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August 30, 2021

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EU to Ban Non-Essential Travel to US Again?

A diplomatic source has revealed that the European Union will likely recommend that member states reinstate COVID-19-related travel restrictions and halt non-essential travel from the US, as well as Kosovo, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia, today. The move would bring back procedures including quarantine and testing for unvaccinated travelers entering Europe from those countries. The European Council recommended that member states lift restrictions on non-essential travel from the US in June, but since then COVID-19 rates have increased due to the spread of the Delta variant.

CNN | Related Europeans Have Been Banned From Entering the US for 525 Days Now – Schengen Visa Info

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Connect Airlines’ DOT Filing Shows Updated Launch Plans

An updated Department of Transportation (DOT) filing by Connect Airlines details plans to negotiate a “definitive codeshare agreement” with American Airlines before it begins operations in early October. The two parties signed an interline agreement in March 2021, but Connect believes a codeshare agreement will increase its yield and load factors. The filing also confirmed that Connect will operate two Dash 8-400 aircraft equipped with 74 economy-class seats, four less than in their previous life at Flybe. The filing suggests that domestic US routes will be offered as well as flights between the US and Canada. 

PaxEx.aero | Related American Airlines Eyes Codeshare With Toronto Startup Connect Airlines – Airline Geeks

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BA Plans LCC Subsidiary for Operations at LGW

British Airways (BA) is consulting with its trade unions regarding the setup of a low-cost subsidiary that conducts short-haul European and domestic flights to and from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and can better compete with the likes of Ryanair and easyJet. The low-cost carrier will use the same BA staff, aircraft and slots that it did in March 2020, but as part of a separate airline. It will likely begin operations in March 2022. British Airways has 1,881 short-haul flights scheduled from LGW and, according to Cirium, is scheduled to be the second-largest airline there behind easyJet in July 2022, the peak summer travel period. 

The Independent | Related British Airways Faces Serious Increases In Costs As Furloughs End – Simple Flying

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Connected Aircraft Could Double by 2030, Says Euroconsult

The ninth edition of Euroconsult’s “Prospects for In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity” report, which includes analysis of regional aircraft, turboprops and mobile-satellite service solutions for the first time, predicted that “the total number of connected aircraft will reach between 16,000 and 20,000 by the end of this decade.” It stated, “Around 9,000 aircraft across 115 airlines are currently equipped with in-flight connectivity terminals, a reduction of 2.5% compared to the previous year. Over 80% of these aircraft were connected through satellite connectivity, with the remainder connected through air-to-ground.” 

Runway Girl Network | Related The future of IFEC post-COVID-19: Systems, commercialisation and content – Future Travel Experience

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Virgin Australia, GOL to make COVID-19 Vaccines Mandatory

Virgin Australia has said it expects all frontline crew members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-November. The carrier will give office-based workers that require vaccination until the end of March 2022. It described the jab as the “only solution” that can lift Australia out of the pandemic. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. GOL has also set November as the mandatory deadline for its staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming the first Brazilian airline to introduce such a requirement. The airline confirmed that 80% of staff have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

news.com.au | Related Brazilian airline Gol will require employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – Merco Press

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Plaza Premium to Open Second Brazil Lounge

In September, Plaza Premium will open a new lounge in the domestic departures area of Guarulhos International Airport’s Terminal 2 in Brazil. With a design influenced by Brazilian culture, it will accommodate up to 355 passengers across 1,530 square-meters and offer amenities including private meeting rooms and showers. Under Plaza Premium Lounge’s “We Care For Your Wellbeing” program, it will be split into different zones to facilitate privacy and social distancing. Plaza Premium also operates a lounge at Rio de Janeiro International Airport and is actively looking to expand its footprint in South America. 

The Design Air | Related Plaza Premium opens “land-to-air premium airport experience” at new Qingdao airport – Business Traveller

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Helsinki Airport to Open Terminal 2 Travel Center in December

Helsinki Airport operator Finavia has announced that the facility’s new Terminal 2 entrance, arrivals hall and travel center, which are part of a major redevelopment program, will be complete on December 1. The travel center will create a space where transport networks including trains, cars, aircraft and buses all come together. “It is important ... that passengers can use the new travel centre to continue their journey using both local and long-distance buses, trains, taxis or private cars, not forgetting bicycles,” said Henri Hansson, Finavia’s Technical Director. The inspiration for the architecture will come from Finnish nature. 

Future Travel Experience | Related Number of Passengers at Finnish Airports Still Far Below 2019 Figures, Official Statistics Reveal – Schengen Visa Info

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

Pushing out from the maintenance ramp to get back in the air. Captured by @thekiahspotter.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Weeks ago, I said on behalf of ⁦@theAPEXassoc that the US continuing to ban vaccinated Europeans would have a consequence. President Biden ⁦@POTUS, #LiftTheTravelBan now and tear down the wall that has divided us from our European allies!

Dr. Joe Leader @joepleader

 
 
 

Association News

Register for APEX EXPO Today!

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 from October 19-21 at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. Find out more about what to expect and register now.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

“Mr. President, America's continued blockade of Europeans has separated families, friends, colleagues, and our world for far too long.”

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA
Read the article

 
 

Until tomorrow

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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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