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November 5, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Wright Launches Wright Spirit Zero-Emissions Regional Airliner

In conjunction with COP26, Wright Electric (Wright) has launched a zero-emissions aircraft, Wright Spirit, for the commercial aviation market. The four-engine, 100-seat airliner builds on the Bae 146 platform and uses Wright’s megawatt-class electric propulsion system. It will operate one-hour flights between the world’s busiest city pairs, making “a significant impact on global emissions by targeting this high-demand market segment,” said Jeff Engler, Wright Electric’s CEO. The development program will begin flight tests with one all-electric propulsor in 2023 ahead of the introduction of the full-electric aircraft by 2026.

Business Wire | Related Harbour Air's electric conversion program gets jolt from new funding – Castanet



AA Extends Vaccine Mandate Deadline for Staff

Hours after the US government delayed the vaccine mandate deadline for federal contractors until January 4, American Airlines (AA) followed suit. AA employees had been told they would need to receive the second jab for a two-dose vaccine by November 24 to meet an initial December 8 cutoff. The carrier will also extend its offer of an extra vacation day and $50 worth of company incentives until January. Before the extension, AA’s union wrote to Biden warning a November deadline could cause labor shortages and flight disruptions, and advocated for a regular testing alternative.

CNBC | Related American Airlines employees protest vaccine mandate outside company headquarters – Spectrum Local News



Settlement Reached in Boeing 737 MAX Safety Lawsuit, Sources Say

According to those familiar with the matter, Boeing’s investors have reached an agreement with current and former company officers to settle a lawsuit regarding the safety oversight of the 737 MAX. The settlement agreement is expected to be filed in Delaware Chancery Court and is subject to approval by a judge. Sources say it will likely include provisions to increase internal safety oversight, and that the monetary portion of the agreement is around $250 million. Boeing attempted to dismiss the complaint earlier this year, claiming its board had engaged in “robust and well-established” oversight of the 737 MAX’s development.

Reuters | Related Boeing directors to face investor lawsuit over 737 Max fatal crashes – The Guardian



SmartSky Selects CommAgility Software for its ATG Network

SmartSky Networks (SmartSky) has chosen CommAgility’s telecommunications systems software as a key component of its next-generation air-to-ground (ATG) network. The company has provided SmartSky with a full protocol stack and physical layer (PHY) for its Aircraft Base Radio, which connects to a ground base station and provides in-flight connectivity, and has customized its MobilePHY-TI and MobileSTACK software to meet SmartSky’s needs. “We’re combining the best telecoms technologies to deliver the optimal airborne communications network,” said David Claassen, SmartSky’s CTO.

SmartSky Networks | Related SmartSky wins millions from, injunction against WSS – PaxEx.aero



US Court Approves Avianca’s Reorganization Plan

On November 2, the Southern District Court of New York approved Colombia-based Avianca’s restructuring plans. As the second-largest airline in South America prior to COVID-19, the carrier plans to move to a low-cost business model while remaining a Star Alliance member and maintaining its premium lounges. Avianca will do so by increasing seating density by 20% and selling tickets through a selection of bundles to give passengers greater flexibility. By the end of 2025, the company plans to be flying 130 aircraft on over 200 routes. US operations have already resumed.

Travel Weekly | Related Avianca signs agreement with Easyfly and says farewell to its ATR fleet – Aviacionline



TAV OS Opens Two Primeclass Lounges at Bermuda Airport

TAV Operation Services (OS) has opened two Primeclass lounges at Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport as part of a joint venture with Graycliff Divans Bermuda. They are located in the US departures lounge and international departures lounge, with capacities of 66 and 89 people, respectively. Both feature a concierge reception desk, open lobby area, Bacardi-inspired bars, meeting areas and showers. Designed by Vancouver-based Smart Design Group, the spaces use soft pastels and neutral colours, and reflect Bermuda’s architecture with lime-washed teak floors and black and white marble accents. 

Bermuda Airport | Related TAV Operation Services partners with airport lounge app start-up – Moodie Davitt Report



EasyJet Launches Standalone Large Cabin Bag Option

EasyJet has introduced a new option that allows passengers to add a large cabin bag to their flight booking from approximately $8. The option was previously only available to passengers that booked Up Front and Extra Legroom seats, as well as for easyJet Plus cardholders and FLEXI fare customers. Travelers can add the option on easyJet’s app as of today and on the easyJet website in the coming weeks. The airline will no longer offer its "Hands Free" service to streamline its baggage services.  

WebWire | Related Opinion: Evacuation testing must reflect passengers taking bags – Runway Girl Network





A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330 in close-up. Captured by @planespotter_kq.

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Association News

Job Vacancy: Spafax is Looking for an SVP Technical Services at The Hub

Spafax is recruiting for an SVP Technical Services based at The Hub, its content post-production facility in California. The SVP Technical Services will be required to lead the management team, people and performance at The Hub. The role includes managing the facility's profitability and processes, liaising with clients and developing The Hub's business to serve more content companies and airlines. The candidate will also help to lead the implementation of two major transformation projects and any future technical innovations. To apply, please send your resume to this address.


> Quote of the Day

"It really began in 2017 ... and has since grown into a global network of creative studios targeting the international traveler."

Jessica Sammut, Spafax
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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