Ryanair orders 175 new jets
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair on Tuesday announced an order for 175 Boeing Co 737-800 airplanes in a major fleet expansion three weeks after the EU blocked its takeover of rival Aer Lingus. The massive order was put at US$15.6 billion at Boeing catalog prices, one of the US aerospace giant’s largest orders ever, though discounts could bring the total value to much less than that. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the planes were to be delivered between next year and 2018, at a cost similar to that of Ryanair’s 2005 Boeing order. Ryanair has an all-Boeing 737 fleet.
Yahoo mulls video site bid
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Yahoo Inc may take a controlling interest in France-based video-sharing Web site Dailymotion. Yahoo could buy as much as 75 percent of Dailymotion from France Telecom in what would be the Internet pioneer’s biggest acquisition under chief executive officer Marissa Mayer, the Journal said. Dailymotion is a YouTube-style Web site that industry tracker comScore rated at the start of this year as the 12th-largest video-sharing site with about 116 million users. Dailymotion had an estimated value of US$300 million.
Petrobras plans investments
State-run oil company Petrobras said on Tuesday it will invest US$236.7 billion from this year through 2017, with most of the amount earmarked for exploration and production. The company said in a conference call with investors and analysts that US$147.5 billion, or 62 percent of the total, will be spent on exploration and production over the next five years. Petrobras said US$64.8 billion will be spent on refining, while US$9.9 billion will go to natural gas and energy projects.
Ford reaches worker deal
US automaker Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday that it would pay at least US$750 million to workers being let go as it closes its plant in Genk, Belgium, after reaching an agreement with unions. Ford, which has suffered heavy losses in Europe, announced in October last year it would shutter the Genk plant at the end of next year, wiping out more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Lockheed announces layoffs
Lockheed Martin Corp said on Tuesday 243 of 4,000 mid-level managers in its information systems and global solutions division have accepted voluntary layoffs, effective tomorrow. Company spokeswoman Mary Phillips said Lockheed offered severance packages last month to 4,000 mid-level managers in the division, which has a total of 30,000 employees. Of those, 260 offered to leave, and 243 were approved. She said the company was not planning additional layoffs.
Low-income workers gloomy
Lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007 to 2009 recession, but few are bragging. A survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that those earning US$35,000 or less annually are generally pessimistic about their finances and career prospects. Many see themselves as worse off now than during the recession. The survey revealed that many people at the lowest rung in the workplace view their jobs as a dead end. Half say they are “not too” or “not at all” confident that their current jobs will help them achieve long-term career goals.