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US airlines reach deal on govt loans as Covid-19 threatens demand, jobs
Posted on 8th July 2020
The largest U.S. air carriers have all signed letters of intent on federal loans to help them weather the novel coronavirus, with United Airlines warning employees on Tuesday that a surge in outbreaks was hitting bookings, threatening a travel rebound and jobs.

United employees should expect to receive as soon as this week notices about potential furloughs effective Oct. 1, the airline said in a regulatory filing. It expects travel demand to remain depressed until a widely accepted COVID-19 treatment or vaccine is found, with no straight line to an industry recovery.

U.S. airline shares closed 5% lower on Tuesday, with United down 7.6%.

While travel had picked up in some areas over the past two months from pandemic-driven lows in April, United has seen reservations for travel within the coming month slide after New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said they would require people arriving from hot-spot states to quarantine for 14 days.

The slump was most pronounced at United's Newark hub, where near-term net bookings were just about 16% of year-ago levels as of July 1. Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth said the bookings trend was likely much broader than the New York area.

Andrew Nocella, United's chief commercial officer, told employees at a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday that its network would be slightly more impacted than other U.S. domestic airlines, sources said after the meeting.

It is among U.S. airlines encouraging employees to accept voluntary departure packages to help prevent tens of thousands of job losses in the fall but said not enough workers have signed up ahead of a July 15 deadline to apply.

U.S. airlines have drastically reduced their flight capacity and rushed to shore up capital while warning that tens of thousands of jobs could be at risk as the industry braces for a slow recovery.

United sees domestic load factors at around 50% in July versus around 80% normally, with international loads around 30%, and will continue to adjust its capacity based on demand.

Delta Air Lines said last week it may scale back the number of flights it had planned for August.

United and Delta were among U.S. carriers - along with Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines - that the U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday had signed letters regarding the terms of a $25 billion loan package under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Last week, the department said it had agreed on the terms for government loans under the CARES Act with five other airlines including American Airlines.

U.S. airlines have already received $25 billion in payroll aid under the CARES Act to protect jobs through September and have until Sept. 30 to decide whether to take the loan, which would include the issue of warrants and restrictions on executive compensation and share buybacks.

U.S. unions representing aviation workers have separately asked lawmakers to extend the payroll aid package through March as Congress considers a new round of spending to address coronavirus-related issues and jobs.

Other Latest News
Noida gets 400-bed Covid-19 hospital, CM Yogi Adityanath reviews facilities
Posted on 8th August 2020
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday inaugurated a dedicated 400-bed government hospital for COVID-19 patients in Noida.

The facility is located in Sector 39 of the city and has come up in association with the Tata Trusts and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to officials.

Gold price today at Rs 56,050 per 10 g; silver at record Rs 76,510 a kg
Posted on 8th August 2020
Gold prices today jumped to Rs 56,050 from Rs 55,350 per 10 gram, while silver climbed to Rs 76,510 from Rs 73,500 per kg, according to Good Returns website.

Gold jewellery prices vary across India, the second-largest consumer of the metal, due to excise duty, state taxes, and making charges.

US election: China would love to have me lose to 'sleepy' Biden, says Trump
Posted on 8th August 2020
US President Donald Trump on Friday (local time) said that China would love to have an election if he lost to his sleepy Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.

China would love for us to have an election where Donald Trump lost to sleepy Joe Biden. They would dream (that) they would own our country. If Joe Biden was president, China would rule our country, he told reporters here.

Facebook builds 600 affordable homes to address housing crisis in US
Posted on 8th August 2020
Facebook has produced and preserved approximately 600 affordable homes near its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, of which roughly 70 per cent are reserved for extremely low and very low-income residents.

The company said it is on track to creating approximately 750 affordable homes by 2022.

Amazon, Flipkart set to witness business worth $600 mn during sale events
Posted on 8th August 2020
E-commerce companies Amazon and Flipkart are expecting to witness a total business of about $600 million during their ongoing sale events. This is at least 25 per cent higher in terms of sales compared to the business these firms would have generated for such small scale events during pre-Covid times, according to the industry insiders and analysts. They are also witnessing an increase in volumes (number of orders) which is 40 per cent higher than the normal times. Walmart-owned Flipkart is running the 5-day ‘Big Saving Days’ sale till Monday, coinciding with Amazon's 48-hour Prime Day sale which ended on Friday night.

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