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December 21, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Countries Ban UK Travel in Response to New COVID-19 Strain

More than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals because of concerns about the spread of a new variant of coronavirus. Some of the bans are already in force, while others are to begin tomorrow. The Netherlands was the first to take action, announcing Sunday morning that flights from the UK would be banned until January 1 at the latest. Airlines operating flights out of the UK are posting updates on their websites and social media platforms informing customers of their protocols given the circumstances.

BBC | Related Growing list of countries ban travel from UK over new coronavirus variant – Business Traveller



Building Back Better: Airlines Connect With IFC

Airlines are finding opportunities amid the COVID-19 downturn to take operations-focused connectivity projects off the back burner, further reinforcing the business case for in-flight connectivity. Alaska Airlines' onboard chat feature and Southwest's digitized sample arrival forms both reduce crew contact with travelers and increase operational efficiency. 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 High Standard: APEX TECH Addresses HDR at Virtual Expo – APEX Media



STG Aerospace Appoints New CEO

Grant Bennett is to become CEO at STG Aerospace on January 1, 2021. Bennett joined the company as chief operating officer in June 2017, with a brief to lead the company on a journey of change and continuous improvement, and has 30 years’ experience working in the manufacturing industry. “I am absolutely certain that our simple approach of ‘keep all our people safe and maintain business continuity’ … meant we were able to keep both our UK & US sites operational throughout the year and achieve on-time supply to all our customers,” he said. 

STG Aerospace | Related Red Alert: STG Aerospace Launches Latest Aircraft Floor Lighting – APEX Media



Autostop Aviation Launches Synthetic Leather for Airlines

Autostop Aviation has developed SkyLeather, a vegan synthetic leather for airline seat covers, which will be manufactured at a new $4.87-million facility in Bojnik, Serbia. The facility includes material production, seat cover manufacturing, a large stock of various colours and grains and a laboratory, in order to improve supply chain efficiencies and eliminate shipping costs. Autostop Aviation’s CEO, Jonathan Robinson, said, “The high elasticity of SkyLeather gives passengers enhanced comfort … [It] is considerably lighter than cowhide leather, so an airline’s CO2 footprint is reduced.”

Aircraft Interiors International | Related 2020’s big aircraft cabin materials launches – Aircraft Interiors International



How Should the Travel Industry Deal With Biosecurity Concerns?

Until there is widespread vaccination, industry experts believe testing and health passports are the best way to deal with COVID-19 and possible future biosecurity concerns. Simon Talling-Smith, senior adviser at The Commons Project Foundation, said although many health passports will become available as a result of the current pandemic, few will survive as standalone products: “It’s important that we establish a good level of interoperability and standardization.” 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 Covid-19 has revealed just how vulnerable we are to biosecurity threats – CNN



ANA Catering Facility Begins Exporting Fish to EU

ANA Catering Service’s Narita Facility began exporting fish at the beginning of December after obtaining an EU HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certification as an “export fishery food handling facility for the EU” on March 19, 2020. Since many fish species popular in Japanese cuisine cannot be caught in European waters, this certification means dishes can be served with Japanese spices and ingredients on flights departing from the EU. The company is an in-flight meal provider for All Nippon Airways (ANA), as well as other airlines.

Onboard Hospitality | Related ANA Partners with Nihon Stery to Further Strengthen COVID-19 Safety Measures – ANA



Chicago Midway Offers Contactless Food Ordering Service

The Chicago Department of Aviation and Midway Partnership have launched mobile food ordering at Chicago Midway International Airport. Accessible via QR codes throughout the airport or directly at GoEatMDW.com, the site offers users the option to order and pick up their meal or have it delivered in the airport. Once an order is placed, the customer receives update alerts on their mobile device, letting them know when their meal is ready or on its way. The service was developed in collaboration with Grab, AtYourGate and Hyde Park Hospitality. “It’s our pleasure to bring a service to Midway that enhances the airport experience while keeping safety and health front of mind,” said Jeff Livney, Grab’s chief experience officer. 

Fly Chicago | Related Grab partners with AtYourGate to enable end-to-end contactless airport ordering and delivery experience





Virgin Atlantic pilot @captainchris is returning this special hat to its rightful owner... Captured by @heathrow_airport (via Instagram). 

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

> Tweet of the Day

Tired: “it’s the first day of winter.” Inspired: “there are only 10 more days of 2020.” #WinterSolstice

JetBlue @JetBlue


Association News

ICYMI: FTE APEX Virtual Expo Coverage

If you weren’t able to attend the live FTE APEX Virtual Expo on December 8 and 9, you can still access the sessions until January 8. Use our coverage of the event as a guide and register to watch the full presentations. Don’t miss keynotes from airline and airport CEOs, an update from the APEX Technology Committee and APEX Media director Maryann Simson’s highlights from the OnDemand Speaker Zone. 


> Quote of the Day

"I think binge-watch, which has only increased during the pandemic, is shaping consumer expectations."

Paul Harper, Harper & Co.
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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