Covid-19 Economic Impact

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Ryanair to operate "few, if any" flights to or from the UK & Ireland
Ryanair to operate "few, if any" flights to or from the UK & Ireland
Credit: unsplash.com/Sangga Rima Roman Selia

Due to new lockdowns in Ireland, the United Kingdom and some other EU countries, the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is drastically cutting its flight offerings starting January 21, the company announced Thursday.

From January 21, Ryanair plans to operate "few, if any" flights to and from British and Irish airports. This will apply until the severe travel restrictions are lifted.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany reports 56 percent less air traffic due to Covid-19 pandemic
Germany reports 56 percent less air traffic due to Covid-19 pandemic
Credit: unsplash.com / William Hook

There was little activity in the skies over Germany in the Corona year 2020: Up to and including 27 December, the German Air Navigation Services (DFS) monitored just under 1.47 million aircraft movements. This was 56 percent less than the 3.33 million flights recorded in the same period last year.

In the Christmas week, aircraft movements including overflights were only 38.4 per cent of the previous year's figure.

International air traffic had plummeted dramatically in March after more and more countries closed their borders to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The last time controllers recorded fewer commercial and military flights was in 1989, then for West German airspace alone. The previous record year is 2018, with 3.35 million movements.

Regional News • Europe
France and Britain decide on plans to resume freight traffic
France and Britain decide on plans to resume freight traffic
Credit: unsplash.com / Andrey Sharpilo

According to the BCC, Britain and France will decide on a plan to resume freight traffic after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on measures to reopen the French border. The measures will apply from Wednesday, the BBC said, citing French Europe Minister Clément Beaune.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Republicans and Democrats in US Congress have agreed to nearly $900 billion in financial aid
Republicans and Democrats in US Congress have agreed to nearly $900 billion in financial aid
Credit: unsplash.com / Quick PS

Lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have agreed on a gigantic new aid package to ease the impact of the Corona pandemic.

The measures include sending checks for $600 each to family members in households hit particularly hard by the crisis, opposition Democratic parliamentary leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced. The new package also includes aid for the unemployed of $300 per week each, according to opposition leaders. In the spring, this special aid had been $600 a week. 25 billion dollars are intended according to Pelosi and Schumer for the housing sector. This is intended to prevent financially distressed tenants from having to move out. There is also to be aid of almost a hundred billion dollars for schools and daycare centers.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Berlinale announces plans for a 'festival in two stages' amid Covid-19 uncertainty
Berlinale announces plans for a 'festival in two stages' amid Covid-19 uncertainty
Credit: Berlin International Film Festival (Public Domain)

The Berlinale organizers announced the decision to have its upcoming film festival online. Originally set for February 11-21, 2021, the festival is pushing back the dates for its program to from March 1st to 5th.

The winners and a selection of the films from the March festival will then be presented in Berlin theatres in the summer.

"As an answer to the times in which we are living, we have decided to split our offer into two distinct, yet related events and in this way fulfil the mission of the Berlinale," said artistic director Carlo Chatrian in a press release.

Along with various businesses and schools, is already confirmed that Berlin's cultural institutions are to remain closed until the middle of January, and Lederer said in a Twitter video message that he expected the lockdown for cinemas to "go on a little longer."

Climate & Environment
Germany: Green electricity will cover almost half of electricity consumption in 2020
Germany: Green electricity will cover almost half of electricity consumption in 2020
Credit: unsplash.com / RawFilm

According to experts, renewable energies such as wind and solar power covered almost half of Germany's electricity consumption this year.

This means that the share of green electricity has continued to rise, compared to 42.5 percent in 2019. According to preliminary calculations by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) the share of electricity from wind, photovoltaics, biomass and other renewable energy sources made up around 46 percent of gross electricity consumption.

One of the reasons for this shift, however, is the lower electricity consumption, in particular as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
KLM to offer Covid-19 tested flights between Amsterdam and Atlanta
Boeing 777-200 ER of KLM at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport
Boeing 777-200 ER of KLM at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport Credit: Hugh Llewelyn (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

KLM announced on Friday it would begin offering Covid-19 tested flights between Amsterdam and Atlanta. The Dutch airline is the latest example of a European company adopting a testing strategy to increase passenger confidence in flying amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the KLM plan, travellers receive one test five days before their flight, another shortly before the flight, and a third after landing.

"Until an approved working vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step towards the international travel industry's recovery," KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said in a statement.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Warner Bros. will debut every 2021 movie on HBO Max at the same time they hit theatres
Warner Bros. will debut every 2021 movie on HBO Max at the same time they hit theatres
Credit: Warner Bros.

On Thursday, Warner Bros. announced that it would release all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max at the same time they hit theatres. New releases will be available to stream on HBO Max for a month and then will continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories.

Movies that are scheduled to launch in 2021 include Denzel Washington’s The Little Things, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, and Matrix 4.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Ryanair to close base in Vienna
Ryanair to close base in Vienna
Credit: unsplash/Portuguese Gravity

British budget airline Ryanair will close its Vienna, Austria, base by the end of 2020, the Austrian national public service broadcaster ORF reports. Vienna-based employees are being told they can either relocate to a different location or lose their job.

Health
Scotland will pay £500 "thank you" bonus to NHS and social care workers
Scotland will pay £500 "thank you" bonus to NHS and social care workers
Credit: Arctic Circle / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has announced a one time "thank you" bonus payment for NHS and social care workers in Scotland of £500 for extraordinary service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She stated that "I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full-time NHS and adult social care worker £500 as a one-off thank-you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years". Part-time workers will receive a "proportionate share".

Regional News • Oceania
Qantas lays off 2,000 more employees
Qantas lays off 2,000 more employees
Credit: Adam Moreira (AEMoreira042281) / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

All of Qantas' ground handling staff will be outsourced, laying off 2,000 employees to save the company more than $100 million a year.

Around 8,500 positions have been ditched by Qantas since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

The Transport Workers' Union criticized the move by Qantas, despite a bid by the 2,000 workers to keep their jobs.

“This is a dark day as Qantas management rejects a thorough and competitive bid by its highly skilled and dedicated workers to keep their own jobs,” said TWU national secretary Michael Kaine.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentinean congress discusses new tax regulation for the richest people in order to sanitize the economy and overcome Covid-19
Argentinean congress discusses new tax regulation for the richest people in order to sanitize the economy and overcome Covid-19
Credit: Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation) / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 AR)

Argentinean president Alberto Fernandez proposed a new set of regulations to tax the richest people in the country (above 2,35 M dollars).

Now the congress discusses the proposal that would create a one-time tax, starting with 3.5% up to 5.25%. The extraordinary fee is estimated to affect between 9.000 and 12.000 richest Argentineans, then 20% of the money collected will be used to fight the Covid-19 crises, and the rest will be used to reduce the economic crisis that holds the country in recession since 2018, having 40,9% of the total population of 44 million Argentineans under the poverty line.

Business • Farming & Agriculture
UK faces shortage of Christmas trees due to Covid-19 export restrictions from Denmark
UK faces shortage of Christmas trees due to Covid-19 export restrictions from Denmark
Credit: Steve Wilson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Due to a recent outbreak of a mutated Covid-19 version in mink, Denmark has heavy export restrictions in place. Following the United Kingdom has problems importing Nordmann Firs of which it normally uses around a million trees every year.

According to MailOnline Domestic suppliers are working hard to fill any gaps in demand to ensure people can get a tree for their house, but face an increase in demand of sometimes up to 1,000%.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
IATA: Airlines would need another $80 billion in aid to survive
BER Airport
BER Airport Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to IATA, airlines would need an additional $80 billion to survive the Covid-19 crisis. Governments already injected $160 billion into the sector.

IATA has predicted a painfully slow recovery with a return to pre-crisis traffic levels only in 2024 and passenger numbers still down 30% next year.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on December 25 on HBO Max and Theaters
Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on December 25 on HBO Max and Theaters
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

After months of delays due to Covid-19, Warner Bros. has decided to release its upcoming blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 on its HBO Max streaming service the same day it hits theatres in the U.S., December 25. The sequel to the 2017 hit was originally supposed to be released in June, then moved to October.

According to a press release, the film will debut in theatres internationally on December 16.

Business • Economy
Euro overtakes dollar as most widely used currency
Euro overtakes dollar as most widely used currency
Credit: unsplash.com / Omid Armin

For the first time in years, the EU's common currency has overtaken the dollar as an international currency. The British pound is by far the third most frequently used means of payment.

Following an evaluation of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunications (SWIFT) the demand for the euro as an international means of payment has increased significantly during the pandemic.

According to SWIFT, about 37.8 percent of all money transfers worldwide in October were in euros. This was six percentage points more than at the turn of the year. During the same period, the dollar's share fell by 4.6 percentage points to 37.5 percent.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Union faces crisis as Hungary and Poland vetoed a new seven-year budget
European Union flags
European Union flags Credit: Thijs ter Haar (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The European Union faces a crisis after Hungary and Poland vetoed the bloc's historic €1.8tn budget and coronavirus recovery plan over attempts to link funding to respect for democratic norms.

The move unravels months of negotiations over the scale and terms of the EU's spending and sets the stage for a stormy videoconference meeting of the bloc's leaders on Thursday. The 27 EU heads of state and government had signed off on the broad spending package and the inclusion of a link to respect for the rule of law in July, after days of hard debate.

Business • Economy
easyJet reports £835 million loss in 2020, worst results in its 25-year history
easyJet reports £835 million loss in 2020, worst results in its 25-year history
Credit: unsplash/Jan Rosolino

British multinational budget airline easyJet has reported a £835 million loss in the year to 30 September 2020, compared to £427 million in profits in 2019. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both easyJet's revenue and passenger numbers declined by approx. 50%,

"I am immensely proud of the performance of the easyJet team in facing the challenges of 2020. We responded robustly and decisively, minimising losses, reducing cash burn and launching the largest cost out and restructuring programme in our history – all while raising more than £3.1 billion in liquidity to date," so chief executive, Johan Lundgren

Business • Farming & Agriculture
Major fur auctioneer to shut down following link between mink and Covid-19 in Demark
Major fur auctioneer to shut down following link between mink and Covid-19 in Demark
Credit: Kopenhagen Fur

Kopenhagen Fur, the cooperative of 1,500 breeders which was founded in 1930, said a government announcement earlier this month to kill 15 million mink - to minimize the risk of them transmitting COVID-19 to humans - "changes the basic platform of the company in the long term."

"As a company, we are in operation and are looking into a completely normal sales season, where we offer the world's finest mink skins, as we usually do. Our sorters are ready to receive the skins, and the auction team is already working deep into the detailed planning," said Jesper Lauge, CEO at Kopenhagen Fur, in a statement.

Business • Economy
Deutsche Bank suggests a 5% tax on remote workers to help the world rebuild from Covid-19
Deutsche Bank suggests a 5% tax on remote workers to help the world rebuild from Covid-19
Credit: Chris Montgomery

In a report called “What we must do to rebuild”, Deutsche Bank suggests slapping a 5% daily tax on people who work from home and using the funds raised to subsidise the lowest-paid workers who are unable to work remotely.

Working from home meant that many people were saving on everyday costs such as travel, lunch, clothes and cleaning, as well as probably spending less on socializing. Subsidizing businesses that had no long-term future in this shift toward "human disconnection" made no sense for governments, Templeman said, but supporting workers who had been "displaced by forces out outside their control". At the same time, they retrain or figure out their next steps did.