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tv   Business Briefing  BBC News  February 18, 2019 5:30am-5:46am GMT

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this is the business briefing. i'm ben bland. hard landing! regional uk airline flybmi collapses and cancels all flights leaving thousands of passengers stranded across europe. and why proposing tax rises is no longer taboo among democratic presidential candidates. and on the markets, asian stocks have rallied strongly as they start the week, with optimism about those trade talks in beijing between the us and china. we should discover the outcome soon. the collapse of the regional british airline flybmi has highlighted a period of upheaval for the aviation industry. the airline, which flew to 25 cities, said brexit uncertainty and rises in fuel and carbon costs led to it filing for administration on saturday. flybmi carried 522,000 passengers in 2018, way too few to make it profitable.
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the move puts 376 jobs at risk and comes as other airlines face problems. one of europe's big budget carriers, norwegian, prepares to ask its investors for more money, and alitalia may be rescued by a consortium of easyjet, delta airlines and italy's national rail company fs. on sunday, loganair stepped in to take over three flybmi routes from aberdeen to bristol, 0slo and esbjerg. however, these will not start until 4 march. the two carriers are owned by the same holding company, airline investments. simon calder, travel editor at the independentjoins me now. so, do we know what the latest is on the stranded passengers across europe? well, when an airline
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cancels your flight, in europe? well, when an airline cancels yourflight, in europe europe? well, when an airline cancels your flight, in europe you have lots of very good rights. you are entitled to accommodation, meals, and for the airline to buy you a ticket on another carrier if need be. but if your airline has disappeared, as flybmi sadly has, you are on your own. a combination of people who have maybe been away for the weekend and of course i would estimate about 1000, maybe 1500 business travellers, booked to travel on important work missions this morning. they will be scrambling around for alternative flights. so far only one airline has come in with what is called rescue fa res. come in with what is called rescue fares. that is ryanair, the biggest low—cost airline in europe. and that is only on a few routes. so it is going to be tough, it is going to be expensive, and it is going to be painful. some of these passengers affected may feel somewhat frustrated by the fact that they may say the authorities needed to have looked in a crystal ball, they could have just looked at what was
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happening to other airlines, like primera or germania, and they should have expected this and made provisions. yes, we have had a whole sequence provisions. yes, we have had a whole sequence of collapses over this winter, all of them involving smaller airlines, and you really only had to look at the figures for flybmi. the average flight during 2018 had only 18 passengers on it and was less than half full. looking at the accounts of the past six yea rs, at the accounts of the past six years, they have lost about $20 for every passenger they have ever flown. there will be people saying, hold on, a berlin, that was a real problem, but the german government stepped in and enable they managed closure of that airline. —— air berlin. that was in october 2017. so why don't the authorities do something similar with other airlines, especially they are smaller and presumably easier to manage? the company has cited brexit as one of the reasons for its difficulties and the reason for going into administration. is that
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actually the case, or are theyjust using that as an excuse? pretty much any uk company which its problems at the moment is saying brexit uncertainty, but i think in the case of flybmi and the wider aviation industry, there is more justification for that, especially flybmi which didn't just justification for that, especially flybmi which didn'tjust do lots of scheduled services in the uk, belgium, germany, sweden, it also had a lot of so—called ad hoc charter work, offering planes to companies which needed that works, maybe within continental europe. and with absolutely no certainty beyond march 29 of what rights uk airlines will have to fly within europe, they simply couldn't sign contracts for the summer. just wonder whether we are seeing major shifts in the structure of aviation, are we looking potentially at the fact that
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the low—cost airlines we have become so addicted to make not be viable in the long—term ? so addicted to make not be viable in the long-term? i think budget airlines on the scale of ryanair and easyj et airlines on the scale of ryanair and easyjet will always be here, unless they merge with somebody else, it is they merge with somebody else, it is they have proven that if you have scale you are going to do very well indeed. bear in mind that if you go back 30 years, ryanair was a tiny struggling regional airline, until it decided to halve its fares and cut its cost and now it is the european giant. but the smaller airlines are always vulnerable, not least because if you are a regional airline, you build up a route between a and b and it has a decent market, immediately, one of the bigger airlines will move in with bigger airlines will move in with bigger planes, lower fares, bigger airlines will move in with bigger planes, lowerfares, and steal a ll bigger planes, lowerfares, and steal all the passengers. it is a really tough time out there, and this winter has been particularly painful. simon, as always, thanks for making sense of it for us. thailand's economy grew slightly more than expected in the fourth quarter as higher domestic demand and tourism arrivals more than offset slower exports and government spending let's go
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to our asia business hub where shara njit leyl is following the story. sharanjit leyl, shara njit leyl, tell us sharanjit leyl, tell us more about how they have done it? it is not often we look at thailand's economy, but it is the second—largest in this region, and remember, it is a big election year as well, which means it will be in the spotlight. as you said, it had some good news with its economy growing slightly more than expected in the fourth quarter. gdp rising 3.7% from the previous year. it was really private consumption, investment, which drove the fourth—quarter growth, which helped offset the fact that actually, its exports were hit by a slow down in global demand. of course, those perennial us— china trade tensions we keep talking about, as well as a strong currency. now, tourism is also a big deal in thailand, it has famous beaches, amazing cuisine, and that continues to draw visitors as
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tourism arrivals more than offset the slower exports and government spending. but of course while local demand has remained fairly resilient, analysts are warning that thailand does face political risk ahead of its election, which could hurt sentiment as well as domestic demand. sharanjit leyl, thank you very much. in the united states, president trump redefined conservatism. now, a cast of 2020 presidential hopefuls and rising stars on the left are redefining mainstream liberalism, focussing on creating a more progressive tax code. the bbc‘s north america business correspondent michelle fleury has more from new york. a growing number of democrats want to tax the rich more. senator elizabeth warren, running for president in 2020, wants a wealth tax. when i talk about this, some rich guy screams, "class warfare"! i
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say it is time to fight back. is a decanted bernie sanders supports expanding the estate tax. the gap between the very, very rich is growing wider. and freshman congresswoman alexandra 0casio—cortez is calling for a 70% tax rate on the highest incomes. as you climb up this latter, you should be contributing more. —— lighter. backin be contributing more. —— lighter. back in 2011 the occupier wall street movement was born, giving voice to frustration over income inequality. and the gap between the haves and have—notss has only grown, convincing democrats that their arguments to tax the rich will win over vote rs. arguments to tax the rich will win over voters. i think it is a reaction to both rising income inequality and the financial crisis, and the 2017 tax bill. voters saw the tax code go in exactly the opposite direction of what they wanted. huge tax cuts for the
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wealthy, and tiny ones for the middle class. president trump may find that a democrats use his signature tax law against him. taxing the rich to reduce income and wealth inequality is polling well with the american public, and while it is not a novel idea, it is likely to be an inescapable issue in the 2020 us presidential election. now let's brief you on some other business stories. the british government has reportedly decided that it can mitigate the risks arising from the use of huawei equipment in 5g networks. that's according to the financial times, citing sources familiar with the conclusion of the uk's national cyber security centre. such a decision would be a serious blow to us efforts to pursuade its allies to ban the chinese technology giant from high speed telecoms systems. facebook needs far stricter regulation, with tough and urgent action necessary to end the spread of disinformation on its platform.
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that's according to a committee of uk mps which has concluded that thecompa ny‘s founder mark zuckerberg failed to show quote "leadership or personal responsibility" over fake news. australia's trade minister has said his country is ready to sign a fast—tracked trade agreement with the uk in the event of a no—deal brexit. but, speaking in canberra, simon birmingham poured cold water on britain's ambition to join the trans—pacific partnership bloc. that's it for the business briefing this hour. train companies have proposed major changes to ticketing on britain's railways.
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the rail delivery group says the current system is outdated and overcomplicated. it wants to see more flexible fares and a roll—out of electronic systems, like london's 0yster card, across the country. 0ur transport correspondent tom burridge reports. tap in, tap out travel has been the norm in london for years. now rail companies say there should be a similar style system for passengers across the country. swipe, and you would automatically be charged the cheapest fare for your journey, and if you travel the same route often, your weekly rate would be automatically capped. it is a far cry from the system we have today, which train companies say is overcomplicated and full of anomalies. for example, a single can sometimes be almost as expensive as a return. the industry wants more flexible fares for long—distance journeys, to avoid people rushing for the first off—peak service after
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the rush—hour. passenger groups say change is needed, but worry there will be winners and losers. the issues go beyond the railways. this issues go beyond the railways. this is about ticketing across rail, bus, tram, metro and otherforms is about ticketing across rail, bus, tram, metro and other forms of transport. we have a ticketing system and a fair system that doesn't work for seamless door—to—door journeys, doesn't work for seamless door—to—doorjourneys, it doesn't work the people day in and day out, travelling to work or education or the shops. we need a simpler system that works across all forms of robert transport. the train companies say the average price of a ticket would not change under today proposals. they consulted nearly 30,000 passengers, but real change to the way we buy tickets could take yea rs, to the way we buy tickets could take years, and ultimately it will be down to the government. coming up at six o'clock on at first, we will bring you all of the day's news, as this sounds or tear on bbc one and the news channel. if you are watching us on bbc world, plenty more to come from here at the cup at
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breathing. stay with us. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines: the former acting director of the fbi says the deputy us attorney general considered measures to remove president trump from office. british mps have called for a compulsory code of ethics to regulate facebook and other big social media companies to help limit fake news and other harmful content. the parents of a british girl who ran away to join islamic state ask the uk government to bring her and her new baby home. now it's time to look at the stories that are making the headlines in the media across the world. we begin with the daily telegraph here in the uk. it has news that shamima begum, the british teenager whojoined shamima begum, the british teenager who joined the islamic state group, has given birth over the weekend. she says the public should show her simply and support for her return to
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the uk. -- simply and support for her return to the uk. —— sympathy. the financial times' main story is huawei getting the green light from the uk government to set up five g networks you, and at that undermines american effo rts you, and at that undermines american efforts to clamp down on the chinese telecom indications company. south africa's mail and guardian now, focusing on the start of this athlete's appeal against regulations that would require her to artificially lower her testosterone levels. let's move on to the times newspaper, and it says that airlines are facing regulations after the colla pse are facing regulations after the collapse of flybmi and looks at what it could mean for the industry. finally, the new zealand herald is among many with this story. 0ur cooking a traditional sunday roast causes levels of air pollution in your home that can rival some of the world's smoggy cities. so let's begin. with me is kulveer ranger who's
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senior vice president strategy & communication at atos. are you having a sunday roast this week? not this week, so the pollution levels will be ok. throat is still bad, though. let's start with the daily telegraph, the story that has been evolving over the past week. i wonder, that has been evolving over the past week. iwonder, where that has been evolving over the past week. i wonder, where does this go now? shamima begum has given birth, we understand, to a boy in this refugee camp, and whether that perhaps creates a bit more sympathy for her plight among people here.|j think we have to be very careful. i am concerned about the press coverage on this. i think had —— headline in the daily telegraph, show me some sympathy, words taken from an extended interview she

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