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August 18, 2021



Today's Top Stories


US Extends Mask Mandate for Public Transport Until 2022

The US Transportation Security Administration has extended its requirement that people traveling by air and on public transportation wear face masks until January 18, 2022. The mandate was first issued on January 29 and was scheduled to end on September 13. The rule also applies to transportation employees. Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said, "We have a responsibility in aviation to keep everyone safe and do our part to end the pandemic, rather than aid the continuation of it. We all look forward to the day masks are no longer required, but we're not there yet."

Travel Weekly | Related Southwest Airlines warns that delta Covid variant is hurting bookings, lowers outlook – CNBC



Qantas Makes COVID-19 Vaccinations Mandatory for Staff

Following a consultation with employees, Qantas Group has announced it will require all frontline workers, including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15. Remaining staff will need to be vaccinated by March 2022. Aviation workers supporting international flights in New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand are already required to be vaccinated by those jurisdictions, and of 12,000 responses it had to a relevant survey, Qantas said 89% of staff are already vaccinated or planning to be, while only 4% were unwilling or unable to get the jab. 

Breaking Travel News | Related Qantas to require all employees to be vaccinated against Covid – Executive Traveller



Anuvu Receives STC for IFC on Turkish Airlines’ A321 Family Jets

Anuvu has obtained a supplemental type certificate (STC) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency for the installation of its Airconnect Global Ku in-flight connectivity (IFC) system onboard Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A321 family aircraft. Çetin Tuğtağ, Turkish Airlines’ SVP Investment and Assets, said, “Following our Boeing 737 partnership with Anuvu and Profen earlier in the year, we’re pleased that Airconnect Global will soon be available … onboard our A321 family of aircraft.” The project is a joint effort involving Anuvu, Profen, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic. 

Anuvu | Related Global Eagle secures STCs for Turkish Airlines in-flight internet launch – PaxEx.aero



Aeroflot Refurbishes First Boeing 777-300ER

Aeroflot has completed a full cabin retrofit project on the first of three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft scheduled to be revamped before the end of 2021. The cabin now features 28 business-class suites equipped with Collins Aerospace’s Super Diamond seats, an 18.5-inch HD in-flight entertainment (IFE) monitor, an extra armrest and a sliding door for privacy. There are 24 seats in Aeroflot’s Comfort class, which feature a 38-inch pitch, and 375 economy-class seats with a 31.5-inch pitch. All passengers will benefit from the installation of Panasonic Avionics’ EX3 IFE system.

Aeroflot | Related Aeroflot named strongest airline brand globally by Brand Finance – Travel Daily News



ThinKom Designs Family of Antennas for Space Payloads

ThinKom Solutions has developed a family of aluminum phased-array antennas based on its Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub technology for deployment on satellites and other space vehicles. With a 30-centimeter diameter and weighing less than 5 kilograms, the antennas consume very little power and do not require any post-launch deployment mechanisms. “We believe our space payload antennas hit the ‘sweet spot’ between the bulkier and heavier gimbaled dish antennas ...  and the less efficient power-hungry electronically steered arrays,” said Bill Milroy, ThinKom Solutions’ chairman and CTO.

ThinKom Solutions | Related ThinKom Ka aero antenna to integrate on Telesat Lightspeed LEO network – Runway Girl Network



Etihad Engineering Takes Part in 3D Printing Research Project

Etihad Engineering is working with 3D printing technology provider EOS and printing centre Baltic3D on a project regarding 3D printed aircraft interior parts. Baltic3D will print over 2,000 material coupons using Laser Sintering technology on EOS’s P 396 machines. The materials will then be tested to aviation standards at Etihad Engineering’s flammability laboratory in Abu Dhabi. Janis Jātnieks, co-founder at Baltic3D, explained, “Our plan is to establish a comprehensive test and manufacturing data set that will help aerospace engineers develop part designs for additive manufacturing with a high level of confidence.”

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Aviation AM Centre founded to supply certified 3D printed cabin interior parts – TCT Magazine



EWR, Lufthansa Test Self-Boarding Biometric E-Gate

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is piloting a biometric self-boarding e-gate at Gate 62 of Terminal B until August 31. EASIER and Idemia manufactured the hardware and software, respectively, and Lufthansa has integrated the e-gate into its departure control system. The biometric system works in tandem with US Customs and Border Protection to cross-reference a passenger’s image taken before boarding with images in its existing database. It is hoped the pilot will save time  – the speed of boarding with biometrics will be measured by passengers per minute – and limit contact between passengers and staff. 

PANYNJ | Related United’s CEO Wants Curbs at Newark Airport to Help Manage Congestion – Skift





Rolling across taxiway Sierra Charlie at ATL. Captured by @thompatterson.

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

> Tweet of the Day

The @theAPEXassoc supports @USDHS extension of the US #airline #MaskMandate to January in order to maximize passenger safety from new #COVID19 variants. For flight attendant safety during this extension, we encourage our #airlines to bolster zero-tolerance protective policies.

Dr. Joe Leader @joepleader


Association News

Catch up with FlightPlan III: C-Suite Week On Demand!

You can catch up on FlightPlan III: C-Suite Week, co-developed by Inmarsat Aviation and APEX, on the FlightPlan website. Viewers can choose to watch BBC Presenter Aaron Heslehurst interview industry leaders including IATA's Willie Walsh, AirAsia's Tony Fernandes, Qatar Airways' Akbar Al Baker, TAP Air Portugal's Christine Ourmières-Widener and United Airlines' Scott Kirby. View the sessions on demand.


> Quote of the Day

“We believe that President Biden and the Administration will begin their policy of opening the doors of America to vaccinated European travelers.”

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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