Air New Zealand braces for Covid-19 disturbance
With the world unsure of how or when the coronavirus (Covid-19) will be contained, Air New Zealand is implementing emergency measures to mitigate losses.
In a recent press release, the airline announced that its 2020 earnings guidance would be suspended until further notice, having now come to the conclusion that monetary losses will be “more significant than previously estimated.”
Due to the virus’ spread, which has now reached every continent of the globe, Air New Zealand states that bookings for flights have deteriorated and demand is staying low.
A growing problem
Discussing the effect of coronavirus on the airline, Greg Foran, CEO, commented that the situation was unpredictable and difficult to react to.
"We have been continuously monitoring bookings and in recent days have seen a further decline which coincides with media coverage of the spread of Covid-19 to most countries on our network as well as here in New Zealand," he said.
The airline has reduced its capacity to Asia by 26%, with its overall capacity dropping 10% since the initial outbreak at the beginning of 2020.
Foran, who is taking a voluntary pay cut of NZ$250,000 to aid the situation, remained firm in his stance that Air New Zealand could weather the storm:
"Air New Zealand is a strong and resilient business operated by a world-class team with deep experience having navigated prior shocks to our business and industry.
“While we have already made swift adjustments to our operations, we are prepared to take further actions to address the ongoing demand impact of Covid-19."
Keeping health and safety a priority
This news from Air New Zealand comes relatively soon after its announcement that a recent passenger tested positive for the virus.
Informing the public that the flight had been from Singapore to Auckland, the airline’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ben Johnston, gave his assurance that such a contingency has been planned for and was being dealt with.
"We are working closely with the Ministry of Health to identify and proactively contact customers from these flights,” he said. “The health and safety of passengers and crew is Air New Zealand's top priority.”
For more information on business topics in ANZ, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief ANZ.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”