Ryanair to cut up to 3,000 jobs, robots helping patients

02 May 2020 10:34 AM
The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to the global economy, the task place and the spread of the virus.

- Ryanair plans to cut as much as 3,000 jobs and close bases in Europe amid the collapse of travel as a result of pandemic.

The budget airline announced a restructuring program Friday which includes plans for unpaid leave and pay cuts of around 20%. It will operate significantly less than 1% of its flights from April to June.

- Domestic airlines in Thailand are resuming some regular flights, as half of the country's provincial airports reopened.

Department of Airports Director-General Tawee Kaysisam-ang told reporters that 14 of the 28 airports his agency oversees reopened Friday.

Domestic flights also resumed at airports that serve as international gateways, including Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports and Chiang Mai Airport in the north. Airlines resuming flights from these normally high-traffic airports include Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air and Thai Vietjet Air.

MAY DAY: Protests and rallies typically mark the international Labor Day, but this year's events look markedly different because of COVID-19.

- Some Italian entrepreneurs want to draw focus on their plight on the nation's May Day holiday. Some cafes put dressed mannequins in poses as though these were buying products or sipping coffee at counters within their empty businesses. In towns from north to south, many small enterprises on Friday stood at a safe distance from each other on the sidewalk or in town squares, their shuttered stores or restaurants in it, wearing black masks and holding placards highlighting their monetary troubles. On Monday, restaurants and cafes can begin offering takeout. Non-essential shops can reopen on, may 18 if Italy's rate of contagion with COVID-19 doesn't sharply rise again.

- For May Day, the administrative centre in tech-savvy Finland replaced parades and speeches with virtual reality. Helsinki had been encouraging residents to mark the eve before May Day - among the Nordic country's main public festivities especially among youth - through attending a virtual concert by popular local rap duo JVG.

- A prominent workers' union in Croatia held an online Labor Day protest as the lockdown against the brand new coronavirus prevented traditional gatherings and demonstrations.

The Association of Independent Unions of Croatia gathered 100 participants via video conference for one hour on Friday while thousands more followed on internet sites. The participants discussed workers' problems and what will come after the outbreak.

TECHNOLOGY: With an overabundance of COVID-19 patients, the healthcare section is increasingly embracing technology to assist in the fight the outbreak.

- Robot staff have debuted at a Tokyo hotel for mildly-sick coronavirus patients under a fresh plan to free up beds at hospitals overburdened with more severe cases.

Pepper, a semi-humanoid talking robot, greets new entrants at the lobby and reminds patients to check on their daily temperature and encourages them to rest. "Whiz," a cleaner robot, will operate in areas where patients come to pick up meals and other daily necessities.

Guest patients may also access health management applications on computers and tablets to record their own body temperatures and symptoms.

The robots, both made by SoftBank Robotics, may also be deployed at other hotels rented by Tokyo's metropolitan government for patients without or mild symptoms.

CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS & BANKS: Countries are moving toward easing strict stay-at-home orders, however the economical fallout from the virus is becoming more clear.

- Spain's government expects that the eurozone's fourth greatest economy will shrink by 9.2% this season and that unemployment will reach 19% of the working-age population.

The announcement comes a day after Spain's government said that the nation's economy had shrunk by 5.2% in the first quarter of 2020, ending 25 consecutive quarters of positive monetary activity dating back again to 2013.