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New Zealand Tour Operators are Ready for Tourists

New Zealand News - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 14:40

Tour operators in New Zealand are ready to welcome tourists as the country has witnessed decline in coronavirus cases and the NZ government could soon announce alert Level 2. Queenstown tour operators are eagerly waiting for tourists and they are ready to follow stricter guidelines to ensure better safety of tourists and staff members. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently announced that domestic travel will be allowed soon across New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has also announced its operational schedule once alert level 2 gets a go ahead from the government. The tourist operators will focus on local tourists as the permission for tourists outside New Zealand might come later. And, it is yet to be seen how many tourists will actually plan a vacation considering the risk of COVID-19 and higher prices of air tickets. Many tourism industry veterans feel that for 2020, the revenue would mainly come from local tourists all over the world.

Aviation industry is facing a major trouble in near future as the number of international tourists could dwindle even when the restrictions have been lifted. Many airlines have reduced their fleet and are planning to cut staff in order to deal with the economic crisis.

The annual Queenstown Winter Festival has been cancelled because of Covid-19. Local tour operators are considering other events to attract tourists. For Queenstown, local tourists have accounted for 30 percent of the business in the recent years. In 2020, we could see local tourists accounting for majority of business across New Zealand.

Business: Travel SectorGeneral: TNMFeaturedRegion: OtagoQueenstown

Bundesliga announces restart: Dynamo Dresden's Team will be in two-week isolation

United Kingdom News - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 12:32

Bundesliga recently announced restart of the match season after coronavirus pandemic threw all the schedules out of order. However, Dynamo Dresden's entire squad will be under two-weeks of isolation. Two players in the team have been tested positive for coronavirus, the team manager informed.

As per Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 official statement, the matches will start on Saturday 16 May. Following the coronavirus shutdown, Bundesliga will be the first European league to start matches. German Football Association (DFB) informed that the matches will be played under strict health protocols.

The league was suspended on March 13 but as the situation improved, players started practicing under strict condition by mid-April. The league will be played without any fans in the stadium. The management committee informed that there will be around 300 people including staff and officials present during matches. All the players and officials will undergo COVID-19 testing. As many labs have introduced quick tests for COVID-19, it has become easier to keep the risk of coronavirus in check.

Dynamo Dresden sports manager Ralf Minge informed, "In the past few weeks, we have made enormous efforts in terms of personnel and logistics in order to strictly implement all the prescribed medical and hygienic measures."

Dynamo Dresden is on the bottom of Bundesliga 2 and they were planning to start the season on May 17. However, under the current conditions, there would be delay for the team. As sports events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic, online sports betting as suffered. However, the online betting and gambling space has been gaining more customers as physical casinos have closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns. We can expect stronger revenue for online casino and sports betting companies in near future.

Region: GermanyEuropeGeneral: Sports UpdateTNMFeaturedOnline CasinoSports Betting

Air New Zealand to resume Flights to Majority of Domestic Airports at Alerts Level 2

New Zealand News - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 11:01

Air New Zealand will start flights to majority of domestic airports when New Zealand announces alert level 2 regarding coronavirus pandemic. During the initial period, Air NZ will operate only 20 percent of its capacity on domestic routes.

Due to social distancing norms, Air NZ will be booking less number of passengers on its flights and this will increase the fares on the routes. The airline informed about the cities it will connect during the initial phase of resuming of services. These cities include Queenstown, Invercargill, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Blenheim, Rotorua, Gisborne, Palmerston Norh, Whangārei and Kerikeri.

Talking about Air NZ plans, CEO Greg Foran said, “We've been keen to start domestic air services as soon as practicably possible to support New Zealand's economic recovery and connect family, friends and businesses. But the ramp up to higher frequencies will be a slow journey and even when we come out of alert level 1, all of our domestic destinations will see fewer flights and reduced frequencies.”

Air NZ will cut 300 jobs for pilots due to COVID-19 pandemic. Remaining 900 pilots will face 30 percent cut in their salary.

As per the official flying schedule, Air New Zealand will have flights to the following destinations.

Auckland to/from: Christchurch, Gisborne, Kerikeri, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei and Queenstown.
Christchurch to/from: Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Palmerston North, Wellington and Queenstown.
Wellington to/from: Blenheim, Gisborne, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Tauranga.

Business: Aviation SectorGeneral: TNMFeaturedPeople: Greg ForanRegion: AucklandCompanies: Air New Zealand

Taiwan and Vietnam set examples in discipline while keeping COVID-19 under control

United Kingdom News - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 06:12

Taiwan and Vietnam have been in the news recently as both these nations have managed to contain COVID-19 infections. Vietnam has not reported even a single death due to coronavirus despite proximity to China and high trade with China. Taiwan is also having a deeper connection and proximity to China but this island nation has also managed to keep the number of cases low.

Compared to Vietnam and Taiwan, Italy has suffered in a massive way and was the epicenter for infections in Europe (Spain has gone ahead of Italy in number of infections). Early reports suggest that Italy suffered as the country receives a lot of shipments from China and the second reason for spread in Italy is high number of tourists. However, one can’t ignore the late action of Italian government and a crippling medical system for high number of death cases.

Vietnam has population of 95 million and no one has died in this Asian country due to COVID-19 infection. Vietnam was among the first nations to announce serious measures. The government didn’t announce lockdown but people were asked to take precautions and wear masks. Social distancing was carefully observed by locals.

Taiwan has population of 24 million and only 6 death cases have been reported in Taiwan. The country didn’t force lockdowns. The disciple of Taiwanese people has been lauded by health experts. People were wearing masks and following social distancing norms. Taiwan has also exported 17 million masks to countries needing masks. The life is back to normal in Taiwan.

Total Infections 288
Death Cases: Nil
Population: 95.5 million
Infections in last 10 days: Nil

Total Infections 440
Death Cases: 6
Population: 23.7 million
Infections in last 10 days: Nil

In comparison, UK has witnessed 31,240 death cases so far and 211 thousand infections. The government was too late in announcing measures and Prime Minister ignored the early warnings. Only when the Prime Minister himself became infected with coronavirus that majority of Britons started taking this infection seriously. We should learn from the countries that have showcased discipline in their fight against coronavirus.

Region: TaiwanVietnamGeneral: TNMFeaturedHealth

Glaxosmithkline reports Strong First Quarter Earnings

United Kingdom News - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 09:32

Pharmaceutical major Glaxosmithkline has reported strong quarterly earnings for the first quarter. The company management informed that they are confident about meeting the 2020 guidance in terms of revenue and net earnings. GSK reported strong sales for shingles treatment shingrix and pain medications during the coronavirus lockdowns. Many pharmaceutical companies have reported strong sales during COVID-19 pandemic.

GSK reported £2.01 billion in net profit during first quarter, marking 41 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The pharmaceutical major registered 19 percent increase in turnover at £9.09 during Q12020.

Recently, Astrazeneca also announced results that were better than market expectations. Specific products have witnessed stronger sales during COVID-19 pandemic.

Talking about GSK results, Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett said, “The coronavirus outbreak has provided a modest tailwind to GSK’s sales, and together with recent drug launches and good cost control, that’s done wonders for profits.”

“If things go right ... to get to scale of manufacturing in the hundreds of millions (of doses) is going to be in the second half of next year. You will see a reasonable amount of consensus from many global authorities, when this was all emerging, an 18-month time line was an ambitious one to be going after but one that everyone is targeting,” CEO Emma Walmsley.

Business: Pharmaceutical SectorCompanies: GlaxoSmithKlineRegion: LondonGeneral: TNMFeatured

Barclays registers 923 million pounds first quarter profit

United Kingdom News - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 08:12

Financial services major Barclays has reported 923 million pounds of pretax profit during the first quarter compared to 1.5 billion pounds pretax profit during the same period last year. Barclays profit has been impacted by coronavirus led lockdowns and lower business activity. Market analysts had predicted an average of 1.25 billion pounds pretax profit for the bank during first quarter.

Barclays added that the impact of coronavirus will likely continue in the next quarters as the infection numbers continue to rise across the UK and other markets. Barclays CEO Jes Staley said, “Given the uncertainty around the developing economic downturn and low interest rate environment, 2020 is expected to be challenging.” Barclays bottomline was positively supported by strong performance of its investment banking division. Barclays International registered 44 percent increase in income to 3.6 billion pounds.

The sharp volatility in the international stock markets helped Barclays International to register strong performance during the quarter. Banking fees were higher by 12 percent and equities segment registered 21 percent increase in income.

As per a report published by Reuters, “The impairments number included a 405 million pound hit from single name wholesale loan charges, while charges in its consumer, cards and payments division nearly trebled to 885 million pounds from Dec. 31, as the deteriorating economic situation increased the chances of customers missing payments.”

Business: Banking SectorCompany ResultsCompanies: BarclaysRegion: LondonGeneral: TNMFeaturedPeople: Jes Staley