From job cuts to online commerce, virus reshaped US economy
And many women, mostly mothers, felt compelled to quit the workforce to care for children being schooled online from home. AdAfter a year of ghostly airports, empty sports stadiums and constant Zoom meetings, growing signs suggest that the economy is strengthening. The economy still has 9.5 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic — more than were lost in the entire 2008-2009 Great Recession. AdAs more Americans have ordered dinners, groceries and household goods online, delivery drivers have emerged as the biggest source of job growth in the pandemic. ___ONLINE FOOD DELIVERY, RETAIL SAVE CONSUMERSThe pandemic emptied malls and restaurants and accelerated a trend toward online ordering and delivery.
Airlines close books on rotten 2020 and so far, 2021 is grim
An American Airlines Boeing 777 is framed by utility wires as it prepares to land at Miami International Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Miami. And now a halting rollout of vaccines threatens to further delay a recovery in travel and the travel industry. On Thursday, as airlines reported results, a new coronavirus variant identified in South Africa was found in the United States for the first time, with two cases diagnosed in South Carolina. “Travel restrictions on international have resulted in a reduction in demand,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said. Ad___JETBLUE AIRWAYSJetBlue reported a loss of $381 million, after reporting a profit in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Southwest pulls threat of furloughs after relief bill signed
DALLAS – Southwest Airlines is lifting the threat of furloughs or pay cuts for thousands of workers now that U.S. airlines will get up to $15 billion more in taxpayer aid contained in the coronavirus-relief bill. American and United Airlines, which together furloughed 32,000 employees in October, said Monday they will bring those workers back temporarily. This month, Southwest warned nearly 7,000 workers that their jobs could be in danger if their unions did not accept pay cuts of about 10%. Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly told employees Monday that federal relief “was always our preferred plan, and it means we can stop the movement toward furloughs and pay cuts that we previously announced.”Kelly said Dallas-based Southwest doesn’t expect the need for any furloughs or pay cuts in 2021. This spring, as the pandemic caused a nosedive in travel, airlines warned of massive layoffs unless Congress provided federal aid.
Some businesses thrived, many lagged during pandemic in 2020
The coronavirus pandemic created winners and losers in the business world. What follows is a look at those businesses that benefitted from the pandemic and those that faltered. DELIVERY SERVICESAs people hunkered down at home because of the coronavirus, restaurant delivery companies that were merely convenient in 2019 became essential businesses in 2020. A sizable chunk of the millions of people forced to work from home by the coronavirus pandemic have been less inclined to wear business attire. Producers were already struggling before the pandemic struck, due to a weak global economy and a market flooded with cheap oil.
Correction: Virus Outbreak-Business Travel story
Brandon Contreras represents the worst fears of the lucrative business travel industry. Work travel represented 21% of the $8.9 trillion spent on global travel and tourism in 2019, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Right now, Delta’s business travel revenue is down 85%. ExxonMobil cut business travel in February — even before the pandemic’s full impact was felt in the U.S. — because of falling global demand for oil. But he thinks new kinds of business travel could also emerge.
JetBlue is the latest airline to retreat from blocking seats
The days of airlines blocking seats to make passengers feel safer about flying during the pandemic are coming closer to an end. A spokesman for the carrier said Thursday that JetBlue will reduce the number of seats it blocks after Dec. 1 to accommodate families traveling together over the holidays. Southwest Airlines said last week that it will stop limiting the number of seats it fills after Dec. 1. Some airlines promised to block middle seats to create more distance between passengers. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly made a similar reference to “scientific evidence” that cabins are safe, but he also cited a strong financial incentive to stop blocking middle seats.
CEO says Southwest needs union pay cuts to avoid furloughs
DALLAS – Southwest Airlines will cut pay for nonunion workers in January and says union workers must also accept less pay or face furloughs next year as the pandemic continues to hammer the airline business. Southwest will negotiate similar cuts from union workers, who represent about 85% of the workforce. Southwest Airlines Co. had about 61,000 employees in June but at least 4,200 agreed to leave. All the carriers are lobbying Congress and the White House for another $25 billion in taxpayer money to pay workers for the next six months. Southwest flight attendants began contract negotiations in late 2018, long before the pandemic.
Congress takes another run at airline bailout; fate unclear
Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the airlines to delay those furloughs while Congress tries to approve the money. United Airlines, which started to furlough 13,000 workers, will undo the furloughs “once Congress has passed legislation ... but they need to act quickly,” said spokesman Frank Benenati. The airlines and their unions are seeking more taxpayer money to prevent furloughs through next March. Congress approved $25 billion in payroll aid six months ago in hopes that the travel industry might be stronger by fall. While Congress works on the matter, “the airline industry must delay these devastating job cuts,” she said.
Virus pandemic reshaping air travel as carriers struggle
Surveys indicate that instead of growing comfortable with air travel, more people are becoming skeptical about it. In the United States, airline bookings have stalled in the past month after slowly rising a reaction to a new surge of reported virus infections. Globally, air travel is down more than 85% from a year ago, according to industry figures. Air traffic at Europes more than 500 airports has tumbled, down 94% in June compared with the same month last year. In the United States, traffic picked up after collapsing by 95% in April but has stalled down 74% in July, 72% in August.
Airlines, unions pin hopes for more payroll cash on politics
Unions are gaining support in Congress for another $32 billion in federal aid to protect airline workers from layoffs for another six months. In March, companies got $32 billion to help cover payroll costs for six months in exchange for not laying off workers. Thirteen airline unions have joined to lobby Congress for a six-month extension of the payroll provision. Major airlines support the extension, but they are keeping a low profile. American Airlines notified 25,000 workers, Delta Air Lines warned more than 2,500 pilots, and smaller airlines also sent out notices.
American, Southwest add to US airline industry's 2Q losses
That pushed the combined loss of the nation's four biggest airlines to more than $10 billion in just three months. Between them, American and Southwest carried 15.4 million passengers from April through June. Earlier, Delta Air Lines reported a $5.7 billion loss that was worsened by writing down investments in global airline partners who have filed for bankruptcy protection, and United lost $1.6 billion. American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, reported a loss of $2.07 billion, compared with a year-ago profit of $662 million. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines said it lost $214 million compared with a $262 million profit a year earlier.