The mayor of London reached a financial agreement with the British government that will keep the city’s transport system running for at least another six months. The revenue stream from London’s Tube and buses has dwindled during the pandemic. The government had threatened to take direct control of the network. The mayor has agreed to some cost savings, but he will not have to extend the size of the capital’s congestion-charging zone outside the centre.
More oil companies reported their earnings, spotlighting the impact that falling oil prices and reduced demand are having on the industry’s bottom line. ExxonMobil posted its third consecutive quarterly net loss, this time of $680m. It plans to cut 15% of its global workforce next year. Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, made a net profit of $11.8bn, but that was 45% less than in the same three months last year. It still intends to pay out dividends totalling $18.8bn. Most of that will go to the Saudi government, which owns the vast bulk of Aramco’s shares.
A committee of the board at Twitter that reviewed the company’s management structure “expressed its confidence” in the current arrangements, confirming that Jack Dorsey will remain chief executive. The committee was created after Elliott, an activist hedge fund, questioned Mr Dorsey’s commitment to his job. Twitter’s share price has risen sharply this year, rewarding Elliott and other investors, though it was dented recently by weak daily-user numbers.
Both Lufthansa and Air France-KLM reported another heavy quarterly loss. The German and French-Dutch airlines have received huge state bail-outs during the pandemic. Lufthansa said it would restructure its business further; Air France-klm is to curtail its flight schedule for the rest of the year. Ryanair also made a loss as passenger numbers plummeted. Michael O’Leary, its combative boss, blamed the first lockdowns in Europe earlier this year, which he said had “achieved nothing”, and lambasted the second lockdowns, many in force this week, which he thinks will achieve “even less”.
漢莎航空(Lufthansa)和法航荷航(Air France-KLM)都報告了另一個嚴重的季度虧損。德國和法荷航空公司在疫情期間接受了政府的巨額救助。漢莎航空表示將進一步重組其業務；法航荷航集團將縮減今年剩余時間的航班計劃。瑞安航空也因乘客數量銳減而出現虧損。該公司好強的老板邁克爾·奧利里(Michael O’leary)指責今年早些時候歐洲的第一次封鎖“毫無成效”，并痛斥了第二次封鎖，其中很多封鎖措施在本周實施，他認為這次封鎖的“效果更差”。
Berlin Brandenburg Airport at last opened to passengers after a decade of delays, six missed openings and huge cost overruns. The airport’s inaugural arrival flights were operated by easyJet and Lufthansa. Even the opening had a hitch. Bad weather stopped a planned parallel landing by the aircraft.
There was a sliver of hope for the human race this week, with the reported news that Walmart has scrapped plans to use robots to check stock levels, prices and misplaced items. The retailer will instead retain flesh-and-blood workers, who have been found to be just as adept at those tasks during the pandemic.