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August 27, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Panasonic Avionics’ XTS Service Reaches Speeds of 200 Mbps

A recent China Eastern Airlines flight saw passengers using the in-flight Wi-Fi, powered by Panasonic Avionics’ Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service on APT Mobile SatCom’s APStar 6D communications satellite, reach peak speeds of up to 200 Mbps, a milestone for in-flight connectivity (IFC) over China. Average speeds of 100 Mbps were recorded with no changes to the existing IFC hardware having been made. Ron Ho, VP and general manager, Asia Pacific at Panasonic Avionics, explained, “All aircraft equipped by Panasonic for connectivity will automatically utilize APStar 6D as they transit through the region.”

Panasonic Avionics | Related Panasonic Avionics is Hiring, Not Firing Despite Contradictory News Coverage – APEX Media



Virgin Australia Leases Nine Boeing 737-800 NGs

Virgin Australia is leasing an additional nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft in anticipation of an uptick in domestic travel demand during the upcoming summer season. Deliveries will begin in October, and the carrier is aiming to have all nine aircraft in the air by mid-February 2022. Virgin Australia’s CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, said, “With this extra fleet capacity, we will be well positioned to reach our target share of 33% of the domestic market, and service the destinations that our customers want with the frequency they expect.” Including the new aircraft, the carrier’s fleet will total 77 jets: 75 Boeing 737-800s and two Boeing 737-700s.

Australian Aviation | Related Virgin Australia Group restructures Boeing 737 MAX order – Virgin Australia



Air New Zealand to Phase Out Boeing 777s

Air New Zealand will retire its seven Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to create a homogenous long-haul fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners by 2027. By 2025, the carrier will have replaced two of its 777-300ERs with the first two of eight Boeing 787-10s it has on order. The remaining aircraft will be replaced when further new Dreamliners are delivered. Air New Zealand’s CFO, Richard Thomson, said that the move will bring “significant simplicity benefits in all areas of operations, crewing, engineering and maintenance … to name a few.” Air New Zealand already has 14 Boeing 787-9 jets in its fleet. 

Executive Traveller | Related Air New Zealand posts $289m full year loss, return of long-haul travel 'some time away' – Stuff.co.nz



India Clears Boeing 737 MAX to Take Flight Again

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an order allowing Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fly again following the grounding of the type in 2019. The order read that the DGCA “has been closely monitoring the global trend with regard to un-grounding of Boeing 737-8 and Boeing 737-9 airplanes. Worldwide, 17 regulators have permitted operation[s] … with no untoward reporting,” In April 2021, the DGCA issued an order allowing foreign-registered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fly over India.

Hindustan Times | Related India's SpiceJet expects to restart Boeing MAX service by next month – Reuters



Anuvu Announces Multiple VP Appointments

Anuvu has welcomed a host of VPs to its team. Appointments include Dan Callahan as VP Global Solutions, Commercial, Media & Content. Callahan leads sales operations and will collaborate with the content and media division to develop new services for the in-flight entertainment content market. Marc Rashba has become VP Content Product Strategy, responsible for developing the company’s content products, platforms and services for mobility customers and new markets; and Marianne Styger is now VP Content Curation and Strategy, and will oversee several content teams including planning, programming and scheduling.

Anuvu | Related Anuvu announces high-throughput satellite constellation – Aircraft Interiors International



SIA Launches The Upcycling Project

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) The Upcycling Project will provide Singapore-based organizations and global retail brands with parts and materials from retired aircraft to be repurposed into unique retail products and art. It has organized a competition with the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which will task students with upcycling the parts; and will donate parts to SG Enable so that people with disabilities can fashion them into gifts and products for sale and benefit directly from the proceeds. Yeoh Phee Teik, SIA’s SVP Customer Experience, said, “We are happy to be able to support a wide range of communities through this initiative.”




Plaza Premium Introduces Land-to-Air Experience in Qingdao

Plaza Premium, Qingdao International Airport and Capital Airport VIP Service Management have jointly launched a land-to-air premium airport experience at China’s Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport. A three-storey building in the arrivals area offers 11 VIP rooms on the first floor alongside services such as private check-in, a concierge and a curb-to-apron service. A Plaza Premium Lounge including a massage service and a souvenir shop is on the second floor, and an Aerotel with 54 rooms occupies the third floor. There are also three pay-per-use Plaza Premium Lounge outlets in the departures area.

TTG Asia | Related First Air France Lounge by Plaza Premium Group Opens in Montréal – Aviation Pros





A Qatar Airways A350 lining up for the runway at Zurich Airport. Captured by @diogoovicentee.

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

> Tweet of the Day

First doses up >5 fold today at our on-site vaccine clinic after announcing new requirements for unvaccinated employees. (masking, weekly testing, and $200 monthly surcharge). Thank you to our people, our customers, and our partners @CVSHealth @Delta

Henry Ting, MD MBA @henrytingmd


Association News

FlightPlan III: C-Suite Week Content is Still Available 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 now.


> Quote of the Day

“We’re looking at health safety as the number one thing.”

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA
Read the article


Until next week



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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