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October 27, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Archer’s Midnight eVTOL Prototype Takes Flight

Archer Aviation’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft has completed its maiden uncrewed and tethered flight, marking a significant step after four years of testing. The company aims for FAA certification in 2024, with services projected to start in 2025. Midnight, designed for four passengers, can cover distances up to 100 miles, ideally suited for 20-to-50-mile urban commutes. With speeds up to 150mph, it can transform long commutes into short trips and requires only 12 minutes of charging for consecutive 20-mile journeys. The eVTOL industry has seen over 500 designs since 2011.

Airport Technology | Related Boeing’s Wisk Aero Steps Up LA Presence with Public Air Taxi Demos – FLYING Magazine



Air New Zealand Introduces Premium Check-In Experience

Air New Zealand has opened a brand-new premium check-in space at Auckland Airport, designed to cater to the needs and expectations of premium passengers. The area focuses on swift, seamless services, avoiding redundant processes and long waits. The redesigned space offers improved customer flow, with design elements mimicking natural patterns, and a 12-meter digital display showcasing local art and music. As Air New Zealand anticipates its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2024, the check-in area precedes the elevated cabin experiences to come.

Simple Flying | Related Air New Zealand opens swish Auckland premium check-in zone – Executive Traveller



Finnair To Upgrade Its Embraer Aircraft Cabins For Enhanced Travel Comfort

Finnair plans to refresh the cabins of its Embraer aircraft, integrating design elements from its previously redesigned long-haul cabins. This move, scheduled for 2024-2025, aims to elevate travel comfort and ensure consistency in passenger experience across its fleet. The first revamped aircraft will debut by late 2024. Finnair’s Embraer fleet, operated by Nordic Regional Airlines, consists of 12 100-seat aircraft servicing domestic and European routes. Finnair, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, emphasizes sustainability and aims for carbon neutrality by 2045.

Breaking Travel News | Related Finnair to refurbish short-haul Embraer fleet – Business Traveller



Qantas Project Sunrise A350s Will Have Electric ‘Blackout Windows’

Qantas’ direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York will replace traditional window shades with electronically dimmable windows that can change from clear to black with a button press. These ‘e-windows’, common in Boeing 787s, comprise two glass layers with a transparent electrochromatic gel that responds to electric current. The Airbus A350’s version is more advanced, turning almost completely black, blocking 99.99% of visible light. Additionally, the A350 windows prevent infra-red waves, keeping cabins cooler.

Executive Traveller | Related British Airways completes Heathrow T5B lounge refresh – Business Traveller



Air France’s Paris CDG-New York JFK Services To Take On “Iconic Concorde Flight Numbers”

From 29 October, Air France is changing the flight numbers for its Paris CDG-New York JFK route to AF001 and AF002, formerly assigned to Concorde services until 2003. This change is part of Air France’s 90th anniversary celebrations. British Airways had also used iconic flight numbers BA001 and BA002 for its London City-New York JFK route, cancelled in 2020. Air France announced plans to fly to 167 destinations in 79 countries this winter, including new routes to Raleigh-Durham and Abu Dhabi, with long-haul flights accounting for over half of their destinations.

Business Traveller | Related It is 20 years since the last commercial flight of Concorde – The Register



Frontier Airlines Overhauls Frequent Flyer Program To Reward Travelers Based On Spending

Frontier Airlines is overhauling its frequent flyer program to reward travelers based on spending rather than distance flown. Starting next year, travelers will earn elite status depending on their total spend, including add-on fees, similar to changes made by major airlines like Delta and American Airlines. Frontier’s new model introduces silver elite status at 10,000 miles (equivalent to $1,000 spent), with tiers reaching up to “diamond” level at 100,000 miles. Benefits include fee waivers, free seat assignments, and extra baggage. Frontier’s ancillary revenue recently increased, emphasizing the significance of such changes for budget carriers.

CNBC | Related Frontier Airlines Overhauls Frequent Flyer Program – One Mile at a Time



Charlotte Douglas Airport Unveils Security Checkpoint

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and the TSA have unveiled a new security checkpoint. Located at the west end of the new terminal lobby, Checkpoint 1 boasts eight lanes for traveler screening. This checkpoint is part of a $600m terminal lobby expansion that started in 2019, set for completion by autumn 2025. Checkpoint 1 offers advanced features including Credential Authentication Technology, automated screening lanes, body scanners, and liquid explosive detection systems. It aims to enhance the screening process for the increasing number of travelers at CLT.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Leidos launches software platform to centralize airport security systems – Passenger Terminal Today




Today’s picture comes from @southbay_dan_aviation, featuring a Lufthansa Airbus A380 aircraft.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Loving the work of the @airindia (AI) network planning team ! You are now guaranteed top notch #PaxEx by way of an ex - @Delta #B777-200LR if you fly from #Mumbai - @CSMIA_Official (BOM) to #NewYork JFK and #SanFrancisco; and the ex @etihad #B777-300ER if you fly from BOM to #Newark and on its 1 of two daily #London @HeathrowAirport flights. As is evident from @flightradar24 screenshot, all flights are operating using the new enhanced product already. #AvGeek

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Association News

Call for APEX TECH Panelist & Moderator Nominations

The Technology Committee is seeking speakers and ‎facilitators for the APEX TECH taking place 28-29 February ‎‎2024 in Los Angeles, California, USA.‎ Speaker, panelist, and moderator nominations are being accepted now and will be curated by the ‎Technology Committee. Self-nominations are also welcome.‎ The deadline for nominations is Wednesday 1 November 2023.‎ Click here to learn more and submit your nomination.


Register for FTE APEX Asia Expo – Preparing for Tomorrow’s World

FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore, is the largest free-to-attend passenger experience and business performance expo for the air transport industry. It will provide a unique platform for the industry's most innovative suppliers from across Asia and further afield to come together to showcase their latest products, services and solutions designed to help airlines improve end-to-end customer experiences, reduce costs, increase revenues, and enhance sustainability and operational efficiency. The networking and business development opportunities are immense, and our AI matchmaking app, powered by Swapcard, provides incredible access to the most progressive companies in the industry, with whom you can connect to help redefine your organization’s passenger experience and business performance strategies. Learn more and register.


> Quote of the Day

“This next phase of Archer’s flight test programme is only possible because of the four years of flight testing we’ve done. Midnight is building on the successes of its predecessor aircraft and represents another significant step forward in Archer’s path to commercialisation.”

Archer’s founder & CEO Adam Goldstein
Read the article


The next newsletter will be out on Monday.



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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