One in six people are estimated to be over the age of 65 by 2050. As the world’s aging population battles boredom and loneliness, some retirees are finding second careers to keep occupied. CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi met one couple in South Korea going back to work as Airbnb hosts.
As global beer sales have stalled, major brewers such as AB InBev and Carlsberg are flocking to China. WSJ's Steven Russolillo in Hong Kong tests their strategies, sipping the beers specially crafted to win over Chinese drinkers.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 9th Sept 2019) London, Uk – –
British Airways pilots have begun a two-day strike in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.
Tens of thousands of passengers have been told not to go to airports, with the airline cancelling some 1,700 flights due to the disruption.
The pilots' union Balpa said BA management's cost-cuts and “dumbing down” of the brand had eroded confidence in the airline.
But BA chief Alex Cruz said investment in the operator had never been so big.
Both sides say they are willing to hold further talks, but no date has been set. The pilots are currently scheduled to stage another strike on 27 September.
Balpa's general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute.”
But he told the BBC that while BA says publicly it is willing to talk, “in private they say they are not going to negotiate”. And although the headline dispute is about pay, he said there was also deep resentment about the airline's direction.
“BA has lost the trust and confidence of pilots because of cost-cutting and the dumbing down of the brand… management want to squeeze every last penny out of customers and staff,” Mr Strutton said.
Mr Cruz defended the airline against Mr Strutton's claim, saying it had never in its history embarked on such a big investment programme in services and training. He said the airline was “ready and willing” to return to talks with Balpa.
It is the first time BA pilots have walked out and the action could cost the airline up to £40m a day. Some 4,000 pilots are involved in the strike.
By Katie Prescott, Business reporter
It's unlikely that passengers will see that much disruption at airports – most of the real problems have happened over the past few weeks as people have rushed to make other travel arrangements, rebook their flights or apply for refunds.
In terms of the negotiations, both sides say that they are open to talks but neither has responded to the other, underlining just how acrimonious their relationship has become.
Ostensibly this is about pay, but there's also underlying discontent among pilots with the company's strategy. Some say they don't like British Airways' cost-cutting drive and they want to see more of the benefits of their bumper profits.
But industry insiders say BA has made those profits because they have cut costs. And that airlines are expensive and unpredictable beasts to run, in thrall to a fluctuating oil price (jet fuel accounts for a quarter of their operating costs) and random acts such as drones in the air.
If they don't come to an agreement in the next few weeks, another strike is scheduled for 27 September. The result of the pilots' union ballot allows strike action until the start of next year, but Balpa says it hopes to resolve the situation well before then.
How did we get here?
Pilots previously rejected a pay increase worth 11.5% over three years, which was proposed by the airline in July.
Balpa says that its members have taken lower pay rises and made sacrifices during more stringent times for the airline in recent years. The union insists that now that BA's financial performance has improved – its parent company IAG reported a 9% rise in profits last year – they should see a greater share of the profits.
BA says its pilots already receive “world-class” salaries. The airline believes the pay offer is “fair and generous”, and that if it is good enough for BA cabin crew, ground staff and engineers – whose unions, Unite and the GMB, have both accepted it – it should be good enough for pilots, too.
The airline says once the 11.5% pay deal has fully taken effect in three years' time, some BA captains could be taking home more than £200,000 a year, allowances included.
Two weeks ago, BA informed some customers they would have to re-book their flights next week due to the planned industrial action.
Unfortunately, due to “human error” the airline mistakenly sent emails to some customers whose flights were not actually affected, throwing BA's customer service operations into a tailspin over the bank holiday weekend.
On Friday, BA said the “vast majority” of affected customers had now either accepted a refund or rebooked, either on alternative dates or with other airlines.
What rights do passengers have if their flight is affected?
BA advice says you can request a full refund, rebook your flight for another time in the next 355 days, or use the value of your fare to fly to a different destination.
If your flight has been cancelled due to a strike, the Civil Aviation Authority sayspassengers also have a legal right to a replacement flight at BA's expense to get you to your destination, even if this means travelling with a different airline.
Most affected passengers would already have been in contact with BA, but they may not have considered additional costs, such as airport parking. They are advised to keep receipts for these extra costs, and BA said it would look at refunding them on a case-by-case basis.
The cost of separate hotel or accommodation bookings that cannot be used may need to be claimed from travel insurance.
INSIDER's Emily Christian heads to the Plaza Hotel to find out why young professionals are seeking out etiquette classes. She meets with expert Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, who teaches Emily the graces of a duchess and explains why etiquette is more important today than ever. Does Emily have what it takes to act like a royal for the day?
Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest automakers. It houses brands such as Audi, Porsche, and Bentley. But perhaps its best-known vehicle is the Volkswagen Beetle. Over its entire lifespan, Volkswagen sold over 22.5 million of all three versions of the Beetle. But in July of 2019, production one of the most iconic and important cars of all time came to an end.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 6th Sept 2019) London, Uk – –
TripAdvisor has hit back at allegations that it is failing to stop a flood of fake reviews that artificially boost hotel ratings.
The travel review site has come under fire from consumer group Which? over what it calls “hugely suspicious” patterns of comments from contributors.
But James Kay, a UK director of TripAdvisor, said the site went after fake reviews “very aggressively”.
“We are doing this more than any other platform out there,” he told the BBC.
Mr Kay was speaking in response to a Which? Travel survey that looked at 250,000 TripAdvisor reviews for the top 10 ranked hotels in 10 popular tourist destinations worldwide.
Which? said it had reported 15 of those 100 hotels to TripAdvisor as having “blatant hallmarks” of fake reviews.
It said that in the case of one hotel in Jordan, TripAdvisor subsequently removed 730 of its five-star reviews.
Naomi Leach of Which? Travel accused TripAdvisor of a “failure to stop fake reviews and take strong action against hotels that abuse the system”.
“Platforms like TripAdvisor should be more responsible for the information presented to consumers.”
But TripAdvisor's Mr Kay said the site had already taken action against the reviews in question, independently of the Which? investigation.
“This is something we do every day,” he said. “We have fraud detection tools that are far more sophisticated than those used by Which?”
Mr Kay said its investigators were always on the lookout for suspicious patterns of reviews.
In Italy, he added, TripAdvisor had assisted a prosecution that sent one fake reviewer to jail.
Under an EU directive that has been in force in the UK since 2008, hotel staff who post favourable reviews of their establishment on travel information websites such as TripAdvisor are committing a crime.
Any firm breaking the rules may face prosecution, stiff fines and possibly even jail terms for its staff.
Bloomberg Technology's Emily Chang speaks to Grab Co-Founders Anthony Tan and Hooi Ling Tan about the Southeast Asian ride-hailing business. In the exclusive conversation, they tell us how the company partnered with Uber, adding Dara Khosrowshahi to their board, and how they have their sights set on becoming a super-app.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 29th Aug 2019) London, Uk – –
The decline in export orders is “primarily responsible”, with overseas shipments falling 20.2% since January, the SMMT says.
The number of cars made in Britain this year has fallen by almost 20% compared to the same time last year, new figures show.
So far this year, there have been 774,760 cars made in Britain, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This is 180,864 fewer than at the same time last year – a fall of 18.9%.
The SMMT said the decline in export orders was “primarily responsible”, with overseas shipments falling 20.2% since January, while production for the UK this year to date is down by 13.5%.
Meanwhile, figures also show that July saw the 14th consecutive month of falling vehicle production.
There were 108,239 vehicles made in the UK last month, a fall of 10.6% compared to July last year.
This was despite domestic demand increasing by 10.2% – or just under 2,000 vehicles – when compared to a weak July 2018.
Production for export, however, fell by 14.6% over the same period, even though eight in every 10 cars made were shipped overseas.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the decline was due to an “ongoing weakness in major EU and Asian markets coupled with some key model changes”.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said the decline was “a serious concern”.
He added: “The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong, with escalating trade tensions, softening demand and significant technological change.
“With the UK market also weak, the importance of maintaining the UK's global competitiveness has never been more important so we need a Brexit deal – and quickly – to unlock investment and safeguard the long term future of a sector which has recently been such an international success story.”
Some 168,000 people are directly employed in car manufacturing, with a further 823,000 in the wider automotive industry, the SMMT says.
It accounts for 14.4% of total UK export of goods.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 26th Aug, 2019) London, Uk – –
Aerospace lobby group slashes 2019 deliveries forecast and says prospect of no-deal Brexit making things worse
Global aircraft production has fallen by a quarter after the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max jet following two fatal accidents.
ADS, the British aerospace lobby group, said 88 aircraft were delivered in July, down 24% on the same month a year ago, with the fall largely due to the slump in production of single-aisled planes such as the 737. The number of aircraft delivered in the year to date has now reached 716 but that is more than 11% lower than in 2018.
The ADS recently slashed its forecast for 2019 global aircraft deliveries from 1,789 to 1,489.
The ADS chief executive, Paul Everitt, said the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was making the situation worse for British companies in the £36bn aerospace sector. Firms spent about £600m preparing for the 29 March deadline, and that figure is expected to rise ahead of the new 31 October deadline.
The aerospace industry has been among the most forthright in its opposition to leaving the UK without a deal. Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace company, has warned it will consider closing British factories in the event of a no-deal Brexit. “No deal remains the worst outcome for industry, with many small businesses particularly vulnerable,” said Everitt.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Sat, 24th Aug 2019) London, Uk – –
In the Netherlands, where there are more bikes than people, serious money is being spent encouraging even more people to get on their bikes.
In a nation with more bikes than people, finding a space to park can be a problem. The Dutch city of Utrecht is unveiling an answer at its railway station on Monday morning: the world’s largest multistorey parking area for bicycles.
The concrete-and-glass structure holds three floors of gleaming double-decker racks with space for 12,500 bikes, from cargo bikes that hold a family to public transport bikes for rent.
‘We need more people to go by bike': meet Amsterdam's nine-year-old junior cycle mayor
It is part of a strategy in which hundreds of millions of euros are being devoted to enhancing cycling infrastructure across the Netherlands, a nation so fervent about its two-wheelers that it is applying to add cycling to its inventory of intangible heritage.
“We are striving to make it a cyclists’ paradise and there’s still much to be done,” said Stientje van Veldhoven, a junior infrastructure minister. “I’d like us to make better use of what I call this secret weapon against congestion, poor air quality in cities and climate change that is also good for your health and your wallet.”
She added: “If you want to get people out of their cars and into public transport, you need to make sure using public transport is easy and comfortable. It needs to be very easy to park your bike as close to the train as possible – and you don’t want to be looking for half an hour for a space.”
According to the Dutch Statistics Office, 60% of all trips to work in the Netherlands are made by car and just a quarter by cycling – although in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, (known as the Randstad region) cycling is more common.
Demand for public transport is growing, the main four cities are predicted to expand, and the Netherlands has been struggling to meet its climate crisis commitments, so encouraging more bike use is a political priority.
“In the next 10 years, 500,000 more people will come to urbanised areas, and if all of those people bring their car then we are going to have massive congestion,” said Van Veldhoven. “So investment in public transport, cycling lanes and cycle parking facilities is crucial to keep this area that’s essential for our national economy moving.”
The national railway service NS is investing tens of millions in bike parking, according to its spokesman, Geert Koolen. “We have over 1 million train passengers a day and in our bigger cities – like Utrecht – more than half arrive at the station by bike,” he said. “At Dutch stations there are some 490,000 parking spaces for bikes and we expect 5 million bicycle rides on OV-fiets [shared public transport bikes] in 2020.”
Utrecht is promoting cycling as part of a “healthy urban living” policy. “We are counting on biking as a healthy and sustainable form of transport for a growing city,” said the deputy mayor, Victor Everhardt. “Cycling is in the genes of people from Utrecht and in 1885 it built the Netherlands’ first bike lane. Every day, 125,000 cyclists go through the city centre to work, school and the station, and the world’s largest bike park sits perfectly in this global cycling city.”
The scale of Dutch investments shows cycling is about more than just the issue of transportation, according to BYCS, a social enterprise behind a network of international cycle mayors. “The bike park in Utrecht shows you need massive investments into cycling infrastructure parking, cycle lanes and great architecture, but we believe this is one of the most impactful things a city can do,” said its strategy director, Adam Stones. “If you look at it as transformation – how it addresses mental and physical health, brings communities together and addresses resource use and the environment – you put more weight behind it.”
But some experts sound a note of caution. Although the Fietsersbond, a Dutch cycling organisation, warmly welcomes the investment, it warns that it is irritatingand counterproductive when bike parks are combined with a no-tolerance policy to on-street parking – as in central Amsterdam, where “wild” parked bikes are confiscated.
“I am not a fan of this,” said its director, Saskia Kluit. “There’s a grey area growing where the government wants a clean appearance and wants to get rid of the bikes, but parked bikes give the street liveliness and movement, and if you want the benefit of the cyclist shopping, it’s better they can stop everywhere they want.”
(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 22nd Aug 2019) London, Uk – –
Shortly before it was defeated in the High Court, Ryanair said it had drafted in enough extra pilots to cover its flights.
Ryanair has lost a High Court battle to stop pilots from going on strike – but says flights will go ahead as scheduled on Thursday and Friday.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the airline said that it had been able to draft in enough pilots to operate a full schedule.
“Thanks to the great work and volunteerism of the vast majority of our UK based pilots, Ryanair now expects to operate its full schedule of flights to/from our UK airports,” it said.
Hitting out at striking pilots, the low-cost airline accused captains of making “unreasonable pay demands” just weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU.
These demands could “severely damage Ryanair's business and UK pilot jobs”, the airline claimed.
A similar strike planned by Ryanair pilots in Ireland was derailed earlier when the Irish High Court approved Ryanair's request to halt the industrial action.
Welcoming the court's decision, the airline told passengers that all scheduled flights from Ireland would now depart as normal.
Ryanair pilots in both the UK and Ireland voted to strike earlier this month in a row over working conditions.
The pilots' union has planned two walkouts – the first from 22-23 August, and the second from 2-4 September.
On Wednesday morning, Ryanair announced that it had applied to the UK High Court for a last minute injunction to prevent an “unjustified strike by a small minority of UK pilots”.
In response, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said that in seeking an injunction, Ryanair had “blown the chance of finding a resolution” before Thursday's walkout, accusing the airline of using “bullying tactics”.
“Because Ryanair has wasted time with unnecessary court action, their chance to resolve the dispute involving their pilots has been lost”, a statement from the trade union said.
Balpa said its pilots were upset with working conditions at Ryanair, specifically citing the loss of benefits such as maternity leave, pensions, and licence insurance.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary told staff earlier this summer that the airline was planning to cut a number of jobs, blaming the “increasing likelihood” of a no-deal Brexit and the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 Max for creating uncertainty.
The 737 Max's software is being investigated after the jet was involved in two deadly crashes just months apart.
Mr O'Leary said in a video message to Ryanair staff: “We already have a surplus of over 500 pilots and some 400 cabin crew.
“We will need about 600 less pilots and cabin crew for summer 2020.”
Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are partnering with automotive companies that rely on the tech giants to bring phones and artificial intelligence into vehicles.
At its WWDC this week, Apple rolled out updates to CarPlay, which is now available in 90% of new vehicles in the United States. At Google I/O last month, Google announced an update to Android Auto and said Android Automotive, the first card with the Android operating system natively built in, will be available next year.
Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri are also increasingly showing up in automobiles. IHS Markit forecasts that by 2024 almost 700 million of these software platforms will be enabled in vehicles.
The Flintstone House is an eccentric house in Hillsborough, California. It was designed in 1976 by William Nicholson and most recently purchased by Florence Fang in 2017 for $2.8 million. Large dinosaur statues and other Flintstone-themed artwork cover the front and back yards. Town officials from Hillsborough sued Florence Fang, stating that her property doesn't comply with the community's code.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 16th Aug 2019) London, Uk – –
The chief executive of Cathay Pacific, Rupert Hogg, has resigned in the wake of the protests in Hong Kong.
Mr Hogg said he was taking responsibility as these had been “challenging weeks” for the airline.
Last week, some of its employees took part in the protests in Hong Kong, but China ordered the Hong Kong-based airline to suspend staff who did so.
Cathay's chairman, John Slosar, said it was time to put “a new management team in place who can reset confidence”.
Paul Loo is also leaving as chief customer and commercial officer.
Mr Hogg said: “These have been challenging weeks for the airline and it is right that Paul and I take responsibility as leaders of the company.”
‘Reputation and brand under pressure'
Last week, Cathay Pacific had told its staff it would not stop them joining the pro-democracy demonstrations currently sweeping Hong Kong.
But on Monday Mr Hogg warned staff they could be fired if they “support or participate in illegal protests”.
Cathay faced pressure online after China's state-run press fuelled a #BoycottCathayPacific hashtag, which trended on Chinese social media.
Beijing's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), required Cathay to submit lists of staff working on flights going to the mainland or through its airspace.
It also had to submit a report on planned measures to “strengthen internal control and improve flight safety and security”.
Cathay Pacific said that Mr Hogg had been replaced by Tang Kin Wing Augustus and Mr Loo by Ronald Lam.
Mr Slosar said that while Mr Hogg and his team had carried out a three-year turnaround plan, “recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific's commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure”.
“This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority,” he said.
The new bosses “have the experience and depth of knowledge of aviation and our people to be strong and effective leaders of Cathay Pacific at this sensitive time”, he added.
Hong Kong International Airport was closed at times this week in the wake of the massive anti-government protests that have paralysed one of Asia's key transport hubs.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 14th Aug 2019) London, Uk – –
Rail users in the UK will be hit by a further rise in ticket prices which will come into effect next year.
The increase will be based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure for July of 2.8%.
The figure is likely to lead to an increase of more than £100 in the annual cost of getting to work for many commuters.
Passenger groups urged a change in the way ticket prices are calculated, as RPI is no longer a national statistic.
The cost of most train fares are set by train companies themselves, but about 40% of fares in England, Scotland and Wales are regulated so that they are only allowed to rise by an amount pegged to the RPI rate of inflation in July the previous year.
These regulated fares include annual season tickets.
The government's preferred measure of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), increased to 2.1%.
The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has repeatedly said that CPI, the most widely watched and used measure of inflation, should be used instead of RPI.
Last month this was 2% and it is typically lower than the RPI rate of inflation.
CBT chief executive Darren Shirley said the expected ticket price rises were “exorbitant”.
“The government should commit now to January's fares rise being linked to CPI,” he added.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It's tempting to suggest fares should never rise. However, the truth is that if we stop investing in our railway, then we will never see it improved.”
The TUC trade union renewed its call for the railway to be renationalised, arguing it would lead to lower ticket prices.
“We're already paying the highest ticket prices in Europe to travel on overcrowded and understaffed trains.
“The number one priority should be running a world-class railway service, not subsidising private train companies,” said TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady.
Analysis: Tom Burridge
The bitter irony for rail passengers is that the quality of service in Britain is all too often undeserving of the price.
After a cataclysmic year on parts of the network last year, punctuality was generally on the up this year before the hot, and then wet and windy weather caused significant disruption this summer.
The promise (via an ongoing Government-commissioned rail review) is that our train companies of the future will only make money if they run trains on time.
In principle that sounds good for passengers but we still don't know how it will work in practice and when such a system will actually arrive at a station near you.
The wider financial dilemma for Government is that our rail network is in large parts ageing and in need of a refit.
Infrastructure upgrade work costing the taxpayer billions is ongoing or planned.
Government sources point out that a relatively small proportion of public transport journeys are made by train (roughly 17%).
Therefore, they argue, a rise in ticket prices, however painful for passengers, is a necessary evil to meet the rising costs linked to running the railways.
More train delays
At the start of this year, train fares went up by an average of 3.1% in England and Wales and 2.8% in Scotland.
The rise in England and Wales – the highest since January 2013 – meant the price of some annual season tickets rose by more than £100.
In Scotland, peak-time season tickets and anytime day tickets became 3.2% more expensive, while the capped increase of off-peak fares was 2.2%.
Rail passengers have had to endure more delays on the network this year.
Last week was particularly bad, with thousands of people affected by a signal failure, which led to the suspension of all services out of London Euston, on Thursday.
And then trains were also affected in Friday's power cut, with many stranded across the network
Delays also happened during July's heatwave, while in January, London Overground commuters were given a month's free travel after delays to the delivery of new electric trains.