Cathay Pacific and Dragonair collect inflight donations for Nepal relief effort
The recent magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal and considerable aftershocks has caused vast devastation to the infrastructure of the country and has left multiple deaths and injuries in its wake, with more than 7 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair announced that, from 1 to 15 May, all donations it collected on the flights will go towards the relief work of UNICEF Hong Kong (UNICEF HK) in Nepal, and launch an appeal to invite passengers to support the existing inflight fundraising scheme to support those in need.
Passenger donations will be used to assist the children and families affected by the disaster in the form of clean water, hygiene kits, medical and nutrition supplies, tents, tarpaulins, vaccines and emergency medical kits to help prevent post-earthquake diseases, as well as support other reconstruction efforts instigated by UNICEF HK. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are also providing immediate assistance to non-profit organisations and charities that are sending relief supplies and rescue teams to affected areas.
In addition, the Cathay Pacific Group has launched a staff fundraising campaign from now until 13 May with a pledge to match, dollar by dollar, all donations made by staff. All proceeds will go directly to UNICEF HK to aid the organisation’s relief work.
Over the years, the Cathay Pacific Group has responded swiftly to help communities affected by major natural disasters, and this time we continue to ask for the generous support of passengers and staff to assist those in need in the quake zone.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”