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December 22, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Alaska Restructures Boeing Order to Include 68 MAX Aircraft

An agreement in principle between Alaska Airlines (Alaska) and Boeing will see the carrier’s order restructured to comprise 68 Boeing 737-9 MAXs, with options for an additional 52 aircraft. The agreement incorporates Alaska's announcement last month to lease 13 737-9 MAXs and will enable its exit from 61 short-term leases for Airbus aircraft, which were inherited when it acquired Virgin America. The airline is scheduled to receive 13 planes in 2021; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. The 52 options are for deliveries between 2023 to 2026, but the agreement includes mechanisms to adjust the timing of deliveries to meet economic conditions.

Alaska Airlines | Related Alaska Airlines Announces New Pre-Clear Program to Hawaii – TravelPulse



Airlines Agree to Test Passengers on UK–New York Flights Following Cuomo Request

British Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic have agreed to ensure that passengers show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding flights between the UK and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport following a request from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. British Airways will begin procedures today, with Delta and Virgin to follow on Thursday. During an interview on MSNBC, Cuomo said, “I've actually called the airlines ... and I said you have 120 countries on the list that require testing, please add New York to those 120 countries.” Cuomo is also calling on the federal government to enhance travel restrictions, explaining, “You can't control this virus state by state ... We're one nation.”

Governor.NY.Gov | Related U.S. Ban on U.K. Flights Isn’t Needed, Virus Team Member Says – Bloomberg



FAA Accused of “Failed Leadership” in New Senate Report

Following a probe into Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety oversight after two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has published a report detailing what US Senator Roger Wicker describes as “a number of significant examples of lapses in aviation safety oversight and failed leadership.” The report alleges that the FAA retaliates against whistleblowers and has failed to hold senior managers accountable for inadequate training protocols; that its parent agency, the Department of Transportation, failed to produce documents requested during the probe; and that FAA senior leaders potentially obstructed a review of the 737 MAX crashes.

NPR | Related Wicker Releases Committee’s FAA Investigation Report – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation



EasyJet Won’t Take Delivery of Any Aircraft in 2021

EasyJet has deferred the delivery of 22 Airbus aircraft to 2027-2028, and 15 delivery dates within that period will be moved to match forecasted seasonal requirements. The airline had the option until December 31 not to take up to seven aircraft scheduled for delivery between 2022 and 2026, but decided to reallocate this option to seven aircraft due for delivery from 2025-2026, with the deadline amended to December 2021. EasyJet will now take no deliveries in 2021, eight in 2022, seven in 2023 and 18 in 2024. It has also retained options to increase deliveries in 2023 to 30 aircraft. “In this period of uncertainty, this flexibility ... will enable us to quickly flex our fleet size in response to customer demand,” said easyJet’s CEO, Johan Lundgren. 

Reuters | Related EasyJet board member steps down over her Wirecard role – Financial Times



Automation, AI and Robotics in a Post-COVID World

It might sound like science fiction, but travelers on Japan Airlines are already experiencing elements of a post-COVID world. Pre-flight smart airport guides, avatar robots aiding passengers in terminals and holographic receptionists in lounges are some of the solutions that the airline has brought forward from the future. How can digital innovations optimize operations post-COVID-19? 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 Contactless Ordering For Pick Up Or Delivery Kicks Off At Chicago Midway International Airport – Fly Chicago



Bucher Group Provides Customized Galleys for Uganda Airlines’ New A330-800neo

Uganda Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, which is equipped with a set of fully customized galleys, stowages and partition walls from Bucher Group. The company planned the galley layout to be adaptable to new catering requirements in the future, such as the need for increased oven capacity or the installation of wine chillers. Bucher Group also developed flower holders for the business-class cabin and customized monuments to ensure a welcoming aircraft cabin environment. “We look forward to welcoming our passengers in these beautiful aircraft,” said Ephraim Bagenda, director of Maintenance, Uganda Airlines.

Bucher Group | Related Uganda Airlines flies further with its brand-new A330neo – Airbus



3Sixty Duty Free is First Retailer to Join PHL’s Online Ordering Platform

In partnership with retailer developer MarketPlace PHL, 3Sixty Duty Free has become the first retail partner to join OrderatPHL.com, the online mobile ordering platform at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) powered by Grab and AtYourGate. The website already offered a mobile order service for food and beverage, and now allows passengers to preorder cosmetics, fragrances and skincare products for collection or delivery at the airport. Philadelphia is the second airport in the US to offer this service after Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. “The debut of retail on OrderatPHL.com comes just in time for the holiday season,” said Mel Hannah, vice-president and general manager of MarketPlace PHL. 

Moodie Davitt Report | Related Contactless Ordering For Pick Up Or Delivery Kicks Off At Chicago Midway International Airport – Fly Chicago





Here’s a peek inside the festive Eva Airways headquarters near Taipei ... Captured by @evaairways (via Instagram). 

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

> Tweet of the Day

Today we completed the first install of our inflight connectivity solution for @TurkishAirlines with our local partner Profen. We are proud to be part of the airline’s commitment to providing the best #passengerexperience. #connectivity #airconnect https://bit.ly/33fFNxC #IFEC

Global Eagle @GlobalEagle


Association News

Read FTE APEX Virtual Expo Daily Experience

Catch up on FTE APEX Virtual Expo by reading the three issues of Expo Daily Experience. The digital magazines feature product announcements, exhibitor news, session coverage, infographics and more! The event is open until January 8 – browse through the exhibition hall and watch 40+ hours of educational conference content from 180+ speakers across the Auditorium & OnDemand Speaker Zone.  


Watch the Official Trailer for Virtual Expo 2021

Following the success of the first-ever FTE APEX Virtual Expo, we are excited to announce that the next FTE APEX Virtual Expo will take place on May 25 and 26, 2021. Watch the full trailer to find out why you should attend the air transport's leading virtual trade show. Note that this virtual event is in addition to the in-person APEX events scheduled for next year.


> Quote of the Day

"We make sure that everybody pursues innovation in everything that they do."

Justin Erbacci, Los Angeles World Airports
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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