Wednesday 13 November 2019

The Punt: Aer Lingus will confirm routes

IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh
IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh

Aer Lingus is laying it all on this week as it announces its long-haul schedule for next summer.

The airline, now part of IAG, will host media tomorrow at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin, with IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, below, Aer Lingus boss Stephen Kavanagh, and Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe attending the event.

IAG is keen to prove the naysayers wrong with the announcement of new routes.

It will reintroduce the Dublin-Los Angeles service, and launch a route between Dublin and Hartford, Connecticut.

Aer Lingus is believed to have received a $5m (€4.5m) financial incentive to fly to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, which bills itself as the 'Gateway to New England', and won't have to fork out for landing fees there for two years.

Bradley hasn't had a direct transatlantic service in six years.

"We have fought aggressively to add a transatlantic flight to Bradley airport. It's our hope that will be a reality," a spokesman for the Connecticut governor, Dan Malloy, told the 'Hartford Courant' yesterday.

Other US routes that are on the Aer Lingus radar are Dublin to both Miami and Dallas.

Country left  on its knees

Zambians took part in a national day of prayer on Sunday seeking divine help for the country's economic woes following a collapse in global copper prices.

Africa's second biggest copper producer, has seen its kwacha currency tumble nearly 50pc against the dollar this year, driving up food prices.

Newswire Reuters report that responding to an appeal from President Edgar Lungu, churches across the southern African nation conducted prayer services.

All Sunday soccer matches were postponed and bars and restaurants were encouraged to close in a bid to encourage more Zambians to join the prayer gatherings.

"I personally believe that since we humbled ourselves and cried out to God, the Lord has heard our cry," Lungu said in an address on Sunday.

"I appeal to all of you to do your best and leave the rest to God."

Now why didn't we think of this at the height of our troubles. I'm sure the Catholic Church would have been happy to oblige.

Maybe former Tanaiste and agnostic Eamon Gilmore pulled the plug on it.

Black Monday, grim Tuesday

What were you doing this week 28 years ago? For market veterans the events of October 1987 are burned in the memory.

October 19 was 'Black Monday'. After a week of gyrations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York crashed 22pc. That shocking fall - the worst in a single day since 1929 - was apparently caused by "programme trading" which sold and kept selling stock once the market turned negative. The real story, as often happens, came the next day. On October 20, as the 'Wall Street Journal' later reported, credit - the lubricant of capitalism - disappeared and markets started to freeze. Just like in 2008, investment firms reliant on short-term financing were now caught out, even if their business was in otherwise good shape.

This was the moment of maximum danger, and it wasn't until the Fed stepped in to provide liquidity that the danger passed.

In 2008, the crash followed a similar pattern. The downturn itself was bad - especially in Ireland and other countries with big credit bubbles - but it was the ensuing global panic that caused banks to hoard cash and created the now infamous credit crunch.

History, it seems, really does repeat itself.

Irish Independent

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