CES 2021 - Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 7+ 2-in-1 PC and the deployment of its 85 ″ Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft is unveiling the Surface Pro 7+, a 2-in-1 laptop PC for business and education, which benefits from some improvements over version 7. The Surface Hub 2S digital board will ship in February. Rumors are rife that a Surface Pro 8 will be released soon. To be patient and to satisfy professionals, Microsoft unveils its Surface Pro 7+, a revised version of the Surface Pro 7 promised as more efficient.    Among the major evolutions of this new model, we note first of all the passage of the Intel Core processors from the 10th to the 11th generation. Storage will still be capped at 1TB, but a maximum of 32GB of RAM can now be installed, down from just 16GB previously. The SSD will also be removable and a Full HD webcam integrated into the Surface.  4G is now supported with a SIM card slot and eSIM support. Plus, battery life gets a big boost, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm - on paper anyway - with a fast charge to 80% in an hour. The Surface 7 Pro +

Air France to resort to short-time working and severely reduce its capacity

In a letter sent to employees, Anne Rigail indicates that she will present a partial activity plan Monday at a social economic committee. A first within the company. Air France, which had forecast a 40% drop in supply in April, will go even further in reducing capacity.

Hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and by the United States' decision to suspend the arrival of European nationals for 30 days, Air France should resort to partial unemployment, now called "partial activity"

Hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and by the United States' decision to suspend the arrival of European nationals for 30 days, Air France should resort to partial unemployment, now called "partial activity". According to internal sources, the project and its terms must be presented "for information" this Monday at a CSE, economic social committee (ex CCE). Information confirmed by Anne Rigail, the director general of Air France in a letter sent this Friday March 13 to the employees.

The violent decline in our activity means that we have to consider setting up partial activity systems. The aim is to reduce working time, while greatly limiting the impact on wages thanks to State support. These scenarios would concern all Air France staff, operational and support, who are experiencing a drop in activity. They will be presented to the Central Social and Economic Committee (CSEC) on Monday and each Establishment CSE will be consulted next week, she said.
It will be a first for the French company. Air France would ideally like to implement this partial activity the week of March 23, early April at the latest. Flight attendants should not be affected because of their working time accounting system (they are paid by the hour of flight). This falls under the transport code and has no equivalence in the labor code, even if some refer to decrees dating from 2009 which have never been applied and which could allow it to be extended to hostesses and stewards and pilots.

Sharp drops in activity: up to 40% on short-haul
The state has announced that it will pay for short-time working. Until now, partial unemployment, which compensates the employee up to 70% of the gross salary and 84% of the net salary, was supported by the State only up to the minimum wage. It is partial unemployment, and not the entire remuneration of the employee, which will be covered 100% by the state, explained the Ministry of Labor.

This partial unemployment measure is explained by the sharp drop in activity that the company is experiencing. According to our information, it is down 20% on the long-haul, 25% on the medium-haul and up to 40% on the short-haul. Large capacity reductions are expected.

"On the rest of the network, we will continue to adapt our flight program, as we have been doing since the beginning of this crisis. Before the American announcement, we had planned for April an offer reduced by 30% to 40% on long-haul and short and medium-haul. Given the new restrictions announced every day around the world, we will unfortunately have to revise these forecasts downwards, "explains Anne Rigail.
 So far, Air France had planned to redeploy its offer.

This partial unemployment measure is accompanied by other measures already implemented by management, such as the cessation of non-essential expenses, the request for unpaid leave, early leave, etc., the hiring and temporary work freeze. 

Comex salaries frozen
"This crisis, of an unprecedented scale, is already having an impact on our cash flow. This guarantees the continuation of our activity and its preservation now takes on a critical dimension. This is why we have decided that all expenses, projects and investments not essential to security, safety and our operations are postponed or canceled. This rigor must be continued in the coming months, "explains Anne Rigail.

And to add:
In this context, the salaries of members of the Executive Committee and those of senior executives at the "non-executive" level will be frozen over 2020. The payment of variable bonuses to members of the Executive Committee and to all senior managers is postponed until the fall.

In addition, Air France will be able to count on other measures decided by the State, such as the deferral of charges and certain taxes. Employer charges represent 48% of the company's payroll. They could be postponed for nine months according to certain sources.

For its part, the CRPN, the pension fund for flight crews, decided to help too.

"Subject to the payment of employee contributions to seafarers within the set deadlines, employers in the sector will benefit from an automatic remission of all late payment surcharges applied to employers' contributions that have not been paid within the set deadlines. This exceptional measure is applicable to employer contributions for the periods of employment of their cabin crew from February 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. In practice, companies that use the emergency measure implemented will benefit from a period for payment of employer contributions , and this, until a date today set for November 25, 2020 ", announced the CRPN this Friday.
Finally, as announced, Brussels has decided to suspend the rules for the use of slots which obliged companies to fly empty or risk losing their slots.