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May 3, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Viasat Completes EBI Acquisition

Viasat has purchased the remaining 51% stake in Euro Broadband Infrastructure (EBI) from Eutelsat. As such, it has gained 100% ownership of the KA-SAT satellite and its related ground infrastructure, which provides satellite coverage over Europe and the Mediterranean region. "With the EBI purchase now complete, we can more aggressively move forward with growing our European broadband business and introduce new service offerings before the launch of our ViaSat-3 EMEA satellite," said Rick Baldridge, Viasat's president and CEO. 

Viasat | Related KLM launches short-haul in-flight connectivity with Viasat – PaxEx.aero



Caribbean Airlines Introduces Digital Health Passport

Caribbean Airlines passengers can have their COVID-19 test results uploaded directly from the lab to the Ink Mobile App ready for when they travel. The carrier will verify test results via the QR code from the Ink Mobile App on passengers’ smartphones at check-in. The use of the Ink Mobile app as a digital health passport is an enhancement of Caribbean Airlines’ recent partnership with Ink Aviation, which allowed travelers to book COVID-19 tests with accredited institutions via the carrier's website.

Caribbean Airlines | Related Caribbean Airlines Partners with Ink Aviation to Debut Technology to Help Safeguard Borders – Aviation Pros



US Extends Mask Mandate for Travel Until September

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, the US Transport Security Administration has announced that people will be required to wear face masks at airports, onboard commercial flights and while using other public transportation until September 13, 2021. The federal mask mandate was initially due to expire on May 11. The US is also following the UK in imposing a travel ban on India from Tuesday, although exceptions will be made for legal permanent residents, spouses and close family members of US citizens.

USA Today | Related US cites Indian variant in implementing travel ban from Tuesday – The Guardian



ZeroAvia Testbed Crashes Off Airport

A Piper M Series aircraft being used for test flights by ZeroAvia has been damaged in an off-airport landing in the UK. Neither of the two pilots were injured. In a statement, ZeroAvia said, “The structural integrity of ZeroAvia systems was maintained throughout the incident sequence and there were no unintended hydrogen or electrical releases and no fire; after the landing, the crew were able to safeguard the battery and safely release hydrogen from the onboard tanks, following ZeroAvia safety protocol.” The company maintains that it is still on track to bring a 10- to 20-seat hydrogen-powered aircraft into commercial service by 2023.




Emirates Adds Personal Transformation Courses to IFE

Four of Mindvalley’s premium personal transformation courses, also known as Quests, are now available via Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system, ice. The courses cover topics including meditation, parenting and finding one’s life purpose. "The pandemic has been the catalyst needed to prioritize personal growth and we are excited to bring positive change to travelers as flying picks up once again," said Vishen Lakhiani, Mindvalley’s founder and CEO. 

PR Newswire | Related Emirates introduces touchless check-in kiosks – Business Traveller



Startup Airline Ecuatoriana Showcases its Branding

Ecuatoriana Airlines has unveiled its branding and livery ahead of its planned launch in October. The carrier’s icon is a tri-colored hummingbird, representing Ecuador’s biodiversity. Ecuatoriana Airlines hopes to provide regional connectivity across the country with a fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s and Boeing 717-200s. The Q400s will feature 78 seats in a two-class configuration, while its Boeing 717-200s will feature 115 seats in a three-class configuration. Its CEO, Eduardo Delgado, said the airline’s inaugural flights between Quito to Guayaquil will be operated by a fully female crew.

Airline Geeks | Related New airline ITA is approved by the Brazilian civil aviation authority – Airway1



Finnair Expands Commercial Ready Meal Business

Taste of Finnair, which offers handmade ready meals inspired by Finnair’s business-class menus, are now available as part of the Foodora online food delivery service in the Helsinki area. The meals are already available in select K stores in Southern Finland. “Taste of Finnair was born from the desire to ... offer employment to our people during the COVID-19. I’m happy to say that we have managed to make it a permanent part of our operations. We will continue to develop both the products and the wider selection,” said Marika Nieminen, VP, Finnair Kitchen. 

Finnair | Related Finnair satisfies pandemic 'wanderlust' by selling plane food in supermarkets – Deutsche Welle





Can virtual reality give passengers the perception of more space?

This week, we're looking back at some of @ricardo_polo_vector's illustrations for #APEXExperienceMag!

> Tweet of the Day

We are excited to welcome our 26th @Airbus A220-300 aircraft, registered as YL-AAZ! This is the first out of seven planned Airbus aircraft deliveries for airBaltic in 2021.

airBaltic @airbaltic


Association News

Discover the New Benefits for Premium Pass Holders at FTE APEX Virtual Expo

This year's FTE APEX Virtual Expo Premium Pass holders have access to three new features! A new meeting system will enable participants to schedule meetings with exhibitors weeks before the show begins. Automatic matchmaking will also be available: attendees will be able to specify their search preferences and the system will recommend people matching that criteria. Finally, group video calls will be possible alongside the chat rooms that support text and audio conversations. Learn more.


> Quote of the Day

“We have a new measurement tool that will allow us to make smarter content investment decisions for our clients.”

João Chaves, Touch Inflight Solutions
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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