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United Airlines posts another loss

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Airlines makes a smaller loss than last year but hopes for better times ahead.

United Airlines reported another quarterly loss , but said it sees a “clear path to profitability” now that coronavirus vaccines are becoming more widespread.

The big US carrier, which has suffered from the broad travel industry downturn during Covid-19, said it is positioned for the industry recovery after cutting costs and gradually improving its cash burn position during the pandemic.

“We’re encouraged by the strong evidence of pent-up demand for air travel and our continued ability to nimbly match it,” said United Chief Executive Scott Kirby.

For the quarter ending March 31, United reported a loss of $US1.4 billion, compared with a loss of $US1.7 billion in the year-ago period.

United projected another unprofitable period in the second quarter, when system capacity is expected to be down 45 percent compared with the equivalent stretch in 2019.

Delta said last week it saw “a path to returning to profitability in the September quarter.” Earlier Monday, United said it was adding three new flights from the United States to European markets that are beginning to reopen to vaccinated visitors.

On April 1, United said it will immediately start hiring pilots, beginning with a group of 300, to be ready to meet growing demand for air travel.

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Business

Visa’s multi-billion investment in European open banking platform

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Payments technology company Visa has confirmed it has signed a deal to buy Swedish open banking platform Tink

The payment tech company is set to hand over $2.15 billion for the acquisition, one of the largest investments for the company.

The total financial consideration included cash and retention incentives.

Visa says Tink would retain its brand and management team, and its headquarters would continue to operate as normally in Stockholm.

Visa is now set to fund the deal from cash on hand and the acquisition would have no impact on Visa’s previously announced stock buyback programme or dividend policy.

In January, Visa and financial technology company Plaid called off their $5.3 billion merger agreement following a U.S. government lawsuit aimed at stopping the merger on antitrust grounds

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Regulators send urgent danger warning to global airlines

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Airlines across the world have been sent an urgent warning by regulators

As parts of the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, and consumer confidence in travel peaks, airlines are being urged to check a certain type of aircraft that millions of people fly on each and every year.

Regulators have called for more rigorous checks when pulling some Airbus Aircraft out of pandemic storage, following flawed cockpit readings that can suggest blocked sensors.

Pilots rely on airspeed readings obtained from external probes known as pitot tubes, which can become blocked by insect nests or dirt if they are not properly sealed during storage.

Multiple airlines forced to abort takeoffs

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency confirmed that recently, airline operations have become disrupted due to incidents involving the A320 range of aircraft.

“an increasing number of operational disruptions have been reported due to airspeed discrepancies” as they return to the air.

A spokesperson said the events included commercial flights and in most cases led to aborted takeoff. “EASA had no reports of any resultant injuries, aircraft or system issues,” she said.

Asked whether passengers had been on board, an Airbus spokesperson said it did not have a breakdown between passenger, freight or technical check flights.

Recent reports have now prompted Airbus to carry out further computer simulations which suggested that problems with two out of three sensors may affect the plane’s stability during take-off. The agency noted however that none of these events happened in operations.

The Airbus spokesperson said these follow-up actions were precautionary and that safety was its chief priority.

“Alarming” Rise in Cases

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency first reported an “alarming” rise in August 2020. The agency saw a rise in the general number of cases of unreliable cockpit indications during the first flight of jets leaving storage.

It called on operators of all makes and models of passenger aircraft to be vigilant.

Pilot rustiness, maintenance errors and a loss of expertise in the supply chain due to job cuts have also raised concerns.

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Concerns for Press Freedoms as Apple Daily announces closure date

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Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily will stop operating on Thursday

The tabloid’s parent company, Next Digital said confirmed the news after national security police arrested another employee of the troubled newspaper.

The recent events bring the 26 year operations of the popular tabloid to a close.

Apple Daily is popular within Hong Kong. The newspaper, which mixes pro-democracy discourse with racy celebrity gossip and investigations of those in power, has escalated alarm over media freedom and other rights in the Chinese-ruled city.

In a statement on its website, Next Digital stated that the decision to close the newspaper, which employs about 600 journalists, was taken “due to the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong.”

Last weeek authorities in Hong Kong froze assets of companies linked to the newspaper and arrested five executives.

On Wednesday, it arrested a columnist on suspicion of conspiring to collude with a foreign country or foreign forces.

Authorities have revealed their concern over dozens of Apple Daily pieces that may have violated the security law, the first instance of authorities taking aim at media articles under the legislation.

There has now been an outcry from rights groups, media organisations and Western governments, who have criticised last week’s raid of the Apple Daily newsroom. Those who state press freedom has been violated.

The Apple Daily has come under increasing pressure following the arrest of its since tycoon owner and Beijing critic, Jimmy Lai.

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