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TICKER VIEWS – International travel – are we there yet?

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How long until international aviation gets its groove back?

Like a child in the backseat of a car yelling “are we there yet?”, the global aviation sector is desperately hanging on to hope.

Richard Branson once mused “If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.”

Well, a million seems rich these days in a deeply troubled sector.

There have been some green shoots this week – the launch of the long awaited travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand began, with hopes of more counties, like Australia-Singapore, to follow.

But the International Air Trransport Association paints a pretty bleak picture for the sector overall. Global airlines are set to lose $US47 billion this year.

IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh puts it simply.

“This crisis is longer and deeper than anyone could have expected. Losses will be reduced from 2020, but the pain of the crisis increases. There is optimism in domestic markets where aviation’s hallmark resilience is demonstrated by rebounds in markets without internal travel restrictions. 

“Government imposed travel restrictions, however, continue to dampen the strong underlying demand for international travel. Despite an estimated 2.4 billion people travelling by air in 2021, airlines will burn through a further US$81 billion of cash,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

RECOVERY

The outlook points to the start of industry recovery in the latter part of 2021. In the face of the ongoing crisis.

So what does the recovery actually look like? And who would be brave enough to predict it, given the various super-strains emerging around the world.

A lot of it is completely outside the control of airlines or passengers. Travel restrictions, including quarantines, have killed demand. 

IATA estimates that travel will recover to 43 per cent of 2019 levels over the year. While that is a 26 per cent improvement on 2020, it is a long way from recovery.

DOMESTIC GROWTH

Domestic markets will improve faster than international travel. 

Overall passenger numbers are expected to reach 2.4 billion in 2021. 

International travel has a long way to go – still 86.6 per cent down on pre-crisis levels over the first two months of 2021. 

It’s why the 747 has disappeared from the skies, and the Airbus bosses must be glad they’ve already rolled the last A380 off the production line. 

VACCINATION

Vaccination progress in developed countries, particularly the US and Europe, is expected to combine with widespread testing capacity to enable a return to some international travel at scale in the second half of the year.

But remember, early last year we hoped we’d be flying overseas again by the end of 2020.

2021 and 2020 have opposite demand patterns: 2020 started strong and ended weak, while 2021 is starting weak and is expected to strengthen towards year-end. The result will be zero international growth when comparing the two years.

Industry revenues are expected to total USD458 billion. That’s just 55 per cent of the USD838 billion generated in 2019.

And then there’s the aircraft manufacturers. Spare a thought for Boeing. Etihad announcing its retiring its 777-300ER fleet to focus on becoming a smaller 787 boutique airline. While international travel slowly resumes, it will be a long time before airlines take the risk to buy larger, wide bodied aircraft.

But while the short term future looks grim, the airline industry has been battered before, and survived. The shoots of green have started to appear.

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Global Politics

Fiji enters lockdown as new COVID cluster spreads

Anthony Lucas

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Fiji has announced the island country will enter a 56-hour lockdown as it rushes to trace contacts of a garment factory worker diagnosed with COVID-19, The case is the nation’s first case detected in in 2021.

While the capital, Suva was put into lockdown last week for 14 days after a handful of cases spread in the community after emerging from a quarantine hotel, officials have announced a curfew over the weekend, with none of the 100,000 residents allowed to leave their homes.

The are currently 49 people in the nation with the virus, 28 of those locally transmitted, according to Fiji Times.

One of the new cases is a woman who worked in a garment factory, with her positive COVID detection sparking the crack-down.

Authorities say she worked with almost 900 people. In a statement, officials say they have only managed to test 300 people, and need to find hundreds more.

“We cannot waste another minute locating the rest of them,”

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong said.

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Global Politics

Can U.S President Joe Biden be Israel’s answer to avoiding ‘a full-scale war’

Anthony Lucas

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“President @JoeBiden can pick up the phone, make a couple of calls & this could be over almost immediately ” As violence between Israel and Gaza continues, @andraydomise calls on the President of the United States to take urgent action to avoid ‘a full-scale war’

“This is potentially going to be a third intifada”

Andray Domise says.

Contributing editor of Maclean’s Magazine, Andray Domise, says tensions between Gaza and Israel have been slowly escalating over the course of 20 years, ‘at least’.

The situation in Gaza is at breaking point, following the UN yesterday making a stark warning that the violence may turn into a “full-scale war”.

Domise’s analysis comes after Internal miscommunication early on Friday morning that led to Israeli Defense Forces announcing that its air and ground troops were “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

However, the IDF later clarified this statement, saying that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

More than 16,000 reservist military personnel were called up earlier and additional ground troops were deployed to the border.

The UN has warned that the violence in Gaza could escalate into a “full-scale war”

U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and says “Israel has a right to defend itself” amid a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, according to AFP.

“One of the things that I have seen thus far is that there has not been a significant overreaction,” Biden said during a press briefing.

“Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory,” Biden said during his address.

The United States dispatched a senior diplomat on Wednesday to urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm the worst flare-up in violence between them in years, says Reuters.

As the situation worsens in Gaza, tensions are also spreading throughout several Israeli cities, with Arab and Jewish citizens clashing and rioting on the streets.

Israel’s Defense Minister said “I say explicitly: we will continue to defend and continue to attack until the fire is stopped and we will ensure long-term silence.”

This comes as Palestinians plead with the United Nations to live up to its responsibility and maintain international peace and security.

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Global Politics

Sky lit up in red flames: Have Israeli troops crossed the border in Gaza?

Brittany Coles

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The Israel military says air and ground troops “are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip”.

However, the IDF later clarified this statement, saying that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

More than 16,000 reservist military personnel were called up earlier and additional ground troops were deployed to the border.

Israeli forces have not entered Gaza following a barrage of artillery and air strikes in the north of Gaza, according to Al Jazeera.

Have troops actually entered the Gaza strip?

Al Jazeera and other news outlets with reporters on ground are questioning whether Israel’s military has actually entered Gaza.

Internal miscommunication early on Friday morning led to Israeli Defense Forces announcing that its air and ground troops were “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

However, that was clarified later by the IDF that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

On Friday local time, Israeli Defense Forces announced that its air and ground troops are “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinians marked the first day of the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday under heated bombardment.

Gaza’s health ministry saying that 109 people, including 28 children, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began late on Monday.

Militants in Gaza have fired more than one thousand rockets into Israel, with airlines either suspending or diverting flights over fears of planes being shot down.

At least 580 others were injured. Israel has stationed more troops and tanks near Gaza and has approved mobilizing 9,000 more reservist troops, according to AJ+

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operations were targeted at Hamas and would continue “as long as necessary.”

ISRAEL Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“We give one hundred per cent backing to the police, to the soldiers of the border police and the other security forces,” he said.

It comes as Israel’s Defense Minister says the country has “many, many more targets” and no time limit when it comes to military operations.

“The army will continue to attack to bring a total, long-term quiet.”

Israel’s Defense Minister

The violence in Gaza erupted on Monday after Israeli air strikes killed several senior Hamas commanders and destroyed three multi-story buildings.

As the situation worsens in Gaza, tensions are also spreading throughout several Israeli cities, with Arab and Jewish citizens clashing and rioting on the streets.

“I say explicitly: we will continue to defend and continue to attack until the fire is stopped and we will ensure long-term silence,”

Israel’s Defense Minister says.

Why now?

It comes as Palestinians plead with the United Nations to live up to its responsibility and maintain international peace and security.

Hamas controls Gaza, while Fatah controls the West Bank.

Then there’s the Abraham accords signed in the final months of President Trump’s administration, where relations were normalised between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

The situation in Gaza is at breaking point, following the UN yesterday making a stark warning that the violence may turn into a “full-scale war”.

The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the situation

The UN has warned that the violence in Gaza could escalate into a “full-scale war” after Israel carried out heavy airstrikes on Gaza and Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and says “Israel has a right to defend itself” amid a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, according to AFP.

Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”

u.s president biden

The United States dispatched a senior diplomat on Wednesday to urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm the worst flare-up in violence between them in years, says Reuters.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the matter.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Meanwhile in Australia,  Foreign Minister Marise Payne has followed the U.S lead in calling for an end to escalating violence between Israel and Gaza.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne 

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