(Bloomberg) -- The eagerness of people to return to the skies is continuing to outpace the willingness of businesses to send people around the world when, perhaps, a video call would do. IAG’s CEO had a bullish outlook on travel demand, but said corporate traffic is still only 70% of pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, British Airways has resumed flights to Beijing and Virgin Atlantic announced will open new routes to Brazil and India.
Here’s the key business news from London this morning:
In The City
Diageo Plc: Debra Crew, the incoming CEO of the alcoholic drinks maker, will take over the helm of the company nearly a month earlier while her predecessor undergoes medical treatment.
- Ivan Menezes is due to formally leave the company at the end of June, but complications from a stomach ulcer over the weekend means Crew will take over as interim CEO from today
AstraZeneca Plc: A lung cancer drug from the pharmaceutical giant was found to improve survival by more than half in a subset of patients, boosting the company’s ambitions to widen its oncology portfolio across as many groups and indications as possible.
- Tagrisso reduced the risk of death in patients with an early-stage type of non-small cell lung cancer after tumor removal by 51%, according to results released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago Sunday
IAG SA: The British Airways owner sees “super strong” demand in the second and third quarters, with premium leisure travel offsetting the lack of corporate traffic, its Chief Executive Luis Gallego Martin told Bloomberg TV.
- The company is “open” to exploring opportunities with Portuguese flagship airliner TAP SA, he added
Watkin Jones Plc: The real estate developer agreed the sale of a riverside community development in the center of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, for about £155 million. In total, there will be 627 built to rent units and 81 social rent affordable homes.
Rishi Sunak wants to cut National Insurance or income tax by as much as two pence (2.5 cents) before next year’s general election to try and encourage people back to work, according to The Telegraph. Another proposal under consideration is raising the thresholds at which workers start paying income tax and National Insurance. The newspaper also reported over the weekend plans to lobby US President Joe Biden to back Britain’s defence secretary Ben Wallace to head NATO, while Sunak’s visiting Washington this week.
The UK PM is expected to attend an event in Kent this Monday, in which he’s likely to defend the government’s efforts to curb migration, including the 50% increase on raids for those working illegally and 700 new staff to track people crossing the English Channel in small boats.
In Case You Missed It
UBS Group AG plans to complete the acquisition of Credit Suisse Group AG as early as June 12. Meanwhile, the bank is currently engaged in advanced discussions to retain dozens of Credit Suisse’s senior dealmakers across Asia, proposing compensation targets for a group of managing directors, according to people familiar with matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
British American Tobacco Plc is among the companies updating investors on June 6. The latest revenue figures from the Lucky Strike cigarette maker follow the unexpected promotion of its finance director Tadeu Marroco to the top job as the company strives to keep up with rivals in the shift to smoking alternatives.
For a more considered take on the UK's economic and financial news, sign up to Money Distilled with John Stepek.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.