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Singapore Air’s A380 Restaurant Tickets Sold in 30 Minutes - Bloomberg
Singapore Airlines Ltd. said all seats on its Airbus A380 pop-up restaurants were reserved within 30 minutes of bookings opening Monday.
Singapore Airlines Ltd. said all seats on its Airbus A380 pop-up restaurants were reserved within 30 minutes of bookings opening Monday. With flights largely grounded by the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore Airlines is trying novel ways to raise money, including using two A380 superjumbos parked at Changi Airport as temporary restaurants on Oct. 24 and 25. Business Class dining selection. Source: Singapore Airlines Ltd. A meal in a suite costs S$642 ($474), while seats in business class are going for S$321 and then dropping to S$96.30 for premium economy and S$53.50 for economy. Customers can also pay with frequent-flyer miles. About half the seats in each aircraft will be available for dining, in line with restaurant guidelines on group limits and distancing, Singapore Airlines said in a statement. It plans to open a wait list from 6 p.m. local time Monday due to strong demand. In normal flying service, the carrier’s A380s can seat as many as 471 people, according to its website. The company will study the wait list and see how it can “potentially accommodate some of those who are still interested in this unique dining experience,” Vice President of Commercial Operations Lee Lik Hsin said. Singapore Airlines, which suffered a record S$1.12 billion ($827 million) net loss in the quarter through June and is laying off about 20% of its workforce, is also selling a range of first- and business-class meals and offering a service whereby a private chef reheats, plates and serves customers in their homes. Meanwhile, demand is soaring for spots on two cruise ships that will start sailing from Singapore next month on round-trip journeys as the city-state aims to give residents an outlet for their wanderlust. Operator Genting Cruise Lines has received more than 6,000 bookings in 5 days, while competitor Royal Caribbean International said bookings are up 500% compared with the past two weeks, reported the Straits Times. The boats will sail at a reduced capacity of 50% and the journeys are only open to residents of Singapore. — With assistance by Ann Koh (Adds cruise operators’ sales in last paragraph)
Even Mild Covid-19 Infections Can Make People Sick for Months - Bloomberg
Covid-19 patients who experience even the mildest illness risk suffering symptoms for months, researchers in France found.
Medical staff take care of Covid-19 patient in an intensive care unit of Lyon Croix-Rousse hospital, on Sept. 15. Photographer: Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images Covid-19 patients who experience even the mildest illness risk suffering symptoms for months, researchers in France found. Two-thirds of patients who had a mild-to-moderate case of Covid-19 reported symptoms 60 days after falling ill, when more than a third still felt sick or in a worse condition than when their coronavirus infection began. Prolonged symptoms were more likely among patients aged 40 to 60 years and those who required hospitalization, according to staff at Tours University Hospital, who followed 150 non-critical patients from March to June. Their study, published Monday in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, adds to evidence that a proportion of the 35 million people known to have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide will suffer lingering effects weeks to months later. Post–Covid clinics are opening in the pandemic’s wake to cater for an expanding population of so-called long-haulers -- survivors left with scarred lungs, chronic heart damage, post-viral fatigue and other persistent, debilitating conditions. “We were able to assess the evolution of the disease and demonstrate that even the mildest presentation was associated with medium-term symptoms requiring follow up,” Claudia Carvalho-Schneider and colleagues wrote. “Thus, the Covid-19 pandemic will involve a care burden long after its end.” Covid Malaise Poses Economic Drag Long After Virus Abates Two months after developing Covid-19 symptoms, 66% of adult patients reported suffering from at least one of 62 complaints, mainly a loss of smell and taste, shortness of breath, and fatigue, the researchers found. The study sought to identify the risk of longer symptom duration in patients with non-critical Covid-19, since much of the existing international research was based on survivors admitted to intensive care units, they said. Longer-ranging studies and clinical trials will be critical to elucidate the durability and depth of health consequences attributable to Covid-19 and how these may compare with other serious illnesses, Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote in an editorial Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that reviewed the coronavirus’s persistent effects.
Japan Struggles to Fill Bullet Trains Running With Empty Seats - Bloomberg
These days, the section of Tokyo Station serving regional destinations is a shadow of its former self. Gone are the usual crowds and on a mid-week afternoon in late September, just a handful of commuters browsed bento-box stores.
These days, the section of Tokyo Station serving regional destinations is a shadow of its former self. Gone are the usual crowds and on a mid-week afternoon in late September, just a handful of commuters browsed bento-box stores. “I see more cleaning staff getting off trains than passengers,” said Taro Aoki, who oversees 18 fast-food outlets in the capital’s main inter-city rail terminal. “People used to swiftly pick which bento to buy and wait in line, but now, there’s hardly anyone around.” It isn’t only airlines the coronavirus pandemic has upended. At a time of year when many people in Japan should be getting out of the city to enjoy the changing fall colors and nip in the air, there’s little holiday making going on. And the nation’s treasured bullet trains are ailing. East Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co., two of the largest by ticket sales, are forecasting their deepest losses since the country’s rail network was privatized in 1987. East JR is expecting a loss of 418 billion yen ($4 billion) for the current year that ends March 31, versus a 198.4 billion yen profit the previous period. West JR sees a deficit of 240 billion yen. Pictures posted on social media show how empty the super-fast trains have become. “This is what it looks like even after halving ticket prices,” wrote one Twitter user, who took a bullet train operated by East JR. “After departing Morioka station, it’s deserted,” he said, with reference to the jumping off point for Iwate, a prefecture on the northeastern coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. A national Go To campaign aimed at spurring domestic travel hasn’t provided the fillip hoped for Japan’s shinkansen, or bullet trains. Rolled out in July, the campaign provides subsidies of up to 50% on transport, hotels and tourist attractions within Japan. Tokyo was originally excluded but was added this month. However, with coronavirus case numbers heading in the wrong direction and people reluctant to take even short breaks for fear of infection, some politicians have labeled the Go To campaign a failure. Cheap Tickets Others have expressed concern that promoting tourism will spread Covid-19 in Japan more widely. And many people who do want to travel prefer to drive in their own car to avoid human contact. It’s probably “not possible to go back to the pre-Covid era,” said Yoshitaka Watanabe, who manages East JR’s marketing department. The industry had been expecting a V-shaped recovery; now it will likely be an L-curve, he said. A departure information board for JR East Shinkansen bullet trains at Tokyo Station. Photographer: Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg East JR’s bullet train passenger volumes plunged 74% in August from a year earlier. The measure for Central Japan Railway Co., which expects a loss of 53.3 billion yen this year, tumbled by a similar amount. East JR, which kicked off its own cheap ticket offer in August independent of the Go To campaign, had over 300,000 reservations as of Sept. 25 and is aiming to reach 1 million by March. The 50% discount is effective for any bullet train route. With such steep discounts and considering railway companies’ high fixed costs, shinkansen operators will struggle to return to profitability even after the pandemic is over, said Hiroshige Murayama, an analyst at Nomura Research Institute. Gion Loss Central JR, which reported a profit of 656 billion yen for the 12 months ended March 31, is now offering half-price day trip packages. Its bullet trains connect cities including Tokyo, Hakata and Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart, famed for its traditional temples, shrines and gardens. In July, international tourists to Kyoto were down 99.8% from a year earlier, and their numbers have hovered at close to zero for four consecutive months, while domestic travelers halved, according to the city’s tourism association. “Our neighbors went out of business or closed their stores,” said Mari Koike, 69, who manages a hostel in downtown Kyoto. “There have been a flood of cancellations.” A passenger embarks an East Japan Railway Co. Shinkansen bullet train at Tokyo Station. Photographer: Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg One strategy that East JR is considering involves expanding its logistic business to deliver local food and regional delicacies like grapes, pears and fish to consumers. Yui Muranushi, a 24-year-old geisha who works in Gion, Kyoto’s high-end entertainment district, had been planning to visit Tokyo once a week in July by bullet train to perform at events as the nation readied for the summer Olympics, which have been delayed until next year. “Now, all of my business in Tokyo has been canceled,” Muranushi said. Company executives are no longer visiting tea houses and “I’m lucky if I have a single client,” she said.
World’s Best Airport Warns of ‘Daunting’ Future Amid Pandemic - Bloomberg
Changi Airport Group said the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t abating as officials behind the world’s best airport warned of a “daunting” period ahead.
The departure hall at Terminal 4 (T4) of Changi Airport in Singapore. Changi Airport Group said the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t abating as officials behind the world’s best airport warned of a “daunting” period ahead. Passenger traffic for Changi for the fiscal year ended March declined for the first time in more than a decade, as a slump in the last two months of the period wiped out earlier gains, serving as a harbinger of a deeper slump. To brace for “a prolonged crisis,” Changi suspended operations in two terminals to save on operating costs as flights dropped to the lowest levels in its history. “The battle with Covid-19 has only just begun,” the company said in its annual report. “The future does appear daunting with the situation showing no signs of abatement.” A woman walks past an empty check-in area in Terminal 3 at Singapore Changi Airport on March 17. Photographer: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg According to the International Air Transport Association, 25 million jobs are at risk in airlines and associated businesses such as travel and tourism. A third of the world’s 26,000 passenger jets remain grounded, parked in deserts or lined up in rows along the tarmac, aviation data provider Cirium says. Amid all the gloom in May, Changi was voted the world’s best airport for an eighth consecutive year, according to a ranking by Skytrax. Changi Airport in 2019 opened Jewel, a shopping and entertainment complex with 1.5 million square feet of stores and attractions including a rainforest, hedge maze, and the world’s highest indoor waterfall. But the annual report revealed a grim picture of a world-class hub reduced to a fraction of its normal business from the early days of the pandemic. To conserve cash, the company has implemented salary cuts of as much as 30% for management and staff, and recommended no dividend payout for the year. It has also suspended the construction of a fifth terminal for at least two years. Profit plunged 36% to S$435 million ($319 million) due to an impairment charge by the Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, which it holds a 51% stake, and worsened by the collapse in international travel. The Jewel shopping and entertainment complex helped boost revenue 2.6% to S$3.1 billion in the period. Healthcare officers monitor arriving passengers at a temperature screening point at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Photographer: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg The World’s Airports Are Catching the Coronavirus, Too Travel recovery is “highly dependent on how countries around the world manage border controls, the relaxation of air travel requirements and the development of viable medical treatments for the virus,” it said. Changi has facilitated cargo flights to enable global supply chain flow, especially of vital commodities like food and medical supplies. To assist in the battle to contain Covid-19 in Singapore dormitories housing foreign workers, some of the airport’s infrastructure for emergencies, such as casualty clearance stations, were converted into isolation facilities with infrastructure and amenities.
K-Pop Sensation BTS’s Agency Prices Its IPO at High End of Range - Bloomberg
Big Hit Entertainment, the management company behind the world’s best-known boy group, will raise about 962.6 billion won ($820 million) from its initial public offering after pricing shares at the top end of their range, reflecting the continuing popularity …
Big Hit Entertainment, the management company behind the world’s best-known boy group, will raise about 962.6 billion won ($820 million) from its initial public offering after pricing shares at the top end of their range, reflecting the continuing popularity of BTS. Big Hit priced shares at 135,000 won after setting an initial range of 105,000 to 135,000. Institutional investors oversubscribed by more than 1,000 times the shares allocated to them. The IPO will be South Korea’s largest in three years and make Big Hit founder Bang Si-hyuk a billionaire while turning each of the seven band members into multimillionaires. Bang, 48, owns more than 40% of the Seoul-based music agency, while gaming company Netmarble Corp. holds 25% after investing $172 million two years ago. The stock’s trading debut on the Korea Exchange is expected Oct. 15, according to local news outlets, while retail investors will be able to subscribe for shares early next month.
|For more on BTS and Big Hit:|
|BTS Members May Bank $55 Million When Agency Lists Shares|
|K-Pop Superstars BTS’s Agency Seeks up to $812 Million IPO|
|K-Pop Superstars’ Agency Files for IPO, Even as Concerts Shut|