(Bloomberg) — Philippine budget carrier Cebu Air Inc. plans to raise $500 million by selling preferred stock and bonds, joining airlines worldwide in trying to increase capital to help cope with the pandemic.



a group of people sitting around a car: A Cebu Air Inc. aircraft prepares to land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, the Philippines, on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Philippine government has banned travel to Hong Kong, along with Macau and mainland China. Earlier this month, the Philippines' Labor Department announced that it would offer financial assistance and temporary housing to workers who'd gotten stranded in the capital en route to their jobs overseas.


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A Cebu Air Inc. aircraft prepares to land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, the Philippines, on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Philippine government has banned travel to Hong Kong, along with Macau and mainland China. Earlier this month, the Philippines’ Labor Department announced that it would offer financial assistance and temporary housing to workers who’d gotten stranded in the capital en route to their jobs overseas.

The proceeds from the $250 million convertible preference share issue and $250 million private placement of convertible bonds will be used to strengthen the carrier’s balance sheet, it said in a statement. First-half revenue at the airline controlled by the family of John Gokongwei plunged 61% from a year earlier to 17.3 billion pesos ($358 million) and the company said it is operating only about 15% of flights compared with pre-Covid.

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Cebu Air is undertaking a business transformation that involves trimming down its fleet and network while improving operations as an abrupt drop in passenger traffic “casts uncertainty over the near term prospects of the company,” it said, without providing more details of its downsizing plan.

Airlines in the Philippines have suffered a shaky restart amid one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns, with lingering concerns over the virus and stringent movement restrictions damping demand for travel. Cebu Air in August dismissed more than 800 of its about 4,000 employees, while rival Philippine Airlines Inc. on Oct. 5 said it may cut up to 35% of its 7,000 workers as part of a larger restructuring and recovery

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan Airlines <9201.T> wants to create a low-cost carrier network with three of its discount carriers to tap leisure travel that, unlike business travel, could rebound as the coronavirus wanes, the company president said on Wednesday.

“Aviation won’t return to what it was before and business travel demand could even shrink further. One of our targets is tourism,” Yuji Akasaka told a media briefing.

Japan Airlines’ three low-cost regional carriers include Jetstar, which it operates with Qantas Airlines,

, Spring Airlines Japan, a joint venture with China’s Spring Airlines <601021.SS>, and its wholly owned ZIPAIR unit.

Akasaka did not say whether Japan would seek to formally merge their operations through acquisitions.

Japan Airlines, like other carriers, has been hammered by a collapse in international air travel to about a tenth of what it was before the coronavirus outbreak, but has seen domestic flight demand rebound helped by a government campaign to promote tourism.

“The impact of that campaign has been significant and in late September going into October we are seeing traveler numbers increase to about 50% of what they were a year ago,” Akasaka said.

To survive the downturn in demand, which Japan Airlines expects to last until at least 2024 on international routes, Akasaka said the carrier would look to boost revenue from non-airline businesses such as drone parcel deliveries.

Japan Airlines last month announced a tie-up with Matternet, to launch the U.S. company’s urban drone logistics business in Japan. This year, it also invested in a German start up, Volocopter, that is developing air taxis.

(Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Just as Etsy’s network connects craftspeople with consumers, 99designs connects designers with small businesses that want art for logos, business cards, banners, and the like. Vistaprint, meanwhile, specializes in printing these products for small businesses; Vistaprint added personalized face masks to its lineup this year.

Sean Quinn, chief financial officer for Vistaprint and Cimpress, said acquiring 99designs will fill a void in Vistaprint’s offerings. The company has some in-house design staff, he said, but not nearly enough to meet the needs of its small-business clientele.

“We want Vistaprint to be the marketing partner [of choice] to small businesses,” Quinn said. “The capabilities around design are really critical to that. This really brings up the capabilities to serve the design needs for print and digital products in a way we could never have done on our own.”

Quinn said 99designs will continue to keep its name, at least for now, while being run as part of Vistaprint; 99designschief executive, Patrick Lewellyn, will report directly to Robert Keane, the CEO of Cimpress and Vistaprint.

Cimpress is headquartered in Ireland, but most of Vistaprint’s senior management team, including Quinn, are based in Waltham. (Keane is based in France.) The two businesses employ about 800 people in Greater Boston: 750 or so typically work out of the Waltham office, while 50 are in downtown Boston. Nearly all of the local employees work remotely now.

Quinn said owning a platform that can connect buyers and sellers around the world has become more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the pandemic has clouded the overall revenue picture for Cimpress and Vistaprint. Sales plummeted in late March and early April, Quinn said. “For so many small businesses, overnight, the lights were turned off,” Quinn said.

Total revenue at Cimpress fell 36 percent in

“In today’s digital age, agents and insurers are looking to digital technology to enable greater collaboration, increase efficiencies, and create more value for the distribution channel,” said Brian Wood, vice president of Data Products Group, IVANS Insurance Solutions. “IVANS Markets aligns our agency members with current and new markets, enabling them to increase the value of their books of business through expanding market opportunities with both appointed and prospective insurers.”

The IVANS logos are trademarks of Applied Systems, Inc., registered in the U.S.

IVANS, a division of Applied Systems, is the insurance industry’s exchange connecting insurers, MGAs, agencies, and the insured. IVANS cloud-based software automates the distribution and servicing of insurance products. For more than 35 years, IVANS innovation and expertise has connected 32,000 independent insurance agencies and 400 insurer and MGA partners to enable millions of people to safeguard and protect what matters most in people’s lives.

Founded in 1979, The ISU Insurance Agency Network is committed to helping select Independent Agents retain their independence and remain in business for themselves but not by themselves. ISU’s 230 independently owned and operated Agencies employ more than 3500 professionals who produce over $6 billion in premiums representing more than 300 insurance companies nationwide.  The exceptionally high quality of ISU Member Agencies and our commitment to excellence in all we do has earned the ISU brand the reputation as the Better Source of Better Business® throughout the insurance industry. ISU Members and their clients benefit from ISU’s Unique Competitive Advantage® – the strengths and resources of a national organization combined with local ownership and independence.

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