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August 23, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Biden Activates Civil Reserve Air Fleet

The Biden Administration has activated US commercial airlines to assist with the evacuation of US citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and vulnerable individuals from Afghanistan. The Civil Reserve Air Fleet will conduct 18 flights in total. Four will be carried out by United; three each will be operated by American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air; and two will be flown by Hawaiian Airlines. The Pentagon said the carriers won’t fly into Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, and will instead transport evacuees from a designated safe point to US military bases and other staging points.

Travelpulse | Related NATO ministers float Kabul extension for Afghanistan evacuations – POLITICO



Qantas Begins Vaccination Reward Campaign

From tomorrow, vaccinated members of Qantas’ frequent flyer program can claim a reward through the Qantas app including 1000 Qantas points, 15 status credits or an AUD$20 flight discount with Qantas or Jetstar. By doing so, they will be entered into a mega prize draw to win a year’s worth of flights, accommodation and fuel. A winner will be selected from each state and territory, and two will be chosen as part of a national TV campaign. Qantas Group’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said, “We want to recognize those who have made the effort to protect themselves and the community.”

Qantas | Related Tones And I’s ‘Fly Away’ soundtracks Qantas’ new ad encouraging vaccination – NME



OneWeb Launches 34 More Satellites

OneWeb has successfully launched another 34 low-Earth orbit satellites, which brings its in-orbit constellation to 288 out of a total 648. Lift-off occurred on August 21 and after the satellites separated from the rocket, they were dispensed in nine batches over a period of three hours and 45 minutes. Neil Masterson, OneWeb's CEO, commented, “Following the successful completion of our "Five to 50" mission, we are building on our success and embarking on an ambitious back-to-back launch program until the end of 2021.” OneWeb remains on track to deliver global service in 2022.

OneWeb | Related Korean Company Hanwha Invests $300M into OneWeb – Via Satellite



TU Delft Student Investigates Optimum Aircraft Seat Dimensions

As part of her doctoral dissertation, TU Delft student Shabila Anjani conducted an in-depth study of the impact of seat pitch and width on passenger comfort. The data, collected from over 300 voluntary participants, found that increasing the seat width by one inch from 17- to 18-inches can have a more positive impact than increasing seat pitch. The study concluded that a one-inch increase in seat width for a seat with a 30-inch pitch would result in a similar improvement in passenger comfort to offering a 17-inch wide seat with a pitch of 34-inches. Anjani’s findings support similar studies conducted in 2020. 

Runway Girl Network | Related The FAA was told to set plane-seat standards. That was nearly 2 years ago – Travel Weekly



EU System Integrates COVID Passes from Three Neighbor Countries

The EU has connected the COVID certificates issued by North Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine to its system, which means their passes will be accepted under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Travelers from the EU to the aforementioned three destinations can use their EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) to enter. "The list of countries implementing a system based on the EU DCC is growing steadily and we are setting standards internationally," said Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice. The EU already has an equivalence agreement with Switzerland.

Euro News | Related The EU vaccine 'passport' and what it means for travel – BBC News



BA to Introduce Monthly “Best of British” Menus

In September, British Airways (BA) will launch its monthly “Best of British” menu for first class and Club World passengers with a traditional roast dinner consisting of 21-day aged British beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables, horseradish cream and gravy. September’s theme for dessert is “All Things Botanical,” and will see passengers served an elderflower and white chocolate dessert with compressed apple and elderflower sorbet. Other classic dishes on the menu will include chicken pie with mash, pork pie with piccalilli, shepherd’s pie and sausages and mash. 

British Airways | Related British Airways Ups Its Game For Short-Haul Catering – Simple Flying



EasyJet Appoints New Chairman

Stephen Hester, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland, will become chairman of easyJet on December 1 after joining the carrier’s board as non-executive director next month. Hester succeeds John Barton, who has been in the role for almost nine years. Barton said Hester’s “significant and varied experience leading major international businesses in regulated industries, coupled with his outstanding strategic thinking, will serve the airline well as it leads the recovery in the post-pandemic era.” Hester describes himself as a “longstanding admirer” and customer of easyJet. 

The Guardian | Related EasyJet to use Bristol Airport as testbed for sustainability trials – Business Live





A United Boeing 767 in Honolulu. Captured by @jebbrooksflies.

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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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