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September 29, 2021



Today's Top Stories


SmartSky Wins Legal Case Against Former Vendor WSS

SmartSky Networks has been awarded over $12 million in damages, legal expenses and sanctions following a legal battle against Wireless Systems Solutions (WSS), a former vendor. SmartSky won 14 claims, and a panel of three arbitrators issued a permanent injunction against WSS, its companion companies DAG Wireless and DAG Wireless USA, and three individuals. All counterclaims against SmartSky were dismissed. David Helfgott, SmartSky Networks’ CEO, said, “SmartSky is very pleased with the outcome … this process has made us a stronger, more cohesive team.”

SmartSky Networks | Related SmartSky triumphs over Gogo in patent challenge – PaxEx.aero



600 Unvaccinated United Airlines Staff Face Redundancy

The deadline for United Airlines employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination has passed, leaving approximately 600 of its 67,000 staff facing termination. Those in question have refused the vaccine, but have not applied for an exemption on religious or medical grounds. United will follow the rules outlined in union agreements for dismissals. 2,000 employees have requested an exemption, and while United previously said it would put them on temporary, unpaid leave from October, the carrier paused those plans when six workers filed a lawsuit challenging the policy.

BBC News | Related United fined $1.9 million for long tarmac delays – Business Traveller



Air France Takes Delivery of First Airbus A220-300

Air France has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220-300, which is equipped with 148 seats in a 3-2 configuration across business and economy class. Each seat reclines to 118 degrees and features leather upholstery, an adjustable headrest and an ergonomic seat cushion. The backrest incorporates a tray table, cup holder, storage pouch, individual USB A and USB C ports and tablet or smartphone holder. The color palette is a mix of blues and white with a hint of red. The cabin carpet is decorated with an ornamental herringbone pattern to symbolize Haussmann-inspired Parisian apartments. 

The Design Air | Related Intelsat to Provide Inflight Connectivity on Air France’s A220 Fleet – Intelsat



FAA to Save Fuel Using NASA Software at 27 US Airports

To save fuel, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to roll out NASA’s Advanced Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) software, which was developed for spacecraft launches. The predictive solution integrates ongoing flight arrivals, airline departure plans and the real-time situation in the skies, enabling aircraft to depart the gate later and move directly from the tarmac to the runway. Trials at Charlotte Douglas International Airport showed the reduction in taxi times could save 275,000 gallons of fuel and 916 hours of delays per year. ATD-2 will be introduced at 27 US airports in the next 10 years. 

Travel Weekly | Related FAA Awards $100M to Develop Next Generation of Sustainable Aircraft Technology – FAA



Saudia Celebrates Becoming World’s Most Improved Airline, Twice

Saudia, which recently received a Diamond-level certification as part of the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying program and was crowned a Five Star Global airline by APEX for 2021, has become SkyTrax's World's Most Improved Airline for the second time. “The SkyTrax award is a vote of confidence from passengers in the travelling public, but we’re also proud of our health safety certification, because that’s a vote of confidence from the industry as well,” explained Captain Ibrahim Alkoshy, Saudia’s CEO. “We’ve even had a vote of confidence from the financial sector ... so we can expand our fleet.” 

SimpliFlying | Related How SimpliFlying Helped to Launch Flyadeal, Saudi Arabia’s Digital-First LCC – SimpliFlying



Emirates Trials New In-Flight Coffee Options

Emirates is testing two new espresso-based drinks, an iced americano and iced affogato, in first class and at the A380 Onboard Lounge in business class until October 20. The iced americano, consisting of ice, chilled water and long espresso, will come in a standard glass; while the affogato, made up of vanilla ice cream, espresso and some decorative coffee beans, will be served in a martini glass. The items won’t be available as part of Emirates’ official menus, but crew will communicate their availability to the relevant passengers. 

One Mile at a Time | Related Emirates introduces Bavarian specialties on flights to Germany – Emirates



AirPortr, Swissport Partner on Off-Airport Baggage Processing

AirPortr and Swissport have created an off-airport baggage processing solution. To use it, passengers must pre-book an at-home baggage collection prior to their departure for the airport, wherein a courier will collect their bags and digitally verify their ID and travel documents. This allows travelers to proceed directly to security on arrival at the airport. The bags are also cleared through airport customs and delivered to their destination on landing. According to data from AirPortr, 66% of customers using the service have switched to public transport instead of using their cars to get to the airport.

Airport Technology | Related Southwest, GTAA, Air Canada & Avinor drive baggage transformation during first FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group meetings – Future Travel Experience





Winglet and the moon. Captured by @lgw.luke.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Meet the newest magical livery in our fleet! This Boeing 737-700 aircraft is a high-flying tribute to 50 years of both Southwest and @WaltDisneyWorld Resort connecting People to the magic and moments that matter most.

Southwest Airlines @SouthwestAir


Association News

Are You Attending FTE Global?

The 15th anniversary edition of FTE Global will take place from December 7-9 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to address the theme "New Approaches to a New World." Attendees will have access to four conference tracks featuring inspirational speakers from inside and outside the industry, a major exhibition and unique  networking events, including an exclusive screening of Top Gun: Maverick. Early bird rates expire on October 8.


> Quote of the Day

“We are excited to host the first in-person aviation event of the year that will allow APEX and IFSA members to come back together.”

Lauren Costello, IFSA/APEX
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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