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August 26, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Qantas Reveals Plans for International Travel Restart

Based on the projection that Australia will reach the National Cabinet’s “Phase C” vaccination threshold of 80% in December, triggering the reopening of international borders, Qantas has outlined its international restart process from then. The group’s initial focus will be on destinations with high vaccination rates, such as Japan, North America, Singapore and the UK. Qantas has predicted it will re-enter five Airbus A380s back into service from mid-2022 to cater to its  LA and London routes, which it believes will see high demand. A total of 10 A380s with upgraded cabins will be reactivated, while two will be retired.

Qantas | Related Qantas offers Australians incentives to get vaccinated – Business Traveller



PAC Hiring, Not Firing Despite Contradictory News Coverage

Following the inclusion of an article in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter that said Panasonic Avionics (PAC) is to lay off 13% of its Lake Forest workforce, APEX Media has spoken with the company to clarify the details. Brian Bardwell, PAC’s Senior Manager, Global Brand and Corporate Communications, said the layoffs refer to 2020 workforce reductions. However, when PAC joined the US Payroll Support Program, it offered affected employees the chance to rejoin the company. As such, the 221 staff that accepted the offer will receive their full salary and benefits until September 30 when the program concludes. 

APEX Media | Related Panasonic Avionics Names Singapore Airlines as Launch Customer for Its Marketplace Platform – Panasonic Avionics



Unvaccinated Delta Employees to Face $200 Surcharge

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has sent a memo to employees informing them that those enrolled in Delta’s healthcare plan who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 will be subject to a $200 monthly surcharge from November 1. “The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” the memo reads. Furthermore, from September 30, the carrier’s COVID-19 pay protection will be provided only to fully vaccinated individuals. Currently, 75% of Delta’s workforce is vaccinated. 




London Gatwick Details Plans to Operate Second Runway

London Gatwick Airport is to begin a 12-week public consultation on September 9 to discuss the routine use of its northern runway alongside its main runway. Proposed plans to enable dual runway operations involve repositioning the center-line of the northern runway 12 meters further North. The airport said that by 2038, a second runway would increase passenger capacity to 75 million each year, create 18,400 jobs and generate an estimated $2 billion for the local region, as well as reduce delays and congestion. The public consultation will allow any interested parties to review and comment on London Gatwick's proposal.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Gatwick second runway would require capacity restrictions at other airports – New Civil Engineer



Air Canada, SWISS Make COVID-19 Vaccines Mandatory

Air Canada is giving employees until October 30 to provide proof of vaccination, and has said that while some exemptions will be accepted, regular testing “will not be offered as an alternative.” Consequences for staff that do not comply “will include unpaid leave or termination.” Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is also making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for flying personnel from November 15. “We must initiate this action now if we are to continue to maintain our global route network and fulfill our care obligations towards our employees,” said SWISS CEO, Dieter Vranckx.

The Hill | Related SWISS introduces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for crews – Aviation 24



Bluebox Makes Management Changes to Accommodate Growth

Wireless in-flight entertainment provider Bluebox Aviation Systems (Bluebox) has bolstered its management team to support future growth. Paul Rayson, who is currently a board member, will assume the role of Business Development Director in October when David Brown, who is currently in the role, retires. Rayson will also establish a new Account Management function to onboard and support customers through their ongoing platform developments. Mark Stevens has been promoted to head of Sales, and will develop a global sales team in the coming years to meet anticipated demand.

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



AirAsia Launches AirAsia Ride E-Hailing Service

Users of AirAsia’s Super App can now access the AirAsia Ride e-hailing service launched in Kuala Lumpur this week. Lim Chiew Shan, CEO at AirAsia Ride Malaysia, said the platform can “leverage on AirAsia Group’s rich and vast data and algorithm to provide a seamless and connected journey experience for our passengers, where they will be able to perform in-path booking for both their flights and pre-book their ride to the airport and even for their return journey at the same time, all within the convenience of one single itinerary and without having to leave the AirAsia Super App.”

AirAsia | Related FlightPlan III: Super-app is a Natural Extension for AirAsia, Says Tony Fernandes – APEX Media





An Air New Zealand 777-200ER vacates Runway 05R at Auckland Airport. Captured by @nickyoungphotos.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Take a peek inside the construction site on the east side of Concourse C, which is part of the Gate Expansion Program. The new structure will be approximately 530,000 sq. ft. aka the size of 9 football fields! Passengers can enjoy this space next year.

Denver Int'l Airport @DENAirport


Association News

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

“We’re following the strictest protocols of our airlines or our movie studios – those that have been through the worst parts of the pandemic.”

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA
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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