Wed, 27 May 2020

Jobless UK Flight Attendants Asked to Work as Medical Staff

Voice of America
30 Mar 2020, 21:35 GMT+10

Laid off airline cabin crew staff in Britain are being asked to work in temporary hospitals to help treat COVID-19 patients. Budget airline easyJet and Virgin Atlantic are writing to thousands of staff with first aid training to help out. Meanwhile, easyJet said it was grounding all its 344 aircraft due to the collapse in demand for flights. Airlines had already canceled the vast majority of their flights. South Korea will provide as much as 1 million won ($817) in gift certificates or electronic coupons to all but the richest 30% of households to help ease the financial shock of the coronavirus outbreak.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments on Monday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.

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Repurposing staff: Britain's health service is asking airline cabin crew who have been laid off during the coronavirus pandemic to go to work in temporary new hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients.

The National Health Service says easyJet and Virgin Atlantic are writing to thousands of staff - especially those with first aid training - asking them to work at hospitals being built inside convention centers in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

It said those who sign up will perform support roles under the supervision of doctors and nurses.

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Airlines: European budget airline easyJet says it is grounding all of its 344 aircraft amid a collapse in demand. It said there was "no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights."

The carrier based in Luton, England, had already canceled most of its flights and said it has reached an agreement with unions on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew.

Many airlines around the world are negotiating or calling for financial rescue packages from governments. Easyjet said it was in talks with financial liquidity providers.

Britain's government has so far demurred from creating a rescue package for aviation but has said it is ready for negotiations with individual firms once they had "exhausted other options." Scottish regional airline Loganair said it expects to ask for a government bailout.

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Handouts: South Korea will provide as much as 1 million won ($817) in gift certificates or electronic coupons to all but the richest 30% of households to help ease the financial shock of the coronavirus outbreak.

The country will spend around 9.1 trillion won ($7.4 billion) on the one-time giveaways, which will reach 14 million households. Officials are ruling out handouts of cash.

South Korea's has employed a variety of financial tools to support its economy in face of the global health crisis, such as cutting its policy rate to an all-time low, expanding short-term loans for financial institutions and introducing a rescue package for companies totaling 100 trillion won ($81.7 billion).

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