Tag Archives: Government Assistance / Grants

Germany, France and Italy Begin EU Recovery Plan. Three Questions about the Long-Awaited € 750 Billion Program. | Instant News

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US Southwest says leisure travel rebounds as summer season approaches | Instant News

This week, major airlines reiterated their confidence that the travel market, at least for leisure, is rebounding from heavy losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. They hope the trend continues through the summer vacation season. Airlines executives said Thursday that travel demand reached an inflection point in February or March, after languishing for most of last year. Airports were busy with travelers during spring break and future vacation bookings began to increase. Airlines including Southwest and American are recalling pilots and flight attendants who had not been needed for months as they prepared for what could be a busy summer, carrying people on vacations and tours to friends and relatives whom they had to postpone for months. American said it plans to hire 300 more pilots at the end of this year. “While the pandemic is not over, we believe the worst is behind us, in terms of the severity of the negative impact on travel demand,” said Southwest Managing Director Gary Kelly. American Airlines on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of $ 1.25 billion, a smaller loss than in previous quarters of the past year. Photo: Douglas R. Clifford / Zuma Press Southwest said he expects by June his operation will stop losing more cash than it brings in. The airline’s first-quarter profits were increased by $ 1.2 billion in federal assistance covering salaries and benefits during the quarter. . Taking this and other one-off items into account, Southwest reported a loss of $ 1 billion. Airlines have already seen their hopes for a rebound in travel dashed. Whenever it seemed like Covid-19 cases had stabilized and demand started to rise in the past year, another surge has wiped out the lukewarm surge in demand. Even as the number of cases has started to climb again, airline executives are hoping the widespread vaccination will mean increases in passenger bookings will stay this time around. Airlines executives have said they don’t expect business travel to pick up in earnest until at least later this year, when more companies are expected to bring their employees back to their offices. U.S. executives told analysts and investors on Thursday that there were signs of growing demand, especially from small businesses, while some large corporate clients said they plan to resume travel in the third quarter. . WSJ Headquarters Columnist Scott McCartney is compiling the data for which airlines performed best and worst in 2020 on things like on-time arrivals, complaints and flight cancellations. Photo: Getty Images The recovery trajectory has lit a gap between airlines that rely heavily on business travel and international markets, like American, United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc., and those that still have been geared more towards leisure travelers. The southwest’s largely domestic network has helped insulate it from the effects of border closures and government travel restrictions that have increased international traffic. The airline has embarked on an aggressive expansion program that includes adding 17 new cities to its network and plans to return to normal flight levels in the coming months. Its flight capacity was down nearly 40% in the first quarter from 2019 levels, but by June, the airline plans to complete 96% of its pre-pandemic schedule. SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS At this point in the pandemic, do you feel comfortable traveling by plane? Why or why not? Join the conversation below. American is also forecasting a sharp increase in flights this summer, adding dozens of new domestic routes and anticipating an overall flight capacity of 75% to 80% of pre-pandemic levels. “As our world advances daily in COVID-19 vaccination efforts, customers are returning to travel and there is no doubt that the pace of the recovery is picking up,” Doug Parker and CEO Robert Isom wrote Thursday. and US President. United, which earlier this week said it lost $ 1.4 billion in the first quarter, said it needed commercial and international traffic to return to 65% of pre-pandemic levels to turn a profit. Both segments are down about 80% now, as many international borders are closed and many companies are still keeping workers at home at least later this year. While United is also resuming recruiting of pilots and adding more flights to capture more of the domestic leisure demand, CEO Scott Kirby said the airline would take a slightly more conservative approach than its rivals this summer. Bet on Travel Recovery “It’s really hard for me to make the math work and say that 90% or 100% of the schedule is the optimal answer,” Kirby said this week. Discounter Spirit Airlines Inc., which primarily serves vacationers, said Thursday it plans to fly almost as much in the second quarter as it did before the pandemic, operating 94.5% of its capacity in 2019. Its financial outlook is also improving , with expectations that the airline’s adjusted pre-tax and interest margins could break even. Southwest’s adjusted net loss of $ 1.72 per share was narrower than the $ 1.85 per share analysts expected. Including one-time items, American’s net loss was $ 4.32 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of $ 4.30 per share. Write to Alison Sider at [email protected] Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8.

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Rates for Wine, Food from Europe for the Current Stay, said the US | Instant News

WASHINGTON – The Biden government has said it will not end tariffs on European wine, cheese and other food imports any time soon – upsetting industry groups who say the levy is hurting US restaurants and consumers.

The US Trade Representative’s Office said on Friday that there was no need for now to suspend levies, which the Trump administration imposed as part of a long-running dispute with the European Union over subsidies for commercial aircraft.

In a regulatory filing, the USTR said it would “continue to consider the actions taken in the investigation,” referring to a 17-year-old dispute about how the government is subsidizing Boeing Co. and Airbus SE. The Biden administration said it was reviewing tariffs and other major trade policy measures adopted by the previous administration.

Under the Trump administration, the dispute has turned into a tariff fight that has ensnared a food and beverage industry unrelated to aircraft manufacturing. Washington imposed tariffs on $ 7.5 billion worth of European wine and food such as cheese and olives by the end of 2019.

The European Union retaliated with levies on US whiskey, nuts and tobacco worth an estimated $ 4.5 billion. The US increased sanctions on December 31 with additional tariffs, putting nearly all wine imports from France and Germany below 25%.


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Italian Government Prays About How to Revive the Post-Covid-19 Economy | Instant News

ROME – Amid the pandemic, one sign of normality is returning to Italy: political instability.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is struggling to avoid collapse after members of a small coalition threatened to withdraw vital support from parliament. The Viva Italia party, led by former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has long been skeptical of Conte’s leadership and is increasing pressure on a range of issues, including how to reconstruct Italy’s economy hit after the pandemic.

If Renzi pulls out of the coalition, forcing Conte to step down, possible outcomes range from a new government with the same center-left leader to elections likely to be won by a rival center-right alliance.

Many observers expect Mr Conte to continue, albeit with a small party Mr Renzi has had more leverage. Whatever the outcome, the tussle suggests that Italy’s shocking political stability during the pandemic is coming to an end.

Mr. Conte, a little-known law professor who was elected to lead two rickety coalition governments in 2018 and 2019, has been an unexpectedly powerful prime minister since last year, when Italy became the first Western country hardest hit by Covid-19. His approval ratings rose as he worked with allies and opposition parties to arrange for the first nationwide lockdown, using stringent measures that were soon adopted around the world.


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US to target more French, German, alcoholic drinks at 25% rate | Instant News

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has said it will target more French and German wines and spirits at 25% tariffs starting January 12, in the latest escalation in the tit-for-tat tariff battle over a long-running dispute over subsidies for commercial jet airliners.

Among the new levies, the US will for the first time impose a 25% levy on wine from France and Germany in excess of the 14% alcohol it had previously exempted, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The US has seen a spike in these highly alcoholic wines, typically from Spain and France, after wines with 14% alcohol or less were charged last year.

“Especially with what is happening in light of the pandemic, with the closure of restaurants and refineries, this is not the right time to enter an industry that is already facing economic impact,” Christine LoCascio, head of public policy for the US Council’s Distilled Spirits, said Thursday.

Washington imposed a 25% tariff on wines from France, Spain, Germany and the UK in October 2019 in retaliation for subsidies they made to European aircraft maker Airbus SE.
on the grounds that they hurt Boeing Co.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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