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July 12, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Virgin Galactic Accomplishes First Fully-Crewed Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic has completed its first fully crewed spaceflight onboard VSS Unity. The mission marked the twenty-second test flight for the spacecraft. It achieved a speed of Mach 3 after being released from the mothership, VMS Eve, and reached space at an altitude of 53.5 miles before safely landing back at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, was on the flight. “I was honoured to test the incredible customer experience as part of this remarkable crew of mission specialists and now astronauts,” he said. “I can’t wait to share this experience with aspiring astronauts around the world.”

Virgin Atlantic | Related Virgin Galactic: Sir Richard Branson rockets to the edge of space – BBC News



Ideas Roadshow Creates Podcast Platform, COVID-19 Documentary

Ideas Roadshow has launched the Ideas Roadshow Podcast in partnership with New Books Network. The company already has over 100 podcasts available for IFE, as well as eBooks and video clips. “Airlines have expressed interest in us curating various packages for them of audio, eBooks and video, which we are very happy to do,” explained Irena Burton, Ideas Roadshow’s co-founder and COO. It is also creating a documentary about the pandemic, COVID-19: An Exploration, that will be released in November. Burton says it will explore obvious questions about the virus not sufficiently addressed by the media in a non-political, unbiased way.

APEX Media | Related Why Documentary Content is in Demand Right Now – APEX Media



Etihad Offers Free Chauffeur Service to Economy-Class Passengers

A new promotion will see economy-class passengers receive free private airport transfers between Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai. The offer is valid for those that book tickets by August 11 and travel by September 30, and covers flights to and from 37 cities including Amsterdam, Melbourne and New York. Drivers wear face masks and disposable gloves and vehicles are sanitized after every trip. “With Dubai just an easy one-hour drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport, we’re committed to making travel as easy as possible... to and from Dubai this summer,” said Fatma Al Mehairi, VP UAE Sales at Etihad Airways.

The National | Related Etihad Airways rolls out 'Verified to Fly' service globally – Business Traveller



Ryanair Needs 2,000+ Pilots for its Incoming Boeing 737 MAXs

Ryanair is hoping to recruit more than 2,000 new pilots to fill positions created by its order for over 210 Boeing 737-8200 aircraft. The majority of captain roles will be filled by promoting internal staff, paving the way for new first officers and cadets. Ryanair’s People Director, Darrell Hughes, said, “We are delighted to start planning for a return to growth ... as we recover from COVID-19 and grow to 200 million guests by FY2024.” The carrier has partnered with Dublin’s Airline Flight Academy, which will deliver Boeing 737 training courses from this summer to fill positions all over Europe in 2022. 

Travel Weekly | Related Ryanair CEO Sings Praises of Newly Delivered Max 8-200s – AIN Online



Sky Express Orders Six ATR 72-600s

Greek carrier Sky Express has placed an order for six ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. The first was delivered in June, and the remaining five will join the carrier’s fleet over the next 12 months. The aircraft will allow Sky Express to increase the number of destinations it serves. ATR’s chief executive, Stefano Bortoli, said, “Fleet replacement is critical in regional aviation or vital connections risk being lost, which would have a significant impact on the communities they serve. Upon final delivery of these aircraft, Sky Express will have the youngest ATR fleet in Europe and its passengers will benefit for years to come.”

Asian Aviation | Related Fast-growing SKY Express buys more ATR 72-600s – AirInsight



Grab My Bag Launches at Hartsfield-Jackson

Atlanta, US-based Grab My Bag is offering a service for senior citizens and people with disabilities at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport that sees the company collect passengers’ luggage from the airport baggage claim and deliver it to their chosen location. Emory Reignz, founder and CEO at Grab My Bag, said, “These communities are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and we care. We want them to be safe and live their lives. Land and go; we’ll take care of the rest.” The service is not affiliated with airports or airlines. Delivery of two bags begins at $35. 

PR Newswire | Related IATA Task Force Aims to Improve Mobility Aid Handling – Business Travel News



UK’s Manchester Airport Offers Terminal 2 Preview

The newly extended Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport in the UK will open on Wednesday a year later than planned due to COVID-19. The departures zone features a giant honeycomb light installation in a nod to the symbol of Manchester, the worker bee, an 81-square-meter digital screen that will provide interactive content and information to passengers, and modernized 29-meter-long security lanes for quick passenger processing. The arrivals area features an immigration facility that is four times larger than the previous space and is equipped with a new baggage reclaim from Vanderlande. 

Moodie Davitt Report | Related MAG launches zero-emission flight competition worth over £1million – MAG Airports





A Citilink A320 approaches Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Captured by @aaaarrriaaa.

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

> Tweet of the Day

What a time for our friend Kelly Latimer! On June 30, she piloted our @VirginOrbit flying launch pad Cosmic Girl and sent LauncherOne and 7 satellites into orbit. Today, she flew VMS Eve and helped send @richardbranson and @virgingalactic #Unity22 into space!

Virgin Orbit @VirginOrbit


Association News

The Countdown to FlightPlan III: C-Suite Week is On!

From July 19-23, Inmarsat Aviation and APEX will air in-depth interviews between the BBC’s Aaron Heslehurst and an aviation industry leader as part of FlightPlan III: C-Suite Week. Guests include Willie Walsh, director general at IATA; Tony Fernandes, founder and CEO, AirAsia Group; Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO at Qatar Airways; TAP Air Portugal's CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener; and Scott Kirby, CEO at United Airlines. Register for free.


> Quote of the Day

"We are convinced that there is a strong resonance with our approach to explore issues in an explicitly non-partisan, non-political way."

Irena Burton, Ideas Roadshow
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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