Last weeks biggest business, currency, and travel stories: fewer Canadians are travelling to the US for Black Friday, SkyScanner was bought by one of China’s biggest travel companies, former Indian PM calls the decision to recall currency “monumental mismanagement”, and Lufthansa pilots strike.
With the loonie sitting around the US $0.74 mark, Canadians were more reluctant to make the drive south of the border for black friday deals. According to Statistics Canada day trips to the US have decreased by over 30% since 2013, and multi-day trips have fallen about 28%. In 2013 the loonie was worth about US $0.95.
SkyScanner, one of the world’s most popular discount flight finding websites has been sold to Chinese firm Ctrip. The UK based Skyscanner was sold for GBP 1.4 billion, but the company insists that it will continue to operate independently. Ctrip is one of China’s biggest, and most well known travel companies. It was founded in 1999.
Pilots from German airline Lufthansa are striking for the third day in a row (at the time of writing) causing disruptions to more than 100,000 passengers’ flights. More than 2,500 flights have already been cancelled altogether. Lufthansa posted record profits last year, but insists that it needs to keep costs low to compete with RyanAir and other low-cost airlines. Pilots want an annual 3.5% raise, but the company is only offering 2.5%. It is the 14th strike since 2014. The current strike is costing Lufthansa an estimate EUR 10 million per day.
Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the current government’s decision to ban the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes as “monumental mismanagement” and fears the move could hit GDP by 2% per year. Recently the INR has fallen to INR 69 = 1 USD – a record low. The move was designed to force more Indians to open bank accounts, pay taxes, and reduce so called “black money”, but critics fear that it will take a toll on the most vulnerable in society, and hurt the economy. THe government’s position is unlikely to be reversed.
Canada is now home to over a million millionaires, according to Credit Suisse, and more than 500,000 will break the $1 million mark in the next five years. The bank calculates millionaires by adding up all assets, bringing the total in Canada to 1,117,000. 2,900 Canadians are worth more than $50 million, and the median average income in Canada is $96,000.
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