COVID-19 pandemic

Christchurch Airport breaks even in first half of financial year under domestic model

But, the overall profits are a stark contrast to previous years – and there is no guarantee the city council, which partly owns the airport, will receive a dividend.

The airport confirmed a net profit after tax of just $1.2 million when it announced its results for the first half of the 2021 financial year, July 2020 to December 2020, on Thursday.

The airport had a net profit after tax of $47.8m in the full financial year for 2020, while in 2019 it was $57.4m.

Pacific children on frontline of global nutrition crisis

These are findings in a new report, Nutrition Critical, released by Save the Children.

The report showed the impacts of both crises had led to an increase in poverty, a loss of livelihoods, and reduced access to health and nutrition services, pushing up rates of hunger and malnutrition.

The report found that 600 million children world-wide had missed out on vital assistance during both crises.

Jacqui Southey of Save the Children New Zealand said governments must implement child benefits to ease family hardships.

Auckland International Airport posts significant fall in profits

The net profit for the six months ended December fell to $28.1 million compared with a profit of $147m in the previous year.

The bottom line was saved only by a continued strong performance of its commercial property business, which had a 2 percent lift in revenue and valuation gains of $29.8m.

Underlying earnings fell to a loss of $10.5m, as operations were severely curtailed since last March when border restrictions were put into place and domestic travel all but dried up during the lockdown.

Sir Kenneth Branagh to star as Boris Johnson in new series on Covid-19 pandemic

This Sceptred Isle will chart the terrifying events that marked the first wave of the ongoing pandemic, which has infected almost 100 million people worldwide. 

Johnson, 56, has faced intense scrutiny for his handling of the health crisis, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March last year. Covid-19 has particularly ravaged the UK, a country dragged through a series of restrictive lockdowns in a desperate bid to curb transmission.

Air NZ reflects on $454 million loss in 2020

It reported a $454 million loss for the year ended June because the Covid-19 pandemic clipped its wings.

Air New Zealand's international flights dropped from more than 30,000 in 2019, to under 10,000 last year.

Overall passenger numbers fell from 17.6 million to 8.4 million.

It brought in more than 10 million items of PPE gear to help with the Covid-19 response, while its cleaning staff used over 45,000 litres of disinfectant on aircraft.

Chief executive Greg Foran said returning to normal levels of air travel would be complex.

France PM Castex announces tighter curfew

The move is a tightening of a curfew already in place since December, which restricts movement from 20:00-06:00.

Announcing the measure on Thursday, Mr Castex described the country's situation as "worrying" with infections remaining at a "high plateau".

He also announced new restrictions for people arriving into the country.

France has so far recorded more than 69,000 coronavirus deaths - the seventh-highest death toll in the world.

Shoppers ended 2020 on a high after a year of lockdowns and closed borders

The June quarter, which included alert level 4 nationwide lockdown, saw the value of spending at retailers on the Paymark network drop 15.5 per cent compared with 2019.

But by December, spending for the year was up 5 per cent.

Retail spending across the eftpos network in 2020 was $42.6 billion, an increase of just 0.1 per cent.

The average value per transactions increased, from $39.04 to $42.58.

Retailers experienced the highs and lows of 2020 differently, according to Paymark.

Tokyo Olympics to go ahead in 'safe and secure' manner despite Covid-19 surge

Tokyo reported 2,447 new cases on Thursday. This is a jump of 850 cases – just over 50 per cent – from the day before. Tokyo was reporting just a few hundred new cases a few months ago.

The rapid spread of the virus in Japan is imperilling plans for the postponed Olympics, which are to open on July 23. The Paralympics begin on August 24.

Air Tahiti gets subsidies extended until July

The transport minister Jean-Christophe Bouissou signed an agreement to give Air Tahiti just over $US4 million to keep flying to 34 islands earmarked for cuts.

The deal was extended as the aviation sector keeps being affected by the downturn in business because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After a lockdown, Air Tahiti said last June it would drop more than half of its destinations and service just 20 islands.

The announcement angered the government, which said such a drop of service amounted to taking the population of the entire islands hostage.

WHO concerned at ‘growing perception’ COVID pandemic is passing

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at the regular Geneva briefing that progress on vaccines, in recent days, “gives us all a lift, and we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

He praised the United Kingdom’s emergency authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech rollout which is due to begin next week, describing it as “an important scientific step for the world”.