Thomas Cook pilots to strike on Saturday

Thomas Cook planesImage copyright PA

Pilots working for the travel group Thomas Cook will stage a strike on Saturday as part of a dispute over pay.

Their trade union, the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa)[1], confirmed the strike after five days of talks failed to resolve the dispute.

A strike on 8 September was the first by pilots at the company since 1974.

Further walkouts, on 29 September as well as 6 October, are also in the pipeline.

The next strike will last for 24 hours.

The dispute is over a 1.5% pay offer which Balpa has said is unreasonable and amounts to a real-term pay cut.

The union says it wants a rise in line with inflation - currently running at 2.9% on a CPI basis - and better travel facilities....

References

  1. ^ (Balpa) (www.balpa.org)

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Ryanair compensation info 'woefully short' says Which?

Travellers wait in front of a passenger jet belonging to RyanairImage copyright Reuters

Ryanair's information to customers about compensation for cancelled flights is "woefully short", consumer group Which?has said.

Ryanair has stepped up efforts to deal with the 2,100 flights it has cancelled during the next six weeks.

It says all 315,000 customers received emails on Monday, advising them of the flight changes and offering alternative flights and refunds.

But Which?said it should make its compensation obligations clear.

Ryanair said that by the end of Wednesday, it expected to have reassigned 55% of the customers - 175,000 - to other Ryanair flights.

Meanwhile, more than 63,000 refunds will have been processed, it said.

The airline is cancelling 40 to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks[1], after it admitted it had "messed up"[2] the planning of pilot holidays.

However, the airline's advice to customers[3] on its website does not mention the world "compensation", which customers are entitled to under European legislation[4].

The Ryanair website only says:"We understand that flight cancellations may cause distress and we will accommodate your option of choice wherever possible, while complying with EU Regulation 261/2004."

Which?took a dim view of this oblique approach and said compensation should be paid automatically.

Its spokesman, Alex Neill, said:"Ryanair's approach to informing affected passengers about compensation falls woefully short.

"It is legally required to spell out compensation rules when a flight is cancelled and, in our view, has so far failed to do that, leaving passengers hunting around for information.

"This is another blow for the thousands of passengers who have already had to endure huge inconvenience as a result of this fiasco," she added.

Image copyright PA Image caption Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary announced full details of his airline's flight cancellations on Monday 18 September, 2017

Ryanair estimates that the episode will cost it up to 20m euros (£17.7m), though this figure could eventually be higher, as the airline's estimate amounts to only 63 euros per affected passenger.

The total number of passengers affected is, however, lower than the airline's original figure of 390,000 because Ryanair's planes were only 70% booked in October, compared with 90% full in September.

The airline also said it had taken on extra office staff to deal with the backlog of flight changes and compensation requests.

It added that it hoped to have dealt with more than 95% of the affected customers by the end of this week.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's chief marketing officer, apologised again for its mistakes.

"We have taken on extra customer service teams to speed up the rate at which we accommodate and action alternative flight requests or refund applications," he said.

"We expect to have the vast majority of these completed by the end of this week.

"The vast majority of these requests are being dealt with online, but as our call centres and chat lines are extremely busy, we ask affected customers to bear with us as we do everything we can to respond to their requests and try to resolve any problems we have created for them, for which we again sincerely apologise," he added....

References

  1. ^ for the next six weeks (www.ryanair.com)
  2. ^ it had "messed up" (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ advice to customers (www.ryanair.com)
  4. ^ under European legislation (www.bbc.co.uk)

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Toshiba to sell chip unit for $18bn to plug losses

Toshiba logoImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Toshiba is selling its memory chip unit to cover losses from its nuclear division

Toshiba has sold its prized semiconductor business to a group led by US private equity firm Bain Capital in a bid to keep its struggling business afloat.

The $18bn (£13.3bn) deal is designed to cover billions of dollars of losses incurred in Toshiba's US nuclear unit.

The Japanese firm was almost delisted this year after delaying the publication of its financial results.

It said the deal, if approved, would ensure it remained public.

Toshiba is the world's number two chipmaker and its Toshiba Memory unit accounts for about a quarter of its revenue.

Bain Capital has partnered with South Korea's SK Hynix Inc and brought in US buyers of Toshiba chips such as Apple and Dell in order to buy the division.

However, there is uncertainty over whether rival bidder Western Digital will walk away from the deal amicably.

The data storage firm - which runs a joint venture with Toshiba in the US - was tipped as favourite to buy the business as recently as this week.

It has previously taken legal action against Toshiba, arguing that the deal cannot happen without its consent.

A Western Digital spokesman told Reuters it had no immediate comment on the deal.

Plugging losses

Toshiba has been under pressure to clinch a deal in order to order to shore up its balance sheet by the end of its financial year next March.

In a statement, it said the sale of Toshiba Memory would boost its finances by 740bn yen (£5bn) after taxes.That would pull it out of negative shareholder equity, key to ensuring it remains a listed entity.

The firm has incurred billions of dollars of losses at its US nuclear unit Westinghouse, which filed for bankruptcy in March.

The business, bought in 2006, had suffered years of cost overruns at its reactors and a downturn in global demand for nuclear energy.

The problems led Toshiba to delay the release of its financial results in May, as it struggled to secure sign-off from its auditors.

It finally published them in August, reporting heavy losses of $8.8bn for the last financial year....

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Toshiba sells chip unit for $18bn

Toshiba logoImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Toshiba is selling its memory chip unit to cover losses from its nuclear division

Toshiba has sold its prized semiconductor business to a group led by US private equity firm Bain Capital for around $18bn (£13.3bn).

The deal is designed to cover billions of dollars in losses racked up through Toshiba's US nuclear unit.

The Japanese firm was almost delisted this year after delaying the publication of its financial results.

In the end, it reported losses of $8.8bn for the last financial year.

Toshiba is the world's number two chipmaker and its Toshiba Memory unit accounts for about a quarter of its revenue.

Bain Capital has partnered with South Korea's SK Hynix Inc and brought in US buyers of Toshiba chips such as Apple and Dell to bolster its bid.

In a statement, Toshiba said the sale of Toshiba Memory would boost its finances by 740bn yen (£5bn) after taxes.

That would pull it out of negative shareholder equity, key to ensuring it remains a listed entity....

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Ryanair provides update on flight cancellations

Travellers wait in front of a passenger jet belonging to RyanairImage copyright Reuters

Ryanair has stepped up its efforts to deal with the 2,100 flights it has cancelled during the next six weeks.

It says all 315,000 customers received emails on Monday advising them of the flight changes and offering alternative flights, refunds and compensation.

The airline said that by the end of Wednesday, it expected to have reassigned 55% of the customers - 175,000 - to other Ryanair flights.

Meanwhile, more than 63,000 refunds will have been processed, it said.

The airline is cancelling 40 to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks, after it admitted it had "messed up"[1] the planning of pilot holidays.

Ryanair estimates that the episode will cost it up to 20m euros (£17.7m), though this figure could eventually be higher, as the airline's estimate amounts to only 63 euros per affected passenger.

The total number of passengers affected is, however, lower than the airline's original figure of 390,000 because Ryanair's planes were only 70% booked in October, compared with 90% full in September.

The airline also said it had taken on extra office staff to deal with the backlog of flight changes and compensation requests.

It added that it hoped to have dealt with more than 95% of the affected customers by the end of this week.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's chief marketing officer, apologised again for its mistakes.

"We have taken on extra customer service teams to speed up the rate at which we accommodate and action alternative flight requests or refund applications," he said.

"We expect to have the vast majority of these completed by the end of this week.

"The vast majority of these requests are being dealt with online, but as our call centres and chat lines are extremely busy, we ask affected customers to bear with us as we do everything we can to respond to their requests and try to resolve any problems we have created for them, for which we again sincerely apologise," he added....

References

  1. ^ it had "messed up" (www.bbc.co.uk)

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