Tag Archives: respiratory tract diseases

Travel and leisure topped list of evolving corporate credit ratings during pandemic | Instant News


The COVID-19 pandemic has been disrupting not only lives and businesses around the world for over a year, but also the credit ratings of major corporations. Corporate credit ratings are a key measure of creditworthiness, but can also determine borrowing costs. They range from AAA to blue chip companies like Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.39% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT, + 1.34% to D for defaulting companies. Increasingly, credit ratings may also point to a potential path of recovery for industries hard hit by the protracted public health crisis. Take, for example, travel and recreation, an industry that has seen half of all blue chip companies in the world transition to high yielding, or “junk” status during the pandemic, according to a new report from Credit Benchmark . Even as parts of Europe remain stranded to contain the coronavirus, travel and leisure has seen the highest share of ‘fallen angels’ (at 11.1%) revert to investment grade status during the crisis (see graph below). Fallen Angels, Rising Stars Credit Benchmark The report identified 1,051 fallen angels out of 6,895 companies sampled around the world, or about 15% of the total. He found that about 5% went back to the investment grade. The retail, oil and gas, and auto and parts sectors have also been volatile on the credit ratings front over the past year, according to the report, with migrations between the two main tranches being now a key objective for investors. Read: The next rising stars in the debt world? Probably the Fallen Angels of Businesses Upgrades and downgrades can make a big difference to a business in terms of borrowing costs. The average yield on bonds issued by investment grade US companies is now in the 2.21% range, while it is almost double for those in speculative grade territory at around 4.21%. These rates are important, especially in the past year, as cruise lines including Carnival Corp CCL, -1.52%, Royal Caribbean Group RCL, -1.37% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd NCLH , -2.20%, borrowed billions because their ships were largely idle. See: White House pushes back cruise industry efforts to restart in July, as Florida sues Biden administration But with other ‘clawback’ deals, Carnival shares rose 31.9 % year-to-date Thursday, while those of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian were up about 20%, according to FactSet data. This compares to the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s DJIA, + 0.17%, up 9.5% for the same period, while the S&P 500 SPX Index, + 0.42% was up 9.1%. .



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New US Airline Avelo Enters Competitive Travel Market | Instant News



A new airline is launched, bringing more competition to a domestic travel market that has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic but has shown signs of recovery in recent months. Avelo Airlines aims to serve smaller airports and routes that big carriers have ignored or left behind. The new airline is expected to operate its first flight at the end of the month, connecting Burbank to Santa Rosa, Calif., And will initially serve 12 airports in the western states. Avelo was designed before the pandemic disrupted the airline industry. After raising $ 125 million from investors in January 2020 – months before air travel came to a virtual halt in the spring – the airline delayed its launch until demand for travel returned. Andrew Levy, managing director of Avelo, said the time is right. The vaccinations sparked a renewed appetite for the holidays. Passenger volumes at U.S. airports are still down 30-40% from pre-pandemic levels, but airports are busier than they have been for more than a year. While public health officials discourage people from taking travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that the risks are low for those who have been fully immunized. The pandemic has forced thousands of businesses across the country to close their doors, but has also created opportunities to open new ones. Entrepreneurs are looking to pounce, as states lift restrictions on business activity, betting that consumers with cash to spend are willing to start spending again. .



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Airline startups want some post-Covid travel | Instant News



The worst crisis in aviation history is not over, but new airlines are already assessing the post-pandemic market. While some are successful, their aggressiveness bodes better for travelers than for investors. The capacity of global airlines is still down 40% from January 2020 and travel restrictions are not decreasing. Many carriers, such as Avianca, Aeroméxico and Norwegian Air Shuttle, remain under administration. Yet startups are pushing to take their place. The latest big announcement was made last month by Norwegian founder and former CEO Bjørn Kjos, who will once again attempt to bring low cost flights to transatlantic routes with a new company, Norse Atlantic Airways. Likewise, Icelandic start-up Play is stepping into the shoes of WOW air, which closed in 2019 after attempting the unorthodox combination of low-cost routes and a hub-based network strategy. Most startups will focus on shorter routes. Traditional hub-and-spoke networks have dwindled during the pandemic and analysts believe they could rule out many regional airports for good. Flybig in India, EGO Airways in Italy and Houston-based Avelo Airlines all plan to fill this gap. .



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10 countries vaccinated Americans are allowed to travel to – but it won’t be cheap | Instant News



Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may soon turn their immunization documents into a golden ticket for international getaways. Domestic travel has started to rebound in recent weeks, but demand for international travel remains weak. Many countries continue to place restrictions on who can cross their borders amid the coronavirus pandemic, restricting entry to their own citizens or to people performing essential activities. In early April, internet searches for domestic flights were higher than they were at the same time in 2019, according to data from the Hopper travel app. But searches for international flights still lag behind pre-pandemic levels. Currently, only about a third of Hopper searches for flights this summer are for international destinations, with the remaining two-thirds being for travel to the United States. “It’s usually much closer to a 50/50 split in normal years,” said Adit Damodaran, an economist at Hopper. Don’t Miss: CDC Offers Travel Advice To Vaccinated Americans – But Stops Before Saying It’s Okay To Fly But some countries, in an effort to boost travel demand, have ushered in access easier for people who can show evidence. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Iceland has taken this to the extreme – tourists are only allowed to visit the island country famous for its hot springs and volcanoes if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or can show documents stating that they previously had the disease and have since recovered. Iceland originally planned to put the new travel rules into effect on March 26, but the country’s government subsequently delayed the policy until April 6. Many other countries, such as Ecuador and Nepal, have taken a different approach to vaccinated travelers. Rather than requiring that they be vaccinated, vaccinated people can instead bypass requirements that they must be tested for COVID-19 before their travel. Thus, border patrols will instead ask for proof of vaccination rather than the results of a COVID-19 test upon entering the country. Which regions are ready to reopen their borders? So far, the list of countries that have relaxed the rules for vaccinated vacationers is short, but travel experts expect it to grow in the near future. “Evidence indicates more countries are relaxing entry requirements – eliminating quarantine / testing rules – for fully vaccinated travelers,” said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media, owner of the flight booking website Airfarewatchdog.com. Several companies and organizations are developing “vaccine passports” that could make things easier for international travelers. The International Air Transport Association, an airline trade group, is launching a digital Travel Pass that allows users to upload proof of vaccination or COVID test results to a mobile app. So far, 23 airlines have agreed to test the IATA Travel Pass, including Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines. Among the regions that seem most inclined to relax the rules for those vaccinated is the Caribbean, Staab said. “The Caribbean appears to be the region most open to tourists right now, and this is likely to continue, whether it’s opening up to all tourists or just fully vaccinated tourists,” he noted. Several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, have announced plans to resume cruises out of Caribbean ports with only fully vaccinated people allowed on board ships. In Europe, politicians from countries like Portugal and Greece, whose economies depend heavily on tourism, have suggested that they plan to allow people vaccinated to travel there. In these cases, however, Americans could still be barred from entry, depending on how the rules are set and whether specific vaccines are required for entry. The vaccine produced by Moderna MRNA, -1.54%, for example, has only received full or emergency authorization in 41 countries, while the vaccines from Pfizer PFE, -0.39% and AstraZeneca AZN, – 1.63% are approved to some extent by 100 countries. Unvaccinated travelers are not without options, however. Many countries have resumed allowing tourists to visit, even though visitors are not yet vaccinated. In these cases, travelers are usually required to take a negative COVID test before their trip, and are sometimes subject to additional testing and a period of self-isolation upon arrival. And some of those countries, like Mexico, may not be inclined to require proof of vaccination for tourists, as these policies could backfire and deter some travelers, especially from the United States. forcing them to have a vaccine to enter the country right now, ”said Bruce Rosenberg, COO of HotelPlanner, a group booking website. “On the contrary, they will say: ‘We are more welcoming and more open’.” United States Embassies, US News and World Report, The Points Guy Some areas of the world are more likely to remain closed to leisure travelers. Most of Western Europe, for example, has maintained very strict policies regarding who can enter their borders amid a wider lockdown context due to the pandemic. And many of the small island countries in the Pacific Ocean have kept borders fully closed amid the pandemic, given the relative lack of medical facilities and how prone they would be to nationwide outbreaks if any. sick people entered their country. Increase as more places resume operations Flight search models suggest that as countries add new policies that encourage vaccinated people to visit, they see a significant increase in interest. After Iceland reopened its borders to vaccinated visitors, there was a 93% increase in searches for flights, according to data from Hopper. And there has been a 77% increase in searches for flights to Portugal after authorities announced plans to welcome tourists returning from the UK. Airlines have significantly reduced the number of flights they operate amid the pandemic to cut costs, and they may be slow to fully resume operations in the event that another increase in COVID-19 cases around the world causes a repeated slowdown in travel. “Reduced capacity, increased demand and a need to recover costs will likely drive up airline ticket prices later this year into the next year,” Staab said. “Airlines will not immediately make 100% of their routes prepandemic, even if demand increases, which means that demand could outweigh supply, and airlines can increase their fares and continue to occupy seats. ” Airlines could even potentially increase prices “to compensate for the need to put in place an infrastructure to verify that passengers are vaccinated,” Staab added. In addition, the rising cost of jet fuel will increase spending by travelers. Airfarewatchdog is currently recommending people book their international travel by the end of May to get lower prices – as well as relaxed limited-time policies for free flight changes for economy fares. At the same time, however, prices could be reduced for other travel expenses, including hotels and activities. “Mexico and the Caribbean are still valuable because they are trying to attract customers to leave the United States,” Rosenberg said, adding that the same philosophy could apply in major European cities that are centers tourism. .



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Slow vaccine rollout in EU and Easter travel restrictions blamed on low passenger numbers at Ryanair | Instant News


Ryanair RYA, + 0.95%, said on Wednesday it expects losses for the year to be slightly less than initially thought, but predicted it would carry less passengers over the next year due to Easter travel restrictions and the European Union’s slow rollout of COVID. 19 vaccination program. The Irish budget carrier plans to report a net loss before exceptional items of between € 800 million and € 850 million ($ 949.9 million to $ 1.01 billion) for the year ending March 2021 , slightly better than its previous forecast in February, between 850 million euros and 950 million euros over the period. It now forecasts the number of passengers for the year ending March 2022 down a previously guided range of between 80 million and 120 million passengers. “” Easter travel restrictions / lockouts and a delayed resumption of traffic in peak S.21 season, due to the slow rollout in the EU of COVID-19 vaccines, means FY22 traffic is likely to be towards the lower end of our previously guided passenger range from 80m to 120m. “” – Ryanair “Although it is not possible at the moment to provide significant profit forecasts for fiscal year 2022, we do not share the recent optimism of some analysts as we believe that the result for the fiscal year 2022 is currently close to breaking even, ”Ryanair said in a statement on Wednesday. Ryanair shares, which have risen 3.16% year-to-date, rose 1.10% at the start of trading in London on Wednesday. The news also boosted the shares of rival carrier easyJet EZJ, + 1.33%, which saw its shares increase by 1.06%, while the owner of British Airways International Airlines Group IAG, + 1.63%, saw its share increase by 1.42%. Airlines such as Ryanair RYAAY, -0.77% have introduced new summer routes in a bid to attract vacationers to travel when coronavirus restrictions ease. In March, Ryanair announced 26 new destinations in Greece, Portugal and Spain and plans to operate a total of 2,000 weekly flights on 400 summer routes. Read: Amid vaccine hurdles, EU battles to save summer vacation with COVID pass Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s four-step roadmap to get UK out of its third foreclosure, holidays abroad are prohibited until May 17 at the earliest. However, Johnson on Monday warned people not to book a summer vacation yet, saying it was too early for the government to commit to allowing overseas vacations due to the risk of importing variants. most contagious of the coronavirus, which is causing a wave of infections sweeping through Europe. Read: US and Alaska actions are upgraded on ‘clear path to reopening’ for the air travel industry When the ban on non-essential overseas travel is lifted, it will be replaced by a risk-based three-tier traffic light system to classify countries for international travel to and from England. “This new category will accommodate countries where we deem the risk to be lower, for example based on vaccinations, infection rates, prevalence of variants of concern and their ability to genome sequencing (or access to genomic sequencing), ”the government said in a statement. The Government’s Global Travel Task Force will release its report, giving more details on the system, later this week. .



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