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August 12, 2021



Today's Top Stories


APEX Writes to Biden to Urge Reopening Borders to EU

Senior figures at APEX have written to US President Joe Biden to propose a “staged reopening of the United States for vaccinated international travelers beginning with Europe, effective immediately.” The letter references scientific facts shared by the Biden administration to support its proposal, and adds that now the US has vaccinated 70% of adults, opening its doors to fully vaccinated individuals from Europe “only strengthens [the] administration’s message: Vaccination provides all of us more freedom.” However, APEX does support additional testing measures for vaccinated travelers as a requirement for entry. 




Inmarsat Announces Enhanced L-band Network, ELERA

Inmarsat has announced the first key component of ORCHESTRA, a network combining GEO, LEO and 5G satellite communications in one solution. Dubbed ELERA, the global narrowband network will build on the company’s L-band satellite services to deliver speeds up to 1.7Mbps via new spectrum management capabilities, known as Carrier Aggregation, and use the smallest, low-cost user terminals. The ELERA network will include two new L-band Inmarsat-6 satellites, each offering 50% more capacity per beam, the first of which will launch before the end of the year. Live customer trials in commercial aviation are scheduled to begin in 2022.

Inmarsat | Related Inmarsat orchestrates plan for communications network of the future – Runway Girl Network



New Zealand’s Borders Will Remain Closed Until 2022

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has said the country's borders will remain closed until 2022. She stated, “We're simply not in a position to fully reopen yet … When we move ... we want to move with confidence and with as much certainty as possible." Ardern said the priority is to vaccinate the population by the end of this year, before moving to an individual risk-based model for quarantine-free travel, which will see vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries able to visit without quarantining, while those from higher risk countries will have to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days.

BBC News | Related Australia's Covid-19 outbreak 'probably means the end of travel bubble' – Stuff.co.nz



Air France Reveals Revamped YUL Lounge

Air France has opened its redesigned lounge at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) in association with Plaza Premium Group. The 490-square-meter lounge can seat 149 guests across a main lounge area, dining area and shared work area, as well as a separate area for Flying Blue Ultimate members. All users have access to free Wi-Fi and USB sockets. The color palette consists of deep blue twinned with greys, whites and natural finishes. Most of the furniture and lighting was created by Canadian companies. The catering focuses on seasonal produce and passengers have access to water fountains to limit single-use plastic.




Synamedia Enters IFE with ContentArmor Acquisition

Video software provider Synamedia has acquired ContentArmor, a developer of forensic watermarking solutions for the media and entertainment industry. The acquisition extends Synamedia’s reach into in-flight entertainment (IFE), since ContentArmor has been working alongside castLabs on a custom IFE integration to fight against video piracy. The integration sees the watermark applied on the fly when the IFE player requests segments of content. Alain Durand, ContentArmor’s CEO, said, “By combining our technology with Synamedia’s intelligence-led security offerings, service providers can future-proof revenues from piracy.”

Inflight Online | Related castLabs and ContentArmor build custom session-based video watermarking solution for IFE – castLabs



Delta Highlights Upcoming Menus Items from Souvla, USE

From next month, the in-flight menus for Delta One and first-class passengers traveling coast-to-coast will incorporate dishes from San Francisco-based Greek restaurant Souvla. Items will include its famous chicken salad and signature frozen Greek yogurt topped with vissino, a traditional Greek sour cherry syrup, as well as meals created exclusively for Delta. Menu items from New York’s Union Square Events (USE), which have been onboard since 2013, will return in September with seasonal favorites including braised short rib with cheesy twice baked potato, and a spinach and goat cheese frittata served with bacon and hash browns.

Delta Air Lines | Related Delta Continues To Add More Entertainment Options – Travelpulse



Ethiopian Introduces Chatbot Service for International Travelers

Ethiopian Airlines’ chatbot, Lucy, which is available via Telegram and Messenger, can now serve international passengers as well as those traveling domestically. The chatbot is available in both Amharic and English languages, with an Ethiopian calendar installed for Amharic language users. The update also enables more payment options and allows passengers to share their feedback. Mesfin Biru, Ethiopian Airlines’ director, Integrated Marketing Communications, said, “With the upgraded chatbot, passengers will have additional options to process their travel globally at their convenience.”

PAX International | Related Ethiopian Airlines rolls out SITA bag-drop technology at Bole International Airport – Passenger Terminal Today





A SriLankan A330 featuring the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying logo. Captured by @martin_i85.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Couldn’t get this one out on @JetBlue ’s (otherwise very reliable) Wi-Fi. But here’s the coach dinner spread on the new London flight. Almost identical to what I’ve had from @diginn takeout in NYC. And VERY solid for an economy meal...

Zach Honig @ZachHonig


Association News

APEX/IFSA Are Prioritizing Delegate Health Safety at APEX EXPO

At APEX EXPO this year, all attendees, staff and vendors must be fully vaccinated or provide a ‎negative COVID-19 test result to attend the event. Furthermore, photographic ID will be required ‎when delegates collect their badges. To be considered fully vaccinated, attendees must have received ‎their final dose by October 3, 2021. Find out more about the health and safety precautions being taken by APEX & IFSA at APEX EXPO.


> Quote of the Day

“We implore you to use your power as President to immediately enable Europe as a test of your administration’s proposed vaccinated international travel program for foreign nationals.”

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX
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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