Air Berlin seeks damages from Etihad — Rheinische Post

Air Berlin’s planes have been kept in the air by a €150 million government loan. (Reuters)
Updated 21 October 2017
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Air Berlin seeks damages from Etihad — Rheinische Post

FRANKFURT: German airline Air Berlin is demanding damages from its part-owner Etihad Airways for letting it become insolvent and it hopes for payment of at least €10 million, Air Berlin’s administrator told a German newspaper.
“We are in negotiations with Etihad and hope to reach a general settlement soon. We are hoping for a two-digit million euro sum,” daily Rheinische Post on Saturday quoted administrator Frank Kebekus as saying.
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-biggest airline after Lufthansa, filed for bankruptcy in August after Etihad, the owner of almost 30 percent of Air Berlin, withdrew funding following years of losses.
Etihad was not immediately available for comment.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has been reviewing its European investments after they failed to yield the profits expected. Alitalia, another of Etihad’s investments, is also in administration and is seeking bidders.
Air Berlin’s planes have been kept in the air by a €150 million government loan, which Kebekus said the carrier could repay with the proceeds from a sale of assets to larger rival Lufthansa agreed last week.
“We will in all likelihood repay the loan including interest of around 10 percent,” Kebekus said.
Holders of more than €600 million worth of outstanding Air Berlin bonds will meanwhile likely lose out, he said, as their claims would only be considered after many others, including Air Berlin’s staff, had been paid.
Air Berlin is due to cease operating flights by October 28 at the latest, and Kebekus said that around 4,000 workers could then lose their jobs unless a transfer company was set up that would temporarily employ them until they found work elsewhere.


Walmart, Microsoft team up to take on Amazon

Updated 17 July 2018
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Walmart, Microsoft team up to take on Amazon

  • The move is aimed at helping Walmart compete better against Amazon
  • Walmart is already using Microsoft services for some applications

WASHINGTON: Walmart said Tuesday it was entering into a strategic partnership with Microsoft on “digital transformation” for the onetime retail industry leader.
The move is aimed at helping Walmart compete better against Amazon, which is taking a growing share of retail sales in the United States and globally.
The two firms said the partnership was focused on using artificial intelligence and other technology tools to help manage costs, expand operations and innovate faster.
“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” said Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO.
Microsoft’s business cloud computing platform known as Azure will help Walmart manage operations ranging from refrigeration and air conditioning to improving its supply chain and transportation.
“The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
Walmart is already using Microsoft services for some applications and will expand that to tap into Microsoft’s machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform, according to the statement.
Earlier this month, the research firm eMarketer said Amazon’s surging growth would enable it to capture 49.1 percent of US online retail sales this year, up from 43.5 percent.
Amazon is far ahead of online rivals like eBay, with 6.6 percent of ecommerce, and Apple, at 3.9 percent, according to eMarketer, which estimated Walmart’s share at 3.7 percent.
According to the research, Amazon now controls nearly five of the total US retail market, including online and offline.