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We'll bring you the latest as we get it.
An airport official says the last contact with the plane was 10
Also on the programme: The chairman of tech giant Fujitsu warns it
would reconsider its investments in the UK if Britain
And European markets, in the first hour of trade,
reaction is to what was in the Federal Reserve minutes released
last night about the next move on US interest rates.
We will keep you up-to-date with the latest events on that Egypt's hour
flight but remember the BBC News website has the latest.
An EgyptAir plane flying overnight from Paris to Cairo has
Egypt's civil aviation ministry said the Airbus A320 plane,
with 56 passengers and ten crew on board,
appeared to have gone missing over the Eastern Mediterranean,
about 20 minutes before it was due to land in Cairo.
EgyptAir made a lot of announcements on its Twitter page which you can
see behind me here. The authorities have now said
they believe the plane must have crashed, given that it has
failed to land at any Also from the Egyptian military
comes the information that the plane did deliver a distress signal
a few minutes before However, we are hearing counter
announcements on whether that signal was actually given or not. Ben has
more. Lucy Williamson joins us
from Charles de Gaulle Airport. Lucy, where you are, clearly this
news sinking in. Bring us up-to-date with what you are hearing there.
There has been a crisis centre said the airport, there were 15 French
passengers on board the plane as plane as well as 30 Egyptian 's and
a number of other nationalities. There is a crisis centre for the
families here, they are being taken to a hotel near the airport, we
expect the Prime Minister to arrive here later today. The Foreign
Ministry has set up a crisis centre and a line for anyone worried about
family, and President Hollande has been coordinating with the Egyptian
president to say they will be working together to try to solve the
mystery of what happened. He is holding a crisis meeting this
morning with his cabinet again to try to work out what the next steps
are because there are so many questions at this stage about what
happened to the flight. As you say, Lucy, a lot of questions
still to be answered at this very early stage where we don't know a
lot of information. But, once again, we are talking to you live in Paris
about these sorts of events, are people trying to draw conclusions at
this point? I don't think at this point. The
scraps of information are giving rise to speculation, of course
people are worried, the mood in Paris is already tense, it does not
take much to remind people how insecure they felt not so long ago.
The state of emergency has meant security is incredibly tight across
France, not least at its main airports, and we don't yet know
whether this was a technical problem, it's human problem,
security problem, we don't yet know which of those it was and whether it
originated in France, whether there was a problem here, but it is
certainly one of the questions being asked and it is certainly a tense
and nervous time for France to be asking it.
I wanted to pick up on the issue of security arrangements, how
much has changed over the last few months since the terror attacks in
Paris. You reported extensively on those, what have you seen change
particularly in places like railway stations and airports?
I think the security was always pretty tight in France, it is like
for those of you used to flying out of Heathrow, for example, similar in
terms of the steps you go through, but certainly since the attacks
there is a more visible presence on the streets, more visible patrolling
of areas and parameters perhaps outside the core security checks,
and that is certainly something we have seen at key sites like train
stations and airports. Thank you very much indeed.
We will be back with Lucy if we get more, and of course we will stay
across this breaking story for you over the course of the programme.
US interest rates are likely to rise in June
Minutes of the US Federal Reserve's April meeting show
that it is looking for signs that the economy, employment
and inflation are improving before taking action.
And it remains wary of external factors, including a possible UK
The bank has kept interest rates between 0.25%
Thailand has suspended a motorcycle taxi-hailing service run by Uber
and its regional rival Grab over claims they broke local rules.
Thai authorities have also arrested 66 drivers working
They said offenders face fines of up to $110 and potentially
It is unclear how long the ban is for, but both companies
said they are working to resolve the issues.
Tesla Motors says it will sell up to $1.7 billion
in new shares to cope with demand for its new Model 3 electric car.
Boss Elon Musk will sell nearly 2.8 million of his own shares,
Last month, he warned the firm needed to speed up production
and raise more cash after receiving 373,000 orders for the car.
We would normally check in on the Business Live page at this point in
the programme but I want to show you the other life pages on the website
this morning with latest events from MS804, latest details as they come
into us at the BBC. You will notice a breakdown of the nationalities of
those on board, this -- 66 people including ten crew, 30 Egyptian 's,
15 French citizens, two Iraqis and others from Britain, Canada,
Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal.
AP is reporting, I mentioned earlier that there is some conflicting
information out there about whether a distress signal was raised just
moments before this plane disappeared, AP is reporting that a
spokesman for the Egyptian army is saying the army has not received any
distress call from the missing plane. As I say, Associated Press
quoting the Egyptian army saying they didn't receive a distress call
which was reported earlier in the media that they did receive.
We hesitate to talk about finances when there is so much unknown about
what has happened to this plane but it is worth mentioning purely
because we have seen a big fall in stocks for the market, particularly
travel related, and we saw this after the terrorist event in Paris
and other incidents of this nature. Of course, many unanswered questions
but it is important because it has a knock-on effect for the wide
industry, people put off from travelling as a result, so we will
keep an eye on that as well but still many unanswered questions
about the fate of MS804. Let's get more insight into what has
been happening with regards to this passenger plane which has
disappeared from radar, as we have been mentioning, with 66 people on
board. Lucy Williamson talking to us from Charles de Gaulle airport in
Paris, but now we are joined by Alex Macheras, who is an aviation expert,
joining us by webcam. You have been talking about the fact that this
plane, the A320, is one of the safest when it comes to its safety
record? That is correct, the Airbus A320 is incredibly safe, and as I
said earlier on BBC breakfast is any viewers have ever flown short-haul
within Europe they have almost definitely flown on an A320, used by
the likes of EasyJet, British Airways. One takes off and land
every 2.5 seconds so it really is the workhorse of the aviation world.
Equally it is the latest technology software on board, fly by wire,
incredibly safe, said the aircraft should not be a cause for concern.
What is interesting there is what AP have released about reports of a
distress signal. When I first received these reports I said we
should treat them with caution because in terms of a distress
signal it has been translated by EgyptAir, what they are translating
it from we are unsure because if it was a squawk signal, for example, it
would have come from the aircraft, and it is when an aircraft is in a
state of emergency and send out 877004 digit squawk, as it is known,
to air traffic controller to let them know there is an emergency
situation on-board -- eight 7700 four digit code. As far as we know
that was not sent, it was cruising one minute and then unable to be
tracked. As you said, we are still unsure about what has happened and
whether there is any detail over whether the emergency call was made.
I want to touch on the point you made about the safety record of the
pain involved, as huge fleet, it has racked up 150 million flight hours.
Clearly security and safety on board these airliners has improved, it has
been massively increased over recent years and frankly gets to the point
where it is not the safety of the plane that is at stake. If somebody
wants to do something to that plane, they can? This is the worry. In
recent times, when we have thought, this looks like a typical crash, it
has sometimes turned out to be the complete opposite. Looking back at
the Germanwings incident which ended up being pilot suicide while it was
en route in Europe. That is not to say this is what has happened here,
equally people are saying, the fact it disappeared off the radar so
quickly, it matches every other case in history where it vanishes from
radar because of an explosion on board. Again, we have to leave it to
the Egyptian authorities to release further statements when they have
released the crash site, as they have now confirmed the airline did
crash, but it is natural to draw conclusions and say, well, it looks
like it could have been a bomb on board, especially in the region it
took place, because we know it was just a matter of months ago, the
Sinai Birmingham where a Russian Airbus was attacked with a bomb on
board and came down very fast, similar to what could have happened
with this morning's EgyptAir incident. Very good to talk to you,
thank you for bringing us up-to-date with the technical information.
One line from our newsroom saying Egyptian state television now says
Egyptian air forces have not received any distress signal from
the plane, going on to add that EgyptAir does not know why it's
plane has disappeared, so confirmation of some sort from
Egyptian state TV, Egyptian air forces have not received any
distress message. Sally. Thank you very much, then. We will
keep you a cross new development and we are conscious of those waiting to
hear about the fate of the 66 passengers on board, so we are
conscious of that. We are looking at the financial
markets now, looking at how things have gone today and keeping you up
to date with that news as well. It has been a mixed picture in Asia,
markets dominated by the Federal reserve minutes released yesterday,
after the European trading they had finished and before Asia began. The
Federal Reserve implied it is almost ready to move again as far as the
cost of borrowing is reserved, it would be an upward move. It is the
big question for traders internationally, it has affected the
dollar as well. At the moment, Europe, banking
shares doing well today, energy stocks and mining stocks among the
losers, but travel stocks really under pressure today, Thomas Cook
coming out with earnings that were really quite bad, saying it will
have a difficult summer, Thomas Cook shares down 15% today.
Michelle Fleury is our colleague on Wall Street telling us what is
ahead. Amazon reported its most profitable
first quarter at the end of April thanks to growth in online sales.
But what does that mean for the world's largest retailer, Walmart,
which is investing in growing its presence online? The company
reported first-quarter profit on Wednesday and many analysts expect
the retailer to miss quarterly profit estimates. Spare a thought
but Gap because the retailer which helps define the 90s with its khaki
trousers appears to have lost its brand identity. Failure to connect
with millennial has been blamed and sales of its three leading brands
are exited to be weak when it reports its first-quarter profits.
Investors will be looking for details of any shop closures. On the
economic front, new applications for US unemployment benefits fell from a
14 month high last week suggesting the Labour market remains healthy.
Joining us is Brenda Kelly, head analyst at retail brokers
Yesterday was all about what we read into that statement. If the economy
improves, rates will go up. Same as it ever was. Most markets were not
expecting a hike in June. A lot of the Fed members were hurried to try
to change that view in case it caused a shock. We want to see
employment continue on an even keel and inflation head towards the 2%
mandate and geopolitical risks is starting to dissipate. The
probability for an increase in hikes has increased to about 15%, 16%. It
is still quite low but it was 4% a week ago. The next meeting for the
Fed is before the Brexit referendum. You would question whether they will
move with interest rates before having the full picture. I think it
is just about getting the market ready but we may not be at that
particular point just yet. Very interesting.
Still to come: In an exclusive interview, the chairman of Fujitsu
tells the BBC that if Britain leaves the EU, it WOULD reconsider
The firm employs more than 14,000 staff in the UK and has invested
more than ?3 billion over the last decade.
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
Royal Mail has reported another fall in profits for last year -
the recently privatised business saw profits come in at ?237
Rising revenues in its parcel business was offset
by a drop in the number of letters being posted.
The group has also had to contend with tough competition
So what does the future hold for the now privatised service?
He is from SLG Economics and used to be
the Chief Economist of Postcomm the former postal regulator.
This is a familiar tale. The parcel business does OK but the letters
business is declining. A bit of a mixed bag full you are seeing the
international parcels business growing very strongly, about 10%
growth. In the UK the parcels market is not doing as well as it should
be. It grew about 1% in revenues. Overall the parcels market is
growing about 4%. They have lost the key Amazon account. Letters is in
terminal decline, another 2%, 3% fall. That means they have lost 30%
in volume over the last few years and that will continue. What is the
outlook? It will be a real struggle. They need to get hold of that
efficiency and look at labour costs. Labour costs make up 50% of total
costs. That is the real issue. They are having a lot of problems with
negotiations, in terms of the managers union Unite, and the
workers union, CW. That does not bode well for the future. Thank you
for that. The implications for the industry are significant. It is
something we have talked about a lot on Business Live. Royal Mail is
trying to fight back with the parcel business. All of the online shopping
that gets delivered is good news for them.
Let's show you the latest in what is happening with the missing Egypt air
flight, MS804. They are looking for any debris showing what happened to
that plane. EgyptAir says it received a distress
signal although there is doubt about whether that was received. Want to
bring you this image we have at the BBC. This is the image of the
missing plane. It is the one that has gone missing. This has just come
into us that the BBC. Full coverage of this on the website.
The chairman of Fujitsu has said if Britain leaves the EU it would
reconsider its investments in the UK. He said that Britain is the
heart of the European region. Masami Yamamoto told the BBC that
Britain is at the heart of the "European region"
and that his company, the largest Japanese employer
in the UK, wanted it to remain so. In an exclusive interview,
he spoke to our Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed and began by asking him
whether Britain leaving the European Union would be a threat
to Fujitsu's UK investments. Because we believe that UK is the
centre in the European region. That is why, for the last decade, we have
made ?3 billion in investment. If there is any change, UK remaining in
the EU or not, we have to be careful about watching the process and also
the outcome and then decide if we are going to make any further
investment or not. As I said, we have been making the most investment
in the UK within the European region. We believe that UK will
remain at the centre in the EU. Where we are going to make
investment to you? We have the data centre and Clark type services. We
have to see what the issues are and what challenges there are in the
respective markets and regions and then make the decision about how
much investment will be made to which area. We would like to see the
entire EU region market as one single market. The chairman of the
gypsy. -- Fujitsu. You'd expect there's
been a robust response "We have seen how Downing Street has
been cutting cosy deals with big multinational corporations
to persuade them to back People will ask which lucrative
Government contract or deal George Osborne has offered
to Fujitsu to encourage them to support his campaign
to keep us in the EU. They go on to say: "The EU works
for big business but it doesn't work for British workers who have to send
?350 million a week to Brussels. It's safer to take back
control on 23 June." That debate will run and run until
the 23rd of June. Now let's return for the latest with
the missing EgyptAir flight. Just bring us up to date. This story
changing by the minute. The danger is going with one bit of news that
comes out and taking that in isolation. We are getting
Egyptian army has denied it detected Egyptian army has denied it detected
any distress messages from this EgyptAir flight. That of course
contradicts with EgyptAir itself. It said it was informed by the military
that it detected a distress message. We have the Civil aviation ministry
saying it is too and early to confirm if it did crash. The
counterterrorism security office said they would be surprised if they
did not know what was happening already. They say it is an area
where there is a lot of military action and there is likely to be a
lot of monitoring going on. Perhaps some of the information is being
held back. Conflicting information but no hard facts coming from any of
the officials. All right. For now, we will leave you to get across the
other information coming into us. Here is a quick reminder about how
to get in touch with the programme. The web page will keep you up to
date from the team of editors. We want to hear from you. Get involved
on the BBC Business Live web page. We are on Twitter and Facebook.
Business Live on TV and online, whenever you need to know. There you
have it. To get in touch. We will have a look at some of the business
pages. This story jumped out at me. You're getting tough on the tech
firms. This time it is net flicks. They will have two devote 20% of
their catalogues to European films and TV shows. It is very much
dominated by US shows at the moment. They will have to invest a lot more
in order to make this happen and bring it in line with traditional
broadcasters who invest much more heavily. Netflix is pushing back
against this. It thinks it is problematic and risks suffocating
the market for on demand visual services. What I do like about it is
this new rule could remove the geo- blog in, the tactic where customers
are treated differently depending on where they are. This is something
that may be coming into place. Really nice to see you. Thank you
for talking us through that. Full coverage at the top of the hour on
the missing Egypt flight, MS804. Full details after the weather. We
appreciate your company. See you again tomorrow.