Airline industry in dire need of stimulus package to withstand crisis

first_img“Airlines need stimulus to get fresh working capital to resume operation after two months of halted operation, and also to help them pay their restructured debts,” INACA chairman Denon Prawiraatmadja told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.Garuda grappled with US$3.25 billion in short-term liabilities, including $498.9 million in sukuk (Islamic bonds) due to be paid on June 3 this year, according to its 2019 financial report.However, with decimated passenger numbers and grounded fleets, other airlines are grappling with debts and obligations to fleet lessors. Publicly listed no-frills airline AirAsia Indonesia, for example, recorded Rp 2.1 trillion (US$140.6 million) in short-term liabilities as of Sept. 30 last year, including Rp 42.7 billion due within a year, according to its financial report.Currently, airlines are still burdened with costs such as parking fees for their grounded aircraft, maintenance costs, pilot license fees, and many other costs, Denon added. The country’s airlines are in dire need of financial stimulus to withstand the COVID-19-induced crisis, amid a sharp revenue decline and looming deadlines for short-term liabilities, the Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA) has said.The comments came as flag carrier Garuda Indonesia was in discussion to receive a state capital injection of Rp 8.5 trillion as a derivative of the latest issuance of Government Regulation No. 23/2020 on the national economic recovery program.With the current situation, the INACA has called on the government to provide financial stimulus for the ailing airlines in the form of credit relaxation and soft loans. –Mardika Parama and Adrian Wail Akhlas contributed to this storyTopics :center_img While airlines have taken measures such as renegotiating costs with lessors and third parties, cutting operational costs, as well as furloughing employees, financial relief is still deemed essential for recovery, according to the INACA.“If in May the stimulus is still not available, the impact will be disastrous, it will be more difficult to pick up the market,” he said, adding that the airlines also needed capital support during market pickup post-pandemic.Data from the INACA show that passenger traffic dropped 8.23 percent year-on-year (yoy) between January and March to 25.5 million people, and the figures for April and May are expected to show an even further decline, as the government has banned people taking part in the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).The International Air Transport Association (IATA) previously identified Indonesia as one of the priority countries at risk as the industry worsens during the pandemic.Conrad Clifford, the IATA’s regional vice president for Asia Pacific, said airlines in the region were facing a liquidity crisis and called for governments to provide direct financial support, loans, loan guarantees and tax relief, among other things.“We have seen the first airline casualty in the region. There will be more casualties if governments do not step in urgently to ensure airlines have sufficient cash flow to tide them over this period,” Conrad said in an April 24 statement.Clifford was referring to Virgin Australia, which collapsed into voluntary administration in April.The IATA estimated a 49 percent passenger drop and an $8.2 billion drop in revenue impact in Indonesia this year, compared to last year.Garuda rescue planFlag carrier Garuda Indonesia may be the first to receive a rescue package from the government.However, the state injection plan is pending the approval of a Cabinet meeting, according to Febrio Kacaribu, the head of the Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy agency.Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra confirmed that the decision was still being discussed and was not yet finalized.“[The points that we are discussing] include Garuda’s liabilities and what Garuda needs. These are just plans, we have not yet reached a deal,” said Irfan on Tuesday. Garuda is slated to conduct a negotiation with its sukuk holders next week, as part of its strategy to buffer the financial hit.Other airlines are still strugglingAirAsia Indonesia, meanwhile, is still taking measures to stay afloat during the pandemic, including by renegotiating aircraft leasing payments and other obligations with the airline’s partners to reduce the burden, as well as cutting employee salaries.The COVID-19 pandemic is “significantly affecting the company’s finances”, according to the company’s April 21 statement.“In principle, we renegotiate the payment terms and cost elements as much as we can,” said president director Veranita Yosephine Sinaga at the latest press conference on May 4.AirAsia still had to pay sizeable aircraft leasing costs, Veranita added. It has also called for the government to provide them with taxation relief.The country’s biggest airline Lion Air Group spokesperson Danang Mandala on Wednesday refused to provide any comment regarding the company’s financial condition.Aviation observer Gerry Soejatman said it would be fair to give credit facility and tax relief to airline industry players in general, instead of just one player.last_img read more

Read More
Heat edge Lakers in thriller to keep NBA title dream alive

first_img“We got where we wanted to on offense, shared the ball like we always do,” Butler said.”This is a game of runs — I think we withstood theirs.”Butler drained two free throws with 16.8 seconds left to put Miami up by one.James, stymied under the basket, found Danny Green for a wide-open three-pointer with 7.1 seconds remaining but Green missed and Tyler Herro added two more free throws to seal it.”We got a hell of a look to win the game, to win the series,” James said. “Didn’t go down.”On a night that saw the Heat lead much of the way, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s three-pointer with 6:18 remaining put the Lakers up 97-96 — their first lead since the first quarter.But the Heat dug in, Duncan Robinson’s three-pointer putting Miami back up, 101-99 with 3:16 remaining, and it was a heavyweight slugfest the rest of the way, the lead changing hands seven more times.”It was all about getting stops, getting what we wanted on offense,” Butler said. “I still don’t think we rebounded the ball the way we were supposed to close out the game.”This one, it was a little bit of luck that Danny Green missed that one at the top of the key.”Duncan Robinson added 26 points for Miami. Kendrick Nunn had 14, Bam Adebayo 13, Herro 12 and Jae Crowder 11.James added 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers.Anthony Davis added 28 points and Caldwell-Pope scored 16.The frantic finish was foreshadowed by a first quarter that saw eight lead changes.The tension was palpable when Los Angeles center Dwight Howard tangled with Butler and the two had to be separated less than five minutes into the contest, each receiving a technical foul.The Lakers got an early injury scare when Davis, battling Andre Iguodala for a rebound late in the first quarter, took an awkward hop and limped off the court.Lakers ‘got to be better’ The Lakers, trailing 25-24 through one quarter, said Davis had aggravated a right heel contusion. He stayed on the sideline, testing the injury as the game continued and returning in the second quarter.The Heat twice pushed their lead to 11 points in the second period, Nunn’s putback layup making it 50-39 with 3:41 left in the first half.Butler poured in 22 points in the first half on seven-of-10 shooting on the way to his second triple-double of the series.He’s just the sixth player in NBA Finals history to have multiple triple-doubles in the title series, and just the second, along with James, to have multiple 30-point triple-doubles in the same Finals.James made sure the Lakers kept it close with 21 first-half points while Davis had 13 before the break.But the Lakers’ bid for a record-equalling 17th NBA title — their first since 2010 — was at least temporarily denied.”We’ve just got to be better in game six and close the series,” James said.Topics : Jimmy Butler’s triple-double propelled Miami to a 111-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday that kept the Heat alive in the NBA Finals.Butler scored 35 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists and the Heat withstood a 40-point performance from Lakers superstar LeBron James to deny Los Angeles a title-clinching win in the NBA’s quarantine bubble at Orlando.The Lakers still lead the best-of-seven series three games to two and can secure the title with a game-six victory on Sunday. Game seven, if needed, will be on Tuesday.”We’ve got two more to get,” said Butler, who played more than 47 minutes and delivered a stunning display of will and skill.”We just played hard, and just stayed with it,” said Butler, who has insisted the Heat can become just the second NBA team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship series.The only other team to do it was the James-led Cleveland Cavaliers against Golden State in 2016.last_img read more

Read More
Van Gaal can spend again in January

first_img Van Gaal was by far the biggest-spending manager in the Premier League this window, splashing out just short of £150million to sign six players. The United manager hopes Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao will help him achieve the first goal in his three-year plan – Champions League qualification. Louis van Gaal will have money to spend in January if he still believes his Manchester United squad is not up to scratch. But senior figures at the club insist United are not going down the same ‘Galactico’ route as Real Madrid, who regularly spend exorbitant fees on players like they have done recently to sign Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez. The club’s hierarchy are assured by the fact that Van Gaal has already promoted the likes of James Wilson, Jesse Lingard, Reece James, Tyler Blackett and Sam Johnstone to the first-team squad. Van Gaal has also been told by the United board he will have the final say on whether the club takes part in exhibition games this season. The Old Trafford hierarchy were considering organising money-spinning one-off matches across the globe during the season due to the midweek windows created by the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. With United already out of the Capital One Cup, yet more gaps are available in the schedule. But it is understood the board are happy for Van Gaal to decide himself whether any exhibition matches should take place. The board anticipate discussing the topic with the manager in the near future. But Press Association Sport understands Van Gaal has already been told there is yet more cash available to him if he feels his squad is still too short on quality come January. United have shown they are prepared to spend big to land their targets this summer and there is a feeling that the same rule applies for January, even though the winter window rarely throws up opportunities for clubs to sign the best players in Europe. Van Gaal has told his scouts to monitor Kevin Strootman as he recovers from a serious knee injury. But a representative of the Roma midfielder, Fabio Parisi, said no bids have been received for the 24-year-old, who Van Gaal knows well from his time with Holland. “There is no kind of interest on Strootman. He is recovering from his injury and will be available soon to contribute to Roma’s cause,” Parisi said. “For the rest, I say that is just talk and there is nothing, it’s all just speculation from England.” Some were shocked by the decision to let Danny Welbeck leave for Arsenal given that he had been at United since he was eight-years-old. Former assistant manager Mike Phelan said United’s “identity has been broken” with Danny Welbeck’s departure to the Emirates Stadium. Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More
Syracuse downs Georgia Tech in straight sets, 3-0

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments On Sunday, Syracuse (16-7, 12-3 Atlantic Coast) continued its quest for its first-ever NCAA tournament berth by defeating Georgia Tech (16-12, 5-10) in straight sets, 3-0, on the road in Atlanta.Despite the quick ending, the first set was a seesaw affair. The set saw 19 ties and eight lead changes, with no team leading by more than three. The set was extended all the way to 28-27, Syracuse, before Kendra Lukacs’ serve prompted a return error by Georgia Tech’s Matti McKissock to end the set 29-27.The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 7-3 lead to start the second, but the Orange fired back with an 11-2 run, making it 14-9. Syracuse went up by as much as nine before a late push by Georgia Tech. It looked like Syracuse had won the set 25-20 when a Georgia Tech hit sailed out of bounds, but the call was challenged and overturned, with the referees ruling it had touched a Syracuse player first. The temporary change in momentum did not affect the Orange, however, as a kill by Santita Ebangwese on the next play ended the set at 25-21.In the third set, Syracuse never trailed despite Georgia Tech, tying it once at 14-14. An 11-4 run closed out the match for the Orange, winning the set 25-18.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was an efficient afternoon for SU, which finished with a hitting percentage of .333 while holding Georgia Tech to only .159. The Yellow Jackets committed 22 attack errors to Syracuse’s 13 and also committed two more service errors than the Orange. Once again it was freshman star Polina Shemanova leading the way for Syracuse with 16 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Amber Witherspoon chipped in 12 kills of her own, hitting .556 and also contributing five blocks. Jalissa Trotter and Dana Valelly both had good days setting, finishing with 25 and 18 assists, respectively.The win helps Syracuse keep its tournament aspirations alive, as any loss now could leave Syracuse (currently ranked No. 33 in RPI) teetering on the wrong side of the bubble. SU will try to maintain its tournament resume when it next takes the court on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Virginia Tech in the Women’s Building.center_img Published on November 11, 2018 at 3:27 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edulast_img read more

Read More
Players not having right to choose club is not ideal, says Sunil Chhetri

first_imgThe proceedings for the new season of the Indian Super League (ISL), which will be of longer duration featuring 10 teams this time, will kick off on Sunday in Mumbai with the ISL draft.The fate of around 200 players will be decided by the draft which will see newly-formed Jamshedpur FC as the first entrants.According to ISL regulations, clubs were allowed to retain two senior players and up to three U-21 players.Earlier, the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) had strongly opposed the draft system claiming that many players were unhappy with it.Now India captain Sunil Chhetri has come out and said that he feels this should be the last year of the draft system in India.”It is not the ideal situation for a player because he should have the right to choose the team he wants to go. Even the ones organising the draft know that this is not the best option. I’ve been told that this has been done to felicitate the new team Jamshedpur FC so that all teams are on a level-playing field,” Chhetri said in an interview to mid-day.Chhetri was the joint second-highest goalscorer in the 2015 season of the ISL where he found the net seven times for Mumbai City FC. This time though, Chhetri would be representing the blue of Bengaluru FC after being retained by them and hopes that every player is satisfied come Sunday.”I was talking to a few players and they had their apprehensions. I just hope every player gets the money he deserves,” he added.advertisementThere were also reports that some players wanted to protest against the draft system but since many players were unhappy with their club salaries and preferred to give the ISL draft a chance, no protest could be held.The fourth season of the Indian Super League 2017-18 will start in November soon after the FIFA U-17 World Cup.last_img read more

Read More