EZJ.L - easyJet plc

LSE - LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp
724.60
+18.60 (+2.63%)
At close: 4:35PM BST
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Previous Close706.00
Open729.80
Bid726.60 x 0
Ask727.60 x 0
Day's Range703.60 - 739.52
52 Week Range410.00 - 1,570.00
Volume5,552,926
Avg. Volume5,516,230
Market Cap2.877B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.62
PE Ratio (TTM)8.25
EPS (TTM)87.80
Earnings DateJun. 30, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield0.44 (6.22%)
Ex-Dividend DateFeb. 27, 2020
1y Target Est1,479.74
  • Sky News

    Coronavirus: Marvel comics artist creates 'superhero' masks for children flying with easyJet

    A Marvel comics artist has designed "superhero" face mask covers for children flying with easyJet. The face mask covers have been created by Irish illustrator Will Sliney, who has worked on Spider-Man and Star Wars comics.

  • Lufthansa Bailout Set to Trigger Turf War With Low-Cost Rivals
    Bloomberg

    Lufthansa Bailout Set to Trigger Turf War With Low-Cost Rivals

    (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG may have won its battle for state aid, but its surrender of airport slots to appease regulators heralds heightened conflict between European aviation’s old guard and low-cost challengers.A rivalry that’s been simmering for years has been given fresh impetus by the coronavirus crisis, with former flag carriers falling back on government support as discounters including Ryanair Holdings Plc and Wizz Air Holdings Plc argue that the market alone should dictate who survives.Lufthansa’s 9 billion-euro ($9.9 billion) bailout and a slots accord with the European Union overnight Friday handed the region’s biggest airline a lifeline. Now, the German group and network carriers such as Air France-KLM face a battle royale in repelling no-frills operators that came into the crisis stronger and plan to use it to gain ground in territories hitherto largely closed to them.“We are trying to take advantage of the situation,” Wizz Chief Executive Officer Jozsef Varadi said in an interview. “Lufthansa is getting a huge financial edge, but they’ll need to restructure after taking all of this money. So Germany will bring opportunities.”Aid ImbalanceDiscount airlines have received only modest support compared with legacy carriers. Ryanair, Wizz and EasyJet Plc have tapped the U.K.’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility for a combined 1.5 billion pounds ($1.8 billion), while Air France-KLM has received 7 billion euros from the French state and could overtake Lufthansa’s bailout once Dutch support is finalized.Low-cost carriers have also been quicker off the mark in slashing costs, with Ryanair, which has its biggest base at London Stansted, announcing 3,000 job cuts a month ago when Lufthansa was still in the early stages of putting together its bailout request.The strength of the challenge to Lufthansa in particular will depend on take-up for the 12 pairs of daily flight slots to be made available to competitors at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs as part of the bailout settlement ordered by the EU. Complicating matters is a proviso that says only new entrants can obtain the takeoff and landing rights during the first 18 months.Market DistortionThat would allow Ryanair, which has flights in Frankfurt, to target Munich, and EasyJet to do the reverse. Budapest-based Wizz, Europe’s third-biggest discount carrier, doesn’t currently serve either airport so could seek slots at both.Spokespeople for Ryanair and EasyJet declined to comment.Read more:Germany, Lufthansa Prove Tougher Foes for Vestager Than GoogleMerkel Is Seizing Her Chance to Revolutionize Germany’s EconomyWe All Might Be Flying in Planes Again Soon: Chris BryantRyanair gained 4.8% as of 11:18 a.m. in Dublin, while EasyJet advanced 4.4% and Wizz was up 3.8% in London. Lufthansa added 5.4% on Tradegate with regular trading in Frankfurt closed for a German holiday.The biggest opportunities for the low-cost players lie in Germany, Italy and Norway, said Mark Manduca, an analyst with Citigroup.“After the crisis passes and a price war this summer ensues, Ryanair and Wizz stand on the cusp of a three- to five-year consolidation and expansion story, as the participants around them shrink and flounder,” he said in a research note.State aid to the likes of Lufthansa will at least initially bend the market in their favor, EU competition watchdog Margrethe Vestager said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “This is why we also have remedies, to try to limit that market distortion,” she said.The Lufthansa case is a template for EU oversight of other virus-related recapitalizations, Vestager said. The bloc would likely review any equity injection into Air France-KLM by France or the Netherlands, and is in close contact with the Italian government over the nationalization of bankrupt Alitalia Spa, which she called “a special case” because of its pre-existing financial distress.That budget airlines will make inroads isn’t a given.In Germany, the major hubs of Frankfurt and Munich charge typically higher fees than at the smaller airports traditional favored by discount operators, something Varadi said is a major obstacle to flying there.Both have a large proportion of passengers who transfer on or off long-distance flights, limiting the market share available to short-haul carriers.Stationing staff in Germany also means grappling with stringent employment laws and powerful unions, potential headaches for companies seeking to keep expenses low.Lufthansa’s pilot, cabin-crew and ground-crew unions wrote to European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen on Friday saying that a shift of slots to discount carriers would cause a “massive hollowing out” of labor standards and pay.Disruption AheadThe French market could open up as Air France-KLM reins in its network in response to environmental demands from the French government. A restructuring to be presented within months will call for a 40% cut in domestic French capacity by the end of 2021, Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith told shareholders last week.The company has also said it may raise new equity, potentially triggering EU scrutiny that could lead to slots being made available in the busy Paris and Amsterdam markets. The initial funding package avoided increasing state holdings amid acrimony between the French and Dutch governments over existing stakes.In Italy, Alitalia was in bankruptcy protection even before the virus hit. The rescue is regarded as dubious given the airline’s status, and the EU is expected to begin an investigation. Slot availability in Rome and Milan could be one outcome.Full-service airlines are also in retreat in the U.K., where British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. have indicated they’ll exit London Gatwick airport to consolidate operations at the city’s Heathrow hub.That will consolidate Gatwick’s status as a discount and leisure-oriented base, leaving EasyJet unchallenged as the biggest operator and offering an opportunity for Ryanair and Wizz to expand their more modest presence.Discount airlines are also cutting their cloth, though not nearly so much.Wizz will maintain all of its European bases and routes, while trimming frequencies, Varadi said. It announced four new hubs and 50 new routes on Friday.“We’re sensing strong demand, which we aim to tap as travel restrictions ease,” the CEO said.(Updates with Vestager comments in 12th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • We All Might Be Flying in Planes Again Soon
    Bloomberg

    We All Might Be Flying in Planes Again Soon

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Covid-19 became a pandemic because airplane passengers carried the new coronavirus with them around the world. As that became clear, airlines grounded nearly all of their fleets, governments issued travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, and tourist attractions and conferences closed down. With no reason to fly, a quick recovery for air travel seemed unlikely. Warren Buffett dumped his airline stocks, claiming that the “world has changed.”Passengers also wouldn’t feel safe packed inside a metal tube for hours, would they?Happily for the industry, if not for the climate, the seemingly insurmountable barriers to air travel have begun to look less daunting. “We believe the worst is behind us, and we’re on the uptick,” American Airlines Group Inc.’s boss, Doug Parker, said after a surge in travel over the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend.Investors have taken notice. The Bloomberg Americas Airlines stocks index has rebounded by almost one-third from the mid-May low, and European carriers have made similar gains. Shares in German tour operator Tui AG have risen too.Such optimism feels jarring when airlines, American Airlines included, are poised to cut thousands of jobs. Most are still burning huge amounts of cash. Deutsche Lufthansa AG needs a 9 billion-euro ($10 billion) bailout, and Latam Airlines Group SA joined Latin American peer Avianca Holdings SA in filing for bankruptcy last week.But Parker is probably right to expect a continued recovery, at least on domestic and short-haul routes. This won’t be enough to put debt-laden airlines on a secure footing, and a full demand recovery probably won’t happen for a couple more years. But, right now, a desperate industry will take any good news it can get. The rigorous hygiene measures airlines have announced should go a long way toward restoring passenger confidence.  European budget carrier Ryanair Holdings Plc expects to operate at 40% of normal capacity from July, and the way bookings are shaping up suggests those planes will probably be at least half full. EasyJet Plc sees “encouraging” trends and notes that winter bookings are higher than usual for this time of year, although part of that may be because people have refund vouchers to use and are rebooking cancelled trips.  Ryanair’s extensive summer flight schedule had seemed premature a couple of weeks ago, but the travel restrictions that kept Europeans from moving around the continent are being relaxed. Starting in July, Spain is set to drop its requirement for international arrivals to quarantine for 14 days. Britain imposed a similar rule but is under immense pressure to abandon it. Travel between Europe and the U.S. will take longer to open up, but even on this there are encouraging signs of political will to get people flying again.   A month ago, United Airlines Holdings Inc.’s chief executive officer, Scott Kirby, lamented that there wouldn’t be a recovery in flying until attractions like Disney World and the Paris museums were open again.Well, they will be soon. It’s already possible to visit the Acropolis in Athens and St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Paris’s parks and museums are set to reopen from June. The French capital is usually swamped with tourists at this time of year, so there’s an incentive for travelers to get there first. Walt Disney World expects to reopen its Florida park from July, albeit with compulsory face masks and a ban on hugging your favorite Disney character.I’ve written before about how things like wearing masks and having to ask permission to use the toilet will make flying even less enjoyable. But these measures may make passengers feel safer. For example, while the gowns and other personal protective equipment issued to Emirates’ cabin crew are a little intimidating, they’re likely to put some nervous flyers at ease.As with SARS almost two decades ago, there are understandable concerns about catching coronavirus within the aircraft cabin, most likely from someone seated close by. The evidence isn’t comprehensive or conclusive, but so far there are surprisingly few documented cases of this happening with Covid-19. Airline industry body IATA says it knows of only one case where a person transmitted the virus to more than one person on board. Not surprisingly, plane manufacturers Airbus SE and Boeing Co. are studying the subject intensively. There are other plausible reasons why flying might be safer than you’d think: The air is filtered and frequently replenished from outside, seats act as somewhat of a barrier and passengers don’t move around the cabin much. Singing, yelling and talking loudly — contributors to so-called super-spreader infection events — are a big faux pas when you fly. Many passengers would still prefer the middle seat to be empty, but as I’ve written before, unless ticket prices rise, that would severely hamper airlines’ ability to break even.Of course, the longer someone’s on board, the greater the chance they’re exposed to infection. Hence people may feel comfortable flying domestic and short-haul before they’re willing to fly halfway around the globe.Companies will probably take longer to get comfortable with the risk (and potential liability) of their employees flying for business. About half the corporate clients American Airlines surveyed still have a travel ban, although that’s down from two-thirds at the peak of the crisis. Millions of potential passengers have also lost their jobs and won’t feel able to splash out on holidays.And then there are the psychological scars from the prolonged lockdown. Being outside now feels a lot safer than being in any kind of confined space. A staycation in a local Airbnb might feel preferable to getting on a plane.For those willing to take the risk, and who can find adequate travel insurance, a rare opportunity awaits. Want to see Venice without the crowds? Now’s your chance.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • EasyJet and Carnival to bid FTSE 100 adieu due to COVID-19
    Reuters

    EasyJet and Carnival to bid FTSE 100 adieu due to COVID-19

    EasyJet <EZJ.L> and cruise operator Carnival <CCL.L> are set to lose their seat at the top table of British blue chips after the COVID-19 crisis knocked the value of their shares to below the threshold of London's prestigious FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index. Hard-hit by travel bans, the low-cost airline lost as much as two thirds of its market value during the peak of the pandemic crisis and despite a vigorous bounce-back, its market capitalisation was only ranked 125th based on Monday's stock market close in London. FTSE Russell, which will announce its quarterly shuffle of the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday, requires companies to be ranked at least 110th to be part of the blue-chip index.

  • EasyJet plans to be flying three-quarters of routes by August
    Reuters

    EasyJet plans to be flying three-quarters of routes by August

    British airline EasyJet <EZJ.L> said on Tuesday it will resume flying on about three-quarters of its routes by August, expanding the small number it said it would start flying this month but at a much lower frequency than last summer. The coronavirus pandemic has caused the air travel market to collapse and forecasts say it will remain smaller for years. Last week EasyJet, whose 337 planes have all been grounded since March, said it would cut staff and aircraft numbers to survive.

  • Budget airlines put squeeze on airports in coronavirus cost drive
    Reuters

    Budget airlines put squeeze on airports in coronavirus cost drive

    European low-cost airlines are pressuring airports to slash charges in return for resuming flights, as the COVID-19 shutdown intensifies their race with traditional carriers to lower costs and win post-pandemic business. In letters shared with Reuters, Wizz Air <WIZZ.L>, Ryanair <RYA.I> and easyJet <EZJ.L> have demanded long-lasting fee discounts or waivers from airports, signalling that the lowest offers will win more returning traffic. Wizz Air, in a "request for proposals" from airports last month, indicated it was ready to shake up its business, flagging "significant shifts in network strategy resulting in capacity reallocation between airports".

  • EasyJet cuts jobs; Norwegian Air losses deepen
    Reuters Videos

    EasyJet cuts jobs; Norwegian Air losses deepen

    More job losses Thursday (May 28) at European airlines. UK budget carrier easyJet says it will cut about 30% of its staff. That’s 4,500 posts. The airline had held out longer than local peers. Between them, Ryanair, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have already announced 18,000 job cuts. Now easyJet says it too has to prepare for a shrunken air travel market. It’s also going to reduce its fleet, and is in talks with airports over cheaper deals. The CEO has warned that some bases could be closed. Investors welcome the moves, with easyJet shares up over 6% in early trade Thursday. Meanwhile Norwegian Air says its first-quarter loss widened to 332 million dollars. The news comes just days after the carrier completed a financial rescue that saw its creditors take control. Around 90% of its staff have been furloughed since March. A recovery plan published the following month sees it operating just seven planes for up to a year. It will then gradually build up to 120 aircraft by 2022.

  • Sky News

    Coronavirus: EasyJet to cut up to 4,500 jobs over COVID-19 crisis

    EasyJet is looking to cut up to 4,500 jobs and shrink its fleet, following the collapse in air travel due to coronavirus. The move represents nearly a third - 30% - of the Luton-based airline's 15,000-strong workforce. It joins other carriers, including British Airways and Ryanair, which have already announced major job losses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated the aviation industry globally.

  • EasyJet not planning equity raise, doesn't rule it out in future, CEO says
    Reuters

    EasyJet not planning equity raise, doesn't rule it out in future, CEO says

    Britain's easyJet <EZJ.L> is not planning on raising new equity currently but its chief executive did not rule it out in future as the low-cost airline seeks to survive the coronavirus pandemic which has wiped out air travel. "There's no plans on raising any equity today but that is something that we will continue to look into as a whole range of additional things that we are considering," Chief Executive Johan Lundgren told reporters on Thursday. EasyJet is also in talks with airports to try to get cheaper deals, with the CEO warning that some bases could be closed.

  • EasyJet will not fly to Italy with distancing on planes - report
    Reuters

    EasyJet will not fly to Italy with distancing on planes - report

    EasyJet <EZJ.L> will not fly to Italy if Rome prolongs social distancing rules on planes beyond June 15, the budget airline's chief executive said in a newspaper interview. "It would be impossible for companies to operate with only a third of the seats sold," Lundgren was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera on Thursday. Lundgren said that if Italy were to extend the measure then easyJet would not fly there, adding "it would be harmful to the recovery: the country risks falling behind."

  • EasyJet to cut 4,500 jobs to stay competitive after crisis
    Reuters

    EasyJet to cut 4,500 jobs to stay competitive after crisis

    Britain's easyJet <EZJ.L> plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs and shrink its fleet to adjust to the smaller travel market which is forecast to emerge from the coronavirus crisis. EasyJet, which employs more than 15,000 people in eight countries across Europe, is moving later than others in announcing job cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought airlines across the world to their knees. Most have been forced to cut jobs, including more than 15,000 in Britain, as they prepare for a market which is not forecast to return to 2019 levels until 2023.

  • EasyJet says finance chief Findlay to leave in 2021
    Reuters

    EasyJet says finance chief Findlay to leave in 2021

    British low cost airline easyJet <EZJ.L> said chief financial officer Andrew Findlay plans to leave the company next year, in an announcement made just days after he survived an attempt by the airline's founder to oust him. Findlay, who joined easyJet as CFO in 2015, handed in his notice on Tuesday and is expected to stay on for a year until May 2021 under the terms of his contract. Shareholders threw their weight behind management's strategy to stick with the Airbus <AIR.PA> order on Friday, supporting Findlay plus easyJet's chairman, chief executive and another director in a vote forced by Haji-Ioannou.

  • EasyJet founder loses bid to oust management in strategy showdown
    Reuters

    EasyJet founder loses bid to oust management in strategy showdown

    EasyJet <EZJ.L> founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou failed in his attempt to oust the airline's top three bosses on Friday, giving it a brief respite in its battle for survival during the coronavirus pandemic. With air travel brought to a halt and easyJet planes parked up around the world, Haji-Ioannou had stepped up his public campaign for management to scrap a $5.6 billion order for 107 new Airbus <AIR.PA> planes that he says they cannot afford. EasyJet said more than 99% of votes cast by independent shareholders backed the board.

  • Bloomberg

    EasyJet’s Future Hangs on Founder’s Bid to Dismiss Leadership

    (Bloomberg) -- EasyJet Plc’s future will be decided in a single vote on Friday, with billions of dollars of aircraft orders at stake.Top shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has called for the ouster of the U.K. airline’s leadership in the middle of the coronavirus crisis. EasyJet’s founder and former chairman has spent more than 15 years opposing the plans of successive managers on the grounds that they’ve been too investment-intensive and offered insufficient returns.Haji-Ioannou’s latest campaign comes to a head at an extraordinary general meeting when investors vote on his motion to remove four directors, including Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren, Chairman John Barton and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Findlay.The clash centers on an order for more than 100 Airbus SE A320neo jets that make up the bulk of 4.6 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) in capital spending planned through fiscal 2023. Haji-Ioannou says the purchase will drain cash as the air-transport industry faces years of subdued demand in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. EasyJet says it’s revised the order and that the debate creates an unnecessary distraction at a tough time.“It’s a really important moment for the airline,” said Luke Hickmore, a fund manager with Aberdeen Standard Investments who manages around $3 billion for his firm. “He wins and the board becomes his to control and leads to a slashing of aircraft orders. At the moment that’s no bad thing, but how do you grow back any time soon?”EasyJet traded 1.4% lower as of 8:08 a.m. in London, taking the stock’s decline this year to 60%. The EGM is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the U.K. capital.CEO Lundgren has deferred the delivery of 24 planes to an undetermined date. He says EasyJet must be ready to renew its fleet when traffic finally rebounds and that the terms of the Airbus deal are uniquely flexible.The airline says it’s reduced its near-term capital expenditures by more than 1 billion pounds, though it has yet to announce job cuts of a level announced by peers. British Airways planning to cut 12,000 posts and Ryanair Holdings Plc and Virgin Atlantic Airlines Ltd. 3,000 apiece.Haji-Ioannou, 53, wants EasyJet’s existing fleet cut to 250 aircraft from 318. He has generally failed to attract broad shareholder support in previous battles with management, which have included clashes over pay and the Easy name.Attritional AttacksYet the attritional nature of his attacks has borne fruit. Barton’s predecessor as chairman, Mike Rake, announced his departure in 2013 less than six months after surviving a dismissal vote. EasyJet also pays out a higher-than-average 95% of its free cash flow, according to Citigroup analyst Mark Manduca.What’s different this time around is that rather than riding the crest of a decades-long surge in air travel, Haji-Ioannou’s call for a clampdown on spending comes with the industry mired in the deepest crisis in its history -- something that could turn more shareholders to his way of thinking. A decline of two-thirds in EasyJet’s share price will also focus minds, Manduca said.A defeat for Lundgren, a Swede who took over in December 2017 and is the same age as Haji-Ioannou, would still come as a surprise.The founder and his family collectively own about 34% of EasyJet, whereas the Luton, England-based company reckons it could have the backing of shareholders controlling 45% of votes, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing an interview with Lundgren.A spokesman for Haji-Ioannou said they believe the vote will be very close and that many small shareholders have pledged support for their position. The vote is not a distraction but “a reaffirmation of shareholder democracy” that puts the interest of those risking their capital above “here today gone tomorrow” management, the spokesman said.Invesco, Ninety One U.K. and Phoenix Asset Management, the three biggest investors after the founder with a holding totaling of about 15%, have publicly pledged their support to management.Shareholder advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and Pensions & Investment Research Consultants have also recommended that people vote against Haji-Ioannou’s resolutions.‘Scoundrels’ JibeIn the last few weeks, the Greek-Cypriot entrepreneur has stepped up his campaign by questioning the nature of EasyJet’s relationship with Airbus in light of the manufacturer’s settlement earlier this year of a corruption case concerning aircraft sales. Haji-Ioannou has referred to the board and management as “scoundrels.”He’s also condemned other investors for failing to call EasyJet to account, said Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority should face a judicial review over a lack of action, and offered a 5 million-pound reward for evidence of wrongdoing that leads to the cancellation of the Airbus order.At the shareholder meeting, Haji-Ioannou plans to present questions including whether Airbus controls any EasyJet shares and if the carrier meets standards of a “going concern,” according to a statement from his EasyGroup business.Should he win the vote, EasyJet will be plunged into turmoil at the toughest moment in its 25-year history as European airlines haemorrhage an estimated $89 billion in revenue this year due to the pandemic, with the entrepreneur planning to call on Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew to scrap the plane deal before the appointment of a new chief.EasyJet, which this week revealed that email addresses and travel data of 9 million customers were taken in a cyber attack, has said it plans to resume flights from 22 European airports on June 15, becoming one of the first airlines in the region to begin building up services as the coronavirus lockdown eases.Even if the motions fail, it’s hard to see Haji-Ioannou giving management much respite given heightened concerns about costs and cash flow in the post-virus era.“It will be helpful if it’s nice and clear cut,” said Andrew Lobbenberg, an analyst at HSBC. “He’s clearly on a mission here.”(Updates with shares in sixth paragraph, jobs situation, questions to be asked at EGM and cyber attack from eighth)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • EasyJet board looks set to win latest battle with Stelios
    Reuters

    EasyJet board looks set to win latest battle with Stelios

    EasyJet's <EZJ.L> board looks poised to win a shareholder vote on Friday and deal a blow to its founder and long-term critic over the British low-cost airline's plan to stick with a $5.5 billion (4.5 billion pounds) plane order. Stelios Haji-Ioannou, whose family is easyJet's biggest investor with a 34% stake, wants to oust the CEO, finance chief, chairman and another director, arguing their plan for the airline to buy 107 new Airbus aircraft could bankrupt it. Three of the company's bigger investors, with a combined 15% stake, have backed Chief Executive Johan Lundgren, and he says he has spoken to about 45% of the shareholder base who have all given him their support.

  • U.S. Cases Rise 1.5%; Americans Defer Medical Care: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Cases Rise 1.5%; Americans Defer Medical Care: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- A third of U.S. adults, about 94 million people, have delayed or avoided getting medical care during the outbreak, the Census Bureau estimates. A report from a London college estimates 4.1% of the U.S. population is infected.The Treasury secretary signaled a need for more U.S. economic stimulus. Major job losses mounted as more than 2 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. The FDA put out a list of 27 antibody tests that can no longer be sold in the U.S. for lack of proper vetting.President Donald Trump toured a Ford factory that was converted to make ventilators without a mask, though he had one with the presidential seal on it that he said he’d worn on another part of the tour. New York canceled in-class summer school. Starbucks is seeing a rebound in sales at coffee shops. Facebook lets some employees work from home permanently.Key Developments:Virus Tracker: Cases top 5 million; deaths exceed 331,000Why a new cluster in China is triggering alarms: QuickTakeFuror over mask requirements mirrors retail’s gun rulesWHO caught in a dangerous place between Trump and ChinaWorld Bank’s new economist draws curtain on globalizationFleeing New Yorkers hunt for million-dollar suburban homesTrump gambles on a resurrection, with lives and livelihoodsSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. See this week’s top stories from QuickTake here.U.S. Flags to Fly Half-Mast (6:59 a.m. HK)President Donald Trump ordered flags on federal buildings and monuments to fly at half-mast for three days in memory of Americans who have died from the virus. The U.S. death toll reached 94,566 late Thursday.Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Trump, asking “that you order flags to be flown at half staff on all public buildings in our country on the sad day of reckoning when we reach 100,000 deaths.”NY Transit Seeks Fed Aid (5:25 p.m. NY)The nation’s largest transit system, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is asking the U.S. Federal Reserve to let it borrow directly from a new $500 billion lending program. While the MTA has twice this month sold long-term debt, the pandemic has challenged its ability to borrow in the short term, Pat Foye, chief executive officer, said in a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.“Investors have shown confidence in MTA’s long-term prospects but remain concerned about near-term risks,” Foye wrote. The MTA estimates its deficit for 2020 may be as much as $8.5 billion. It’s seeking $3.9 billion of federal funds to help cover lost revenue.CDC to Guide on Opening Churches, Trump Says (5:15 p.m. NY)The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to put out guidance for reopening churches “very soon,” President Donald Trump said while touring a Ford Motor Co. plant in Michigan. “We want to get our churches back,” he said, suggesting it could come as soon as Thursday.Recommendations for restarting activities by religious organizations weren’t part of CDC suggestions for opening workplaces, schools and restaurants released over the weekend. The White House and CDC have clashed over providing guidance to religious groups because the Trump administration didn’t want to restrict them, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.Texas Lifts Air Travel Restrictions (5 p.m. NY)Texas Governor Greg Abbott terminated a mandatory 14-day self-isolation order for incoming airline travelers. The executive order scraps restrictions issued in April mandating self-isolation for those arriving from California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Washington state, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami.The new directive is part of Abbott’s plan to reopen the economy as it enters a new phase of reopening that will allow restaurants to operate at 50% capacity and reopening of bars at 25% capacity, beginning Friday.Cases rose 1.8% to 52,268, below the seven-day average of 2.8%, according to Texas health department data. Hospitalizations dropped 6.2% to 1,680, with more than 6,000 ventilators available in reserve.Abbott Defends Test Accuracy (4:45 p.m. NY)Abbott Laboratories said an ongoing study showed that its ID NOW Covid-19 test had a high rate of accuracy, as the company attempts to counter a claim by outside doctors that the test may return too many false negatives.Partial data from the company-funded study showed that it accurately detected the virus 94.7% of the time, and correctly gave negative results 98.6% of the time, Abbott said in a statement. The study, which is ongoing, analyzed samples from 256 patients and compared the results to a test developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.FDA Says 27 Antibody Tests Barred (4:20 p.m. NY)The US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that 27 antibody tests will no longer be distributed in the U.S., part of a previously-announced crackdown on the tests.Antibody tests look for markers in the blood that indicate exposure to the novel coronavirus. However unlike diagnostic tests, they can’t determine whether a patient has an active Covid-19 infection. The FDA’s previous policy allowed hundreds of antibody tests to be sold without its oversight, prompting criticism of the tests’ accuracy.The 27 tests either had “significant problems” identified with them or their manufacturer didn’t seek authorization, according to the FDA. Nine antibody tests were voluntarily withdrawn, including one from BioMedomics, Inc., the FDA said. It also said that there will likely be updates to the list with more tests being barred.In a statement, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn called it an important step “taken to ensure that Americans have access to trustworthy tests.”U.S. Cases Rise 1.5% (4 p.m. NY)Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.5% as compared with the same time yesterday to 1.56 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That’s higher than Wednesday’s growth rate of 1.3% and in line with the 1.6% average over the past seven days. Deaths rose 1.3% to 93,863.New York cases rose 0.6% to 356,458, in line with the average increase over the past seven days, according to data from the state’s health department.Florida reported 48,675 cases, up 2.5% from a day earlier, the biggest daily increase since at least May 4, when Governor Ron DeSantis started reopening the state. Deaths reached 2,144, an increase of 2.3%.California cases rose 2.5% to 86,197 while deaths increased 3.1% to 3,542, according to the state’s website.UN Pushes to Reopen NYC Headquarters (2:10 p.m. NY)Germany and Russia urged the United Nations to partially reopen its New York City headquarters as the secretary general proposes to scale back the annual General Assembly meeting in September.Germany, which will hold the presidency of the UN Security Council in July, wants to “discuss a possible return to real meetings” while reducing staff on hand and sticking to social-distancing guidelines, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen wrote in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seen by Bloomberg News.Guterres has taken a cautious approach to reopening the headquarters tower along the East River.Report Says 4.1% of U.S. Infected (2:06 p.m. NY)A new report from the Imperial College London estimates that 4.1% of the U.S. has been infected by the novel coronavirus, with a wide variation between states. In New York, the world’s epicenter, the researchers estimate that 16.6% of the population has already been infected.The researchers conducted their first state-by-state analysis of the U.S., modeling the number of people infected, the number of those who are currently infectious and the average number of secondary infections caused by individuals with Covid-19. The report warns that certain regions, such as the South and Midwest, may be more susceptible to a resurgence of transmission in coming months.“The epidemic is not under control in much of the U.S.,” say the researchers. “We find no evidence that any state is approaching herd immunity or that its epidemic is close to over.”Puerto Rico Lifting Limits (1:40 p.m. NY)Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez said she’s reopening many sectors of the economy starting next week, provided establishments follow certain restrictions. Barber shops, salons and malls can also reopen. Vazquez is maintaining a 7 p.m. curfew through June 15, but there are exceptions for restaurants that provide delivery services. The island shut all non-essential businesses, banned public gatherings and declared a nighttime curfew on March 16.Facebook to Push Remote Hiring (1:25 p.m. NY)Facebook Inc., which closed its headquaters in March as the outbreak spread, plans to hire workers in areas where it lacks an office, and will let some current employees work from home permanently.Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will “aggressively open up remote hiring,” particularly for engineers. Remote workers could be as much as 50% of Facebook’s workforce in the next five to 10 years, he said.Facebook closed its Menlo Park, California, offices more than two months ago and let employees work from home through the end of 2020.Business Lobby Backs State Aid (1:20 p.m. NY)The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce business lobby is backing some aid to state and local governments to ease economic devastation from the pandemic.The call by the group typically allied with Republicans contrasts with resistance from GOP lawmakers, who fear more aid could delay reopenings. They want to wait to see how governments use the funds already appropriated.Neil Bradley, the group’s chief policy officer, said a case can be made for assistance, but he pushed back on Democratic plans to give state and local governments more than $1 trillion.N.Y. Drops In-Class Summer School (1:15 p.m. NY)New York Governor Andrew Cuomo canceled in-class summer school amid concerns about the rising number of children with a coronavirus-related illness.State officials also are re-examining whether to open day camps this summer in light of the inflammatory disease that’s thought to be related to Covid-19, Cuomo said at his daily briefing. New York is investigating 157 cases of the illness, Cuomo said.It’s “still too early” to make a determination on whether schools and colleges will be able to open for in-person classes in September, Cuomo said. The state will issue guidance for schools in June.China Rejects Paying Virus Damages (1 p.m. NY)China will never pay legal demands tied to the pandemic, the National People’s Congress spokesman Zhang Yesui said in Beijing when asked about proposed U.S. bills to seek compensation. Accusations against China are “groundless” and violate laws and principles of international relations, he said.Republican Senators Martha McSally of Arizona and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee last month introduced a bill that would let Americans sue China in U.S. courts for compensation tied to the outbreak. The bill is in committee.U.K. Buys Roche, Abbott Antibody Tests (12:30 p.m. NY)The U.K. will buy 10 million antibody tests from Roche Holding AG and Abbott Laboratories in a boost for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he tries to ease Britain back to normality.The tests will be “crucial” to aid understanding of the spread of the disease, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at a press conference. Tests will be rolled out in a “phased way” next week, he said.He said a government survey found 17% of people in London had coronavirus antibodies, along with 5% of people elsewhere in the country. Roche’s test, cleared by a U.K. health authority this month, had previously won praise in Germany and the U.S. for its reliability.Italy Reports 662 New Cases (12:15 p.m. NY)Italy reported the fewest new cases in three days, as the government prepares to start free serological tests on 150,000 volunteers from May 25 before further easing a national lockdown. Civil protection authorities reported 642 cases Thursday, compared with 665 a day earlier. Total cases reched 228,006. Fatalities fell to 156 from 161 on Wednesday, and now total 32,486.Staten Island Ferry Service Expands (11:51 a.m. NY)New York City will increase Staten Island Ferry rush-hour service with boats every 30 minutes each way instead of one per hour as ridership increases, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The added service will run between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., and from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.Service between Staten Island and Manhattan plummeted 90% in mid-March when the Covid-19 outbreak forced a statewide lockdown of non-essential businesses. Recently boats have carried 600 commuters, compared with 400 to 500 during the pandemic’s peak, the mayor said during a Thursday news briefing. Added service will allow for people to keep safe distances from each other, de Blasio said.Mnuchin Signals Need for More Stimulus (11:50 a.m. NY)Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there is a “strong likelihood” Congress will need to pass more stimulus legislation as the nation struggles to recover from the outbreak but that such assistance isn’t immediately needed.“We’re going to step back for a few weeks and think very carefully if we need to spend more money and how we’re going to do that,” he said at an online event hosted by The Hill newspaper. He said he had spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week about next steps on stimulus.Republicans who lead the Senate have so far rejected acting on the Democrats’ $3 trillion relief package that passed the House on a party-line vote last week.Florida Sees Biggest Uptick Since Reopening (11:45 a.m. NY)Florida reported 48,675 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, up 2.5% from a day earlier, the biggest daily increase since at least May 4, when Governor Ron DeSantis started reopening the state. That compared with an average increase of 1.6% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 2,144, an increase of 2.3%.U.S. Census: Millions Put Off Medical Care (11:27 a.m. NY)More than 76 million American adults didn’t get needed medical care for conditions unrelated to Covid-19 in the past month, new U.S. Census data show. The estimate from the new Household Pulse Survey is the clearest picture yet of how pandemic-related shutdowns led to a staggering drop in people seeking medical care, cratering revenue for doctors and hospitals. Almost 94 million adults, more than one-third of the adult population, delayed care during the pandemic, the Census estimates.The survey also found high rates of mental-health problems. About 116 million Americans reported feelings of being down, depressed or hopeless on at least some days of the week prior to the survey. About 147 million, or more than 40% of the population, reported symptoms of anxiety. Health experts and medical providers are increasingly concerned about the long-term consequences of the shutdowns.Tanzania Adopts ‘Herd Immunity’ (10:45 a.m. NY)Tanzanian President John Magufuli ordered a phased reopening of schools and resumption of foreign tourist flights starting next week, touting the “herd immunity” strategy that has been rejected by other nations. Sporting events can restart in June.“If you lock people inside, their immunity falls by 30%, according to the literature that I have seen,” Magufuli, an opponent of lockdowns, said in a televised speech, flanked my government officials without face coverings. The strategy allows for more than 60% of the population to gain some resistance to the virus by becoming infected, then recovering. The government also scrapped plans to build a 1,000-bed medical center as hospitalizations fell sharply.Singapore last week rejected herd immunity as a strategy, with one official calling it “too big a price for us to pay.”Starbucks Regains U.S. Store Sales (10 a.m. NY)Starbucks has regained about 60% to 65% of prior-year comparable U.S. store sales in the past week, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said. In China, he said comparable-store sales are about 80% of the year-earlier level.The coffee giant is being watched as a barometer of consumers’ willingness to leave home and spend after the intense lockdown measures that brought much of the economy to a standstill.TSA Changes Airport Screening (9:55 a.m. NY)U.S. airport security screeners will no longer touch or handle passenger IDs or boarding passes at checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration said. In a statement, the TSA said travelers now will show their passes to the officer for a visual inspection, a step to reduce physical contact. Lines may extend further, as TSA increases the distance between travelers to six feet (1.8 meters), according to the statement.The agency said the numbers of travelers passing through airport checkpoints has steadily increased in the past couple of weeks.Victoria’s Secret to Close Stores (9:40 a.m. NY)Victoria’s Secret said it will close 251 stores in North America by year-end. That’s roughly 23% of its store fleet. More store closures could happen in the coming years, Victoria’s Secret interim Chief Executive Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said on a call with analysts on Thursday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Lufthansa nears bailout; EasyJet gets ready to fly
    Reuters Videos

    Lufthansa nears bailout; EasyJet gets ready to fly

    Lufthansa is closing in on a rescue deal. It’s expected to see a 9.9 billion dollar state bailout. That will see Germany take a 20% stake in its flagship airline. Lufthansa has been in talks over the deal for weeks. The sticking point has been how much control to yield in return for help. On Thursday (May 21) the firm said the government would get two seats on its supervisory board, but only use its voting rights in exceptional circumstances. Lufthansa expects the deal to include waiving of future dividend payments, and limits on management pay. Reuters sources say the German government will make its final offer Thursday. A glimmer of hope for the sector, meanwhile, over at easyJet. The British budget airline - Europe’s second largest - says it will resume some operations from June 15. It will mainly be UK domestic flights and some services to France. EasyJet says passengers will have to wear masks on board, and there will be no food service. All planes will be subject to enhanced cleaning regimes. The airline hopes to gradually resume more flights.

  • Sky News

    Coronavirus: EasyJet to resume flights next month with strict face mask rule

    EasyJet says it plans to resume a small number of flights next month with strict safety protocols for passengers and crew alike. Top of the measures, the no-frills carrier said, would be the wearing of face masks for all those aboard its aircraft. The company said it would likely operate domestic flights within the UK and France from 15 June with the only international service being Gatwick to Nice initially.

  • EasyJet to restart some flights in June with compulsory masks
    Reuters

    EasyJet to restart some flights in June with compulsory masks

    British low-cost airline easyJet said it would restart a small number of flights on June 15, becoming the latest airline to plan for the return of European travel by making face masks mandatory onboard. EasyJet's planes have been grounded since late March when the novel coronavirus spread across Europe. The airline said it would restart primarily domestic flights in Britain and France, before adding other destinations.

  • EasyJet Says Hackers Stole Data of 9 Million Customers
    Bloomberg

    EasyJet Says Hackers Stole Data of 9 Million Customers

    (Bloomberg) -- EasyJet Plc said email addresses and travel data of about 9 million customers were taken by hackers in one of the biggest data breaches to hit the airline industry.The intruders also accessed credit card details for 2,208 customers in the “highly sophisticated” attack, EasyJet said Tuesday in a statement. The airline said it’s closed off the unauthorized access, notified those whose credit-card information was exposed and will contact the rest of the customers over the next few days.Cyber-attacks against businesses and their employees have surged this year as hackers take advantage of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While the EasyJet breach was discovered in late January, predating the disease’s flare-up across Europe, the company is alerting those whose exposure was limited to email and travel details to guard against a rising number of so-called phishing attempts, a person familiar with the situation said.Airlines have had several high-profile breaches in recent years. In 2018, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. disclosed that hackers accessed information on 9.4 million customers, making it the world’s biggest airline data breach at the time. That same year, hundreds of thousands of British Airways and Delta Air Lines Inc. customers had their information hacked.“The EasyJet breach comes at a time of unprecedented challenge for airline operators,” said James Castro-Edwards, a partner at law firm Wedlake Bell. The potential consequences of enforcement action and any ensuing group litigation could be “catastrophic,” he added.British Airways FineThe U.K. fined British Airways, a unit of IAG SA, 183.4 million pounds ($224 million) over the hacking incidents, marking the first major British application of far-reaching European Union rules requiring companies to tighten anti-hacking measures.Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, companies can be penalized by as much as 4% of their global annual revenue, depending on the nature of the incident. For EasyJet, that would be as much as 255 million pounds ($312 million) if the “higher maximum” penalty were imposed by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office.The ICO would investigate and take “robust action where necessary,” the agency said in the statement.Attack TimelineThe Luton, England-based carrier reported the breach in January and has been working alongside the ICO and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential investigation. So far there is no indication that credit card information had been misused, the person said.Passengers whose credit card details were stolen were informed in April and offered 12 months of free credit monitoring, according to an email sent to customers and seen by Bloomberg.An influx of employees working from home has opened up new network vulnerabilities for many companies, and phishing emails purporting to be from trusted health agencies prey on employees looking for information.Read more:Cyber Risks Abound as Employees Shift From Offices to HomesHackers Posing as CDC, WHO Using Coronavirus in Phishing AttacksUnder GDPR, companies have an obligation to report personal data breaches to authorities within 72 hours where feasible. According to the regulation, companies must as soon as possible also alert individuals whose data has been compromised in cases where the breach poses a “high risk to rights and freedoms.”While the U.K. has left the EU, GDPR rules would likely still apply, given the transition period under way and the low-cost carrier’s sizable business with countries and customers that remain within the bloc.The NCSC confirmed it was working with EasyJet to investigate the hack. It recommended anyone with accounts that could have been compromised change passwords and “be especially vigilant against any unusual activity in their bank accounts or suspicious phone calls and emails asking them for further information.”Reuters reported earlier that the hackers were suspected to be Chinese and thought to be involved in similar attacks on other airline websites, citing people familiar with the investigation. EasyJet and the ICO declined to comment on the report.Shareholder ShowdownCovid-19 has already forced EasyJet to ground planes and created the opening for a revolt by its founder and biggest shareholder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The International Air Transport Association estimates European carriers face a revenue loss of $89 billion in 2020.EasyJet on May 22 will hold a shareholder meeting called by Haji-Ioannou, who wants to remove four directors including Chairman John Barton, Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Findlay. He’s seeking to halt the carrier’s continued expansion plans.EasyJet shares reversed earlier gains after the hack was disclosed, closing 0.8% lower at 547.20 pence in London.(Updates with details on breach from third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Daily Crunch: Disney's streaming chief departs for TikTok
    TechCrunch

    Daily Crunch: Disney's streaming chief departs for TikTok

    TikTok enlists a big name from Disney as its new CEO, Walmart is shuttering its Jet e-commerce brand and EasyJet admits to a major data breach. Mayer’s role involved overseeing Disney’s streaming strategy, including the launch of Disney+ last fall, which has already grown to more than 50 million subscribers.

  • Sky News

    EasyJet: Nine million customers' details 'accessed' by hackers

    Easyjet has revealed that the personal details of nine million customers have been accessed by "highly sophisticated" hackers. The discount airline - currently mired by the grounding of flights because of the coronavirus crisis and a leadership tussle led by its founder - said it discovered the data breach in late January and was in the process of notifying those affected. Easyjet said it believed that the email addresses and travel details of nine million people were exposed along with the credit card details of more than 2,200 customers.

  • EasyJet says 9 million travel records taken in data breach
    TechCrunch

    EasyJet says 9 million travel records taken in data breach

    EasyJet, the U.K.'s largest airline, said hackers have accessed the travel details of 9 million customers. The budget airline said 2,200 customers also had their credit card details accessed in the data breach, but passport records were not accessed, a company statement said. EasyJet did not say when the security incident happened or how the hackers accessed its systems, but the company said it referred the incident to the Information Commissioner's Office, the U.K.'s data protection agency.

  • Cyber attack on easyJet gets details of 9 million customers
    Reuters

    Cyber attack on easyJet gets details of 9 million customers

    A cyber attack on British airline easyJet accessed the email and travel details of around nine million customers, as well as the credit card details of more than 2,000 of them, it said on Tuesday. The news of the late January attack means the budget airline, which has grounded most of its flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is locked in a long-running battle with its founder and biggest shareholder, could face a hefty fine. British Airways, which was hit in 2018 with the theft of hundreds of thousands of credit card details, is still appealing a fine from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of 183.4 million pounds ($225 million).