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Monday newspaper round-up: Aircraft orders, John Lews, Gap

Mon 22 February 2021 07:31 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Orders for new aircraft all but dried up in January as the airline industry continued to be buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Just four commercial aircraft orders were placed last month, according to ADS, the UK trade organisation. That's the worst January on record for orders, down from 296 in January 2020. - Guardian

John Lewis is understood to be considering a fresh round of store closures, underscoring the toll that the pandemic is taking on Britain's deserted high streets. The 156-year-old retailer is understood to be reconsidering the scale of its national network of branches, less than eight months after it announced the closure of eight stores to cope with the impact of coronavirus. - Guardian

Former Chancellor Lord Darling has warned Rishi Sunak against "choking off" the Covid recovery with higher taxes amid rising fears that business could be hit with soaring bills within months. Lord Darling, who led the UK bank bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, said the Chancellor should resist the temptation to raise taxes for at least two years despite a record peacetime deficit likely to approach £400bn in the current financial year. - Telegraph

The Treasury is coming under pressure to reform an "unfair" system that excludes private investors from the vast majority of flotations in Britain. Two million private investors are being unfairly disadvantaged because they are excluded from buying shares in most initial public offerings, according to the heads of Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Interactive Investor, the three biggest trading platforms. - The Times

Gap is at war with its landlords after telling them it plans to hand back the keys to all its shops in Britain and Ireland in July in a move that will mean the loss of hundreds of retail jobs. The American casual fashion group is exploring becoming an online-only business in Europe, in line with the growing trend of retailers abandoning high streets and city centres that have been ravaged by the pandemic. - The Times

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