Saudi Arabia to host virtual meeting of G20 energy ministers to discuss market stability amid coronavirus pandemic

Saudi Arabia will host a virtual meeting on Friday April 10 of energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies in a bid to ensure "market stability" amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 07 April 2020

Saudi Arabia to host virtual meeting of G20 energy ministers to discuss market stability amid coronavirus pandemic

  • The meeting comes a few weeks after the extraordinary virtual summit of G20 leaders

LONDON: Saudi Arabia will host a virtual meeting on Friday April 10 of energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies in a bid to ensure "market stability" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Saudi G20 presidency will hold an extraordinary G20 energy ministers' virtual meeting on Friday... to foster global dialogue and cooperation to ensure stable energy markets," said a statement released Tuesday.

"The G20 energy ministers will also act, alongside invited countries, and regional and international organisations, to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy markets,” it added.

The meeting comes a few weeks after the extraordinary virtual summit of G20 leaders which was hosted by King Salman on March 26.

Also on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's Cabinet said in a statement that its call for an OPEC+ meeting is an extension to its previous efforts to achieve market balance and stability.

"Saudi Arabia's call for OPEC+ and a group of other countries to hold an urgent meeting, seeking to reach a fair agreement to restore the desired balance to oil markets, is an extension to the Kingdom's previous efforts to achieve market balance and stability, and to continue its enduring endeavors to support global economy in this exceptional circumstance", the statement said.


British Airways burning through cash, CEO urges unions to engage

Updated 04 June 2020

British Airways burning through cash, CEO urges unions to engage

  • Job losses necessary as cash reserves of IAG, British Airways’ parent company, would not last forever

LONDON: The boss of British Airways said its parent company IAG was burning through $223 million a week and could not guarantee its survival, prompting him to urge unions to engage over 12,000 job cuts.
British Airways came under heavy attack from lawmakers in parliament on Wednesday, who accused it of taking advantage of a government scheme to protect jobs while at the same time announcing plans to cut its workforce by 28 percent.
Planes were grounded in March due to coronavirus restrictions, forcing many airlines to cut thousands of staff as they struggle without revenues. Airlines serving Britain now face an additional threat from a 14-day quarantine rule.
In an internal letter to staff seen by Reuters, Alex Cruz, the chief executive of British Airways said the job losses were necessary as IAG’s cash reserves would not last forever and the future was one of more competition for fewer customers.
BA also wants to change terms and conditions for its remaining workers to give it more flexibility by, for example, making all crew fly both short and long-haul.
Cruz said IAG, which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, was getting through $223 million a week, meaning that it could not just sit out the crisis. The group had €10 billion of liquidity at the end of April.
“BA does not have an absolute right to exist. There are major competitors poised and ready to take our business,” Cruz said in the letter.
He urged two unions which represent cabin crew and other staff, GMB and Unite, to join in discussions to mitigate proposed redundancies. Pilots union BALPA is “working constructively” with the airline, he added.
Cruz also joined other airline bosses in criticizing Britain’s quarantine rule, due to come into effect on June 8, calling it “another blow to our industry.”