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December 8, 2021



Today's Top Stories


Connect Aims to Become First Zero-Emissions US Airline

Connect Airlines is set to become the first US-based zero-emissions airline after signing a Letter of Intent with Universal Hydrogen for new green-energy propulsion. Connect Airlines, a division of Waltzing Matilda Aviation, will begin service in the spring of 2022 and has purchased 24 of Universal Hydrogen’s green hydrogen conversion kits, which are set to be installed by 2025 and which Universal Hydrogen will supply the green hydrogen fuel for. Connect Airlines will launch service using its “GreenJet” Dash 8 turboprop aircraft, reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions by approximately 35% before transitioning to Universal Hydrogen's green technology.  

Business Wire | Related Universal Hydrogen Secures Additional $62 Million in Financing to Accelerate First Test Flight of Hydrogen-Powered Regional Aircraft to 2022 – Business Wire



Newest Delta Sky Club Opens at Detroit Metro Airport

On December 7, Delta opened its newest Sky Club at Detroit Metro Airport. The 4,600-square-foot lounge seats 100 guests and features a bar providing complimentary beverages and upgraded options, including Motor City-made microbrews. Curated art from Michigan-based artists will be featured throughout the space, including works from Kelly Reemtsen, Robert Denton, Rosalind Tallmadge and Rock Therrien. Delta has plans to renovate and refresh several of its clubs throughout 2022 and has club openings planned for Los Angeles International Airport, New York’s LaGuardia Airport and others in the next year.

Delta | Related United confirms that Denver is getting a new, and very unique, lounge – The Points Guy



Spirit Airlines Introduces Self-Bag Drop at DFW

Spirit Airlines has unveiled its automated self-bag drop experience at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the carrier's third location for the technology, which is already operating at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Chicago O’Hare. The system, developed in 2019 in partnership with Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions North America, uses biometric photo-matching and is situated in the redesigned ticket lobby. The technology is designed to limit face-to-face interaction and streamline flight check-ins. Testing data shows the new process reduces time spent at bag check by 30%, with a 70-second processing time per guest.

PR Newswire | Related Vision-Box to present seamless biometric travel technology solutions – Zawaya



Etihad Launches Green Loyalty Program

Etihad has launched a green loyalty program, Conscious Choices, that rewards members for making “green choices." The program offers travelers Tier Miles and additional benefits for traveling with less luggage, offsetting their flight using Etihad Guest Miles and donating miles to a green cause. In partnership with Collinson and CarbonClick, passengers will also have the option to offset their daily emissions, including driving, cooling their home and cooking, with offset options ranging from a month to one year. The program supports Etihad’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and halve 2019 emissions by 2035.

Breaking Travel News | Related Lufthansa to Charge Customers to Flaunt Green Credentials – Bloomberg



777 Partners Orders 30 Boeing 737 MAXs

Private investment firm 777 Partners has purchased 30 737 MAX aircraft, nearly doubling its commercial aircraft portfolio, which will now total 68 of the type. The order is valued at $3.7 billion at list prices and is the fourth placed by 777 Partners for MAX jets this year. Managing partner of 777 partners, Josh Wander, said, “We are especially excited about the 737-8-200 variant, which represents the bulk of our additional orders. We're confident that this aircraft will be the hallmark ULCC/LCC asset, particularly in the sub-200 seat market.”

AIN Online | Related India's Akasa Air orders 72 Boeing 737 MAX jets – Reuters  



FAA Warns Pilots About 5G C-Brand Spectrum

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released formal safety directives for pilots informing them to limit reliance on radio altimeters in certain conditions such as low visibility when flying in areas with 5G C-Band signals. The notice comes as the debate over the adoption of 5G and the potential implications on aviation safety continue. The Federal Communications Commission has found no evidence of C-Band spectrum 5G interfering with aircraft equipment during its study, and 5G service providers have offered a compromise to lower 5G cell-tower power levels, especially near airports, while the FAA studies 5G’s effect on aircraft sensors.  

9to5Mac | Related 5G Aviation Market Could Exceed $4 Billion by 2026, Analysts Forecast – Flying



Alaska Airlines Gets in the Holiday Spirit

Alaska Airlines is bringing the festive cheer with the unveiling of its newest special-edition aircraft featuring Starbucks' red holiday cups. The Boeing 737-900ER made its inaugural flight from Seattle, the coffee brand's hometown, to Chicago earlier this week and will be flying across the Alaska network throughout the holidays. The carrier will offset it's flights through The Good Traveler program, and Starbucks and Alaska will provide 50 flights with reusable holiday cups and treats. On December 17, National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day, any passenger wearing a festive sweater can purchase a day pass to one of nine lounges for $25 and will receive early boarding.

Air 101 | Related Air New Zealand release new Christmas ad via Bastion Shine – Stop Press





A Turkish 777 arriving at LAX flashing its beacon. Captured by @jt.aviation_photos

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> Tweet of the Day

Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning has signed on as honorary chair of the 2022 Special Olympics Airlift, which will transport thousands of athletes and coaches to the @2022USAGames in Orlando, Fla. Hear from Peyton and athlete Tyler Rightwards https://bit.ly/31CGcfS #SOA2022

Textron Aviation@TextronAviation


Association News

Turkish Airlines' Chairman and CEO İlker Aycı Receives APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award

At last week's APEX/IFSA EXPO, Turkish Airlines' Chairman and CEO İlker Aycı became the first European recipient of the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award, an accolade reserved for members of the industry that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the enhancement of the airline passenger experience. Find out more about how Aycı's career with Turkish Airlines so far has seen him consistently face challenges head-on to support his workforce and maintain the carrier's reputation.


> Quote of the Day

“At Delta, we’re fond of saying that we don’t want our customers to choose between seeing the world and saving the world. We need to be able to do both.”

Ed Bastian, Delta Airlines
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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