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May 14, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Delta Outlines Vaccination Terms for Staff, Air India Pauses Vaccinations

According to Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian, new employees at the airline will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, while current staff that refuse to be vaccinated could be prevented from working on international flights due to the requirements of destination countries. Bastian confirmed that over 60% of Delta's employees have already had at least one dose of the vaccine, and the carrier expects over 80% of its workforce to be vaccinated. Air India’s race to vaccinate all staff by the end of May has come to a halt due to a shortage of vaccinations. 

Business Insider | Related Air India’s Plan to Vaccinate Staff by May-end stalled due to Vax Shortage – Livemint



International Carriers Cancel Flights to Israel

A host of international airlines, including US carriers American, Delta and United, have suspended flights to Israel in response to increasing violence between Israel and Palestine. Following Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas fired rockets at targets including Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. United said it will allow those booked on flights to Tel Aviv through May 25 to alter their itineraries at no charge. American Airlines has offered to find flights for passengers scheduled to be on its cancelled New York–Tel Aviv services at a later date. 

TravelPulse | Related Global airlines cancel flights to Israel as violence escalates – CNN



Qingdao Accelerates IFC rollout with FTS

Qingdao Airlines is accelerating its fleet-wide rollout of FTS’ Xstream in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution following ten months of testing on an Airbus A320 aircraft. Wu Longxue, Qingdao Airlines’ president, said the service, which is integrated with China Satcom’s ChinaSat-16 Ka-HTS satellites, “won strong accolades from passengers.” In preparation for the accelerated deployment, FTS has obtained Parts Manufacturer Approval and a Part 145 maintenance certification for its range of components from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and is now ramping up operations.

Aircraft Interiors International | Related FTS Ka-band Inflight Connectivity System Goes Live on Qingdao Airlines – FTS



Vaccinated Travelers to see Easing Restrictions

Hawaii has introduced a vaccine passport program for inter-island travel that allows vaccinated travelers to skip testing and quarantine rules. Currently, only people that have been fully vaccinated at clinics in the islands can participate, but Hawaii’s governor hopes to expand the program to out-of-state visitors and trans-Pacific travelers later this year. Meanwhile, countries including Switzerland and Germany will allow those who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 to bypass quarantine rules.

USA Today | Related Switzerland to end quarantine for vaccinated travellers – Business Travel News



GoAir Rebrands as Go First, Files for IPO

India’s GoAir has been rebranded as Go First with a view to being the country’s first ultra low-cost carrier. The company has also filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise funds for its expansion plans, becoming the third Indian airline to do so after IndiGo and SpiceJet. "The combination of attractive airfares, a squeaky-clean flying experience, well sanitized flights and on-time performance is what Go First is designed to deliver. And that is exactly at the core of our brand and service," said Go First’s vice-chairman, Ben Baldanza. 

Business Today | Related GoAir launches car rental service – Hotelier India



Plaza Premium to Reopen Australian Airport Lounges

Plaza Premium has announced plans to reopen its airport lounges at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but will operate reduced hours at all three. The Plaza Premium Sydney lounge will open its doors on May 17, followed by Brisbane on May 20 and Melbourne on May 31. Each of the facilities operates on a paid-for basis, with both advance bookings and walk-ins available. Priority Pass holders can visit the lounges until June 30, when Plaza Premium is ending its partnership with Priority Pass to focus on its own lounge access program.

Executive Traveller | Related Plaza Premium to end contract with Priority Pass and Lounge Key – Business Traveller



EIA to Pilot Smart On-Demand Bus Service

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is working with NTT Smart Solutions, the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and Invest Alberta Corporation (IAC) to deliver an on-demand bus service in and around EIA’s Airport City. The pilot phase will include five buses bookable via a mobile app or web portal, with bus routes and schedules adjusting in real time to provide maximum convenience. Insights into passenger behavior will be used to inform future solutions. 

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Minister of Transport introduces new funding programs to support Canada's airports – Newswire.ca





This Alitalia Boeing 777 is called "Taormina." Captured by @flywithmariela.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Take your first look at our beautiful Terminal D Extension! These four new gates offer new technology and new concessions but the same great customer experience you've come to expect! We're excited to tell you more about it this month, stay tuned.

DFW Airport @DFWAirport


Association News

What's New at FTE APEX Virtual Expo This Year?

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 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

"People will be wanting to take those international trips because they have two years of pent-up desire to travel."

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA
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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