Easyjet Appoints Tui Executive as New Financial Officer

The budget airline Easyjet has poached an executive from its rival firm Tui to become its new chief financial officer. Easyjet has appointed the former Tui aviation chief executive and business improvement director, Kenton Jarvis, to replace the outgoing finance chief Andrew Findlay. This new appointment comes following news earlier this month that the budget carrier Easyjet would reduce flying capacity for the fourth quarter due to changes to the UK’s quarantine regime.

 

On the rocks: Coronavirus Impact on Easyjet

As the airline industry as a whole is struggling, Easyjet announced it would reduce its flying capacity after a decision was made to add seven Greek islands to the ‘red list’ as this negatively affected customer confidence. Subsequently, Easyjet said it would fly at slightly less than the 40 per cent capacity that it had previously hoped to target for the rest of the year.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said:

“We know our customers are as frustrated as we are with the unpredictable travel and quarantine restrictions. We called on the government to opt for a targeted, regionalised and more predictable and structured system of quarantine many weeks ago so customers could make travel plans with confidence.”

 

Tough Job for New Chief Financial Officer

The decision to bring Kenton Jarvis onto the Easyjet team was made in the face of serious adversity faced by the airline industry and Easyjet.  Chief executive Johan Lundgren said Jarvis would be joining Easyjet during a ‘period of exceptional challenge for global aviation’. Jarvis has been praised by the Easyjet executives for his “depth of knowledge of the travel industry” as well as his “financial skills” that will be key in rebuilding following the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Jarvis was previously working at Tui for nearly 20 years. His start date at Easyjet has yet to be confirmed.

Trafford Centre Owners Intu on the Brink

As the owners of Trafford Centre, and other shopping centres across the UK, Intu are on the brink of administration, we take a closer look at the company.

Intu Property Plc are a British real estate investment trust largely focussed on shopping centre management. As such, the company owns or part owns seventeen sites across the UK, with one shopping centre located in Spain. Previously, the company was known by a number of names, including Liberty International Plc and Capital Shopping Centres Group Plc.

Founded in 1980, Intu started life as life assurance investment company. In 1992, a merger with Capital & Counties, a shopping centre development company, changed Intu’s track.

The Trafford Centre was developed and owned by The Peel Group. It first opened its doors in 1998 and was, at the time, the biggest shopping centre in the United Kingdom. The construction of the Trafford Centre cost a total of £600 million and took almost thirty months to complete.

Intu purchased and took control of the Trafford Centre in 2011. At the time, the property was valued at £1.65 billion.

Located right off the M60 motorway, it is believed that the Trafford Centre is within a forty-five-minute drive to ten per cent of the United Kingdom’s population. Thus, it is visited by around thirty-five million people each year.

Many aspects of the Trafford Centre’s design pay homage to its location. The food court is designed in the form of a steam ship, which is a nod to the Manchester Ship Canal, located a stone’s throw away from the centre.

Designed by The Peel Group, the Trafford Centre is covered in ornate luxury. From 45,000 square metres of marble and granite flooring, to the £5 million main dome, which is said to be bigger than the dome at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Oil Output Cut Deal Agreed

The economic destruction wrought by the coronavirus global pandemic has contributed to forging of a deal to cut oil production. After months of a stand off between Opec+ partners Russia and Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump recently waded into the debate. Threatening tariffs on imported oil, which was largely seen as a bluff by experts, some stability was returned to the market. However, with the decline of demand for oil, oil storage reaching capacity levels and the price of Brent crude barely recovering from extreme lows, experts have made ominous warnings. Following ramped up production by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the decline in demand, experts are warning that the G20-agreed oil cut will do little to help a flagging market.

Mexican Standoff as Russia and Saudi Arabia Come to Terms

At the historic deal to reduce oil production by 10 million barrels per day, unlikely partner Mexico threatened to play anti-hero and scupper proceedings. In a desperate attempt to bring oil prices back up after the dramatic fall, Russia and Saudi Arabia pledged to cut production by 2.5 million barrels per day each. Scheduled to commence in May, for a duration of two months, the deal promises cuts of 6 million barrels per day into 2022. However, over the course of two days, Mexico’s President Andres Mauel Lopez Obrador, sought concessions. Viewing itself as being forced to make a larger proportionate cut that other partners, Mexico protested the deal’s key condition of it cutting by 400,000 barrels a day.

Experts have warned that despite the deal and early signs of oil price resurgence, the future looks bleak. As the world struggles to get to grips with the coronavirus pandemic, the economy is freefalling into depression. With passenger planes grounded, demand for jet-fuel has all but stagnated. Many of the world’s largest oil consumers remain in lockdown, despite China slowly starting back up.

Coronavirus Panic Buying

The coronavirus pandemic has sent shoppers into a frenzy, with panic buying witnessed across the nation’s supermarkets. Initially, items such as hand sanitisers and soap were the first to be sold out, as panic buyers swept supermarket shelves clean. Then came the toilet roll frenzy, with the valuable commodity now in scarce supply. However, with fears of quarantine, isolation and the threat of workplaces turning employees away, frenzied shoppers have begun to stockpile staple food goods. Despite government pronouncements encouraging shoppers not to panic buy, shelves across supermarkets have been cleared, with photos emerging of aisles in complete disarray. As a result of coronavirus stockpiling, supermarket chains have restricted sales of essential food and household items. Items subject to the restrictions include anti-bacterial gels, wipes, sprays, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables. Shoppers’ favourites, amid the coronavirus stockpiling chaos, have also included toilet roll, kitchen roll, long life milk, pasta, beans, soap, painkillers, deodorant, cleaning supplies, bottled water and cereals. Alongside Tesco, other supermarket and high street chains have subjected products to purchase restrictions, including Boots, Waitrose and Aldi.

No Need for Alarm

Despite the panic buying, experts have advised that the paucity of stocks will only be short term. Chair in logistics and transport at Cardiff Business School told the BBC, “Whilst there might be empty shelves at the moment in the shops, over the next week or so, we will see them replenish. The supply chain will start to deliver stuff through to the stores and hopefully this shortage – which is fairly short-term – will clear and everything will be back to normal again.” The supermarket industry has likened the panic buying spike in trading to the Christmas period, detailing that trading has reached 70% of the levels witnessed during the lead-up to the festive season.

Bury Hotel Owner Richard Moore in £35,000 Insurance Scam

After claiming to be too ill to work, Bury hotel owner Richard Moore was spotted by insurance fraud investigators in the press. The 33-year old Bury native had been receiving payments from Aviva income protection policy, in an audacious tax scam. A court heard that Moore had taken an income protection policy in 2008, in the event that he would be medically unfit for work. In 2013, he claimed he was suffering from depression and anxiety and was thus unfit for work.

During a health review in 2017, the Bury hotel owner claimed that he had not been working since the time he was first incapacitated in 2013. The Aviva insurance company launched a fraud investigation, uncovering evidence that he had been working. As the managing director of The Victoria in Walshaw, Bury, he was spotted by the fraud investigators receiving awards. A photo showing the hotel owner posing alongside Bury North MP James Frith, while receiving a responsible business champion award, was published in the Bury Times newspaper.

Insurance provider Aviva referred the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). Detective Constable of the IFED was reported as saying, “He worked multiple jobs across several years…and was even brazen enough to…pose for pictures with awards for the regional press.” An Aviva representative highlighted that the income protection insurance policy was to last until 2050 and could have been worth a total of £400,000, had the scam not been exposed.