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June 9, 2021



Today's Top Stories


CDC Downgrades Travel Restrictions for 62 Countries

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has downgraded travel restrictions for 62 destinations from its Level 4 tier, “COVID-19 very high,” to Level 3, “COVID-19 high.” The CDC advises all travelers to avoid Level 4 countries. Meanwhile, only unvaccinated travelers are told to avoid non-essential travel to Level 3 destinations. Of the 246 destinations listed on the CDC’s travel recommendations page, a quarter remain at Level 4. The 64 destinations currently at Level 3 include Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the UAE. 

USA Today | Related Canada Reportedly Considering Easing US Travel Restrictions – TravelPulse



GOL to Acquire Brazilian Regional Airline MAP

GOL is acquiring fellow Brazilian domestic airline MAP, which serves regional destinations from Manaus Airport and São Paulo Congonhas Airport (CGH) using a fleet of seven ATRs. The transaction, worth approximately $5.5 million, will enable GOL to add new routes that complement its current network at CGH and to introduce a substantially higher number of seats per flight compared to MAP by substituting the ATRs for its fleet of 23 Boeing 737-700s. GOL’s CEO, Paulo Kakinoff, said, "We believe the acquisition of MAP is the only viable opportunity for rational consolidation in the Brazilian aviation market at present.” 

PR Newswire | Related GOL Airlines selects Sabre’s solution to optimise revenue streams – Aerospace Technology



Ryanair Wins Legal Challenge Against Condor’s Financial Aid

A court has annulled the European Commission's decision to approve approximately $760 million dollars of financial aid for Condor in 2020. The decision marks Ryanair’s third legal victory against carriers that received state aid as a result of COVID-19. However, Condor will not have to pay back the aid until the European Commission submits a new decision on the matter. "If Europe is to emerge from this crisis with a functioning single market, the European Commission must stand up to national governments and stop rubber-stamping discriminatory state aid to inefficient national airlines," Ryanair said in a statement.

Deutsche Welle | Related EU court backs Ryanair challenge to KLM, TAP state aid – Euractiv



Etihad Creates Sonic Identity with Sixième Son

Etihad has debuted a new sonic identity created by sonic branding and sound production agency Sixième Son and inspired by Abu Dhabi. According to Amina Taher, Etihad’s VP Brand, Marketing and Sponsorships, Sixième Son first developed a “sonic DNA” for the airline. “From this, the sonic logo was born – the four seconds of music that you hear across all our touchpoints,” Taher explained. “Musical adaptations were then created for use across our lounges, on board, radio, video, events, and our contact centre. Working together, 18 musicians from the UAE and France adapted the sonic identity.”

The DesignAir | Related Etihad Airways is the first airline to bring guests on a sonic journey – The Drum



WestJet Announces Ed Sims’ Impending Retirement

Ed Sims, WestJet’s president and CEO, is set to retire at the end of 2021. However, he will continue to help guide the carrier’s owner, Onex Partners, with its aerospace and aviation strategy in a senior advisory role. Sims joined WestJet in 2017 and was appointed president and CEO one year later, following Gregg Saretsky’s departure. WestJet’s chair, Chris Burley, said, “We owe our relative strength and stability in no small measure to Ed's leadership and steady hand. On a personal note, we're pleased that Ed will be able to re-join his family in New Zealand at the end of the year.”

BNN Bloomberg | Related Airline CEO Words of Wisdom: On Leadership – SimpliFlying



TSA Reopens Innovation Checkpoint at Las Vegas McCarran

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reopened its Innovation Checkpoint at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Introduced in 2019 and managed by the TSA’s Innovation Task Force, the four-lane Innovation Checkpoint provides a live environment to collect data on new technologies, such as Automated Screening Lanes integrated with Computed Tomography scanners that allow for the uninterrupted movement of carry-on luggage. It is also testing Credential Authentication Technology units that eliminate the need for passengers to present their boarding pass. 

TSA | Related This new iPhone feature could make airport security lines a breeze – Fortune



SIA Marks 50 Years of UK Flights with Feast Box Meal Kits

To celebrate 50 years of flying between Singapore and the UK, Singapore Airlines has teamed up with UK-based Feast Box to create 14 dishes inspired by its Southeast Asian destinations. Available until July 4, the at-home meal kits include Hainanese Chicken Rice and Braised Beef Noodles. Customers will also receive a discount code for their next flight booking. Jyoti Patel, Feast Box’s CEO, said, “Offering people the chance to travel the world through food is at the core of everything we do, so working with Singapore Airlines on this wanderlust-inducing menu has helped to bring Feast Box to life in a very special way.”

Inflight Online | Related Singapore Airlines on designing modern and cross-cultural serviceware – Runway Girl Network





A China Airlines A330 on approach at Tokyo Narita. Captured by @sugarkrone.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Spain's new leisure carrier @World2FlyHelp is the proud new operator of the A350, flying between Madrid and Punta Cana, Cancun and La Habana. Welcome to the family!

Airbus @Airbus


Association News

[VIDEO] Watch the APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Meeting

This year's APEX/IFSA Board of Governors meeting saw airline leaders vote on what the associations' top priorities should be for the rest of 2021. Watch a recording of the meeting to find out why airlines are passionate about focusing on health safety and sustainability, the two topics that received the most number of votes.


> Quote of the Day

“Rosen is an fantastically talented engineer with a long and outstanding history of achievement. I’m so pleased he’s received this award.”

Michael Childers, APEX Technology Committee
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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