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TALKING POINTS

American Airlines backtracks on face shields for flight attendants

AVIATION

American Airlines backtracks on face shields for flight attendants

American Airlines is allowing flight attendants to wear plastic face shields, a level of protection the company banned in the spring after a Boston-based flight attendant started a public campaign to wear one. Deidre Daudt, who lives in Worcester, started wearing an $8 plastic face shield over her N95 mask in early May to protect herself from contracting COVID-19 and said managers repeatedly told her it wasn’t part of the “image standards” and made passengers feel uncomfortable. Later that month, the airline sent flight attendants a message saying face shields could pose a safety hazard and officially banned them. Then on July 22 — following national media coverage of the face shield battle, and JetBlue Airways’ allowing its flight attendants to wear them — American reversed course. The airline is also now requiring all passengers over the age of 2 to wear face coverings, with no exemptions for health reasons. Daudt, who said she has been diagnosed with acute PTSD and hasn’t been back to work since the end of May, said she was elated by the change. “I feel like I proved them wrong,” she said. “At the end of the day it’s about protecting ourselves and having the necessary equipment to really properly work.” — KATIE JOHNSTON

ATHLETIC SHOES

Nike scraps Arizona manufacturing plant

Nike said Tuesday it’s withdrawing plans to make soles for its Nike Air shoes in a Phoenix suburb because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company had planned to invest $184 million in its third US manufacturing line for Nike Air sneakers in Goodyear, Ariz. Nike said last year it planned to open the plant in 2020. Rossiter did not say whether the plant had begun operating. The world’s largest sports apparel maker said last month that its revenue fell 38 percent to $6.31 billion in the three-month period ending May 31. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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FAST FOOD

McDonald’s sales recover a bit

Business did improve for McDonald’s throughout the second quarter as restrictions lifted across the globe, but the fast food giant faces a bumpy — and expensive — recovery. Of the chain’s 39,000 restaurants worldwide, 96 percent are now open, compared with 75 percent at the start of the second quarter. Comparable-store sales that were down 39 percent in April were down only 12 percent by June. The recovery is uneven, however. In some markets, like Australia and Japan, sales are already running ahead of 2019. In China, sales are down. In the United States, McDonald’s put on the brakes. After reopening 2,000 dining rooms with reduced seating, the company paused reopenings in early July as coronavirus cases spiked. Last week, McDonald’s said it will delay dining room reopenings for at least another month and will require face masks for anyone entering its restaurants. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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AUTOMOTIVE

People keeping their cars longer than ever

Drivers are holding on to cars and trucks longer during the coronavirus pandemic. The average age of a vehicle on US roads rose by a month this year to a record 11.9 years. The IHS Markit consulting firm says the pandemic has caused consumers to put the brakes on spending and hold onto their current vehicles for a longer period. As a result, fewer new vehicles are coming onto the roads, pushing up the average age. IHS said Tuesday that it expects the shift will create opportunities for repair shops and parts sellers because older vehicles need more service. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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PHARMACEUTICALS

Pfizer’s profit plummets as pandemic limits marketing and new prescriptions

Pfizer Inc. reported a 32 percent plunge in second-quarter profit, mainly due to the global coronavirus pandemic limiting marketing of and new prescriptions for its medicines, even as the drugmaker races to develop a vaccine. Still, the biggest US drugmaker by revenue posted a solid profit, nudged up parts of its 2020 financial forecast, and reaffirmed the rest. The maker of the world’s top-selling vaccine, Prevnar 13 for preventing pneumonia and related bacterial diseases, noted that as it had predicted, the pandemic restricted doctor visits by patients and company sales representatives, reducing prescriptions for new medicines and vaccination rates for many of its shots. However, sales rose for its medicines used to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Pfizer is among the drugmakers leading the race to develop a safe, effective vaccine against the coronavirus. It’s one of several drugmakers included in Operation Warp Speed, the US government’s effort to accelerate development of multiple vaccines. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

ECONOMY

Goldman Sachs warns the dollar may no longer be world’s reserve currency in future

Goldman Sachs put a spotlight on the suddenly growing concern over inflation in the US by issuing a bold warning Tuesday that the dollar is in danger of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency. With Congress closing in on another round of fiscal stimulus to shore up the pandemic-ravaged economy, and the Federal Reserve having already swelled its balance sheet by about $2.8 trillion this year, Goldman strategists cautioned that US policy is triggering currency “debasement fears” that could end the dollar’s reign as the dominant force in global foreign-exchange markets. While that view is clearly still a minority one in most financial circles — and the Goldman analysts don’t say they believe it will necessarily happen — it captures a nervous vibe that has infiltrated the market this month: Investors worried that this money-printing will trigger inflation in years ahead have been bailing out of the dollar and piling furiously into gold. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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RETAIL

Selfridges, like Harrods, is cutting staff

Selfridges, the iconic department store on Oxford Street in London, is cutting 14 percent of its workforce as UK retailers struggle to emerge from pandemic-induced shutdowns. The cut amounts to about 450 jobs. Selfridges joins the storied department store Harrods, which said earlier this month that it would cut its work force by as much as 14 percent. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

MOTORCYCLES

Harley-Davidson has first quarterly loss in more than 10 years

Harley-Davidson Inc. posted its first quarterly loss in more than a decade as the iconic motorcycle maker’s restructuring plans were undermined by the onset of a global pandemic. Jochen Zeitz, a former Harley board member who became chief executive officer in February, has been working to shrink the company and narrow its focus amid a five-year sales slump in its core US market. He has starved dealers of new bikes to clear out excess inventory, a move Harley said helped it charge full price for 2020 model-year bikes. But Zeitz’s belt-tightening wasn’t enough to offset a 59 percent plunge in Harley’s second quarter shipments after the coronavirus halted production in its US factories for two months. — BLOOMBERG NEWS