Covid-19 Economic Impact

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Tenet grosses $20.2m on opening weekend in US
Tenet grosses $20.2m on opening weekend in US
Credit: Warner Bros

Christopher Nolan's new movie "Tenet" garnered around $20.2 million in the US over Labor Day weekend. Usually, Nolan's movies make around $50m during an opening weekend but around 45% of the country's film venues remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Domestically, while our results show positive like-for-like theatre indicators compared to previous films such as Dunkirk, there is literally no context in which to compare the results of a film opening during a pandemic with any other circumstance. We are in unprecedented territory, so any comparisons to the pre-COVID world would be inequitable and baseless," Warner Bros said in a statement.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
Dehli, India: Subway trains resume after 5-month-long Coronavirus shutdown
India's transport system carried around 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown.
India's transport system carried around 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown. Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Dehli's metro is resuming again after being suspended for five months due to the Coronavirus lockdown measures. The Indian economy has started to reopen even though the country experiences high daily counts of new infections.

Commuters will have to wear masks, keep a safe distance and have their temperature checked.

Lifestyle • Food
NYC restaurant owners file $2b lawsuit against city and state officials
Financier Patisserie closed all its location due to mandated indoor dining shutdown
Financier Patisserie closed all its location due to mandated indoor dining shutdown Credit: Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

New York City restaurant owners have filed a $2 billion class-action suit against city and state officials in Manhattan's Supreme Court, stating a violation of the constitutional rights of mover than 150,000 New York City restaurant owners.

"It’s been nearly six months since New York City restaurants were mandated to shutdown indoor dining, and Mayor de Blasio still does not have a reopening plan, even though the rest of the state has been dining indoors since June," so Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

Business • Economy
GDP falls 9.7% record in the 2nd quarter and Brazil enters recession again
Closed stores in Santos, Brazil
Closed stores in Santos, Brazil Credit: Marcelo dos Santos

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Brazil had a historical fall of 9.7% in the 2nd quarter, in comparison with the first 3 months of the year, due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis,

With a pandemic, the Brazilian economy regressed to the level of late 2009.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Lufthansa has 1.2 million outstanding applications for Covid-19 related ticket refunds
Lufthansa has 1.2 million outstanding applications for Covid-19 related ticket refunds
Credit: unsplash.com/Kevin Hackert

AUA parent Lufthansa is making progress with the reimbursement of cancelled tickets from the Corona crisis. In the current year, the group has now returned 2.5 billion euros to 5.6 million customers, the group announced on Friday. However, this still leaves 1.2 million applications open, with a volume of around 600 million euros.

In the past seven days, 20,000 cases were settled daily, according to the company. If things had continued at the same pace without new cancellations, the applications would have been cleared in 60 days. The Group had announced that it would settle the cases from the first half of the year by the end of August.

According to EU law, airlines are obliged to refund the ticket price within seven days if they initiate cancellations. Following the collapse of air traffic in March, Lufthansa switched off automatic refund processes and insisted on individual case reviews.

Business • Economy
Department store chain Lord & Taylor to close all its stores
Department store chain Lord & Taylor to close all its stores
Credit: Lord & Taylor

After 194 years in business, the American department store chain Lord & Taylor is closing all its 38 remaining stores after filing bankruptcy on August 2 and has begun liquidation sales.

"While we are still entertaining various opportunities, we believe it is prudent to simultaneously put the remainder of the stores into liquidation to maximize value of inventory for the estate while pursuing options for the company's brands," so Lord & Taylor's chief restructuring officer Ed Kremer.

Business • Economy
Airbnb files to go public
Airbnb files to go public
Credit: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Public Domain)

Airbnb announced on Wednesday that it had confidentially filed to go public. Reports indicate the company could have an IPO as soon as the end of the year.

The company had been privately valued at $31 billion before this year and it must now convince investors that it can thrive and turn a profit in a new era of limited travel.

Lifestyle • Travel
Covid-19 causes huge losses for German travel giant TUI
Covid-19 causes huge losses for German travel giant TUI
Credit: Marco Verch (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

TUI, the world's largest travel operator, suffered a 98.5% drop in revenues due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group posted a €1.42 billion loss between April and June.

On Wednesday, TUI secured a second credit line from the German government, adding to a €1.8 billion loan taken on in April, and while the CEO said it might not need to use the latest line, the focus is now on debt.

In May the company stated it would need to cut 8,000 jobs and save €300 million a year to help it withstand the crisis.

Business • Economy
UK officially in recession for first time in 11 years
UK officially in recession for first time in 11 years
Credit: Franck V.

The UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession.

The economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

Technology • Internet & Web
Mozilla announces that they will layoff around 250 employees
Mozilla announces that they will layoff around 250 employees

The Mozilla Corporation has announced that around 250 employees will lose their jobs as part of a restructuring. According to the announcement "economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted" the revenue of the corporation.

Earlier in 2020 around 70 employees had already lost their jobs.

Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker has stated that: "Though we’ve been talking openly with our employees about the need for change — including the likelihood of layoffs — since the spring, it was no easier today when these changes became real. I desperately wish there was some other way to set Mozilla up for long term success in building a better internet".

Business • Economy
Disney reports $4.7b loss in third quarter
Disney reports $4.7b loss in third quarter
Credit: Coolcaesar / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Walt Disney Co. reports its first quarterly loss since 2001 largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a loss of $4.72 billion in its third fiscal quarter ending with June 27.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Disney had to close its theme parks and lost revenue from theatrical parks, live sports and movie distribution. However, due to people staying at home, Disney+ has gained over 60 million subscribers in less than nine months.

Technology • Internet & Web
Covid-19 pandemic boosts online dating, and Match Group forecasts sales above estimates
iPhone displaying the Tinder app
iPhone displaying the Tinder app Credit: Kon Karampelas

Match Group Inc. reported Tuesday strong gains in profit and revenue in the second quarter above Wall Street expectations. The company is the owner of Tinder, Match.com, OKCupid and other online-dating properties.

As dating apps became an alternative to face-to-face meetings, as restrictions to stop the spread of the pandemic, results for the quarter were positive. Tinder gained 200,000 users in the quarter, taking its average subscribers-base to 6.2 million.

In an email, CEO Shar Dubey said: "Despite the pandemic, our user trends, like engagement and willingness to pay for our products, is up, proving what we’ve always known: Our products satisfy a very critical human need, and those needs aren’t going anywhere".

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Embraer reports commercial aviation revenue down by 82%
KLM Embraer 190
KLM Embraer 190 Credit: Dylan Agbagni (Public Domain)

Embraer announced Wednesday that its commercial aviation revenue had fallen by 82% to $109 million in the second quarter because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company had a net loss of $315 million in the quarter.

The company also stated that 50% of its aircraft orders have been deferred to 2022, but despite having no cancelled orders, Embraer cautioned that long deferrals would make 2021 difficult.

Sports
Rafael Nadal decides to pull out of the US Open due to Covid-19 concerns
Rafael Nadal decides to pull out of the US Open due to Covid-19 concerns
Credit: Diliff (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The current tennis world number 2, Rafael Nadal, has decided to pull out of the US Open tournament. Nadal, who won the tournament four times previously, including 2019, will not be competing this year due to Covid-19 concerns. He recently tweeted: "After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Mulan to premiere on Disney Plus
Mulan trailer image
Mulan trailer image Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the movie "Mulan" will premiere on the service on September 4 for $29.99. On markets where Disney Plus is not available, the film will be released theatrically.

The announcement was made on the company’s earnings call after the market close Tuesday.

Mulan was originally scheduled to debut in March but due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was moved to July 24, then to August 21, and few weeks ago it was postponed indefinitely.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
EVA Air will have a Hello Kitty-themed flight to nowhere on August 8
EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER with Hello Kitty painting
EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER with Hello Kitty painting Credit: Jeffhuang0627 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

EVA Air announced Monday it will be celebrating Father’s Day, August 8 in Taiwan, by selling tickets to a Hello Kitty flight to nowhere. The company is looking for innovative ways to get in the air again despite travel restrictions to other countries.

The Hello Kitty-themed plane will take off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport and will land three hours later back at the same location.

During the flight, guests onboard will be treated to a special amenity kit filled with gifts, and be given the chance to purchase Hello Kitty duty-free items at a steep discount. The company also announced passengers would be served a meal designed by Michelin three-star chef Motokazu Nakamura.

Health
300,000 Seafarers stranded at sea, banned from ports
300,000 Seafarers stranded at sea, banned from ports
Credit: Ville du Havre / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The International Transport Workers' Federation estimates that around 300,000 seafarers are currently trapped at sea, unable to leave their cargo ships or dock due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Seafarers have been om board for months, some for over a year. The staff is being forced to remain aboard to keep shipping going as shipping firms are having are a hard time find new staff even though another 300,000 seafarers are onshore and unemployed.

The ITF called the situation a "humanitarian crisis". One of the ITF's surveys found that 70% had to involuntarily extend their contract and 5% of the workers weren't paid. Crew members spoke of mental health problems, supply shortages and suicidal thoughts. Several governments promised to speed up the crew change process but haven't delivered yet. The ITF said it would support seafarer strikes.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airbus to reduce production of A350
Airbus A350
Airbus A350 Credit: wallycacsabre (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Airbus announced Thursday that it will reduce the production of the A350 aircraft to only five units per month, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company's second-quarter results. Airbus had already reduced the A350 production from 9.5 to 6 planes per month in April.

The company is cutting up to 15,000 jobs to deal with the crisis, which it expects to hold output down by 40% for some two years compared with pre-crisis levels.

CEO Guillaume Faury stated, “We believe it is going to be a long and slow recovery,”.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazilian government lifts four-month ban on foreign air travel
Temperature screening at São Paulo International Airport
Temperature screening at São Paulo International Airport Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Despite still having a daily average of more than 1,000 deaths by Covid-19, the Brazilian government decided to reopen its borders to foreign visitors arriving by plane. Jair Bolsonaro signed, this Wednesday, an ordinance revoking the ban that was in place since the end of March.

The ordinance states, "The foreign passenger on a visit to the country for a short stay, of up to ninety days, must present to the transport company, before boarding, proof of purchase of health insurance valid in Brazil and with coverage for the entire period of the trip, under penalty of being prevented from entering national territory by the migratory authority due to provocation by the health authority ".

Regional News • Americas
United States GDP has dropped by 32,9%
United States GDP has dropped by 32,9%
Credit: Marco Verch (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The United States Commerce Department has reported a drop in the gross domestic product of 32,9% in the second quarter of 2020.

This marks the highest drop in the United States GDP in recorded history, almost four times higher than the worst quarter during the Great Recession.