Transportation

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Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Bentley to cut up to 1,000 jobs in the UK
Bentley Continental GTC
Bentley Continental GTC Credit: Alexander Migl (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

BBC reports that luxury carmaker Bentley is to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK. The company, owned by German car-maker Volkswagen, declined to comment but is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Delta to block middle seats until end of September
Delta 767 landing at Amsterdam Schiphol
Delta 767 landing at Amsterdam Schiphol Credit: Jan Rosolino

Delta Air Lines will continue to block the selection of middle seats and cap seating in every cabin through September 30.

Middle seats will be shown as unavailable during the booking process. On some smaller aircraft, some aisle seats will be blocked. Delta will also cap seating between 50% and 75%, depending on the cabin.

“Reducing the overall number of customers on every aircraft across the fleet is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure a safe experience for our customers and people,” Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer, said in a statement this Wednesday.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Money transporter traps security guard inside

Due to a technical defect, the security measures of a money transporter became a trap for a security employee. The fire brigade had to move with heavy equipment and free the employee from the unventilated vehicle. The trapped security guard remained unharmed.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Embraer in talks for a $600 million financing
Embraer 190
Embraer 190 Credit: Antônio Milena/ Agência Brasil

Planemaker Embraer is negotiating to obtain $600 million in credit lines led by Brazil’s state development bank BNDES. According to Brazilian government sources the deal should be closed in June and Bradesco, Santander, Itaú, Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Natixis will also be involved in the financing.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Elon Musk is paid out $775 million by Tesla part of his performance-based payout plan
Lineup of Tesla's electric cars exhibited at Tesla Store Washington D.C.
Lineup of Tesla's electric cars exhibited at Tesla Store Washington D.C. Credit: Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk entered an performance-based payout plan back in early 2018. In this payout plan, Tesla shareholders determined 12 market capitalization milestones and revenue milestones for which the CEO will be awarded each trench of his multi-billion dollar package.

By keeping the company market capitalization at $100 billion for roughly around a month and a trailing average of six months, Musk earned his first chunk of stock options, measuring roughly 1.7 million Tesla shares or an estimated $775 million after Thursday's Tesla share value closed at $805.81.

In a lawsuit against Elon Musk and members of the Tesla board, shareholder Richard Tornetta is accusing the board of awarding the CEO excessive compensation trough the payout plan, despite the CEO having given up his salary and only being awarded as part of the performance-based compensation package.

The next market capitalization target is set at $150 billion which together with other revenue based milestones will award the ceo his next tranche of his compensation package.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
American Airlines to cut the percentage of management and support staff to avoid bankruptcy
American Airlines fleet at Chicago O'Hare Airport
American Airlines fleet at Chicago O'Hare Airport Credit: unsplash.com/Miguel Ángel Sanz

Wednesday night, American Airlines announced that it plans to let go 30% of its management and support staff by September 30. Affected departments are, among others, marketing, finance and administration. CEO Doug Parker said the company was not planning to have to file for bankruptcy or furlough its employees.

Elise Eberwein, vice president of people and global engagement, justified the move by saying: “Fleet retirement accelerations are underway, and we will fly roughly 100 fewer aircraft next summer — mostly widebodies — than we had originally planned. Additionally, running a smaller airline means we will need a management and support staff team that is roughly 30% leaner."

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Boeing cuts over 12,000 U.S. jobs
Boeing Factory
Boeing Factory Credit: Maurice King (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Boeing announced today that the company is cutting more than 12,000 jobs as the air manufacturer deals with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company plans to lay off 6,770 workers this week, with another 5,520 workers asked to take buyouts in the next weeks.

Dave Calhoun, Boeing's CEO, wrote an email to the employes stating: “pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices. ... I wish there were some other way.”

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
LATAM Airlines files for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
LATAM Airlines Airbus departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport
LATAM Airlines Airbus departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport Credit: Adam Moreira (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Latin America's largest airline Latam Airlines says it is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to a slump in travel worldwide sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Latam said the bankruptcy filing has the support of the Cueto and Amaro families, as well as large shareholder Qatar Airways.

The company said it had about $1.3 billion in cash on hand and its affiliates in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay were not included in the Chapter 11 filing.

LATAM Airlines' Brazilian affiliates are in discussions with the Brazilian government about the next steps and financial support for operations in the country.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen loses first German 'dieselgate' case
Person holding black Volkswagen steering wheel
Person holding black Volkswagen steering wheel Credit: Julian Hochgesang

Germany's top civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must pay compensation to a motorist who had bought one of its diesel minivans fitted with emissions-cheating software. The ruling sets a benchmark for about 60,000 similar cases in Germany.

The company promised "appropriate offers" to those affected. In a statement, Volkswagen said: "Now aims to soon bring these cases to a close in agreement with the plaintiffs,"

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Ryanair announces job cuts and other cost-cutting measures
Ryanair airplane at Bratislava Airport
Ryanair airplane at Bratislava Airport Credit: unsplash.com/Anastasia Dulgier

The Irish budget airline Ryanair is in negotiations with its trade unions and employees about a series of cost-cutting measures. With the Covid-19 pandemic reducing passengers by more than 5 million and a presumed €200 million first quarter loss, the airline plans to cut around 3,000 jobs and is working out unpaid leave and pay cuts with its employees.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Emirates considers cutting 30,000 jobs due to the pandemic
An Emirates A380 plane taking off
An Emirates A380 plane taking off Credit: Julian Herzog (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Emirates Group is evaluating plans to cut about 30,000 jobs as the airline seeks to reduce costs after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded most of its fleet.

Bloomberg also reports the company is also considering speeding up the planned retirement of its Airbus A380 fleet.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
LNER requires mandatory ticket reservations starting May 18
LNER at London Kings Cross
LNER at London Kings Cross Credit: SavageKieran / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

London North Eastern Railway has announced that "all LNER services will be reservation only from Monday 18 May 2020." Customers can purchase the service in addition to their flexible tickets. While LNER is making reservations mandatory, Avanti West Coast is only recommending reserving tickets.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Delta to retire Boeing 777 jets from its fleet
Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200
Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200 Credit: Masakatsu Ukon (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Delta Air Lines said on Thursday that it is retiring the Boeing 777 and other older jets from its fleet in order to slash costs and face the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The retirement of the 777 planes will take place at the end of the year, and the company plans to use Airbus A330s and A350-900 series jets to replace them in its ultra-long-haul markets.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
IATA warns air travel may not return to normal before 2023
Empty gate at Airport
Empty gate at Airport Credit: unsplasj.com / Jacques Le Gall

Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the International Air Transport Association, says that air travel and passenger demand won't return to normal until at least 2023. According to IATA, demand for air travel has dropped a staggering 90% in both the U.S. and Europe since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic early March. “So for summer we hope that you will see flights within Europe coming back, with I hope interesting prices and very safe processes of control", so Alexandre de Juniac.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen raises rainbow flags in support of diversity and tolerance

The German car manufacturer has raised the rainbow flag outside their Volkswagen brand tower in support of "diversity and tolerance" for the first time as part of the initiative "Wolfsburg diversity and tolerance week" which stands for "a colorful and cosmopolitan community based on solidarity where social origin, sexual orientation and religious affiliation do not play a role" according to the initiators from the organization Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg e.V..

Volkswagen executive Gunnar Kilian has stated that the company wants to take "a clear stand on respect, equal opportunity, coexistence, equal treatment of everyone – regardless of their ethnic origin, color, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or gender".

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Singapore Changi tops list of best airports of 2020
Internal view of Singapore Changi Airport
Internal view of Singapore Changi Airport Credit: Bob Ghost

Singapore Changi Airport has for the eighth year in a row been voted the "World's Best Airport.".

The top five also lists Tokyo Haneda Airport, Hamad International Airport (Doha, Qatar), Incheon International Airport (South Korea) and Munich Airport (Germany).

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Ryanair hopes to operate 1,000 flights a day from early July on
Turbine of a Ryanair airplane
Turbine of a Ryanair airplane Credit: Lucas Davies (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Ryanair hopes to start operating almost 1,000 flights a day, equivalent to 40% of its usual schedule, in July as European Governments lift the lockdowns related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline, which is Europe's largest by passenger numbers, announced this Tuesday that it plans to operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights starting July 1. It will focus on flying as many routes as possible at a lower frequency than normal.

Currently, Ryanair schedule consists of 30 flights daily.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Tesla opens California factory - defies Alameda County order

Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that Tesla has reopened its factory in California and that he'll work "on the line with everyone else", claiming in a second tweet that the state of California has permitted the re-opening, but claims that "an unelected county official illegally overrode" the decision without providing further proof.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Fired Qatar Airways employee billed $145,000 training costs
Qatar Airways airplane mid-flight
Qatar Airways airplane mid-flight Credit: Pexels/Sohel Patel

In a letter sent on May 7, Qatar Airways terminated one of their employees without notice, stating stating "We regret to inform you that your services with the company are no longer required," and charged him QAR529,000 ($145,000 or €135,000) for "the expenses undertaken by the company for providing the Commercial Pilot Training". Qatar Airlines has cut hundreds of employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, it's unclear whether other pilots were asked for compensation. Many trainee pilots are required to sign a training bond in which they agree to compensate the airline if they leave the company within a set period.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airline Avianca filed for bankruptcy
Avianca Boeing on Runway
Avianca Boeing on Runway Credit: Richard Vandervord / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Colombian airline Avianca, the world's second-oldest airline, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to a statement on its website, the airline cited "unforeseeable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic" as the reason for its decision. After the impact of the pandemic cut 80% of the airline's income, 20,000 employees have been put on unpaid leave.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Musk announces that Tesla will move headquarters from California to Texas/Nevada

The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has announced in a tweet that the company will move its headquarters from California to Nevada, Texas. Musk also questioned if the manufacturing plant in Fremont will keep operating in the future after he complained about the Alameda county regulation that all but essential businesses are not allowed to operate until the end of May, due to the coronavirus.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Frontier Airlines to sell 'social distancing upgrade'
Frontier Airlines Gate at Denver Airport
Frontier Airlines Gate at Denver Airport Credit: Sox23 at the English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Frontier Airlines, an American low-cost airline, announced that customers can buy a 'social distancing upgrade' for $39 starting Friday. The upgrade guarantees a seat next to an empty middle seat to maintain social distancing during flights. While other airlines are taking similar approaches to keep passengers at a safe distance, Frontier is the first airline to charge fees.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
First planned shutdown of NY subway in 115 years
Empty New York City subway
Empty New York City subway Credit: Pendect/Ashley Winkler

New York City deliberately shuts down its subway system for the first time in its 115-year history. For the foreseeable future, the system will close overnight between 1 am and 5 am so a crew of cleaners can deep-clean and disinfect the trains and stations to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Virgin Atlantic to cut over 3,000 jobs and quit Gatwick Airport operations
Virgin Atlatnic A330neo press image
Virgin Atlatnic A330neo press image Credit: Virgin Atlantic/Press Images

The British airline Virgin Atlantic plans to cut over 3,000 jobs – one third of their workforce – as the airline suffers from Covid-19 repercussions. The airline will also cease operations at Gatwick Airport and move all of its operations to London Heathrow. Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic said in a statement that "now is the time for further action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and to protect as many jobs as possible. It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021".

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Air France-KLM obtain European Union approval for a 7 billion euros bailout
Air France Airbus A380-800, landing on Washington Dulles International Airport
Air France Airbus A380-800, landing on Washington Dulles International Airport Credit: Joe Ravi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Union's competition watchdog on Monday approved French state aid worth 7 billion euros for Air France-KLM.

Conditions for the funding. Include the requirement for the company to be a “good customer” for European planemaker Airbus SE, which is also struggling, and a revamp of loss-making services within France.

“There will be an elimination of domestic routes,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday on France-Inter radio, adding that the state aid is tied to “Air France becoming the company that most respects the environment.”

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir says Iceland support for Icelandair may involve a stake in the company
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir says Iceland support for Icelandair may involve a stake in the company
Credit: Iceland (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In an interview with a local radio station, Iceland Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir disclosed the government may consider taking a stake in Icelandair Group if there is an injection of funds into the airline.

“If there will be specific support, we need to weigh if it is natural that the state gets a share in it or if the state’s interest is better guarded with another solution,” Jakobsdottir said in the interview.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Norwegian Air nearer to a $1.2 billion debt-for-equity swap deal as bondholders support plan

Norwegian Air reached an agreement from enough bondholders to a $1.2 billion debt-for-equity swap.

The budget airline is poised to run out of cash by mid-May without approval for its plan, which involves handing over most of the company to its lessors and bondholders.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Tesla stock falls after CEO tweets "stock price too high"

The CEO of the car company Tesla, Elon Musk, has tweeted that in his opinion the stock price for his company is "too high". Following this, the market value of the company has fallen around $14 billion, with Elon Musk's personal loss being around $3 billion.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Norwegian Air bondholders reject debt plan, and company may run out of cash by mid-May.
Norwegian Air plane in Stockholm
Norwegian Air plane in Stockholm Credit: Captain Raju (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Although talks will still continue, Norwegian Air’s bondholders have turned down a proposed debt-to-equity swap, casting doubt on a plan that is vital to help the airline survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company may run out of cash by mid-May unless its plan is quickly approved by creditors and shareholders.

This plan involves swapping up to $1.2 billion of debt into equity and hands over most of the ownership of the company to lessors and bondholders.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Most US airlines make face masks mandatory on flights
Most US airlines make face masks mandatory on flights
Credit: pexels.com/@shvetsa

More and more airlines now mandate passengers to wear face masks during flights. After JetBlue Airways first announced mandatory masks for both crew and all passengers, other airlines followed including Delta, United and American.