the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 compared to random boarding. Scientists from US colleges including West Florida and Arizona State found that it actually increases contact between pairs of seated passengers and between pairs of passengers in aisle seats. JetBlue and United have both dropped the policy, and Delta is reverting to its pre-pandemic process from May 1.

Business Insider | Related Random Plane Boarding Minimizes COVID-19 Risk: Study – Scientist Magazine



KLM Completes Refurbishment of First Boeing 737-800

KLM has completed the refurbishment of its first Boeing 737-800 cabin interior, which is now back in service. The refurbishment included the introduction of new ergonomic business- and economy-class seats, which are upholstered in recycled leather and equipped with a USB port. The seats are approximately 20% lighter than their predecessors, reducing the total cabin weight by 700 kilograms. KLM’s refurbished 737-800 also features larger overhead bins and LED mood lighting. The carrier is hoping to overhaul a total of 14 737-800s by March 2022. 

KLM | Related KLM Introduces Viasat In-Flight Wi-Fi on European Flights – Viasat



Avianca, SAS Announce New CEOs

Anko Van der Werff is to become president and CEO of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) on July 15. Karl Sandlund, SAS’ chief commercial officer, has been appointed acting president and CEO until that date, replacing Rickard Gustafson. Van der Werff has resigned from his current role as president and CEO at Avianca, effective immediately, but will remain on Avianca’s Board of Directors. Adrian Neuhauser has been announced as his successor. “I will miss working alongside our team every day, but I have made a personal decision to return with my family to Europe,” Van der Werff explained. 

SAS Group | Related Avianca Appoints Adrian Neuhauser as President and CEO – PR Newswire



Ground Stations for SES O3b mPOWER Satellites Begin Construction

SES has signed agreements with infrastructure service providers to build eight satellite ground stations that will enable telemetry, tracking and control of its O3b mPOWER medium Earth orbit (MEO) constellation. They will feature fast-install 5.5-metre carbon fibre antennas, energy-efficient solid-state power amplifiers and a low electrical load for the antenna control unit. Construction has already begun and the ground stations – located in Australia (one in Perth and one in New South Wales), Chile, Greece, Hawaii, Senegal, the UAE and the US – are set to become operational in the second half of 2021.

SES | Related SES Exec Details Ground Station of the Future for O3b mPOWER – Via Satellite



FAA to Pay Out $44m in Age Discrimination Case Settlement

The US government has settled an age discrimination lawsuit brought by hundreds of former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) workers for nearly $44 million. The employees’ lawyers argued that their jobs were outsourced from the FAA to Lockheed in 2005 because they were over 40 and would soon become eligible for retirement with full employment benefits. Once they were transferred to Lockheed, the employees were unable to keep their pensions. Under the settlement, 25 individuals will be awarded enough service credit to qualify for an air traffic controller’s retirement, while others will be able to cover lost retirement benefits from 2016 to 2020. 






An Iberia A320 at Madrid–Barajas Airport. Captured by @pabloforte_a.

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

> Tweet of the Day

We are proud to announce that IFPL has won a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise @TheQueensAwards for a 3rd time! This year, we've been honoured with the 2021 innovation award. "I’m so proud of the whole IFPL family for this fantastic achievement" - Geoff Underwood, CEO



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

“Content libraries need to be intuitively curated and displayed so the passenger can navigate and make their selections with ease.”

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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