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September 8, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Biden nominates airline and air-taxi executive as FAA administrator

US President Joe Biden plans to nominate Michael Whitaker, currently the Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor’s air taxi development subsidiary Supernal, to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Whitaker brings decades of airline experience, having served as the FAA deputy administrator from 2013 to 2016 and held executive positions at United Airlines. If confirmed by the US Senate, Whitaker will fill the role left vacant since former FAA administrator Steve Dickson's departure in 2022. Whitaker's challenges include addressing staff shortages in air traffic control towers, improving safety, and regulating air taxis.

Flight Global | Related

Michael Whitaker: Who Is Biden’s New FAA Administer Nominee? - Simple Flying



Tom Brady joins Delta Air Lines as strategic adviser

Delta Air Lines has partnered with Super Bowl champion Tom Brady as a long-term strategic adviser, uniting Brady's expertise in performance and perseverance with Delta’s "Keep Climbing" philosophy. Brady will advise Delta on strategic training for its 90,000+ employees, support Delta’s marketing and customer engagement, and assist in community initiatives. Reflecting on his personal experiences flying Delta during his sports career, Brady will work on onboarding and cultural integration in his first year, and appear in Delta CEO Ed Bastian's "Gaining Altitude" series. This collaboration emphasizes shared values of perseverance and excellence.

Delta Newsroom | Related

Tom Brady has a new job – at an airline - CNN



UK CAA highlights accessibility issues with airline sites

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has released the Airline Digital Accessibility Report which evaluated the websites of 11 major UK airlines for accessibility. The websites were scored based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 AA) and feedback from a focus group with accessibility needs. The report found that while airlines are prioritising website accessibility, there's much room for improvement. British Airways ranked highest in accessibility, while Jet 2, Ryanair, and TUI scored lowest. The findings will inform the proposed Airline Accessibility Framework, aiming to improve the full customer journey for those with accessibility needs.

Runway Girl | Related UK regulator considers rating airlines on their support for PRMs - Runway Girl



Heathrow, airlines dealt setback as CAA maintains price cap

The UK's competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has provisionally upheld the pricing decisions made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for London Heathrow Airport and its major airline customers. British Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways appealed the original decision saying it underestimated passenger numbers, while Heathrow's appeal was that the fees were too low. However, the CMA will allow Heathrow, the airlines, and the CAA to respond to its findings, with a final decision expected on October 17. This decision affects the fees airlines will pay, with the average maximum price per passenger set to decrease from £30.19 today to £25.28 in 2026.

Gulf News | Related

Competition regulator mostly backs lower airline price caps at Heathrow - Share Cast



Air Europa to power Havana flights with SAF

Spanish carrier Air Europa has partnered with Spanish energy company Cepsa to operate long-haul flights between Madrid and Havana using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), marking a first for Spain. Cepsa will provide 14.4 tons of SAF to Air Europa for one year, resulting in approximately 50 tons of CO2 emissions saved, aligning with the EU's "ReFuelEU Aviation" initiative. The flights will contain 2% SAF, and serve as a test to meet EU sustainability objectives. Cepsa says it is investing in second-generation biofuel production to support sustainability in aviation.

Simple Flying | Related Cespa to provide SAF to Air Europa - Airways



Liquid hydrogen plane makes first piloted flight in 'watershed moment'

A significant milestone in sustainable aviation has been achieved as a plane fueled by liquid hydrogen, known as HY4, completed its first piloted flight. The German-operated aircraft, part of a partnership between H2Fly and French company Air Liquide, conducted four low-altitude test flights in Slovenia. H2Fly believes the four-seater plane could cover approximately 1,500 kilometers, equivalent to a short-haul flight from London to Rome. Hydrogen offers the advantage of producing only water vapor when burned, making it an environmentally friendly fuel option. Although challenges like hydrogen storage volume and cost remain, the aviation industry is exploring it as a means to reduce carbon emissions alongside synthetic fuels and battery-powered aircraft.

The National | Related

Hydrogen-powered plane that could fly as far as London to Rome completes test flight - Daily Telegraph



Vox Media and Spafax Bring “The Dodo” Animal Content to Inflight Segment

Spafax has joined forces with Vox Media's  animal content brand, 'The Dodo', to bring animal themed content onto IFE screens.  Spafax says that this partnership provides a solution for passengers seeking the calming influence of animals during flights, as airlines tighten regulations regarding emotional support animals. Passengers can access The Dodo's animal and pet content, including short features from popular categories like Best Animal Friends and Odd Couples, as well as longer, 20-minute videos. More than six billion viewers watch The Dodo videos each month, and the brand boasts 104 million social media followers worldwide.

Spafax | Related

Spafax Partners with Mattel to Create Barbie IFE Channel - APEX Media




Today’s picture was taken at LAX, featuring @americanair.  Courtesy of @aviate_ty Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!

> Tweet of the Day

One of the world's largest airline groups, @IAGAeroGroup will be represented at APEX/ @IFSAOnBoard #GlobalEXPO, happening in just two weeks, in Long Beach, California. Register now for Global EXPO: http://bit.ly/3JWYqf5 #PaxEx #Aviation



Association News

APEX/IFSA Global EXPO - Register now!

APEX/IFSA Global EXPO, co-located with FTE Global, is where the largest gathering of airline executives from around the world come together to network, forge new partnerships, share unique insights, collaborate and meet with the top exhibitors demonstrating the latest innovation and technology. Join us in Los Angeles for the most comprehensive end-to-end airline passenger experience marketplace in the industry from 19-21 September. Click here for more details.


> Quote of the Day

“Bringing a leader like Tom onto the Delta team furthers our mission to connect the world while accelerating our drive to continuously improve for our colleagues, customers and communities.”

Delta Air Lines CEO, Ed Bastian
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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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