Global airlines less hopeful on COVID-19 recovery

first_imgGlobal airlines cut their coronavirus recovery forecast on Tuesday, saying it would take until 2024 – a year longer than previously expected – for passenger traffic to return to pre-crisis levels.In an update on the pandemic’s crippling impact on air travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) cited slow virus containment in the United States and developing countries, and a weaker outlook for corporate travel.Lingering travel barriers and new restrictions in some markets are also weighing on nearer-term prospects, IATA said, cutting its 2020 passenger numbers forecast to a 55% decline – sharper than the 46% drop predicted in April. “The second half of this year will see a slower recovery than we’d hoped,” IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said. June passenger numbers were down 86.5% year-on-year, the organisation said, after a 91% contraction in May.A surprise move by Britain to quarantine arrivals from Spain has created lot of uncertainty, Pearce said. “That is clearly going to be an issue with the recovery.”Recovery prospects are weakened by the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and developing countries together representing 40% of global air travel, IATA said.International travel is unlikely to rebound significantly without a reasonably priced testing regime that was deemed acceptable by governments, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Director General Subhas Menon said. Depending on the country, tests can cost hundreds of dollars.”We need advice from public health experts on how to go about that,” he told Reuters in an interview in Sydney on Wednesday. “If it is cheap enough then maybe you can expect travellers to pay for it. At the moment the cost is quite intimidating.”Business travel may also face a sustained slump, threatening the profitability of long-haul airlines and routes as corporate clients rein in spending and make greater use of video-conferences that have become the norm during lockdowns.”It will remain to be seen whether we see a recovery to pre-crisis business travel patterns,” Pearce said. “Our concern is that we won’t.” Topics :last_img read more

Federer, Nadal and Serena Set for Busy Day at Wimbledon

first_imgWith all of the men’s and women’s last 16 singles ties taking place, it is one of the most exciting days in the tennis calendar.Defending champion Federer faces French 22nd seed Adrian Mannarino while two-time champion Nadal plays Jiri Vesely.Seven-time winner Williams, the favourite for the women’s title, plays Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina. Three-time champion Novak Djokovic will play Karen Khachanov while Gael Monfils meets eighth seed Kevin Anderson.Karolina Pliskova, the only remaining women’s top 10 seed, plays world number 20 Kiki Bertens.Federer made serene progress through the first three rounds, extending his run of consecutive sets won at Wimbledon to 29 as he bids for a record-extending ninth men’s title.The Swiss swept aside big-hitting Jan-Lennard Struff in one hour and 34 minutes in round three but said he is pleased at the variety of opponents he has played so far.“It’s good that I faced different types of opponents I think in this first week, and was able to find a way to get through,” Federer said. “I think it’s always helpful. He is a hard hitter. In the next round it will be a lefty. It will be much more of a strategic match, I believe.”Nadal, another player who is yet to drop a set, plays another left-hander in Czech Vesely, the world number 93.Nigeria Open T’tennis Has Impacted Positively on Lagos, Says TandohIt is a known fact that ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open has continued to attract international attention to the commercial nerve center of Nigeria – Lagos State in the last five years.As Nigeria’s largest urban area, Lagos is a major financial centre and the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Kweku Tandoh believes the staging of the annual ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open has put the state on international limelight as well as exposed its tourism potentials to the world.“The ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open is indeed a unique event that started out as the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics in 2014. Just after one year of its coming into existence, the success of the event attracted the attention of the ITTF into approving its inclusion in the ITTF annual calendar of events and the event has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.The impact of the Nigeria Open on Lagos State has been huge and beneficial in many respects. For example, the event annually attracts tourists from all over the world into the State. It has helped to showcase the beneficial synergy between sports and tourism, a major area of focus for Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.“In addition, many Lagos State athletes are now annually exposed to meeting, watching and playing with international players and is has helped to improve their own performances. Commerce and local business also thrive in the State during the Nigeria Open as there are increased commercial activities in and around the venues, hotels improve occupancy rates and sponsors and partners have an opportunity to market their products and make brisk sales. Of course the period of the event and its international flavour, international media exposure all help to ensure that Lagos State is in the international spotlight. Another benefit to the State is the opportunity the event offers our Sports Commission staff to build capacity in the area of sports event planning and organization,” Tandoh said.For 2018, Kweku Tandoh said: “This year Lagos State has improved upon its partnership contribution as promised by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode during the finals of last year’s event. We are also working closely with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to ensure that this year’s event is bigger and better in all ramifications.“Nigeria Open offers us the opportunity to use sports/ sporting events to boost tourism. The event will also be listed in the Lagos State Tourism Annual Calendar. We also intend to incorporate bus and/or boat tours for the visiting athletes and officials and also expose them to the sights, sounds, arts and culture of the State.Many of the international players who have attended previous events have become “tourism ambassadors” for the state as they always look forward to coming back to Lagos.”“As the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, my expectation for this year’s Nigeria Open is that we surpass all that has been achieved in the past regarding this event. And we will put in all the hard work that is required to enable us attain unto greater heights, working closely with the LOC, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and ITTF,” he added.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more