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Australian aviation sector thrown another lifeline, but is it enough?



The global aviation sector has taken a major hit due to the pandemic as lockdowns and travel restrictions continue across the world

Australia’s aviation sector has been thrown another lifeline.

Domestic airline crew will gain access to Covid support payments of $750 a week, in an extension of the Australian federal government assistance for the aviation industry.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announced a range of measures to “keep domestic aviation ready for takeoff” – and that included assistance to retain workforce capability.

The Deputy PM says the decision to limit assistance to flight and cabin crew outside of hot spots, was due to the importance of the aviation industry in keeping Australia’s economy going.

“This is a crucial sector of the economy, it’s crucial to keep the sovereign airline capacity.,”

Joyce Said
Australia’s Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce.

Australia’s travel market, like the rest of the world, continues to be hammered by COVID

Initially, 50 percent of pilots and cabin crew would be eligible for the $750 a week payment, providing airlines could show their revenue was down at least 30 percent.

“If the crisis goes on then we have the capacity to scale up to more than 50 per cent of employees who are aircrew, we’re talking about pilots and flight attendants,”

said Mr Joyce.

Airlines quickly welcomed the assistance, and the extension of key programs subsidising domestic and regional flights until the year’s end.

A half-price airfare initiative set to end in September was also extended until November, in recognition of the fact many cheap seats were sold on flights cancelled by airlines, due to city lockdowns and border closures.

Qantas called the support “much appreciated, given the acute challenges facing the sector”.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the support for services and crew was “essential” as they continued to navigate the most challenging period in aviation history.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the Deputy Prime Minister and the federal government to maintain stability in our workforce and remain responsive to adding significant capacity when borders are open, which is economically critical to Australia’s future,”


Unions were unimpressed however, calling on the government to extend the assistance to all aviation workers

Transport Workers Union national secretary Michael Kaine said lockdowns affected all aviation workers from check-in staff to caterers, not just some cabin crew and pilots.

The government announcement followed a warning from Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce that the airline would again have to stand down staff without pay, if current low levels of flying persisted.

In June more than 9000 domestic flights were canceled as a result of lockdowns and border closures, including 5000 by Qantas and Jetstar.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 


EU plans to force USB-C chargers for all phones



EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple

The European Commission rules to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices. The European Commission is aiming to have a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, and handheld videogame consoles.

The ruling has been in the making for a decade, with environmental concerns the main driving force behind the historic move.

Reducing waste

The rule will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. Politicians have been pushing for this uni9versal charging rule for over a decade.

Disposed and unused charging cables generate approximately 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.  Research shows the average person owns around three mobile phone chargers.

A decade ago there were about 30 different types of chargers, now, phones use either USB-C, lightning, and USB micro-B.

Rotten Apple

The move would see all smartphones in the EU sold with the same charger, a motion Apple is not happy about. The tech giant says this move would damage ongoing innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector. Apple argues its Lightning connector is used by one billion active iPhone users.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,”

Apple spokesperson

The proposed changes would apply to the charging port on the device body and will also standardise charging speeds. It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.

It will be thoroughly debated by the European Parliament and national Governments.

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Trade war fires up as U.S companies pass tariffs onto consumers



Japan Exports

The trade war between the United States and China is continuing to heat up, but this hasn’t stopped American businesses from leaving the Chinese mainland

This all follows the US implementing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese consumer products in a bid to bring manufacturing back to American shores.

A new report has found this is hurting the US economy and has not been successful in pressuring China to change any of its economic policies.

Meanwhile, businesses based in either China and America have remained “deeply integrated” with the other… with foreign investment into China hitting a record high of US$144.4 billion in 2020.

This comes as Joe Biden moves to review US policy towards China, including the previous policies of Donald Trump.

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Energy prices soar for Europeans as winter chill approaches



There are growing concerns for European residents as energy prices continue to skyrocket in the lead-up to winter

The wholesale prices of natural gas in Britain, France, Spain, Germany and Italy have reached record highs, with overall household bills now through the roof.

This all comes as the continent braces for a cold winter and fuel is needed for increased electricity generation.

Meanwhile, the Europen Consumer Organisation warns it has seen a huge price increase… saying “It’s worrying ahead of the winter when gas consumption will necessarily increase.”

This latest price hike is being caused by a number of factors… including a depletion of natural gas stockpiles during a cold spring and a growing demand for gas in China.

Russia is also supplying less gas to the market than it ever has before.

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