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July 20, 2021



Today's Top Stories


FlightPlan III: Super-app is Natural Extension for AirAsia, Says Tony Fernandes

Founder and Group CEO at AirAsia Tony Fernandes believes that COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to improve the passenger experience. He used AirAsia’s move into vaccine passports as an example. The carrier has received approval from the Malaysian government and some other Southeast Asian governments to store COVID-19-related credentials in its app that can be verified by immigration. “I said, well if we’re going this far, let’s pre-clear people too, so they don’t have to wait a long time and go through the normal security lines,” Fernandes explained.

APEX Media | Related Register for FlightPlan III: C-Suite Week



AES Receives STC for Bluebox Wow Installations on A320 Family Jets

Aerospace Engineering Solutions (AES) has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the installation of the aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Aviation Systems’ wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution, Bluebox Wow, on Airbus A320 family aircraft. The STC was approved after testing was completed with a soon-to-be-announced Bluebox customer in the Asia-Pacific region. Bluebox’s CTO, James Macrae, said, “The STC also includes automatic Pause on PA functionality that pauses playback in the event of announcements from the flight deck or cabin crew.”

Bluebox Aviation | Related Flypop LCC to launch with Bluebox wireless IFE – Aircraft Interiors International



Canada to Open its Borders to US Travelers

From August 9, Canada will allow fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada for nonessential travel purposes. As such, Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton airports will once more begin accepting international flights. The qualifying vaccines will initially be Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, but this could be expanded to include others in future. The country is also planning to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from other countries as of September 7. 

Politico | Related Air Canada Ready to Reconnect Canada and U.S. Travel With Up to 220 Daily Flights Between the Two Countries – PR Newswire



Blue Origin Completes Maiden Space Tourism Flight

Blue Origin has successfully completed its first space tourism flight. The company’s RSS First Step capsule, containing four passengers, was transported to the separation point by its New Shepard rocket in just under 4 minutes at a speed of over Mach 3. The capsule was then released as it passed the Kármán line, which separates the Earth’s atmosphere from space, 62 miles above Earth’s surface. The rocket descended back on its own assisted by retro-rockets, followed by the RSS First Step capsule, which used parachutes. The passengers included 82-year-old Wally Funk, who took part in the “Mercury 13” project. 

Aerotime | Related 'Mercury 13' pilot Wally Funk will carry 60 years of history to space on Blue Origin flight – Space.com



Virgin Atlantic Expands Partnership with 3Sixty Duty Free

An enhanced collaboration between Virgin Atlantic and 3Sixty Duty Free, who have worked together since 2014, will see the carrier deploy a next-generation omnichannel travel retail solution supported by Omnevo. As a result, passengers will have access to a new in-flight brochure complete with antimicrobial coating, and fulfilment options including pre-order and home delivery. Paul Mills, Virgin Atlantic’s head of Inflight Sales, stated, “This new platform will allow us to offer a wider range of products and truly personalise the shopping experience for our customers.”

Moodie Davitt Report | Related Omnevo and Fraport go live with new e-commerce solution; extend partnership – TR Business



EC Closes Amadeus, Sabre Antitrust Probe

The European Commission (EC) has dropped its 30-month investigation into whether Amadeus and Sabre’s GDS agreements with airlines and travel agents violate the EU’s antitrust rules by restricting competition. The EC did not exonerate the companies, instead saying the evidence gathered was not "sufficiently conclusive." It is now continuing with a review of the regulations that govern the relationship between airlines, booking systems and travel agents that went into effect in 2009, which it said has been prompted by new technologies coming into play.

Travel Weekly | Related Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into airline ticket distribution services – European Commission



Schiphol Researches Removal of Ultrafine Particles from the Air

In 2019, Schiphol launched an action plan to reduce ultrafine particles at and around the airport. Following research that investigated the level of ultrafine particles as a result of aircraft take-offs, it is now working with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre and Wageningen University & Research to see whether ionized mist particles can be used to remove them from around its runways. The approach, which sees mist particles attach themselves to the ultrafine particles so that they become heavier and fall to the ground, is already used in the construction industry to reduce dust.

Schiphol | Related Schiphol to Repurpose Grass Cuttings – Air International





An air-to-air shot of a Lufthansa Boeing 747 over LAX. Captured by @jfkjetsofficial.

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

> Tweet of the Day

If your GOAL in life is to see one of these big bois at MCO again, this is your chance to score big! @emirates is bringing their A380 this Wednesday 7/21 (EK2456 eta 6:15pm), with the one and only, @Arsenal, for the @Florida_Cup 🎉🛬⚽

Orlando International Airport @MCO


Association News

Register for IFSA's Third Thought Leadership Webinar, Featuring Virgin Atlantic

Join IFSA at 12:00 p.m. on July 28 for the third event in its Thought Leadership webinar series. Special guest Paul Mills, head of Inflight Services at Virgin Atlantic, will share his perspective on how in-flight service has evolved throughout the pandemic, and explain the carrier's progress in relation to IFSA's current focus areas: sustainability, health and wellness, personalization and digital. The session will also include a high-level government affairs overview on single-use plastics from both US and EU perspectives. Register now.


> Quote of the Day

"Most airports today are not designed to have every customer that’s flying go to the check-in desk."

Willie Walsh, IATA
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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