6 August: Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda
- Germany’s Lufthansa said it does not expect air travel demand to return to pre-crisis levels before 2024 as a steep drop in revenue pushed it to its worst-ever quarterly operating loss of €1.7 billion euros (£1.54 billion), Reuters reports. The airline said on Thursday the collapse in demand for air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant it carried 96 per cent fewer passengers between April and June than a year earlier, leading to an 80 per cent drop in second-quarter revenue to €1.9 billion. Despite cost cuts, it posted an adjusted operating loss of €1.7 billion compared to €754 million a year earlier - the worst quarterly result in the company’s 67-year history.
- TikTok, the embattled video-sharing app that’s found itself at the center of Washington-Beijing tensions, is setting up its first data centre in Europe with a €420 million ($500 million) investment in Ireland, the company announced, according to Bloomberg. Promising to create hundreds of jobs, improve “the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data” and shorten loading times for users in Europe, the new data center is expected to be operational by early 2022. Once it goes online, European user data will be stored at that location, TikTok said. The outfit established its EMEA Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin earlier in the year and said the new investment “signals our long-term commitment to Ireland.”
- Sweden, which avoided a lockdown during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, saw its economy shrink 8.6% in the April-to-June period from the previous three months, the BBC says. The flash estimate from the Swedish statistics office indicated that the country had fared better than other EU nations which took stricter measures. However, it was still the largest quarterly fall for at least 40 years. The European Union saw a contraction of 11.9% for the same period.
- Uber said on Thursday it was buying the British tech company Autocab, which sells booking and dispatch software to private hire firms, in a move that will allow the taxi app to reach customers where it does not currently operate, according to CNBC. The Silicon Valley-based firm said the acquisition will allow it to link people who open their Uber app in locations where it does not run, with other providers, starting in Britain but with other countries also in mind.