1st flight in May for 737 MAX? Boeing is going to make two new software updates for the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March 2019 after two air disasters, to get the green light when it returns to operations. According to the latest rumors, the first certification flight required to resume commercial activity of the single-aisle aircraft should take place in May, instead of April, given the circumstances. Beyond the current very specific context, the resumption of operations of Boeing's aircraft is crucial for the entire aeronautical ecosystem, for example for the engine manufacturer Safran.
Twitter founder gives $1 billion. The founder of Twitter, Jacques Dorsey, donates $1 billion worth of Square shares to fight against Covid-19, i.e. 28% of his fortune. After the pandemic has been contained, the remaining funds will be used, Dorsey said, for girls' education and health and universal income.
Tesla's tightening her belt. Tesla will suspend the contracts of all non-essential employees, and implement pay cuts of 10% for regular employees, 20% for executives and 30% for vice presidents. The company plans to resume normal operations on May 4, unless authorities say otherwise.
The merger is confirmed in the summer. Ingenico and Worldline have made "very positive progress" in their merger project, which is still expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2020. At the same time, the two companies have communicated a postponement of their general meeting dates and a convergence of their revenue publication dates.
The ECB is less concerned about guarantees. The ECB has relaxed its collateral requirements for eurozone banks that come to refinance themselves at its counter. In particular, the central bank will be more flexible on the quality of the claims that can be used as collateral, by including loans that were not previously allowed to be part of the scheme, such as Greek bonds or loans to very small businesses. Whether this is a good or a bad idea will depend on the future, but the ECB seems to be prepared to do anything to keep the floodgates open.
The rumor is confirmed. Lufthansa will close its low-cost division Germanwings and will reduce its capacity by withdrawing aircraft from service. "It will take months for the worldwide travel restrictions to be completely lifted and years for demand in the air transport sector to return to pre-crisis levels". Air transport is at the forefront of the crisis, with activity close to zero for many companies with extremely high fixed costs. Full details here.
In other news. FDA extends review of Roche Holding's Risdiplam. In China, Nissan sales fell 45% in March due to coronavirus. Airbnb's $1 billion line of credit is at a rate of more than 10%, according to the Wall Street Journal. Amazon.com is expected to suspend its packaging service for products it does not sell, which competes with FedEx or United Parcel Service. UnitedHealth will speed up payments to caregivers and hospitals to avoid liquidity crises in the industry. Henkel, in turn, is renouncing its 2020 targets. Givaudan, in line with first quarter expectations, confirms its targets.