Emirates revives prospect of world’s longest flight to Panama

Emirates may use the Boeing 777x — to be delivered in 2020 — for the new route. Courtesy Emirates
Updated 18 April 2018
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Emirates revives prospect of world’s longest flight to Panama

Emirates has revived prospects of non-stop flights to Panama, the airline said on Wednesday, encouraged by development potential in Latin America.
The Middle East airline shelved plans for flights to Panama City from its Dubai hub in early 2016 after it was unable to secure enough code-share agreements to make the route feasible.
“We are still looking at Panama. We had some conversations recently with a delegation from Panama,” Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori told reporters in Dubai.
Emirates had trumpeted the 8,590-mile (13,824km) route as the world’s longest, taking 17 hours and 35 minutes westbound.
Code-shares with Panama’s Copa Airlines were to connect Emirates passengers to cities across Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America.
Emirates has shown growing interest in Latin America and Antinori said the airline sees a lot of development in the region.
Flights to Mexico City are also being evaluated, though non-stop services to Dubai may not be feasible because of the Mexican capital’s high altitude.
Mexico is the only country with a population of more than 100 million where Emirates is not operating passenger flights, Antinori said.
Asked if Emirates was considering connecting the route to another city and then onto Dubai, Antinori said different options were being considered but that Boeing’s 777x jets are likely to be able to make the non-stop journey.
Emirates is a launch customer for the 777x, which Boeing plans to start delivering in 2020.
Emirates will start flights to Santiago, Chile, via Sao Paolo in Brazil during July. It operates other so-called fifth-freedom flights, which allow an airline to fly between foreign countries as part of services to and from its home country, including to the United States.


Moody’s downgrades Nissan’s credit rating, citing weak sales in US

Updated 11 min 43 sec ago
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Moody’s downgrades Nissan’s credit rating, citing weak sales in US

  • Nissan reported a 45 percent plunge in annual operating profit in the year ending March
  • Moody’s cut its rating of Nissan’s credit to ‘A3’ from ‘A2’

TOKYO: Moody’s cut its rating on Nissan by one notch on Friday, citing weak sales in the United States and casting a shadow on the Japanese automaker’s move to improve its business following a decline in its annual profit.
Nissan — hit by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest last year and troubles at its North American business — reported a 45 percent plunge in annual operating profit in the year ending March, and forecast a 28 percent drop in profit this fiscal year.
Moody’s cut its rating of Nissan’s credit to “A3” from “A2,” adding that the outlook was negative.
“The downgrade reflects the continuing slide in Nissan’s profitability, driven by weak sales in the US, its largest market,” Moody’s Vice President Motoki Yanase said in a statement.
While Nissan’s new strategy focuses on margin over unit sales growth and refreshing old models to improve its brand value, the ratings agency expects the overhaul will take “several years.”
“The negative outlook on Nissan reflects execution risk as Nissan implements its business strategies globally, reforms its corporate governance and stabilizes its alliance with Renault,” it said.
France’s Renault is the top shareholder in Nissan.