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TICKER VIEWS – Why governments should be compensating airlines for COVID disruptions

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A year into the pandemic and yet on the rare occasion, a border is snapped shut due to the detection of a few cases of COVID-19.

That’s the case in Australia, at least.

There is no doubt the nation is doing incredibly well with managing the virus – in fact, the country rarely records a locally transmitted case.

“Unprecedented” – Why airlines didn’t know how serious COVID-19 was when it all started

On the rare occasion that the nation does record a case of COVID-19, often we see the states and territories of Australia snap their borders shut, in fear that the virus will enter.

But when this happens, what happens to businesses that are impacted by the loss of revenue? Who compensates the world’s airlines when flights are forced to be canceled and travel grinds to a halt?

Internationally, the problem remains much the same.

Irish A330 First Officer, Brian O’Leary says airlines still being ‘left on the ropes’ and Governments aren’t providing enough support.

Small Business Australia’s Bill Lang, who says ‘it’s time for Governments to do more and start compensating the industry before it becomes too late.

Delta Airlines jets sit idle on a runway in the US.

What the aviation sector has to say:

The Australian Aviation sector continues to slowly recover from the devastation caused in 2020.

We’re now seeing airlines bounce back to 80 percent capacity of pre-COVID levels.

But still, the industry is brought to its knees when border closures are put into place, having to cancel flights, furlough employees and leave many travellers frustrated by the news that their flight ‘won’t be going ahead today’

Declan Kiddle, an Australian Aviation Operations Controller based in Perth, Western Australia, says the industry heavily on Jobkeeper, a former wage subsidiary.

Kiddle says the announcement of a $1.2 billion aviation and travel support package for the troubled sector has been welcomed, but the continuation of snap-border closures is resulting in traveller hesitancy.

Vaccinations and travel

Airlines right across the world are heavily reliant on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Carriers such as Emirates have begun implementing full digital verification procedures to ensure smoother processing of passengers without needing physical paperwork.

Other airlines such as Australian carrier, Qantas has hinted at making it mandatory for all passengers that wish to travel overseas to have received a COVID jab.

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. 

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Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time in a century

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Russia has failed to pay out its overseas debt for the first time in over 100 years

The country missed its Sunday deadline due to challenges in transferring the payments to international creditors.

Moscow has the funds to make the 100 million dollar payment but sanctions have complicated the process.

The country is unhappy with the situation with the finance minister calling the situation “a farce”.

The last time that Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when leader Vladimir Lenin did not pay out debts on behalf of the Russian Empire.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by a number of countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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Business

Instagram introduces new process to crack down on underage users

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The majority of social media platforms have an age limit of 13 years old, but how is this really being regulated?

Instagram is exploring new ways for teenagers to verify their age and comply with platform rules.

The gram is turning to video selfies to crack down on minors editing their date of birth to make them appear over 18.

The Meta-owned app is testing video selfies with facial analysis software as a new age-verification method.

For a U.S. teen who wants to join insta, they will need to upload ID, ask three adult users to vouch for them or take a video selfie.

Meta says it hopes the new methods will ensure teens have an “age-appropriate experience” on the content sharing app.

Video selfies have become a popular way for digital platforms – such as online banking apps – to verify users’ age or identity.

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Business

U.S. firms to pay staff travel expenses for abortions

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Major companies have reassured staff that if they require an abortion, they will cover their travel expenses

Disney, JP Morgan, Amazon and Meta are among the companies to announce similar moves for women.

This comes as millions of US women face restricted access after a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

A growing number of companies have confirmed they will cover travel costs through their health insurance plans for employees who leave their home state to get an abortion.

Disney employs around 80,000 people at its resort in Florida, where the governor has already signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is scheduled to take effect on 1 July.

Banking giant JP Morgan and another leading US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also said it would cover travel expenses for employees.

Social media company Meta said it intended to reimburse travel expenses where permitted by law.

Other companies which have indicated they will take similar steps include Vogue publisher, jeans brand Levi and ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber.

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