22.15 -0.46 (-2.03%)
After hours: 5:19PM EDT
Price Crosses Moving Average
|Bid||22.47 x 1000|
|Ask||24.44 x 1300|
|Day's Range||22.11 - 22.73|
|52 Week Range||18.45 - 36.43|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.97|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||10.05|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.36 (1.62%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Jun 28, 2019|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
The U.S. Transportation Department plans to issue a revised order in the coming days that is likely to allow some Chinese passenger airline flights to continue, government and airline officials said. On Thursday, China said it would ease coronavirus restrictions to allow more foreign carriers to fly to the mainland, shortly after Washington said it planned to bar Chinese passenger airlines from flying to the United States by June 16 due to Beijing’s curbs on U.S. airlines. The announcement should allow U.S. carriers to resume once-a-week flights into a city of their choosing starting on June 8.
Spirit Airlines (SAVE) saw a big move last session, as its shares jumped nearly 7% on the day, amid huge volumes.
LATAM Airlines (LTM) saw a big move last session, as its shares jumped more than 7% on the day, amid huge volumes.
(Bloomberg) -- Airlines in Asia are tapping the market and existing shareholders for new funds at the fastest pace as the coronavirus pandemic has almost brought international travel to a standstill.So far this year, regional airlines have announced they will sell a total of $7 billion in new shares to existing shareholders, the most annually on record, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In addition, on Wednesday China Southern Airlines got approval to sell as many as 2.45 billion A-shares in a private placement that could raise as much as $1.7 billion based on its last closing price.The pandemic has effectively wiped out travel demand this year, causing airlines to ground fleets and slash jobs, with a slow recovery in sight. The International Air Transport Association predicts airlines globally could require as much as $200 billion in government aid and bailout measures this year to survive, while CAPA Centre of Aviation has warned the pandemic will bankrupt most carriers by the end of May if they don’t get support.Singapore Airlines Ltd. announced a $6.2 billion rights offer in March in what is the largest such deal this year. The carrier is struggling because it doesn’t have a domestic market to fall back on and lost money on fuel hedging. Other airlines to have announced rights offers include Korean Air Lines Ltd and Jejuair Co, for $815 million and $138 million, respectively.Rights offers across all industries have been pushed to a six-year high by the coronavirus, underscoring the economic damage brought about by the widespread lockdowns. Share sales have also picked up in the last couple of months, as countries from India to China have loosened rules around capital raising to help companies get cash, keeping equity capital markets bankers busy.UPCOMING LISTINGS:Dada Nexus Ltd.Nasdaq exchangeSize about $500mFiled May 12Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JefferiesLegend Biotech Corp.Nasdaq exchangeFiled May 13Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, JefferiesBurning Rock Biotech Ltd.NasdaqSize $100mFiled May 22Morgan Stanley, BofA, Cowen & Co., CMBI, Tiger BrokersYeahka Ltd.Hong Kong stock exchangeSize $212mTrading June 1CLSA, Nomura, ABC InternationalEbang International Holdings Inc.New YorkSize $100mFiled April 25AMTD, Loop Capital MarketsMore ECM situations we are following:Atlas Arteria to raise up to A$495m in equityAditya Birla Fashion to raise up to 10b rupees via rights offerMalaysia’s armed forces pension fund is weighing options for its controlling stake in Boustead Holdings Bhd., including taking the group private, people with knowledge of the matter saidSee also:Asia ECM Weekly AgendaIPO dataU.S. ECM WatchEU ECM WatchTo receive the ECM Watch in your inbox daily, click the “subscribe” button at the top of this article.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Governments have devoted more than $85 billion to propping up airlines after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out travel demand and grounded jetliner fleets. But with job cuts racking up, a debate is raging over whether opening the spigot will do more than merely delay the inevitable.Global air traffic may only get back to 50% to 60% of usual levels by year-end, leading the International Air Transport Association to suggest the recovery will be a tortuous one. Given the financial impact and safety measures likely to be required, it could be three years before the industry sees a sustainable revival, according to Delta Air Lines Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian. Billionaire Warren Buffett, who had been the industry's most prominent investor, isn't waiting around. His Berkshire Hathaway Inc. exited its stakes in Delta and the three other big U.S. airlines.Tension is also mounting over whether the cash windfall will interrupt a necessary thinning out of the sector by propping up weaker airlines, many state-owned or former flag carriers, while their leaner rivals rely on their own resources. Some otherwise-unviable routes would be lost without aid, along with jet orders that would help satisfy the carbon-reduction goals of state backers.Ryanair Holdings Plc CEO Michael O’Leary has challenged the notion of state aid as inherently unfair and detrimental to pricing power for those carriers still standing on their own feet. British Airways owner IAG SA has accessed government-guaranteed loans in the U.K. and in Spain. Still, airlines that are unwilling or unable to reform shouldn't get “free money’’ from the government, says CEO Willie Walsh.Here’s a guide to who is borrowing what, where the jobs ax has fallen, and what airline bosses are saying about a recovery.Air France-KLMState Aid: Set to get as much as 11 billion euros ($12 billion) from the French and Dutch governments. Jobs: KLM plans to cut up to 2,000 posts and has taken advantage of furlough programs. Air France is discussing layoffs with unions. Recovery: Air France-KLM warned demand for air travel will take several years to recover. Share Price: Down 58% this year.AlitaliaState Aid: The airline is being nationalized, with the government set to take full control in June. Has already had more than 2.1 billion euros since entering administration in 2017. Jobs: Alitalia and its unions agreed on a temporary layoff plan for 6,622 workers through the end of October. Recovery: Italy’s industry minister was upbeat last month, saying the virus means Alitalia will now be in the same spot as other airlines.American AirlinesState Aid: The biggest U.S. carrier has secured $5.8 billion dedicated to payroll support and is negotiating terms for a separate $4.75 billion federal loan. Jobs: About 39,000 workers have voluntarily taken time off, reduced hours or early retirement. American is evaluating whether it will have to lay off any of its nearly 130,000 workers. Recovery: CEO Doug Parker says he expects air travel demand to be “suppressed for quite some time.” Share Price: Down 65%.Cathay PacificState Aid: No bailout, though Hong Kong granted a package worth HK$2.6 billion ($340 million) to the aviation industry including waivers on airport charges and other fees. Jobs: A leave program scheduled to run through June 30 may be extended by four weeks, with a potential pay cut for pilots as the company considers a restructuring that would consolidate airline brands, according to South China Morning Post. Recovery: CEO Augustus Tang has said the timeline for a revival in demand “remains impossible to predict.” Share Price: Down 21% this year.Chinese Big ThreeState Aid: No bailouts have been announced for China Southern Airlines Co., China Eastern Airlines Corp. and Air China Ltd., though the carriers posted a collective $2 billion loss for first quarter. Jobs: Again, no cuts publicly announced. Recovery: Chinese carriers have acknowledged the disruption to travel, while stopping short of issuing dire forecasts. Share Price: Air China is down 35% this year, China Southern down 34% and China Eastern down 33%.Delta Air LinesState Aid: Atlanta-based Delta will receive $5.4 billion in U.S. payroll aid. It’s also applying for a $4.6 billion federal loan, but has until September to decide whether to take it. Jobs: More than a third of Delta’s workforce, or 37,000 people, have taken unpaid leave ranging from 30 days to one year. Recovery: In his warning that a recovery may take three years, Bastian has said it will depend on customers “feeling safe, both physically and financially, to begin to travel at scale.” Share Price: Delta shares are down 61% for the year.Deutsche LufthansaState Aid: The governments of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium are together looking at a rescue worth more than 10 billion euros. Germany may take a stake of up to 25% plus one share. Jobs: The group says it may need to shrink the workforce by 10,000 to survive the crisis. Recovery: CEO Carsten Spohr says a return to normal may take until 2023. Share Price: Down 53% this year.EasyJetState Aid: Has raised 600 million pounds ($750 million) through the U.K. government’s Covid Corporate Finance Facility. Jobs: Flights grounded with staff furloughed; no news yet on actual job losses. Recovery: CEO Johan Lundgren said the fleet won’t recover to pre-crisis levels until until 2022. Share Price: Down 63% this year.Emirates and EtihadState Aid: Dubai has said it will provide financial support for Emirates. No bailout announced for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Jobs: Salaries have been cut at Emirates but carrier says posts won’t go, whereas Etihad has warned it “can’t avoid” job cuts. Recovery: Demand won’t return to former levels until 2023, Emirates President Tim Clark and Etihad CEO Tony Douglas said in a joint statement.IAGState Aid: Secured 1.1 billion euros in Spanish government-backed loans for its Iberia and Vueling arms, and 300 million pounds of U.K.-backed loans, for a total of about $1.56 billion. Jobs: BA plans to eliminate as many as 12,000 jobs, having furloughed 22,000 staff. The BBC reported that the carrier is also considering closing its secondary hub at London Gatwick airport. Recovery: Passenger numbers are unlikely to regain 2019 levels until 2023 at the earliest, CEO Willie Walsh said. Share Price: Down 70% this year.Norwegian Air, SASState Aid: Norwegian won creditor and shareholder support for a restructuring that converts $1 billion of debt into stock, unlocking the bulk of a 3 billion-krone ($290 million) package in government loan guarantees. Rival SAS has agreed 3 billion kronor ($300 million) in guarantees from Sweden and Denmark and $146 million from Norway. Jobs: SAS is eliminating 5,000 jobs, or 40% of the workforce. Norwegian has placed pilot and cabin-crew companies in Denmark and Sweden into bankruptcy protection, affecting about 1,500 pilots and more than 3,000 cabin crew. Recovery: Norwegian reckons most of its fleet will remain grounded for the next year and doesn’t expect a full recovery until 2022. SAS says it’s preparing for what may be years of sluggish demand. Share Price: Norwegian Air has slumped 88% so far this year. SAS is down 43%.QantasState Aid: No bailout. Jobs: Has furloughed most of its 30,000-strong workforce. Recovery: Sees the impact of the virus extending into fiscal 2021, but may benefit from reduced competition after rival Virgin Australia entered administration after being refused a state loan. Share Price: Down 52% this year.RyanairState Aid: Europe’s biggest discount airline hasn’t sought state support and says no other carrier should get it either. It’s suing the European Union in an attempt to topple Sweden’s airline rescue and plans other lawsuits. Jobs: The Irish company is cutting 3,000 posts or 15% of the total workforce. Recovery: CEO Michael O’Leary says the market may remain flat for as long as 18 months. Share Price: Down 35% this year, the least among Europe’s top six airlines.Singapore AirlinesState Aid: Government-owned Temasek Holdings Pte., the carrier’s biggest shareholder, has backed a plan to raise about S$8.8 billion ($6.2 billion) by issuing new stock. Jobs: Measures include compulsory unpaid leave for pilots on varying days every month. In all, about 10,000 employees will be affected. Recovery: Says it’s unclear when normal operations will resume. Share Price: Down 31% this year.Southwest AirlinesState Aid: The discounter is receiving $3.2 billion in federal aid for payroll support. It will apply for an additional $2.8 billion U.S. loan but won’t decide until the fall whether to use it. Jobs: About 10,000 workers have taken voluntary leave or partial-pay options. Southwest is considering options for longer-term time away and early retirement. Recovery: CEO Gary Kelly sees business travel taking five or more years to claw its way back. The airline plans to resume flights from a handful of U.S. cities to destinations in Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas on June 7. Most other international travel is suspended through Oct. 30. Share Price: Down 50% this year, the best performance among the five largest U.S. carriers.United AirlinesState Aid: Expects to get $5 billion in U.S. grants and low-interest loans, and has applied to borrow up to $4.5 billion from the U.S. Treasury. Jobs: United will cut at least 30% of its managerial and administrative jobs when government restrictions lift in October as the carrier braces for a prolonged travel slump. About 4,500 pilots are being shifted to different, mainly smaller aircraft, with lower pay in a fleet reshuffle. Thousands more staff risk job cuts once federal payroll support runs out on Sept. 30. Recovery: Planning for the possibility of zero revenue in 2021. Unsure when demand will return. Share Price: Down 71% this year, the worst performance among major U.S. carriers.Virgin AtlanticState Aid: Seeking to attract investors needed to qualify for requested state-backed loans of about 500 million pounds. The U.K. has told Virgin it needs to do more to raise cash privately and from within the Virgin Group. The airline has hired advisers in case it needs to restructure. A pre-packaged administration would save the airline but wipe out the current holdings of its owners, founder Richard Branson and Delta Air Lines. Jobs: The airline will eliminate 3,150 jobs, or a third of the workforce, and shutter its hub at London Gatwick. A deal with staff to take unpaid leave stoked a backlash against billionaire Branson. Recovery: CEO Shai Weiss said the slump in demand could last three years. The airline is largely dependent on the North Atlantic travel market. Share Price: Closely held.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
As you might know, China Southern Airlines Company Limited (HKG:1055) last week released its latest quarterly, and...
Last week, you might have seen that China Southern Airlines Company Limited (HKG:1055) released its full-year result...
The nature of investing is that you win some, and you lose some. And there's no doubt that China Southern Airlines...
Lenders are reviewing their exposure to Asia's aviation sector amid an unprecedented freeze of global air travel aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Asia’s biggest airlines are drawing down on their credit lines and calling in government assistance to deal with the fallout. Singapore Airlines on Thursday became the latest to shore up its liquidity, courtesy of a S$15bn (US$10.5bn) equity raising underwritten by state investor Temasek Holdings and a S$4bn bridging loan from DBS Bank.
Coronavirus is probably the 1 concern in investors' minds right now. It should be. On February 27th we published an article with the title Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW. We predicted that a US recession is imminent and US stocks will go down by at least 20% in the next 3-6 […]
March 16 (Reuters) - China's carriers including Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are planning to reduce international flights as part of anti-epidemic efforts, the Global Times reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI, March 4 (Reuters) - China will offer cash support to both domestic and foreign carriers to encourage them to restore services and not to suspend flights amid the coronavirus outbreak, the country's aviation regulator said on Wednesday. For every available seat kilometre, Beijing would award 0.0176 yuan for routes that have been shared by multiple carriers and 0.0528 yuan for routes that are only operated by one carrier, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.
China's three biggest airlines have restored a fraction of the international flights they halted in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak, heeding a call from the aviation regulator as business activity recovers slowly. Air China resumed flying on Friday to the German commercial hub of Frankfurt from the southwestern city of Chengdu, following a 21-day suspension over the epidemic, state-run Xinhua news agency said. China Southern Airlines had recommenced flights on Tuesday to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi from the southern city of Guangzhou as demand revived on recovering trade with the African country.
China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd launched on Wednesday a fresh subsidiary - OTT Airlines - to push home-grown aircraft to wider markets, the carrier said on its official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. The Shanghai-based airline said OTT Airlines, which translates to 'one two three' in Chinese, would be the first airline to operate Commercial Aircraft Corp of China's (COMAC) C919 narrow-body planes, which are undergoing flight testing. China Eastern was initially slated to be the first operator.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shares in affiliates of HNA Group surged on Thursday following a news report that China plans to take over the debt-laden conglomerate as the coronavirus outbreak has further hit its ability to meet financial obligations. The government of the southern province of Hainan, where HNA [HNAIRC.UL] is based, is in talks to take control of the group and sell off its airline assets, Bloomberg said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. HNA, which controls or holds stakes in a number of domestic carriers including its flagship Hainan Airlines <600221.SS>, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Even Willie Walsh admits that International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, where he’s the boss, is a “very boring name” for an airline group (IAG’s portfolio includes the more evocatively titled British Airways and Iberia).But should his successor ever wish to change it to something racier they’ll have to seek the blessing of Qatar Airways. On Wednesday the loss-making Gulf carrier said it had hiked its IAG stake from 21.4% to 25.1% in a move that will have cost about $600 million at current prices.Under British share ownership rules, an investor with 25% or more of the stock can block special resolutions, such as changes to the articles of association or to a company’s name. Unlike some airlines, IAG is focused on making money for its shareholders but it’s still a little baffling why the Qatar Airways boss, Akbar Al Baker, would pay all that money for such limited influence (his airline didn’t respond to questions seeking further clarification). Usually, the company’s approach is not to seek board seats.Qatar Airways is doubtless snaffling up stakes in rivals as a means of asserting soft power on behalf of its government, and enhancing its own global flight network — and it’s not alone in doing that. But the Gulf company is one of the most acquisitive carriers, and maybe that’s not a good thing given the mixed performance of airline stocks. In addition to its IAG shares, Qatar owns minority stakes in Latam, Cathay Pacific and China Southern Airlines. It also wants one in RwandAir. Financial considerations aside, Qatar certainly has more of a need to curry favor with international partners than a typical airline. In 2017, the state’s regional neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates imposed an air, sea and land blockade that remains in place. That threatens Doha’s status as an aviation hub.But Qatar Airways’ efforts to gain influence overseas by acquiring stakes in rival carriers haven’t always been welcome. Al Baker had to give up on buying a stake in American Airlines Group Inc. after the latter’s chief executive officer, Doug Parker, made clear the Qataris wouldn’t be welcome. U.S. airlines often accuse the Gulf carriers of unfair competition owing to state subsidies, which they deny.More recently, Lufthansa AG said Qatar Airways should rethink any idea of investing in the German flag carrier. “We did not have Lufthansa privatized in Germany to have it nationalized in Qatar," a spokesman told Reuters in December, sounding unusually frosty. In fairness, IAG has been one of Qatar Airways’ better investments. The stock has gained about 17% in British pound terms since the airline first acquired a 10% stake in 2015. Subsequent IAG share purchases have done better. With respect, though, few financial advisers would counsel their clients to make concentrated bets on airline stocks.Some of Qatar Airways’ other investments are instructive. Earlier this month Air Italy went into liquidation despite Qatar’s strong desire to keep it afloat. In the end its 49% shareholding counted for nothing. The 9.6% stake that Qatar purchased in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. in 2017 also appears to be underwater. The stake was acquired for HK$13.65 a share but the stock is now worth about HK$10.50 amid the protests in Hong Kong and the new coronavirus. Others have struggled too. Qatar’s Gulf rival Etihad Airways PJSC invested in Alitalia and Air Berlin Plc. Both went bust.Of course, Al Baker can invest his company’s capital however he wishes — he doesn’t have shareholders to answer to. But he may want to listen to someone who does. Walsh, who will step down at IAG in March, had this to say about the merits of shareholdings and alliances late last year: “Taking a minority stake without having some form of control, or some influence over what the airline is going to do, has no value whatsoever.”To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
BEIJING/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Foreign pilots at some Chinese airlines have returned to their home countries and are considering other jobs after being placed on unpaid leave as demand falls because of the coronavirus, affected flight crew told Reuters. Meanwhile, Chinese pilots with greater job security said their income has been sharply reduced because most of their pay is based on flying hours. Data firm OAG estimates about 80% of scheduled airline capacity to, from and within China has been cut this week because of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has killed more than 2,000 people.
Four more African countries have quarantined passengers arriving from China over suspected cases of Wuhan coronavirus even as tests ruled out infection in a person who was under medical observation in Ivory Coast.In Sudan, health minister Akram Ali Altoum announced that two of its citizens were being examined after displaying symptoms following a visit to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. "We received two suspected cases who came from China through Cairo and Addis Ababa," Altoum said, adding that infections had not been confirmed.The country does not have the necessary testing equipment and has sent samples to Germany and India, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, state-owned Sudan News Agency reported.The lack of equipped medical labs and kits has raised fears that many African nations may not have the capacity to detect and handle the virus.Altoum said Sudan had increased surveillance and screening at airports and borders, setting up seven checkpoints to monitor the movement of people entering the country. China is a major investor and trading partner in Sudan, with thousands of workers in the oil sector, including in South Sudan, where it has invested heavily in oil exploration and refining.Equatorial Guinea, a small central African nation, reported that it has quarantined four travellers who arrived on Tuesday via an Ethiopian Airline flight from Beijing to the capital Malabo. The country had announced that it would hold and isolate passengers from China for 14 days. It is not clear whether the four had coronavirus symptoms.On the small island of Mauritius, the health ministry said that all passengers that were travelling from Wuhan or had visited it in the last 14 days would be quarantined for observation, PanAfrican News Agency reported.Mauritian health and wellness minister Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal said on Tuesday that although the country has no confirmed cases, it has had nine symptomatic people under quarantine. Two of them have left for China and the others remain under observation.The country's national carrier, Air Mauritius has cancelled all its direct flights to and from Shanghai but said it has made alternative arrangements for passengers to travel to China via Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore."Air Mauritius is closely monitoring the situation and has intensified precautionary measures in line with the recommendations of local and international health authorities and according to its internal procedures," the airline said on Thursday.In Angola, which sells most of its oil to China, officials said a Chinese national who arrived in the country about 12 days ago has been hospitalised in Luanda after exhibiting symptoms, including high fever and a cough.There was relief in Ivory Coast after the announcement on Wednesday that a suspected coronavirus patient had tested negative.The West African nation had isolated a 34-year-old woman who had arrived at Felix-Houphouet-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan on a flight from Beijing on Saturday with a cough and breathing problems, the country's health ministry said.But tests by research institutes in Ivory Coast and France found that she did not have the virus, and she has been reunited with her family.China Southern Airlines crew members are screened after arriving at the international airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday. Photo: EPA-EFE alt=China Southern Airlines crew members are screened after arriving at the international airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday. Photo: EPA-EFEThe cases in Sudan, Angola and Equatorial Guinea came after Kenya and Ethiopia had also quarantined passengers arriving from China.Kenya has sent samples from a student who is in isolation at a Nairobi hospital to South Africa for testing, health officials said. He had travelled from Guangzhou after spending time in Wuhan and exhibited flu-like symptoms upon arrival via Kenya Airways on Tuesday.On Thursday, Kenya Airways said all passengers from Wuhan needed to be cleared by Guangzhou Airport health authorities before being allowed to board its aircraft.Four Ethiopian nationals were placed in quarantine this week after arriving at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport from China. Three were students at universities near Wuhan, said Lia Tadesse, the state minister of health.South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia have all issued alerts and increased screening to prevent the spread of the disease.The death toll from the pneumonia-like virus reached 171 on Thursday, with more than 8,200 cases confirmed worldwide.Africa has become home to millions of Chinese businesspeople and workers since Beijing began an aggressive push into the continent in search of raw materials for its industries and markets for its products. Students and tourists also travel regularly between the two regions.African carriers including Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Algerie, EgyptAir and South African Airways fly to China, and carriers including China Southern Airlines and Air China have routes to African cities.According to Dr John Nkengasong, director of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Africa is at high risk for the spread of the coronavirus because of the number of flights between China and the continent. He said air traffic between the regions had risen by more than 600 per cent in the past decade.He added that African countries needed to strengthen their public health surveillance and laboratory systems to better prevent, detect and control the spread of the virus.Sign up now for our 50% early bird offer from SCMP Research: China AI Report. The all new SCMP China AI Report gives you exclusive first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments, and actionable and objective intelligence about China AI that you should be equipped with.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There’s never a good time for the outbreak of a deadly virus, but this one is particularly bad. China’s Lunar New Year is often dubbed the world’s largest migration, a stretch of weeks when hundreds of millions of people visit their families. Before the pandemic started spreading, officials were expecting 3 billion airplane and train trips during the holiday rush between Jan. 10 and Feb. 18. Millions more have gone abroad.Little wonder, then, that the travel industry is suffering. With the death toll up to 25 and more than 800 infected, tourists are staying home. Some have no choice: The government has put seven cities on lockdown and airports are stepping up screening measures. On Friday, China ordered all travel agencies to suspend sales of domestic and international tours.Shares of China Southern Airlines Co. – the carrier most exposed to the site of the outbreak – have slid 14% since the second death from the virus was confirmed, while Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., which said it would waive fees for tickets to and from the mainland, has slumped 7.6%. The country’s largest online travel agency, Trip.com Group Ltd. has tumbled 12%.If the SARS outbreak of 2003 is any guide, things could get even worse. In May of that year, Chinese air passenger traffic fell 71%, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Bernstein Research cited concerns of a repeat outcome when it cut Trip.com’s rating one notch to “market perform” earlier this week. The Nasdaq-listed company, which changed its name from Ctrip.com last year, issued a statement Thursday saying it would refund travelers who’ve been diagnosed, or those in close touch with them.The hope is that, like SARS, the turbulence will eventually pass. For Trip.com, however, the business challenges are bigger than the coronavirus. In recent years, the company has struggled to keep up with competition from digital rivals like Meituan Dianping and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Few travel companies have benefited more from China’s transition to the world’s biggest source of tourists in 2012. Despite the trade war and Hong Kong’s protests,(3) China’s outbound tourism numbers have continued to rise. According to Euromonitor International, 108.39 million overseas trips were taken last year, a 9.5% gain, after surging 11.7% in 2018. Trip.com now makes up a quarter of its total sales from outbound Chinese visitors, from under 15% five years ago, reckons Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling.But the hotel-booking sector is getting crowded. Meituan Dianping has recently overtaken Trip.com as China’s top site, just five years after the food-delivery giant started dabbling in the business. Meituan now has 47% of China's market, ahead of Trip.com, with 34%, according to TrustData. Now, Meituan is moving further into Trip.com’s territory with luxury hotels, while chains like Marriott International Inc. are pushing for direct booking on their China websites. Alibaba said part of the $13 billion it raised from its Hong Kong listing in November would go toward fliggy.com, its online travel group site.If there’s any lesson to be gleaned from all this, it’s the benefit of diversification. While China’s superapp business model has arched some eyebrows (how can one company possibly provide digital payments, taxis, food delivery, massages and pet grooming?) there’s a decent case to be made for having some crisis-proof subsidiaries. Consider AirAsia Group Bhd, Southeast Asia's most successful budget airline, which is setting up a regional fast food franchise.Plans could already be underway for Trip.com to diversify its investor base, with the company discussing plans to go public in Hong Kong, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month. Here, Alibaba is a successful model. With its second listing, the company is now closer to its Chinese end-users, and Alibaba’s New York-listed stock has soared 14%.The four-month span of the SARS outbreak shows how quickly things can turn around: While China’s growth dipped in the second quarter of 2003, it swiftly resumed in the following months. Given how much more important the Chinese shopper is to the economy now, the damage could be more painful. A 10% fall in discretionary transportation and entertainment could shave 1.2 percentage points from China’s growth domestic product, according to “back of the envelope” estimates by S&P Global Inc. Hong Kong retailers and restaurants, just coming off the pain of last year's protests, were already suffering. For those companies that enjoyed the fast-rising Chinese consumer, it may be time to devise a plan B. (Updates to include China’s measures to suspend travel-agency sales.)(1) Hong Kong, followed by Macau, are the top two destinations of mainland Chinese travelers.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Airlines and passengers are on guard against a new flu-like virus that originated in Wuhan, China. The biggest concern is a sharp drop in travel demand if the virus becomes a pandemic. During the height of the SARS outbreak in April 2003, passenger demand in Asia plunged 45%, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The United Arab Emirates, a major international transit hub, has made sure its airports and ports are ready to handle coronavirus cases following an outbreak of a new virus in China, state news agency WAM reported. The virus, which appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and can pass from person-to-person, has been reported in Thailand, Japan and South Korea, raising concerns about its spread through international air travel. The UAE's ministry of health has made sure all ports of entry were "on standby to handle coronavirus cases," WAM reported.
China is the world's largest market for new jets, and longtime Boeing customer Xiamen Airlines is looking at rival Airbus A321 jets