Dubai carrier Emirates reopens airport lounges beginning in Cairo

Dubai carrier Emirates reopens airport lounges beginning in Cairo
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Emirates redesigned its lounge offering and introduced additional measures to ensure compliance with coronavirus health and safety requirements. (Emirates)
Dubai carrier Emirates reopens airport lounges beginning in Cairo
2 / 2
Emirates redesigned its lounge offering and introduced additional measures to ensure compliance with coronavirus health and safety requirements. (Emirates)
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Updated 26 November 2020

Dubai carrier Emirates reopens airport lounges beginning in Cairo

Dubai carrier Emirates reopens airport lounges beginning in Cairo
  • Seating capacity for Emirates passengers using the lounges would be cut by half

DUBAI: Dubai airline Emirates is reopening lounges in cities it is serving beginning at Cairo International Airport, with more destinations including New York’s JFK International and Manchester Airport being added to the list.

Emirates redesigned its lounge offering and introduced additional measures as well as new protocols in each lounge to ensure compliance with coronavirus health and safety requirements, a statement from the carrier said.

“The buffet offering will be changed to an a la carte service with contactless menus activated by QR code. Throughout the day, lounge staff will sanitize each seat and table after customers leave,” Emirates said

“In addition, the lounge will be sanitized and fumigated regularly. All employees working in the lounge will be wearing masks and social distancing protocols are in place throughout the lounge.”

Seating capacity for Emirates passengers using the lounges would also be cut by half, while the catering staff would don masks, gloves and personal protective equipment to further ensure safety.

Emirates gradually restarted scheduled passenger operations on May 21 after months of grounding its fleet due to global travel restrictions, and now operates passenger and cargo services to 104 cities as of September.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Dubai carrier’s profitability, recording a loss of $3.4 billion during its 2020 fiscal first half versus $235 million for the same period last year. Revenue was down 75 percent to $3.2 billion year-on-year, with its cargo segment mainly keeping the business afloat.


Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’
Updated 31 min 56 sec ago

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’
  • Carrefour has more than 12,300 stores in more than 30 countries and employs 320,000 people worldwide
  • Canada's Couche-Tard has offered to take over the French supermarket giant for 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion)

PARIS: Canadian convenience store chain Couche-Tard has reportedly pulled out of a multi-billion euro takeover of supermarket giant Carrefour after the French government said it would veto the deal.
Negotiations over the 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion) deal ended after a meeting between the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the founder of Couche-Tard Alain Bouchard, Bloomberg news agency said, citing sources.
French ministers had insisted Friday they would not agree to the takeover because it could jeopardize food security, an even more important consideration given the coronavirus pandemic.
In an attempt to reassure ministers, Bouchard had promised to invest billions in Carrefour, said he would maintain employment for two years and that the group would be listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in parallel with Canada, Bloomberg reported.
Contacted by AFP, neither Couche-Tard nor Carrefour had confirmed the information on Friday evening.
Although talks had stopped, anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg said negotiations could resume if the French government changes its position.
But on Friday, France’s Economy Minister made his choice public, telling BMTV and RMC: “My position is a polite, but clear and definitive ‘No’.”
“Food security is a strategic consideration for our country and one does not just hand over one of the large French distributors like that,” Le Maire said.
“Carrefour is the biggest private sector employer in France with nearly 100,000 employees,” he noted, and the group accounts for 20 percent of the food distribution market in the country.
The French statements have not convinced the Canadian government.
A Canadian federal source said while they could understand concerns over allowing a foreign firm to take over such a large national employer, concerns over food security were unsubstantiated.
“But we cannot accuse a leading Canadian company like Couche-Tard of endangering the food sovereignty of an entire country,” the source, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

'Food sovereignty'
On Wednesday, Couche-Tard submitted a non-binding offer for Carrefour, valuing the group at more than 16 billion euros ($19.5 billion).
Le Maire made clear immediately that he was not in favor of a deal involving “an essential link in food security for the French, of food sovereignty.”
The government’s reaction had caused “surprise” at Carrefour itself, according to sources who said the comments were “premature” given that merger discussions had barely begun.
“We haven’t decided yet whether the interest shown is attractive for us,” one company official said on condition of anonymity earlier in the week.
Carrefour has more than 12,300 stores of various formats in more than 30 countries and in 2019 generated a net profit of 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) on revenue of 80.7 billion euros ($97.4 billion).
It employs 320,000 people worldwide.
Couche-Tard has a worldwide network of more than 14,200 stores and earned a net profit of $2.4 billion on sales of $54 billion in its last complete year.
In the United States and several European countries, as well as in Latin America and southeast Asia, it operates under Circle K and other brands.