Emirates warns omicron could cause ‘significant traumas’ for aviation industry

Emirates warns omicron could cause ‘significant traumas’ for aviation industry
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Updated 30 November 2021

Emirates warns omicron could cause ‘significant traumas’ for aviation industry

Emirates warns omicron could cause ‘significant traumas’ for aviation industry
  • However, he said bookings generally remained strong despite the reintroduction of measures in some European markets

DUBAI: A major hit to the peak December travel season because of the omicron variant of the coronavirus would cause “significant traumas” in the global aviation business, Emirates airline President Tim Clark said on Tuesday.

Clark said Emirates was working on the basis the newly discovered variant could be dealt with effectively by vaccines, but acknowledged the next few weeks would prove critical for the industry as scientists assess the risks.

“I would say probably by the end of December, we’ll have a much clearer position,” Clark said in an interview for the Reuters Next.

“But in that time, December is a very important month for the air travel business,” he added. “If that is lost, or the winter is lost to a lot of carriers, there will be significant traumas in the business, certainly the aviation business and the periphery.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that the heavily mutated omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally and poses a very high risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” in some places.

omicron was first reported on Nov. 24 in southern Africa, where infections have risen steeply. It has since spread to more than a dozen countries, many of which have imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.

Japan on Monday joined Israel in saying it would close its borders completely to foreigners.

“It’s likely to arrest, inhibit, but not stall the uptick in demand that we’ve all had the benefit of in the last month or two,” Clark said.

He noted, however, that it could also “go the other way,” with more draconian measures in response to a greater threat from the variant.

Clark said the airline’s decision to close down flights out of South Africa and a handful of surrounding countries was difficult, given strong demand for the December period.

However, he said bookings generally remained strong despite the reintroduction of measures in some European markets such as track and trace, quarantine and PCR testing.

“People haven’t made that decision to cancel or pull off, so we’re hoping that it doesn’t worsen, that the border procedures for re-entry are not so draconian that it prevents them from traveling at all,” he said.

Emirates Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said just two weeks ago at the Dubai Airshow that the airline planned to deploy a further 60 A380s in response to improving demand, adding to the 47 currently in operation.

“That will be tempered by whatever form this variant takes,” Clark said on Monday. “If it’s mild and its accepted as being mild in its effect and the efficacy of the vaccine shield is able to deal with it, then we hope to have all our aircraft flying, including all the 380s by the summer of next year.”

Clark said re-embedding cabin crews, pilots and engineers and re-training them for safety and other procedures was currently the “greatest inhibiter” for the airline.

“We are continuing to move as if this variant will be dealt with,” he said. “If it isn’t ... we will retard our plans accordingly.”


Saudi Arabia, Iraq signs a power linkage agreement

Saudi Arabia, Iraq signs a power linkage agreement
Updated 19 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Iraq signs a power linkage agreement

Saudi Arabia, Iraq signs a power linkage agreement

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq sigend today an agreement to link their power grids.

More to follow..


Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 
Updated 2 min 59 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed an electrical interconnection agreement on Tuesday, at the Saudi-Iraqi Forum.

“Recently, Saudi Arabia and Jordan signed a MoU of electrical interconnection between both countries, and then a few months ago we signed an agreement in the same regard with Egypt,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Ablduaziz bin Salman said.

“Today comes the agreement with Iraq, which is part of a goal to make the Kingdom a regional center for linking electricity systems in the Arab world,” he added.

It came as a result of a study conducted by the two countries, which concluded that there is an opportunity to connect them in what is a step towards achieving a regional market for electricity sharing.

 

 


mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia

mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia
Updated 7 min 19 sec ago

mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia

mCloud, Aramco to explore a joint hub for ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia

SAN FRANCISCO: mCloud Technologies Corp., a leading provider of AI-powered asset management and Environmental, Social, and Governance solutions, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aramco, according to a statement from mCloud.

Under the MoU, mCloud will explore with Aramco the co-development of a digital technology hub for delivering ESG solutions in Saudi Arabia.

This hub would enable both parties to jointly develop new AI-powered innovations to facilitate the carbon reduction of complex energy-intensive assets throughout the Kingdom and abroad, the statement added.

The company plans to develop a center of excellence that will serve as a home base for a dedicated team of ESG and digital transformation experts based in Saudi Arabia, it added.


Turkish manufacturers stop production amid limited gas supply: NRG matters

Turkish manufacturers stop production amid limited gas supply: NRG matters
Updated 28 min 57 sec ago

Turkish manufacturers stop production amid limited gas supply: NRG matters

Turkish manufacturers stop production amid limited gas supply: NRG matters

RIYADH: From the US to Europe to Asia, instability in the energy sector prevails as prices continue to soar, delays take place, proposals jeopardize green goals, and gas flows come to a halt. However, countries including Indonesia seem to be keeping their green push on track with major investments on the way.

Looking at the bigger picture:

  • European power prices are soaring as mild weather reduces wind turbine output, Bloomberg reported. The surge in prices is further deepened by the political turbulence caused by Russia’s movements on Ukraine’s border which could jeopardize the continent’s energy supply.
  • Around 300 renewable power firms are appealing to congress leaders in the US to speed up the signing off of climate projects which are part of President Biden’s tax and spending plan. This comes as projections indicate that each month of delay leads to a loss of an estimated $2 billion of economic activity.
  • The EU has been criticized by The Platform on Sustainable Finance for its plan to label nuclear energy and natural gas projects as green and sustainable, Bloomberg reported. This comes as the plan is expected to threaten the continent’s net zero goals, diminishing the EU’s credibility when it comes to environmentally-friendly policies.
  • Several Turkish manufacturers have temporarily stopped production after neighboring Iran cut gas flows into the country for as much as 10 days due to technical issues in a local station, Reuters reported.
  • Indonesia is to establish a $4 billion worth polysilicon industry to boost solar panel production, Bloomberg reported. This comes as the Asian country aims to drift away from fossil fuels and shift its dependability on green energy.

Through a micro lens:

  • UK multinational oil and gas firm Shell’s carbon capture plant located in Canada, better known as The Quest, is responsible for releasing more greenhouse gases than it captures, according to an investigation by UK human rights organization Global Witness  The group claims that while the carbon capture facility has averted 5 million tons of carbon dioxide from breaking free into the atmosphere since 2015, it has emitted 7.5 million tons of greenhouse gases in return during the same period. A spokesman for Shell claimed that the analysis is “simply wrong,” CNBC reported.

Saudi TASI opens flat as investor sentiment slips: Opening bell

Saudi TASI opens flat as investor sentiment slips: Opening bell
Updated 48 min 28 sec ago

Saudi TASI opens flat as investor sentiment slips: Opening bell

Saudi TASI opens flat as investor sentiment slips: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian stocks opened flat on Tuesday, with the main index TASI just nudging higher, on weaker investor sentiment amidst cautious trading.

As of 10:20 a.m. Saudi time, TASI was at 12,081 points, and the parallel Nomu market traded at 25,560 points.

Saudi insurer Bupa Arabia topped the gainers in early trading as it surged 3.3 percent to SR139 ($37).

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest bank by market value Al Rajhi Bank advanced 0.5 percent and Alinma Bank edged up 0.2 percent.

Financial sector gains were capped as shares in the Saudi British Bank, known as SABB, the Arab National Bank, and Riyad Bank fell 0.9, 1.3, and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Shares in utility provider ACWA POWER Co. went up by 1.33 percent.

Riyadh-based transport firm Saudi Public Transport Co. added 0.8 percent after it sealed a SR57.5 million public transport deal with the authority of Saudi Arabia’s Madinah Region.

Arabian Centres Co., known as Almrakez, gained 0.7 percent.

Almrakez said it will distribute cash dividends at SR0.75 ($0.2) per share for the first half of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021.

In energy trading, Brent crude oil reached $86.9 per barrel, and US benchmark WTI crude oil was at $83.8 per barrel as of 10:17 a.m. Saudi time.