With the world ramping up for a summer of long-awaited travel, airports and airlines around the world are preparing for the opportunity to rejuvenate and strengthen their relationships with their passengers. At the Future Travel Experience (FTE) APEX Virtual Expo 2021, this year’s theme of “Relaunching Global Air Transport” complemented that sentiment, bringing together over 150 airlines and 160 airports from over 100 countries to discuss how they are welcoming their passengers back.

Featuring experts from organizations like United Airlines, ACI World, KLM, and easyJet, FTE APEX 2021 showcased high-energy discussions around the aviation industry’s recovery following the global pandemic and the technologies and leaders paving the way.

In case you missed the event, here are a few of our favorite moments from the show captured on Twitter:

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby welcomed attendees leading up to the event with an overview of discussions to be had and the resilience and innovation being seen across the aviation world.

As COVID-19 vaccination numbers rise, seeing air travel start to bounce back is not surprising. In fact, TSA started to see numbers return to pre-pandemic levels in March 2021 according to a recent report from ABC News. Many of the conversations at FTE APEX 2021 were around the importance of collaboration to the industry’s recovery.

Important conversations around female leadership in aviation continue to find the spotlight at key industry events like FTE APEX 2021. Female leaders from easyJet, the Helsinki Airport, ViaSat, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and CarTrawler offered their insights on how to continue to strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion in aviation.

While passenger growth may have stalled for a year, technological innovation and shifting passenger expectations have not slowed. The advent of tools like biometrics and stronger in-flight connectivity continue to be points of conversation with aviation leaders. These are just two examples of technological components powering the future (and present) passenger journey.

Ultimately, continued growth and evolution are the only certain path forward for the aviation world, and that was strongly affirmed by the global pandemic. Areas like in-flight entertainment and communication (IFEC) must continue to innovate to keep pace with passenger expectations.

The Connected Aviation Today team looks forward to hearing about passenger experience updates over the next year as the industry adapts and applies important lessons learned.