Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Stories That Have Tweaked The Attention Of #BusinessBreakfast’s Malcolm Taylor

US travel ban and laptop restrictions bad for US tourism

The US faces the possibility of another “lost decade” due to President Donald Trump’s restrictive travel policies, says Jonathan Tisch, Chief Executive of the Loews Hotel group.

Mr. Tisch warned that policies perceived to be hostile to foreign visitors may lead to billions of dollars of lost potential revenue, much in the way that the post-9/11 crackdown did.

“It’s important to balance security measures designed to keep bad people out, with words and actions assuring legitimate travellers that we welcome them and their business”.

Tisch added that President Trump’s travel ban is already having an effect on their business, with one of Loews Hotels in Miami seeing groups cancel because they had members from a travel ban country.

Hilton boss Christopher Nassetta echoed the sentiment, calling for a balanced approach to acknowledge that the vast majority of visitors to the US want to come for the right reasons.

Apple has upgraded ‘Siri’, and added posh speakers

For those Apple users disappointed with personal voice assistant Siri’s limitations, relief may be at hand.

If you’re bored asking Siri about its romantic life or the weather in Copenhagen, the new improved product has been packaged with a smart speaker that doubles as a music player.

What’s not to like! Well, perhaps the cost, which will set you back twice as much as Amazon Echo.

Aviation stories

Privatisation of US air traffic control

President Donald Trump has announced plans to privatize the air traffic control system.

Calling for an “air travel revolution” he said he would deliver ‘cheaper, faster and safer travel’ that could be worth $25bn to the US economy.

Many people would think that for the issue of paramount safety in the air, the body charged with keeping planes apart in the skies would be best off retaining government control. Add in the profit motive, many would say, and that’s where corners start to be cut.

That’s why it’s reassuring to read that the new plan would create a private but not-for-profit organization – a model used successfully in countries like Canada.

Who trod on the 3-pin plug at BA?

British Airways mega-embarrassing self-caused debacle recently where they lost power, computer systems and the ability to fly planes in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick, is closer to being solved.

Although the culprit hasn’t been named yet, the sequence of events has been identified. An engineer disconnected a power supply without realizing the catastrophic consequences.

When the error was pointed out, reattaching the plug to the power source caused a massive surge that brought BA’s house come crashing down.

Parent company IAG boss Willie Walsh said at the IATA meeting in Mexico “It’s very clear to me that you can make a mistake in disconnecting the power. It’s difficult for me to understand how to make a mistake in reconnecting the power”.

Jet Airways and Boeing

Jet Airways India, in which Etihad owns a 24% stake, is in talks with Boeing to snap up 50 new 737 Max planes.

India’s largest full-cost carrier could sign on the dotted line within two months, for an order potentially worth $5.6bn.

The 737 Max is the fastest selling aircraft in Boeing’s history, with 3,700 orders from 87 customers around the world.

But what about Airbus?

2017 will be a “very very slow year” for orders at Boeing’s main rival, Airbus.

Those are the thoughts of John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer for Customer Relations at the European manufacturer, adding that the situation could last a year or two.

He described the slowdown as an understandable part of the normal business cycle, as airlines slow down orders and take stock of how to use the planes they’ve already ordered.

…And the view from aviation body IATA?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), currently meeting in Mexico, is more upbeat in its forecast.

Total profits at the group’s 275 members are expected to hit $31bn this year, up more than 5% on last year.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director General, said “For a third year in a row we expect returns that are above the cost of capital. Airlines are defining a new epoch in industry profitability”