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December 23, 2020



Today's Top Stories


US Government Outlines Terms of Further Payroll Support for Airlines

The latest COVID-19 relief package in the US, worth nearly $900 billion, includes $15 billion for airlines and $1 billion for contractors that must be used exclusively for employee wages, salaries and benefits. To be eligible, carriers must agree not to implement furloughs or pay and benefit reductions until March 31, 2021. The bill also requires airlines that received assistance from the CARES Act to recall employees involuntarily furloughed between October 1, 2020 and the date the airline agrees to the latest bill's terms.

USA Today | Related Airlines that take PPP aid must bring back workers, service – Travel Weekly



SIA Uses IATA’s Travel Pass Framework for Digital Health Verification

Today, Singapore Airlines (SIA) began testing a digital health verification process based on IATA’s Travel Pass framework. After taking a COVID-19 test at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, passengers are given digital or paper health certificates with a QR code, which can be verified by check-in staff and Singapore’s immigration authority using a secure mobile app to ensure they meet Singapore’s entry requirements. SIA plans to integrate the process into its mobile app from around mid-2021 and, if successful, it could be extended to other cities in its route network. 

Singapore Air | Related VSTE launches world's first ‘Fit To Fly' health passport – ADS Advance



Qantas, JAL Announce Joint Business Plans

Subject to regulatory approval, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Qantas will form a joint business to better serve passengers traveling between Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Under the proposed five-year agreement, the joint business would enable an expanded codeshare relationship as well as improvements to customer experience, including investments in products and services designed for the carriers’ joint customers in-flight and on the ground. “Around half a million people visited Australia from Japan in 2019. We want to see that tourism resume and grow even further by making it easier for Japanese travellers to visit,” said Qantas’ CEO, Alan Joyce.

Qantas | Related Qantas eyes Japan Airlines tie-up to kick-start COVID revival – Sydney Morning Herald



Chinese Joint Venture Targets In-Flight Connectivity Market

China Eastern, China Telecom and Juneyao Airlines have formed KDlink Technology Co Ltd (KDlink), a joint venture based in Shanghai focusing on in-flight connectivity for the commercial aviation industry. China Eastern and China Telecom each have a 42.5% stake, while Juneyao Group holds the remaining 15%. Zhang Chi, general manager of KDlink, said the firm is open to the idea of accepting more shareholders and doing business with other airlines in the future. Li Yangmin, general manager of China Eastern, said, "KDlink can be an important support as China Eastern is undergoing a transition of digitalization to being an airline with intelligent or smart aircraft."

China Economic Net | Related In-flight Wi-Fi tested on domestically developed airliner – SHINE News



DOT Clears Aer Lingus to Join oneworld Transatlantic Joint Venture

Following an investigation over competition concerns and then tentative approval last month, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted final approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint venture between American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia. Under this expanded codeshare agreement, Aer Lingus is set to benefit from up to 72 new destinations in North America, and American Airlines can extend its network to a further 12 destinations beyond Dublin. Documents show that Aer Lingus will look to fly from Manchester to Boston, New York and Orlando using two new Airbus A321LRs in 2021. 

Irish Times | Related Aer Lingus approved to join Oneworld TATL joint venture – PaxEx.aero



The Challenges of Innovating During a Pandemic

As a result of COVID-19, the aviation industry is scrambling to build new tools and processes that safeguard passengers. But with shrinking budgets and lengthy timelines, scaling and delivering far-reaching value on innovations is more challenging than ever, according to a panel featuring leaders from Emirates, TSA, Gatwick Airport and reBel.la. 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 Future Forward: Automation, AI and Robotics in a Post-COVID World – APEX Media



FAA Seeks Fines Over Face Mask Incidents

The FAA has requested fines of $15000 and $7500 against two passengers following separate incidents in August, during which they refused to wear face masks and allegedly assaulted flight attendants. The passengers were on Allegiant Air and SkyWest Airlines flights when the incidents occurred. There is currently no government-mandated mask requirement, but the FAA said “federal law prohibits physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft.”

BNN Bloomberg | Related Passengers Who Refuse to Wear Face Masks on Russian Airline Will Be Placed in Designated 'Maskless' Zone – Travel + Leisure





Keeping a watchful eye ... Captured by @tuiairwayspics (via Instagram). 

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Association News

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Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines
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Until December 30



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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