Plans for APEX/IFSA Expo have been put on hold following news that the San Diego Convention Center will not be able to host the event due to restrictions imposed on events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APEX and IFSA are working to respond to this notification and will finalise a reaction and next steps for members in the coming week including official written notifications, hotel and vendor releases, and legal review. They are seeking member feedback and APEX/IFSA Board of Directors’ approval for next steps and will update members in the week of July 13.
Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA CEO, said: “Our primary responsibility as one of the largest international airline associations in the world is to serve our members. In preparation for this possibility, we have been reviewing solutions that would allow for a virtual EXPO with APEX/IFSA members participating remotely, and we are looking at virtual conference activities that would best suit our members based on survey feedback. If implemented, the new technologies may allow for thousands of additional attendees to join EXPO remotely.”
To fully align APEX and IFSA resources during a challenging time, Lauren Costello has been promoted to APEX/IFSA Executive Director. This means that APEX and IFSA now have a common Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Director with combined cost efficiencies for both associations.
The associations have been monitoring the return to air travel in the United States and report the highest forecast model predictions have been reached earlier than expected. Nearly 500,000 travellers are now going through airport checkpoints every day of the week in the US, surging to over 600,000 on peak days.
Leader adds: “That means that we are now seeing over 20% of US travellers are already back in the air. All of this continues despite COVID-19 infections in the US remaining at a high rate. Airlines have made one key difference: successfully expressing that flying is one of the safest ways to travel aside from one’s own vehicle. That focus on travel safety should be a guiding point for every APEX/IFSA airline and supplier. It will be the beacon for the return of our industry worldwide.”