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July 16, 2021



Today's Top Stories


AA Ending Voluntary Leave for Flight Attendants

American Airlines (AA) is canceling extended voluntary leave of absences granted as a result of COVID-19 to cope with a surge in air travel demand. The move will see approximately 3,300 flight attendants that were not scheduled to come back until 2022 return to work by December. In July 2020, an agreement reached between the carrier and its flight attendants union said AA may give notice that it is canceling or reducing voluntary leave 60 days in advance. The airline also said in a memo to employees that it will need additional flight attendants, and will hire around 800 by March next year.

The Hill | Related American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights due to staffing crunch, maintenance issues – CNBC



Air Arabia Joint Venture to Create Armenian LCC

UAE-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Air Arabia has entered a joint venture with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to launch a low-cost Armenian national airline. It will be based at Zvartnots International Airport near Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city. Armenians have been invited to submit name ideas for the airline by August 14, which will be reviewed by the board of directors. The goal is for the carrier to boost Armenia’s travel and tourism sector, which made up 11.8% of the country’s GDP in 2019 and accounted for 12.5% of employment.

One Mile at a Time | Related Etihad Guest partners with Air Arabia’s loyalty program – Arabian Aerospace



Air Dolomiti Updates BoardConnect Wireless IFE

Air Dolomiti has enhanced its BoardConnect wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system from Lufthansa Systems, which was introduced across the fleet in 2017. The updated solution features a modernized graphical user interface, and the content now includes an exclusive selection of ten music compilations, destination videos featuring Italian cities on Air Dolomiti’s route map and a gaming platform with a variety of single-player games. Access to the system is available to passengers free of charge.

Ait Dolomiti | Related Lufthansa Regional Carrier Air Dolomiti Adds Two Swedish Cities – Simple Flying



[VIDEO] SriLankan Earns “Most Improved” Health Safety Title

SriLankan Airlines was the first to take part in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit, and is now the first to improve from a Platinum- to a Diamond-level certification. A recent audit update highlighted great success in terms of employee vaccination. “95% of flight crew and 75% of the total staff have received both doses of the vaccine,” said SriLankan Airlines’ CEO, Vipula Gunatilleka. After reviewing many industry studies and surveys, it also introduced the option to purchase “Neighbour Free seats,” and now provides route-specific information about travel restrictions and testing requirements.

SimpliFlying | Related SriLankan gets top health rating from airline safety group – Economy Next



European Commission Pushes for Increased SAF Use

In a bid to reduce the EU's net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, the European Commission (EC) has proposed that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) account for 5% of EU-based airlines’ fuel usage by 2030. Its ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative would obligate fuel suppliers to blend an increasing amount of SAF in jet fuel for EU airports, with the level rising to 20% in 2035 and to 63% by 2050. Airlines would be required to refuel consistently during aircraft turns so that they can’t avoid doing so at airports with SAF, where the price is expected to be higher. The EC has also proposed new taxes on aviation fuel. 

Travel Weekly | Related Tax is not the Answer to Aviation Sustainability – IATA



Airport Dimensions, Ambaar Lounge to launch Ambaar Club

Airport Dimensions has partnered with Ambaar Lounge to launch a new airport lounge concept called Ambaar Club across four undisclosed Brazilian airports, marking the former’s entry into the South American market. Ambaar Lounge already operates premium lounges at Brazil’s Belo Horizonte and Guarulhos airports. Nancy Knipp, Airport Dimension’s president, Americas, said, “The brand will provide a wealth of experiences tailored to the needs of passengers in Brazil and will drive revenues in the airports.” The lounges will be available to members of Priority Pass, which is part of Airport Dimensions’ parent company, Collinson.

Aviation Pros | Related Airport Dimensions and Swissport acquire No1 Lounges – Aircraft Interiors International



BA, AirPortr Introduce Fast Bag-Drop at LHR Terminal 5

Together with AirPortr, British Airways (BA) has developed a series of fast bag-drop areas for London Heathrow Airport’s (LHR) Terminal 5. The first drop-off point, at the Heathrow Express train platforms, will launch on July 19. Once passengers have dropped their bags, AirPortr’s team will seal, secure and check in bags for customers’ flights. BA passengers can also have their luggage collected from their home using the AirPortr service. In addition, the airline is allowing passengers to drop off their bags between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. BST the day before they depart from Heathrow Terminal 5.






Face to face with a Viva Air A320. Captured by @spotter_bucaramanga.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Chompie the Shark took flight this week as we celebrate #SharkWeek with our partner @Discovery & a plane full of Customers headed for Pensacola! Tune in to the action as @SharkWeek continues on Discovery, @discoveryplus & our Inflight Entertainment Portal

Southwest Airlines @SouthwestAir


Association News

ICYMI: Registration for APEX EXPO is Now Open

This year’s APEX EXPO will be the first in-person industry event of 2021. It is set to attract 3,000 aviation professionals including airline CEOs, executives, suppliers and decision-makers to connect, collaborate and innovate over three full days at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. Find out more about what to expect and register now.


> Quote of the Day

"Our long and fruitful relationship with British Airways audio confirmed that [podcasts] work particularly well for in-flight entertainment."

Irena Burton, Ideas Roadshow
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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