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December 17, 2020



Today's Top Stories


IATA Reveals Inner Workings of Travel Pass App

With IATA’s Travel Pass app scheduled for release in Q1 next year, the association unveiled its key design elements. Security and privacy are top-of-mind as the app will put the user in control over what information is shared. The app will have travelers create an e-passport that verifies their identity, and it will be able to link in their test results or vaccination status. IATA says the app will remain relevant post-COVID because it adheres to One ID principles and can integrate contactless travel functions that will become the norm in the future.

IATA | Related Calls Growing Louder for Aviation Workers to be Considered Essential for Vaccination – Travel Pulse



Large COVID Screening Facility Opens at Heathrow

The largest private COVID-19 testing clinic in the UK is now open at Heathrow Airport’s north side N4 parking lot. It boasts 24 drive-through lanes and has a daily capacity of 5,000 tests, with results typically available the next day. Departing travelers may use the service to meet destination entry requirements. The test costs $108 for flyers and $134 for the general public, and timeslots can be reserved online. Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said he looks forward to studying how this initiative can eradicate the quarantine-on-arrival regime.

Business Traveller | Related ExpressTest Launches at Gatwick Airport – Expresstest



Broadtech and SkyFive Envision In-Flight Broadband Across New Zealand

SkyFive’s Direct-Air-To-Ground (DA2G) solution may soon be operational in New Zealand after the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Auckland-based network engineering firm Broadtech Group. DA2G is already in place in Europe: aircraft flying over 35 countries have access to speeds of up to 100 Mbps thanks to the network, which is powered by a dedicated array of land-based 4G and 5G antennas. New Zealand air rescue authorities, the Royal NZ Air Force and airlines are interested in the service. An Auckland and Waikato trial network will be built soon.

SkyFive | Related Airbus and SkyFive team up to provide 5G Air-to-Ground technology solution for China – SkyFive



Ancillary Goes Online: Virtual Expo Business Transformation Panel

During an FTE APEX Virtual Expo panel about new tech-led revenue streams, two panelists shared how they seized opportunities to launch new business models. Cathay Pacific’s head of Retail, e-Commerce & Travel Partnerships, Aldric Chau, explained that revenue for non-air retail items grew by 50% over the last 10 months thanks to customers’ appetites for “food souvenirs” as well as a partnership with a restaurant booking platform. Meanwhile, Auckland Airport’s head of Omnichannel, Jayne Wear, found new ways for customers to earn loyalty points, shop online and pick up offsite purchases at the airport. This article originally appeared in Expo Daily Experience. Read the full issues and register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo — the platform will remain open as a resource until January 8.

APEX Media | Related It Takes Two (or More): Ancillary Alliances – APEX Media



Air Canada Closer to Purchasing Air Transat Under New Terms

Air Transat’s shareholders approved a $5-per-share purchase offer from Air Canada on Tuesday. The deal is expected to close in early 2021 following regulatory approval. Air Transat reported a competing bid from a private investor that gave the company a higher valuation, but the Montreal-based tour operator rejected it because the interested party was from outside the travel industry. In June of last year, Air Canada was set to acquire Transat at $13 per share, but with the latter suffering a 96% drop in year-over-year revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the offer was revised.

CBC | Related Air Canada and Transat A.T. Inc. Conclude Amended Transaction for Combination of the Two Companies – Air Canada



Common Ground: ACA and IFSA Establish In-Flight Catering COVID Guidelines

With new requirements to deal with the coronavirus coming in on all fronts, the Airline Catering Association (ACA) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA) agreed to a harmonized set of guidelines for up-in-the-air catering, which it plans to publish in January, based on best practices and updates from government authorities. This article originally appeared in Expo Daily Experience. Read the full issues and register for FTE APEX Virtual Expo — the platform will remain open as a resource until January 8.  

APEX Media | Related 100 Solutions to Pandemic Problems, Part 3: In-Flight Service – APEX Media



Gategroup Flips Holiday Tax-Free Inventory in New Online Store

With demand for holiday travel derailed, gategroup came up with a new platform to connect shoppers in Sweden with the duty-free products they would typically buy. The in-flight services company launched an online store called Shopamore through which customers can order goods like sunglasses, makeup, skincare products and watches and have them delivered to their door. “Opening just in time for Christmas, we’ve already seen that fragrances have been selling very well,” says gateretail digital and marketing director, Sweden, Åsa Råd Vaher. For every order it receives, Shopamore will donate a gift to a child in need.

Moodie Davitt Report | Related Industry Experts Predict How the Pandemic Will Change IFEC and Onboard Retail – APEX Media





A Lion in the den. Captured at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport by @narto_spotter (via Instagram).

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

> Tweet of the Day

“Despite the pandemic, we’ve seen continued installations of the AVANCE L3. Connectivity... is no longer considered a luxury – it’s now a necessity for most, even on smaller aircraft" - Aguirre. @GogoBizAv #PaxEx

Alexander Preston @inflight_editor


Association News

Virtual Expo is Open Until January 8

FTE APEX Virtual Expo, the air transport industry's first major digital trade show, attracted over 4,000 attendees. There’s still plenty of time to explore the event, as it remains open as a resource until 23:59 GMT on January 8. That means that over 70 exhibitor booths will remain yours to peruse, along with 40+ hours of educational conference content from over 180 speakers. If you haven't registered yet, you still have the opportunity to do so.


Have An Opinion on a Hot-Button Aviation Topic? Submit an Op-Ed!

APEX Media is accepting op-eds as part of a new series called Expert Opinions aimed at spotlighting informed views on current industry trends. If you would like to participate, email editor@apex.aero with your idea.


> Quote of the Day

"Biometric processes offer our customers numerous advantages in terms of comfort, security and reduced waiting time.”

Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport
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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