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Tuesday, March 24rd, 2020

Airbus to recommence production after four-day shut down, but at a slower pace

Airbus plants in France and Spain are to “partially resume” production after a four-day intermission while the overall effects of the COVID-19 were assessed in relation to working practices within the company, and to allow for deep cleaning of production lines. However, the work will be at a much slower rate and production practices have had to be altered to be compliant with “distancing” advice and regulations.

The Airbus plants are responsible for producing parts critical to the operating procedures at other Airbus factories, including those in the U.K., Germany, China and the U.S.

France's CGT union was critical of the move, indicating that such a move put not only Airbus factories and surrounding populations at risk, but also those of a wider supply. It made it very clear that workers should be allowed to choose for themselves whether or not to return to work.

While others involved in manufacturing parts have been doing the same as Airbus, there is still no guarantee that further problems could lead to another breakdown of the whole supply chain.

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Liebherr-Aerospace Brazil enhances competitiveness

Liebherr-Aerospace Brazil has achieved a new milestone in the development of the company: from now on, when supplying parts to third party customers, the company will manage its supply chain and will hence increase its control over the share of its performance and of its competitiveness that is linked with its suppliers.

Initially founded as a pure machining sub-contractor, Liebherr-Aerospace Brazil gradually expanded in the past the scope of its capabilities, by adding assembly of sub-components, painting and surface treatment. This enabled it to substantially enlarge its capacity to serve its customers’ needs.

The company now completed one significant additional step for parts supplied to third-party customers by building up the ability to select and manage suppliers, both domestic and international.

Liebherr-Aerospace Brazil is now fully positioned as a full-scope supplier of complex machined sub-assemblies to serve customers in and outside Brazil.

SPL_05 (2020-03-23)

Hawaiian Airlines to suspend most long-haul passenger service due to quarantine order

Hawaiian Airlines, in preparation for a 14-day government quarantine order for all Hawai‘i arrivals set to begin Thursday, March 26, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will maintain its regular flight schedule through Wednesday to allow guests to return home and to accommodate the repatriation of aircraft before finalizing significant reductions of its domestic and international passenger network.

The airline, which has begun notifying guests about the quarantine rule, has restricted passenger bookings on its network while it finalizes its April schedule. Hawaiian is committed to providing one daily nonstop flight between Honolulu (HNL) and Los Angeles (LAX) and its Thursday flight between HNL and American Samoa (PPG) in order to provide a baseline of out-of-state access. The airline will evaluate its transpacific cargo network and may provide passenger access on any additional flights for travelers willing to undergo the mandated self-imposed quarantine.

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Security software firms will earn their spurs keeping home-working army cyber-safe

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is by far the most significant issue to affect the technology industry in 2020. It will put incredible strain on the world’s economy, which will be effectively halted for three months or more. Many companies will not survive this initial phase, and almost all others will suffer significant drop in revenues, says data and analytics company GlobalData.

David Bicknell, Principal Analyst in the Thematic Research Team at GlobalData, says: “Companies around the world have rushed to enable remote working to keep themselves running. While no technology sectors benefit from COVID-19, cybersecurity companies that can keep the home-working army secure against the increasing number of COVID-19 related cyberattacks will earn their spurs.

“Hackers have no scruples and will stop at nothing to launch attacks. A worried population, businesses struggling to survive and naïve homeworkers offer a tempting target for criminals. In one recent incident, the coronavirus tracking map created by a university was used as a vehicle to deliver Android spyware. While this is an unprecedented opportunity for hackers, the same applies for cybersecurity companies to prove their worth - not necessarily through new products, but by placing more emphasis on existing defences. This might be the new normal, so there is no bigger or better time to shine.”

GlobalData published a fully revised, ‘Tech, Media & Telecom Trends 2020’, report to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on 17 separate technology media and telecoms (TMT) sectors and companies within. It discusses the short and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on each sector, and ranks on a company-by-company basis the individual impact of COVID-19 alongside nine other themes that affect that sector. All sectors will be negatively impacted.

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Lufthansa Group releases medically trained employees for specific work in medical facilities

Employees in Germany who have completed medical training can now be released quickly and un-bureaucratically on a voluntary basis for specific work in a medical facility. Lufthansa will continue to pay the full basic salary of those employees, and further details of this initiative are currently being worked out.

Additionally, the Lufthansa Group is waiving the purchase of more than 920,000 permanently ordered face masks and making them available to the health authorities in Germany. The company recognizes the immediate need of supplies by the medical community on the front lines of the pandemic, and has a sufficient quantity of masks in stock for Lufthansa Group employees.

Furthermore, in order to bring as many people as possible back home quickly, the Lufthansa Group airlines are also operating numerous special flights all over the world. In close consultation with the governments of their home markets and on behalf of tourism companies and cruise lines, Lufthansa Group airlines are currently offering around 140 special flights. More than 25,000 passengers are flying home with Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Edelweiss. Further special flights will follow in the next few days.

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Boeing to temporarily suspend Puget Sound production operations

Boeing has announced the temporary suspension of production operations at its Puget Sound area facilities in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company's continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region. These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers.

Boeing plans to begin reducing production activity today, March 23 and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area. The suspension of production operations will last 14 days, during which Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations. During this time, Boeing said, it will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.

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Lufthansa Technik expects massive drop in revenue after record year 2019

Lufthansa Technik AG continued on its growth path in the past financial year and closed 2019 with record revenue and earnings.

Revenue rose by 13% to €6.9 billion. Earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) grew by around eleven percent to €493 million. The extent of the effects of the worldwide aviation crisis affecting Lufthansa Technik cannot yet be concretely foreseen, but the impact is already massive.

Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Chairman of the Executive Board, said: "With the outbreak of the corona crisis, nothing is the same as it was just a few weeks ago. The maintenance industry is already suffering from the decline in air traffic. The full extent will hit us with a delay, which means a forecast is currently not possible, but first impacts are massive. Everything depends on the duration of the crisis and how our customers will recover from it. We have prepared ourselves with a very comprehensive package of measures - also, to be able to deliver at any time. Especially now, our customers need a reliable technical partner."

Over the past five years, Lufthansa Technik AG's revenue has grown by almost 60%. In the last financial year alone, the company acquired 25 new customers and signed 625 contracts with new business worth €4.1bn. Compared to 2018, investments increased by 28% from €244 million to €313 million. On annual average, in 2019 Lufthansa Technik employeed almost 26,000 people worldwide.

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