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November 8, 2021

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Today's Top Stories
 

 
 
 

Viasat to Purchase Inmarsat in Landmark Deal

Viasat is set to acquire Inmarsat under a $7.3 billion agreement which comprises $850 million in cash; approximately 46.36 million shares of Viasat’s common stock, valued at $3.1 billion; and the assumption of $3.4 billion of net debt. The move will see the integration of the spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of both companies into a global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network for the commercial and government sectors. “This strategic move gives Viasat the scale to increase the pace of innovation that drives new and better services for our customers,” said Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s president and CEO.

Viasat | Related What Viasat’s Inmarsat Acquisition Means for IFC – Simple Flying

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Qatar Airways to Reintroduce A380s After A350 Groundings

Following the grounding of 19 of its A350 aircraft, Qatar Airways will operate an Airbus A380 for the first time in over 18 months. The Qatar Civil Aviation Authority mandated the groundings due to an accelerated surface degradation of the aircraft below the paint. Qatar Airways could temporarily bring back five A380s to support fleet capacity on key winter routes. It has already reintroduced some A330s in response to easing travel restrictions. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO, said this “does not signify a permanent reintroduction of our A380 fleet, which were grounded in favour of more fuel-efficient, twin-engine aircraft.”

Times Aerospace | Related Qatar Airways expands corporate rewards program – BTN Europe

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Vietjet Alters Delivery Schedule for 119 Aircraft with Airbus

Vietjet has signed an agreement with Airbus regarding the delivery schedule for 119 A321neo aircraft it has on order with the OEM. The jets, which will be used for domestic and regional flights, were ordered pre-COVID-19. Christian Scherer, Airbus’ CCO, said, “It’s another example of how we have worked together with our customers to find solutions to adapt to the impact of the pandemic.” Vietjet also confirmed it will take delivery of three leased A330s this month. Vietnam allowed domestic flights to resume in October and plans to resume international flights with 15 countries from January 2022. 

Reuters | Related AirAsia reaffirms commitment for fleet migration to Airbus A321neo with conversion of remaining A320 orders – AirAsia

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Oman Air Offers Add-On Services at Muscat Airport

Oman Air passengers traveling through Muscat International Airport can now purchase access to the airport’s Primeclass lounge or fast-track passes for security and customs. They can also opt for a Primeclass Meet & Greet package on departure and/or arrival. Offered by TAV Operations Services’ Primeclass brand, packages include dedicated curbside assistance, lounge access, escorted fast track through the airport and a personal porter to assist with bags. Oman Air’s CEO, Abdulaziz Al Raisi, said the add-ons “are a great way for guests to sample different services and discover those that best suit their travel needs.”

Oman Air | Related Accelya transforms new Sindbad loyalty program for Oman Air – Travel Daily News

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Sydney Airport Bought Out for $17.5 Billion

Sydney Airport announced today it has accepted a $17.5 billion takeover bid from a consortium of infrastructure investors. Sydney Aviation Alliance offered approximately $6.50 per share in September, 6% higher than its first approach at around $6.12. The deal is conditional and needs approval from 75% of the airport operator's shareholders, as well as the green light from competition regulators and Foreign Investment Review Board. The agreement includes a $111-million break-free payable if the deal is terminated by either party.

Reuters | Related Related: Tears, hugs and laughter at Sydney airport as Australia reopens border – Sky News

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Air France’s New Menus Developed by Michelin-Starred Chefs

Air France is teaming up with French Michelin-starred chefs Regis Marcon and Mathieu Viannay on its long-haul La Premiere and business-class menus until February 2022. On flights departing from Paris, passengers will enjoy seasonal menu items with vegetarian, meat, poultry and fish options. Chef Macron has created six dishes for the La Premiere cabin, including a confit pigeon with apricot sauce, lemon bulgur, mushrooms and butternut. Meanwhile, Chef Viannay has thought up eight dishes for business-class passengers, such as a roasted guinea fowl in coffee with celery confit and stewed autumn vegetables.  

Air France | Related Virgin Australia trials toasted sandwiches for economy meals – Executive Traveller

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URW Enters Strategic Alliances with, Takes Minority Stake in Servy

Unibail‐Rodamco‐Westfield (URW), which manages airport commercial programs, has taken an undisclosed minority stake in self-service hospitality platform Servy as part of a strategic alliance between the two companies. The alliance will focus on the expansion of Servy’s Grab Airport Marketplace, which launched in 2015 as a mobile ordering app and is now available at over 80 airports. URW initially partnered with Servy last year to develop contactless digital order and fulfilment experiences at select airports in the URW portfolio, allowing users to make purchases from their mobile devices without downloading an app. 

Moodie Davitt Report | Related Grab rebrands as Servy to reflect company’s expanded portfolio – DFNI Online

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

An ITA A320 at Morrinho GRU Airport in Guarulhos. Captured by @dc10spotter.

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

> Tweet of the Day

Did you know...BA001 earlier became our first flight to depart for the US and is powered by a 35% blend of sustainable aviation fuel made from used cooking oil?

British Airways @British_Airways

 
 
 

Association News

[VIDEO] Join United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby at APEX/IFSA EXPO

Scott Kirby, United Airlines' CEO, will take center stage during the Thought Leadership Conference at APEX/IFSA EXPO on November 30. He will share insights on improving the customer experience, making meaningful commitments to sustainability and innovating for the future. Kirby will also chair the APEX/IFSA Board of Governors meeting at the event, which will take place on the onstage for the first time. Watch Scott's video on why you should attend this year's APEX/IFSA EXPO.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

"In each episode, we bring together insights from these colliding industries, featuring guests from Spafax and its partners."

Jessica Sammut, Spafax
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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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