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December 30, 2020

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Today's Top Stories
 

 
 
 

Boeing 737 MAX Returns to Service in US

Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft returned to commercial service in the US yesterday for the first time since two fatal crashes grounded the jet in March 2019. American Airlines is initially operating the aircraft on a single route between Miami International Airport and New York's LaGuardia Airport. Southwest and United plan to add the aircraft to flight schedules in the coming months. APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader shared his thoughts on the return of the 737 MAX with CNBC.

CNN | Related Airlines will likely accommodate passengers who don’t want to fly on the 737 Max through 2021, pro says – CNBC

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Holiday Travel Period Busier Than Thanksgiving, Says TSA

Last Sunday, the TSA screened 1,284,599 people at airport checkpoints, marking the sixth time in the previous ten days that the agency recorded over one million travelers. A similar spike was noted on the final day of Thanksgiving weekend. With nearly 20 million cases of COVID-19 in the US, the CDC advised citizens to postpone holiday travel in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Its advice to those who choose to travel is to get tested for COVID-19 one to three days before their trips as well as three to five days after, and reduce nonessential activities for seven days after travel.

Travel Pulse | Related Incoming CDC Director Warns of 'Dark' Days in January Due to Christmas COVID Surge – Newsweek

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Southwest Rescinds Furlough and Pay Cut Plan; American Foresees Demand Slump

In a memo to employees, Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO Garry Kelly has confirmed a reversal on a previously announced move toward pay cuts and furloughs for staff, thanks to the US government’s extension of its COVID-19 relief package and Payroll Support Program. Meanwhile, American Airlines has warned investors that, despite a holiday travel boost, 2020 Q4 revenues will be negatively impacted by a winter surge in the pandemic. The airline expects demand slump to continue through to February and has reduced its schedules for these months to 45% of its 2019 capacity.

Airways Mag | Related American Foresees Flying Less Than Half of 2019 Schedule Through February – Travel Pulse

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Gogo Restructures Leadership As it Refocuses on Business Aviation

After more than 14 years with the in-flight connectivity provider, Gogo chairman Ronald LeMay has announced he will retire and step down from the company’s board. Succeeding LeMay as chairman is Oakleigh Thorne, who will continue to serve as Gogo’s president and CEO. Following this leadership change, the Gogo Board will be comprised of eight directors. Of his new appointment, Thorne commented: “I am honored to serve as chairman as we execute our strategy to capitalise on the opportunities in the business aviation market and drive value for our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Intelsat Completes Acquisition of Gogo Commercial Aviation, Announces Leadership Appointments – Business Wire

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Borders Shuttered in Japan After New COVID Strain Detected

Japan’s COVID-19 daily case count reached a record high on Saturday, placing further strain on the country’s healthcare resources. Furthermore, seven travelers arriving from the UK were infected with a new mutant variant of the coronavirus. As a result, Japan has closed its borders to foreign travelers until January 31 and has stopped issuing visas, meaning most nonresident foreign nationals will not be able to enter Japan during this period. There will be an exception for business travelers from areas where Japan has relaxed travel agreements.

USA Today | Related Japan to halt new entry of foreign nationals over new virus strain – Japan Times

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Emirates Pulls Back Curtain on Refreshed Cabins

While the end of the A380 era is in sight for Emirates, the carrier is still keen on offering customers new cabin experiences. One of the three superjumbo jets the airline received sports a new premium economy cabin featuring wider seats with a pitch of up to 40 inches and leg rests. Each seat includes a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen, AC/USB power outlets and a side cocktail table. Cream-colored leather seat covers and wooden cabin accents in this class extend to Emirates’ refreshed A380 business-class cabin. The airline is set to accept delivery of the last A380s ever produced: two in 2021 and three in the following year.  

Executive Traveller | Related Emirates showcases upgraded A380 business class – Executive Traveller

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Wizz Air Abu Dhabi Ready for Takeoff

The newest airline in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, will take to the skies on January 15 with service to Athens. Round-trip tickets retail for $70 and include allowance for a carry-on bag. On February 4, the airline will connect travelers in Abu Dhabi to Thessaloniki, Greece, with flights to Alexandria, Kutaisi, Larnaca, Odesa and Yerevan to be introduced as travel restrictions are eased. Kees Van Schaick, the carrier’s managing director, said the company presents “a new model of air travel.” Its fleet consists of new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Business Traveller | Related WIZZ says YES to enhanced health & safety – YouTube

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> PHOTO OF THE DAY

 
 

Thank you to all of the airline employees for their role in getting us through 2020! Captured by @lairdkay (via Instagram). 

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

> Tweet of the Day

Thanks to @CNBC @SquawkStreet @DavidFaber & @MorganLBrennan for speaking with me this morning on @Boeing #737MAX return to U.S. service this morning. My last #737MAX flight, pictured here, demonstrates the aircraft’s versatility with lie-flat business class seats.

Dr. Joe Leader @joepleader

 
 
 

Association News

Just Over One Week Left to Experience Virtual Expo

Start the new year off right by absorbing the insights and strategies shared at FTE APEX Virtual Expo, the air transport industry's first major digital trade show that 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. Airline and airport reps can obtain a premium pass for free. Learn more.

 
 
 
 

> Quote of the Day

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

Justin Erbacci, Los Angeles World Airports
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Until next week

 
 

ABOUT APEX

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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