Porsche shares rise on first trading day in €75bn stock market float

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 29th Sept 2022) London, Uk – –

Gatwick Airport in London returns to profit as more Britons book international holidays

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 23rd Aug, 2022) London, UK —

Britain's second biggest airport Gatwick returned to profit in the first six months of this year as Britons flocked to overseas holiday destinations, the company said on Tuesday as it lifted its 2022 forecast for passenger numbers.

The group also said it does not plan to extend existing limits on passenger numbers beyond the end of August as it has ramped up its security staffing.

The airport introduced limits on passenger numbers in June after staff shortages had caused overcrowding, huge queues and flight schedule disruptions.


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It faced more problems on Tuesday as it cancelled 26 EasyJet (EZJ.L) flights in and out of the airport at short notice due to staff absences at its control tower.

Gatwick's overall outlook is improving, though, after a tumultuous summer across Europe for airports and airlines, which struggled with staff shortages amid huge demand as holidaymakers rushed to book overseas holidays after the removal of COVID-19 curbs.

Its move to lift its cap on passenger numbers contrasted with larger rival Heathrow's statement last week that it would extend its cap on the airport's capacity through to Oct. 29 to tackle widespread disruption.

Gatwick said it expects 32.8 million passengers this year, up from 6.3 million in 2021, but warned inflationary pressures on costs and demand during the winter season could hamper the forecast. Passenger numbers would still be down from 46.6 million in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We still have some considerable way to go, but strong demand has fast-tracked Gatwick's recovery from the pandemic,” Chief Executive Officer Stewart Wingate said in a statement.

Gatwick's passenger demand was at 74.3% of pre-pandemic levels for the second quarter after the removal of all UK travel restrictions.

The airport said it recruited 400 security staff during the first half of the year and provided workers, including airline baggage handlers, to support other airport operators.


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The group reported a core profit of 148.3 million pounds ($174.50 million) for the six months ended June 30, compared with a loss of 50.2 million pounds last year.

British Airways (ICAG.L) said on Monday it would make further cancellations up to the end of October and tweak its winter schedule following Heathrow's decision to cap capacity.

Reporting by Muhammed Husain in Bengaluru

BA stops selling short-haul tickets till August 8

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue , 2nd Aug 2022) London, UK —

British Airways has halted ticket sales on short-haul flights from Heathrow until August 8 following the London airport's decision to cap capacity and tackle widespread disruption and cancellations.

The IAG (ICAG.L)-owned airline said the sales suspension on domestic and European destinations was designed to allow existing customers to rebook flights when needed.


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Airlines and airports across Britain and Europe have struggled to cope with the rebound in post-lockdown travel, with many failing to recruit enough staff to handle check-ins and baggage handling.

Heathrow, like Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, has told airlines to limit the number of tickets they sell over the summer, after it capped the number of passengers flying from the hub at 100,000 a day to limit queues, baggage delays and cancellations.

Heathrow said last week that the cap had delivered a marked improvement in punctuality and baggage handling.


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“As a result of Heathrow's request to limit new bookings, we've decided to take responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services to help maximise rebooking options for existing customers, given the restrictions imposed on us and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry,” BA said in a statement.

Reporting by Kate Holton

 

IAG reports first profit since pandemic began

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 29th July 2022) London, Uk – –

British Airways owner IAG has swung back to profit for the first time since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, despite facing a “challenging” environment at Heathrow Airport.

The company said it had seen a significant increase in the number of flights and passengers it handled.

Operating profit for the second quarter hit £245m, compared with a loss of £809m in the same period last year.

But IAG also issued a warning about the state of the industry.


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Airlines and airports have faced significant disruption this year due to widespread worker shortages and industrial action.

“Our industry continues to face historic challenges due to the unprecedented scaling up in operations, especially in the UK where the operational challenges of Heathrow airport have been acute,” said Luis Gallego, IAG's chief executive.

The company – which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus – said that these issues at Heathrow had forced British Airways to limit its capacity to 69.1% of pre-pandemic levels between April and June.

“We will continue working with the industry to address these issues as aviation emerges from its biggest crisis ever,” Mr Gallego said.

Between July and October, British Airways will ramp up its capacity to about 75%, IAG said.

It was the company's Iberia and Vueling brands that performed most strongly over the past three months, elevated by a robust demand for domestic flights within Spain, and routes to Latin America.

Last month, both were at higher levels than they were in 2019.

Mr Gallego said he hoped the airline would return to annual profitability this year, with demand showing no sign of weakening.

“In the second quarter we returned to profit for the first time since the start of the pandemic following a strong recovery in demand across all our airlines,” he said. “This result supports our outlook for a full year operating profit.”

“Our performance reflected a significant increase in capacity, load factor and yield compared to the first quarter.”

‘Bizarre'

British Airways has been forced to cancel nearly 30,000 flights this summer as it struggles with staff shortages and rebounding demand for air travel following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

This has been compounded by a lack of ground handling crew and ticketing agents at airports, many of whom were laid off during the pandemic and have not yet been replaced.


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A row broke out this week between Ryanair and Heathrow Airport, with the airline saying airports had not recruited enough staff to cater for the rebound in travellers, saying they “had one job to do to”

But Heathrow hit back at the criticism, labelling it as “bizarre”.

“Airports don't provide ground handling, that's provided by the airlines themselves. So this is like accusing us of not having enough pilots,” said the airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye.

National Express report half-year profits increase as summer travel revives

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Thur, 28th July, 2022) London, UK —

British transport firm National Express Group (NEX.L) on Thursday reported a surge in its half-year profit on the back of rebound in summer travel demand from a slump during the coronavirus-led lockdowns last year.

London-listed shares in the school bus and coach operator jumped 8.5% to 194.2 pence in early trading.


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From people wary of using public transport over fear of contracting COVID-19 in the last two years, to rising fuel prices prompting travellers to use buses and trains, National Express expects demand to improve.

“The two particular pressing issues that we have in society right now are the cost of living and also the climate crisis,” Ignacio Garat, group chief executive, told Reuters.

“We are (a) part of the solution for both.”

The company expects short-term pressures in North America from staff shortages that have been exacerbated by wage inflation rates that are highest in the region.

The company said it sees some margin pressure until all contracts are renewed and driver vacancies are filled in the run-up to schools reopening next month.


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National Express' earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the six months ended June 30, rose 54.3% to 197.8 million pounds ($240.92 million), on revenue of 1.3 billion pounds, up 34%.

Earlier this year, National Express' attempt to buy Stagecoach , Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, hit a setback after a European fund trumped its 445 million pound bid with a higher proposal.

Reporting by Muhammed Husain and Eva Mathews

 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary urged UK government on ‘practical’ immigration approach

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 22nd July 2022) London, Uk – –

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has urged the UK government to take a more “practical, common sense” approach to post-Brexit policy, to allow more workers from Europe to fill vacancies.

Mr O'Leary said he could hire people from continental Europe for jobs that he cannot fill with British workers, but is unable to get visas for them.

Facilitating such visas would help ease disruption to air travel, he said.

The government said it wanted firms to invest in workers from the UK.

‘Bizarre situation'

Mr O'Leary said: “I can hire thousands of people in Portugal, in Italy, France, Germany at exactly the same wages that I'm paying in the UK and I just can't hire them in the UK at the moment.


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“And we have this bizarre situation at the moment that in the UK I can get visas to bring Moroccans to come in and work as cabin crew. But I can't get visas for Portuguese or Italians or Slovakian youngsters. We just need a bit of more common sense and a practical approach to how we implement Brexit,” he told BBC Radio 4.

He said enabling such visas would help ease the disruption currently being felt at some airports, and ease skill shortages in other areas.

“There are not enough people in the UK willing to do these jobs… particularly during peak periods of the summer and airports in particular. Airport handling staff and airport security staff are really struggling to recruit, particularly in the southeast, at airports like Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester.”

Mr O'Leary has made clear his disagreement with Brexit but says he respects the decision to leave the EU.

A government spokesperson said: “Leaving the EU enabled us to introduce a points-based immigration system and we want to see employers make long-term investments in the UK's domestic workforce, such as training, wage increases and better career options, instead of relying on labour from abroad.”

Industry disruption

Despite currently facing industrial disputes in France, Belgium and Spain over pay and conditions, Ryanair has suffered the least disruption and cancellations of major European carriers in recent months.

In the first six months of 2022, Ryanair cancelled 0.3% of flights, compared with British Airways' total of 3.5%, and Easyjet's 2.8%, according to air travel consultancy OAG.

Ryanair's chief claims that reflects the “strong balance sheet” the airline had going into Covid, which allowed the company to keep staff on, albeit on reduced pay, and maintain training at the height of the pandemic so that they were able to resume operations swiftly when restrictions were lifted.

Mr O'Leary believes relaxing restriction on movement of EU workers across industries facing skills shortages would keep costs lower and so keep prices down for consumers.

“People want good service, they want low prices. And we need a competitive economy for that. It is simply not acceptable to turn around to the vast majority of the British people and say, with nobody to pick or to harvest the food, ‘please pay 20% higher food prices.'”

Critics say that allowing for a wider pool of workers, however, keeps wages down.

And the Department for Transport has previously noted that there has been disruption in many countries due to staff shortages. “It is not obvious that reaching for the lever marked ‘more immigration' will solve the problem,” it said.


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The Ryanair boss concedes that some travellers are likely to face more disruption over the summer but says that should settle down after the peak period.

“I think everybody would be able to staff up and gear up on time as long as we don't have any adverse Covid developments.”

By Dharshini David

 

Caesars Palace Las Vegas $30K A Night Villa

Source: CNBC

The Titus Villas has hosted some of the biggest names in the world and we got to take a look at the level of luxury they enjoy during their stay. From an outdoor pool to butlers on-call 24 hours a day, the amenities are endless for those willing to pay the price of $30,000 a night.

Mercedes-Benz starts trial in class action suit over diesel tests

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 12th July, 2022) London, UK —

Mercedes-Benz went on trial on Tuesday in a class action-style lawsuit which alleges that the German carmaker knowingly manipulated diesel-emissions tests by installing defeat devices.


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Germany's largest consumer protection group, the VZBZ, accused the carmaker of installing devices in its GLK and GLC SUV models that in tests made it appear the vehicles produced lower pollutant levels than they actually did in traffic.

The crux of the case before the Stuttgart court is whether Mercedes-Benz knowingly deceived customers by controlling the purification of exhaust gas, thus meriting claims for damages.

The lawsuit seeks to set a precedent that would enable owners of Mercedes GLC and GLK cars to gain compensation for software that was allegedly used to trick emissions tests.

The lawsuit covers nearly 50,000 GLC and GLK models and was made possible after Germany passed a law in 2018 that allowed consumer protection organisations to litigate on behalf of the consumers they represent, avoiding the high legal costs that could discourage people from bringing legal action.


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Mercedes-Benz said the claims by diesel customers as well as the lawsuit were unfounded. Over 25,000 such claims have been brought before courts, 95% of which have failed, it said.

The matter is part of the wider ‘Dieselgate' emissions scandal that has cost rival Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) billions of euros in vehicle refits, fines and legal costs.

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach, Writing by Miranda Murray

BA strike at Heathrow suspended after new pay offer

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 8th July 2022) London, Uk – –

Strike action by about 700 British Airways check-in staff at Heathrow has been suspended after unions said the airline had made a “vastly improved” pay offer.

The Unite union said an agreement was reached after “extensive” talks.

Both Unite and GMB union members will now be balloted on the new pay deal.

“We welcome that BA has finally listened to the voice of its check-in staff,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.


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Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, added: “All our members were asking for was what they were owed. British Airways finally moving on pay is long overdue.

“All our members – who are predominantly low-paid women – wanted was to be given back the pay cuts BA imposed on them during the pandemic, threatening them with fire and rehire if they said no.”

BA said it was “very pleased” the unions had decided not to issue dates for industrial action.

“This is great news for our customers and our people,” a statement said.

Last month, workers, who are mostly check-in staff, voted to go on strike over pay, with unions saying the action was due to a 10% pay cut imposed during the peak of the pandemic not being reinstated.

If the strikes had gone ahead, BA, which operates from terminals three and five at Heathrow, had plans to cover staff, including managers potentially dealing with check-ins.

However, there would still have been disruption for passengers, especially at terminal five, leading to cancellations.

The airline had originally offered a 10% temporary bonus for staff instead of a reversal of the pay cut.

It is understood that offer, which was rejected by the unions representing check-in staff, has been accepted by other parts of British Airways' (BA) business, including by ground operations, engineering and cabin crew workers.

Analysis: By Theo Leggett

In a year of chaos, there are signs that British Airways really wants to avoid further disruption.

Ground staff at Heathrow want their pay restored to the level it was at before the pandemic.

It looks as though the threat of strikes over the summer has proved fruitful.

BA's offer to compromise could have repercussions throughout the company.

That is because, with the cost of living rising fast, workers in other parts of the business are already turning their attention to future pay deals.

In the past, BA has often been willing to play hardball with its staff, risking strikes to keep costs down.

But if that is no longer the case, employees might feel empowered to raise their demands.

Tens of thousands of passengers have been hit by airport disruption and flight cancellations in recent weeks.

Hundreds of flights across the UK were cancelled during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and school half-term holidays, and concerns have been raised of further travel woes during the summer.


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The disruption has been caused by factors including staff shortages that have left the aviation industry struggling to cope with resurgent demand for overseas travel.

On Wednesday, BA announced it was cutting 10,300 more short-haul flights due to feature in its schedule between August and the end of October.

Nearly 30,000 flights have been removed from BA's schedule between April and October this year.

BA to cancel more than 1,000 summer flights

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 5th July 2022) London, Uk – –

Services to holiday destinations including Málaga, Palma and Faro to be affected

British Airways is to cancel more than 1,000 additional flights this summer from Heathrow and Gatwick as staff shortages continue to affect its operations.

More than 100,000 travellers planning to visit popular holiday destinations including Málaga, Palma and Faro will be affected, although BA will primarily cut back routes with multiple daily departures.


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The carrier, which in spring axed about 10% of its planned flights until October, has decided to further prune its schedule after the government offered a “slot amnesty” last month.

The move allowed airlines to temporarily reduce their operations without forfeiting the right to valuable landing slots at busy airports, normally awarded under a “use it or lose it” rule.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We took pre-emptive action earlier this year to reduce our summer schedule to provide customers with as much notice as possible about any changes to their travel plans.

“As the entire aviation industry continues to face into the most challenging period in its history, regrettably it has become necessary to make some further reductions. We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”

The airline did not dispute figures reported in the Telegraph, of 650 further cancellations in July, and it is understood that a similar number of flights are being removed from August schedules.

BA decided to cut back as recruitment remains a challenge, while the threat remains of strikes at its main Heathrow base by ground staff, who are holding out to have 10% pay cuts imposed during the pandemic overturned.

The airline made thousands of staff redundant and rehired the rest on inferior terms and conditions when coronavirus grounded all flights, leaving it dealing with losses of up to £20m each day.


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Airlines and airports have been racing to rehire staff but the rebound in demand has left them struggling, with long queues and chaotic cancellations already widespread in 2022, before the start of the peak holiday season.

BA’s biggest competitor in the UK, easyJet, has parted ways with its chief operations officer Peter Bellew, as the airline attempts to recover from months of delays and cancellations.

By Gwyn Topham

Airbnb permanently bans parties and events around the world

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 29th June 2022) London, Uk – –

Airbnb has permanently banned parties and events at homes on its platform, after a temporary measure during the pandemic proved popular with hosts.

The firm says the rule has become “much more than a public health measure” since it was introduced in August 2020.

“It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our hosts and their neighbours,” the San Francisco-headquartered firm said.

However, it also removed a limit on how many people can stay at homes.

Airbnb said in a statement that the number of complaints about parties dropped by 44% since the measure was first introduced.


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Exceptions to the global ban may be made for “specialty and traditional hospitality venues” in the future, it added.

Airbnb also said it would remove a limit on the number of people its listings are allowed to accommodate at any one time.

It previously imposed a 16 person limit to occupants because of concerns over the spread of Covid-19.

The firm said “several types of larger homes are capable of comfortably and safely housing more than 16 people – from castles in Europe to vineyards in the US to large beachfront villas in the Caribbean”.

“Removing this cap is meant to allow those hosts to responsibly utilise the space in their homes while still complying with our ban on disruptive parties,” it said.

The company started putting restrictions on parties in 2019. It banned “open-invite” parties and so-called “chronic party houses” that were a nuisance to neighbours.

During the pandemic, Airbnb introduced an indefinite ban on parties “in the best interest of public health”.


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More than 6,600 guests had also been suspended from using the platform last year for breaking the rules.

“This new and long-term policy was enacted to help encourage and support community safety,” Airbnb said.

“We look forward to sharing updates in the coming weeks and months on our efforts to complement our community policies on parties,” it added.

By Annabelle Liang

Top 10 Luxury Cars 2022

Source: Thansis1997

The world of luxury automobiles is more diverse today than it has ever been. Not only do customers have more variety to choose from, but they can also enjoy features & a ride quality that was only showcased in concept cars. Newcomers have somewhat managed to earn a good reputation in this niche, but legacy automakers continue to dominate the entire luxury vehicle market to this day. Hand-picking the most luxurious motorcars of the present era is a rather difficult task. Nevertheless, this video will walk you through the top 10 most luxurious cars of 2022, which we think have truly earned their reputation.


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Heathrow BA workers vote to strike during school summer holidays

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 24th June 2022) London, Uk – –

The strike action follows a wave of discontent expressed by workers across the country in recent months. Many are demanding higher wages to deal with the cost of living crisis.

British Airways (BA) workers at Heathrow have voted to strike during the school summer holidays, in a move set to cause more travel chaos as the industry struggles to recover from the COVID pandemic.

Members of the GMB and Unite unions overwhelmingly supported the prospect of industrial action over pay with 95% of those voting, at both unions, backing strikes on turnouts of 81% and 63% respectively.

It means that more than 700 BA check-in staff and ground-handling agents could walk out at the height of the summer season.

No strike dates have been announced, as the unions suggested that they wanted to give the airline some time to change its mind on the key issue.

The unions are seeking to reverse a 10% pay cut on workers that was imposed during the pandemic when global lockdowns grounded flights.

Around 13,000 jobs were also cut by BA.

The airline has offered a 10% one-off bonus but not a return to the same pay as before.

“With grim predictability, holidaymakers face massive disruption thanks to the pig-headedness of British Airways,” Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said in a statement.

“GMB members at Heathrow have suffered untold abuse as they deal with the travel chaos caused by staff shortages and IT failures. At the same time, they've had their pay slashed during BA's callous fire and rehire policy,” she said.

“What did BA think was going to happen?”

Luggage chaos at Heathrow

Unite officer Russ Ball added: “The problems British Airways is facing are entirely of its own making. It brutally cut jobs and pay during the pandemic even though the government was paying them to save jobs.”

BA ‘extremely disappointed'

It is understood that if strikes do go ahead, those balloted for action at Heathrow make up less than 50% of BA's customer-facing team.

The airline responded: “We're extremely disappointed with the result and that the unions have chosen to take this course of action.

“Despite the extremely challenging environment and losses of more than £4bn, we made an offer of a 10% payment which was accepted by the majority of other colleagues.

“We are fully committed to work together to find a solution, because to deliver for our customers and rebuild our business we have to work as a team.

“We will of course keep our customers updated about what this means for them as the situation evolves.”

Analysis: By Ian King

To judge from today's vote by check-in staff, who are members of Unite, BA still appears to have a Heathrow problem.

The airline's comment today that its Heathrow-based employees had declined an offer that had been accepted by colleagues elsewhere across the network is eerily familiar to the remarks made by Sir Rod all those years ago.

To that can be overlaid the generally challenging industrial relations at BA – which are a legacy of its past as a state-owned industry.

Union membership is significantly higher in the public sector than in the private sector and it is no coincidence that it is companies that were once state-owned – like BA, Royal Mail and, to a lesser extent, BT – which tend to have worse industrial relations than most private companies.

The strike action threatens further damage for BA as it struggles to get back on its feet following the COVID crisis to date.

Its efforts have been hampered by IT failures and staff shortages – the company refusing to confirm that it had shot itself in the foot during an inquiry into the recent air travel chaos by MPs earlier this month.

The PM's spokesman urged the unions and BA to resolve the row.

“We don't want to see any further disruption for passengers and strike action would only add to the misery being faced by passengers at airports,” he told reporters.

“We expect BA to put in place contingency measures to ensure that as little disruption (as possible) is caused and that where there is disruption that passengers can be refunded.”

Wave of discontent

The prospect of strikes also follows a wave of discontent expressed by workers across the country in recent months.

Many are demanding higher wages to deal with the cost of living crisis.

About 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators have walked out this week.


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The RMT's general secretary has warned that rail strikes could “escalate” unless a settlement is reached for all workers in the industry.

Mick Lynch told Sky News that more train drivers might enter the dispute – and “other people are balloting in this industry too”.

By James Sillars

Heathrow carriers agreed to axe 10% of flights today as baggage backlog continues

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 20th June 2022) London, Uk —

It comes after hundreds of passengers were left waiting for over three hours during the weekend to retrieve their luggage, with no explanation from staff.

Heathrow has asked airlines to cancel 10% of their flights today as the airport faces a baggage backlog.


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Around 5,000 passengers have been affected after carriers agreed to axe less than 30 flights.

Problems with the baggage system at Heathrow left hundreds of travellers waiting for over three hours during the weekend to retrieve their luggage, with no explanation from staff.

Airlines that have cancelled flights today include Virgin Atlantic, Flybe, Air France, Air Canada, TAP Portugal, Loganair, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Brussels Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Aer Lingus, ITA Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa, KLM and Bulgaria Air.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We apologise unreservedly for the disruption passengers have faced over the course of this weekend.

“The technical issues affecting baggage systems have led to us making the decision to request airlines operating in Terminals 2 and 3 to consolidate their schedules on Monday 20th June.

“This will enable us to minimise ongoing impact and we ask that all passengers check with their airlines for the latest information.”

People waiting ‘hours' for luggage at Heathrow

Heathrow, like airports and airlines across the country, is grappling with staff shortages during the busiest season of the year, which have led to hundreds of flights being cancelled in recent weeks.

On Friday, an “enormous luggage carpet” was spotted outside a Heathrow terminal, as staff grappled with an “ongoing issue with the baggage system”.

Travellers told Sky News there were huge queues at border control upon landing and large crowds at baggage reclaim over the weekend.

Some passengers had been forced to travel without their belongings.

Luggage chaos at Heathrow

Meanwhile, EasyJet announced plans to cut more flights over the busy summer period, as it apologised to customers for failing to “deliver the service they have come to expect from us”.


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A number of flights will be cancelled into and out of Gatwick in response to the airport's announcement last week that it would introduce flight caps in July and August to help it cope with a staff shortage.

The airline has blamed staff shortages in ground handling and at airports, as well as air traffic control delays for increased turnaround times, delayed flights and cancellations.

By

Why Californians Are Fleeing To Mexico

Source: CNBC

In 2021, over 360,000 people left California in what many are calling The California Exodus. But a rising number of them are migrating out of the country all together and instead, heading south to Mexico to escape rising housing prices, traffic and expensive healthcare.


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Trustpilot kicks off hunt for new chairman

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 15th June 2022) London, Uk – –

Trustpilot Group, which has seen a sharp decline in its shares since floating last year, has hired headhunters to find Tim Weller's successor, Sky News understands.

Trustpilot Group, the online reviews platform, has kicked off a search for a new chairman little more than a year after listing on the London stock market.


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Sky News has learnt that the company has appointed headhunters from The Up Group to identify a successor to Tim Weller, the respected entrepreneur.

Mr Weller, who also chairs a string of privately owned companies, has been at the helm of Danish-based Trustpilot for a decade.

His planned departure comes amid a rout in listed technology stocks.

Since floating at 260p-a-share in March 2021, Trustpilot's stock has fallen to just 81.25p, giving the company a market capitalisation of about £340m.

Nevertheless, a number of shareholders are said to have expressed opposition to Mr Weller's departure, arguing that it reinforces flaws in corporate governance guidelines which state that non-executive directors cease to be independent when they have served for nine years.

Some institutions say the clock should be reset once a company becomes publicly traded.

The search for Mr Weller's successor is being led by Angela Seymour-Jackson, the senior independent director, who has also served on boards including Future, the magazines publisher.


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Many investors believe the share price declines at listed tech companies have left them vulnerable to takeover approaches, although broader economic uncertainty and concerns that earlier valuations were inflated mean few such bids have materialised.

A Trustpilot spokesman declined to comment.

Why Porcelain Is So Expensive

Source: BI

Handmade ceramics aren't cheap, but porcelain is often even more expensive. Compared to other ceramics, porcelain is non-porous, white, and translucent.


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The secret to these differences is in the clay. But even for experienced potters, porcelain can be challenging to work with. So how is porcelain made and why is it so expensive?

June rail strike plans by RMT Union branded selfish by No 10

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 8th June 2022) London, Uk – –

Unions have been branded selfish by No 10 over rail strikes which threaten major disruption to passengers.

The RMT Union said it will shut down the country's railway network on 21, 23 and 25 June after talks over pay and redundancies fell through.

Downing Street warned the plans would inflict pain on passengers and cause disruption and said it was determined to make railways more efficient.


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But RMT hit back saying the government itself was being selfish.

Both train operators and the union have said they want more talks to avoid the strikes.

If industrial action goes ahead, more than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators are expected to take part in what is dubbed the “biggest rail strike in modern history”.

On the first day of the planned strike on 21 June, London Underground RMT workers plan to walk out in a separate dispute over pensions and job losses.

The strikes are expected to affect thousands of rail passengers, and fall during music and sporting events including the Glastonbury Festival and an England cricket Test match against New Zealand.

The BBC understands the action will leave around a fifth of mainline rail services running on the strike days, with the majority operating for a maximum of 12 hours.

But due to the walk outs being 24 hours each, disruption is expected to spill into non-strike days leading to a week of disruption.

According to the Department for Transport, the average salary rail worker salary is £44,000. This is more than the median pay of other public sector workers, such as nurses (£31,000), teachers (£37,000), and care workers (£17,000).

A No 10 source said the move was “thoroughly irresponsible” and warned it would inflict “pain and economic disruption on their fellow citizens in really tough times”.

However, Mick Lynch, secretary general of the RMT union, hit back at the government saying they were “experts at being selfish and irresponsible”.

He told the BBC his members needed a pay deal, job security and “decent terms and conditions”.

“The government have the key to unlock that,” he added.

Mr Lynch claimed Network Rail had told union reps they were planning to cut 3,000 maintenance jobs out of 11,000, which he said would pose safety risks.

But Network Rail insisted no proposals were on the table, talks were under way about modernising maintenance and how compulsory redundancies could be avoided. It rejected claims it would do anything to compromise safety.

Steve Montgomery, of the Rail Delivery Group, said the industry body was “extremely disappointed” with the prospect of strike action. “It's really important we ask RMT to get back round the table,” he said.

He said that the industry had received £16bn in subsidies over the pandemic, but that level of funding could not continue.

“We have to look how we can reform,” he said. “We've not said ‘we're not going to give staff a pay increase', but we need to sit down and talk with RMT on how we can move reform forward to make it fair for everybody.”

Rail firms “are looking at all options” to modernise, including job losses, he said, as well as trying to operate services during the strikes.

The industry group said rail industry revenue is currently at 82% of 2019 levels, which is the same as a £38m shortfall on pre-Covid revenue levels every week.

However, Mr Lynch said railway firms “can easily afford a pay rise for our members, it'll just mean they have to cut back on their profits”.

“They are ripping off the passenger, they are ripping off the taxpayer. The government needs to fund the railway properly, and we need the companies to give up some of their profits to give our members a pay rise,” he added.

Despite more people working from home since the pandemic, Mr Lynch said revenues and passenger numbers were recovering.

He said the union doesn't want disruption for thousands of commuters, but had been talking to rail firms for two years trying to get pay deals.


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He argued the firms wanted to cut thousands of jobs while still getting “fat cat profits”, and that executives had been paid “millions” during the pandemic.

“We've got another two weeks before this action starts. There's plenty of time to get proposals forward,” he added.

Which lines will be affected by the strike?

People working for 13 train operating companies, which each run services in different parts of the country, will take part in the strike. These are:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern Railway
  • South Western Railway
  • TransPennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains

In addition, workers at Network Rail, which maintains the railways throughout Britain, also voted to strike. So the impact of the action would be felt across England, Scotland, and Wales.

But a Rail Delivery Group spokesman said the RMT was “using inflated figures made up of smoke and mirrors to disguise the real issue”.


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Transport Secretary Mr Shapps said Covid “changed travel habits – with 25% fewer ticket sales and the taxpayer stepping in to keep the railways running at a cost of £16bn, equivalent to £600 per household”.

“We must act now to put the industry on a sustainable footing,” he added.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said further talks were crucial, and there would need to be an effort to give passengers certainty.

By Tom Espiner & Michael Race

She Washes Their Clothes in What?

Source: TSH

Tired of driving to our local laundromat of questionable quality, we invested in a Lehman's hand washer that allows us to do laundry anywhere on the property using minimal water and no electricity.


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We know doing laundry like this isn't for everyone, but if you've been wondering exactly what goes into washing clothes (sort of) by hand, this should answer your questions.