Mexican brewer of Corona beer producer halts production over virus

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, Corona beer has been the punchline of jokes and memes and online rumors. (AFP)
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Updated 03 April 2020

Mexican brewer of Corona beer producer halts production over virus

  • Measure in line with the Mexican government’s order to suspend all non-essential activities until April 30
  • Corona beer has been the punchline of jokes and memes and online rumor

MEXICO CITY: The Mexican brewer of Corona beer said Thursday it was suspending production because of the health emergency in the country over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grupo Modelo — whose brands also include Pacifico and Modelo — said the measure was in line with the Mexican government’s order to suspend all non-essential activities until April 30 to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“We are in the process of lowering production at our plants to the bare minimum,” the company said in a statement, adding it would complete the suspension in the following days.
Mexico’s government has said that only key sectors such as agribusiness will be able to continue to function.
Grupo Modelo said it was ready to operate with 75 percent of its staff working remotely to guarantee the supply of beer, if the government agreed.
Mexico’s other major beer producer Heineken — which makes the Tecate and Dos Equis brands — could also stop activities on Friday, the Reforma newspaper said, although the company did not confirm the report.
On Wednesday, the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where Heineken’s Mexican operations are based, said it would stop the production and distribution of beer, which led to panic buying.
Since the start of the virus crisis, Corona beer has been the punchline of jokes and memes, and an online rumor said sales in the US dropped by around 40 percent after the outbreak.
However, in late February, Constellation Brands, which owns the Corona label, denied the rumor and said sales had stayed strong in the US even as the virus has spread internationally.
Mexico has so far registered over 1,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 50 deaths.


Singapore Airlines drops ‘flights to nowhere’ after outcry

Updated 29 September 2020

Singapore Airlines drops ‘flights to nowhere’ after outcry

  • Several carriers have been offering short flights that start and end at the same airport to raise cash

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines said Tuesday it had scrapped plans for “flights to nowhere” aimed at boosting its coronavirus-hit finances after an outcry over the environmental impact.
With the aviation industry in deep crisis, several carriers – including in Australia, Japan and Taiwan – have been offering short flights that start and end at the same airport to raise cash.
They are designed for travel-starved people keen to fly at a time of virus-related restrictions, and have proved surprisingly popular.
But Singapore’s flag carrier – which has grounded nearly all its planes and cut thousands of jobs – said it had ditched the idea following a review.
The carrier has come up with alternative ideas to raise revenue, including offering customers tours of aircraft and offering them the chance to dine inside an Airbus A380, the world’s biggest commercial airliner.
Environmental activists had voiced opposition to Singapore Airlines launching “flights to nowhere,” with group SG Climate Rally saying they would encourage “carbon-intensive travel for no good reason.”
“We believe air travel has always caused environmental harm, and it is now an opportune moment for us to think seriously about transitions instead of yearning to return to a destructive status quo.”
The airline said earlier this month it was cutting about 4,300 jobs, or 20 percent of its workforce, the latest carrier to make massive layoffs.
The International Air Transport Association estimates that airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region stand to lose a combined $27.8 billion this year.
The group also forecasts that global air traffic is unlikely to return to pre-coronavirus levels until at least 2024.