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July 2, 2021



Today's Top Stories


US Passport Applicants Can Self-Select Their Gender

The US State Department has announced that Americans can self-select their gender without the need for medical documentation if the selection does not match the gender stated on other identity documents. Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, “Inaccurate IDs open transgender people up to harassment and discrimination. Reforming US passports is a common-sense way to improve the lives of transgender people.” The policy also applies to Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

CN Traveler | Related State Department to add additional gender option on passports – USA Today



Qatar Tests Vaccine Authentication Using IATA Travel Pass

This month, Qatar Airways will become the first airline to trial the authentication of COVID-19 vaccine certificates using IATA Travel Pass. Cabin crew returning to Doha from Kuwait, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Sydney will be able to upload their Qatar-issued vaccination credentials and COVID-19 test results to the app and verify they are eligible to travel. On arrival in Doha, they will share their certificate and proceed through immigration at the airport. The trial will be rolled out in phases. 

Qatar Airways | Related Qatar Airways unveils new business class suite on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – Future Travel Experience



United Partners with Coda Collection on Music-Centric IFE

Passengers traveling with United on flights equipped with seatback or wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) now have access to music-centric content thanks to the airline’s exclusive partnership with Coda Collection. Launched in February by industry veterans including Yoko Ono, the streaming service is hosted on Amazon Prime Video and aims to tell music’s untold stories. The titles featured by United will be updated on an ongoing basis, with the initial slate including Music, Money, Madness … Jimi Hendrix In Maui and Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon’s Imagine Album.

APEX Media | Related United’s latest jets will offer Bluetooth for in-flight entertainment – The Verge



JFK’s Terminal 4 to Launch Digital E-Commerce Platform

A partnership with Inflyter and DFS Group will see JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT), which operates Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, launch a branded digital marketplace for duty-free shopping. It will allow passengers to make purchases online before arriving or while waiting for departure and have them delivered directly to the gate. Wassim Saadé, founder and CEO at Inflyter, said, “What is of particular significance is that this digital marketplace will showcase multiple retailers, enabling JFKIAT to pioneer one of the first fully integrated online and offline premium shopping experiences in the US.”

TR Business | Related Inflyter improves Lagardère Travel Retail’s digital duty free shopping experience – Inflyter



New COVID-19 Strategy Sees Australia Cut International Arrivals

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined a four-phase plan to navigate the nation out of the COVID-19 pandemic as it struggles with the spread of the Delta variant. Phase one will see international arrivals cut in half from 6,070 to 3,035 by July 14 while the country pushes forward with its vaccination program. Morrison said these limits are likely to remain until early 2022. During this phase, Australia will also trial home quarantine for returning vaccinated travellers. 

Executive Traveller | Related Scott Morrison outlines four-stage plan to tackle Covid, including a pathway to ‘normal’ – News.com.au



Virgin Galactic Announces First Fully Crewed Spaceflight

Richard Branson is planning to fly to space onboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity on July 11, nine days ahead of Jeff Bezos’ flight into space with his company, Blue Origin. The trip will mark Virgin Galactic's fourth crewed test spaceflight and its first mission with a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists. The spaceflight will be livestreamed. “I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry,” Branson commented. 

Virgin Galactic | Related Richard Branson will try to beat Jeff Bezos to outer space – Deutsche Welle



Veridos Installs eGates at Bangladesh’s International Airports

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC) has begun using 15 eGates provided by Veridos. The company will install a total of 28 eGates at DAC, as well as a further 22 across Bangladesh’s other two international airports. With the support of a local partner, Veridos conducted training sessions with over 50 border control officers to guarantee the smooth introduction of the new technology. Andreas Räschmeier, CEO at Veridos, said, “The ability to verify identities within 14 seconds via eGates will lead to a welcome reduction in waiting times.”

PR.com | Related Veridos reaches halfway point and first results in D4Fly project – Veridos





A Rolls Royce Trent XWB in close-up. Captured by @olivierhoarau_.

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

> Tweet of the Day

BREAKING NEWS: @TSA screened 2,147,090 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide yesterday, Thursday, July 1. Ready for this? It surpassed the 2019 checkpoint volume for the same day, which was 2,088,760. So get to the airport early if you're flying and #MaskUp.

Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson @TSA_Northeast


Association News

APEX EXPO is Coming to Long Beach, California in October

APEX EXPO, which is taking place from 19-21 October in Long Beach, California, will be the first major in-person industry event of 2021. Attendees will gain access to the most comprehensive industry marketplace, where airline CEOs, executives and decision makers will share unique insights and more than 300 exhibitors will demonstrate the latest innovations focused on the end-to-end passenger experience. Find out more.


> Quote of the Day

"The onus is on the system providers to make them far less expensive, not just in capital expenditure, but also the total cost of ownership."

Cedric Rhoads, Thales InFlyt Experience
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Until next Tuesday



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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