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Gogo furloughs 60 percent of its workforce as passenger air travel collapses

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In-flight internet provider Gogo is placing more than 600 workers on unpaid leave, or about 60 percent of its workforce, the company announced on Tuesday. The Illinois-based company says sales of its in-flight internet service are expected to drop as much as 70 percent in April on commercial airlines, as passenger air travel falls to historic lows during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gogo said Tuesday that it has also applied for a $150 million loan and an $81 million grant from the government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The company said the time and duration of the furloughs will “vary based on workload in individual departments.” Gogo’s CEO is also taking a 30 percent pay cut, with other executives taking a 20 percent cut.

Gogo tells The Verge that, despite the furloughs, the company is “continuing to move forward” with its plan to roll out a new 5G air-to-ground network in 2021. The company expects the new 5G network to help bolster its network and its position in an increasingly competitive market.

Doing both of those things is crucial, as Gogo — which has still not turned a profit since it went public in 2013 — has admitted in financial filings that its current network has already run into capacity constraints. That network is still heavily dependent on air-to-ground connections, which are susceptible to interruptions and bandwidth issues, resulting in slow internet speeds and frustrated customers. To that end, Gogo has also spent the last few years trying to outfit as many of its customers’ planes as possible with the ability to connect to satellite-based internet networks, which have more bandwidth and can maintain a longer connection.

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How Top Travel Destinations Have Been Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

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It’s clear by now that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to international travel, but research from travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth sheds new light on just how hard the impact has been.

Analyzing travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth over the past year (September 12, 2019 – September 11, 2020) for all future travel and comparing the six months prior to the pandemic (September 12, 2019 – March 11, 2020) to the six months since it was declared (March 12, 2020 – September 11, 2020), the site found that international trips account for only 47 percent of all insured travel over the last six months compared to 86 percent before the start of the pandemic.

The United States is the only top destination to experience an increase in travelers for trips booked amidst the coronavirus crisis (plus-7.48 percent) as Americans still feel most comfortable taking domestic getaways. The remaining nine top destinations in the six months prior to the pandemic have all seen dramatic dropoffs by comparison:

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—Mexico (minus-75.15 percent)

—Italy (minus-93.89 percent)

—France (minus-90.78 percent)

—Canada (minus-74.92 percent)

—Spain (minus-93.16 percent)

—United Kingdom (minus-84.27 percent)

—Bahamas (minus-83.53 percent)

—Israel (minus-86.55 percent)

—Costa Rica (minus-91.64 percent)

Squaremouth has also seen a significant change in the top 10 international destinations since the pandemic began as travel restrictions in places like Europe continue to limit the places Americans can go. Since March, more travelers are targeting accessible destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean, with destinations like the U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica overtaking European favorites such as Italy, Spain and Germany.

Fortunately, earlier data from Squaremouth found that Americans do want to travel internationally in 2021, with 65 percent of trips booked for next year being to international destinations.



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How to Navigate Covid Travel Restrictions

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EVEN BEFORE Covid, planning travel could be a complicated, and sometimes stressful process. Add to that the need to find and factor in the pandemic-related rules and restrictions of your destination (and all points in-between,) and the temptation to just stay home mounts. Before you put away your bags, check out these three new tools geared to help you plan travel with maximal safety and minimal surprise.

For Roadtrippers Eager to Avoid Speed Bumps

In 1937, when AAA first offered TripTiks, their bespoke map booklets for…

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Dodgers travel to face Marshalltown | News, Sports, Jobs

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MARSHALLTOWN — A long-standing high school rivalry taken off the board by COVID-19 was reinstated for the same reason this past week, giving Fort Dodge the opportunity to face Marshalltown on the football field after all.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday night at Leonard Cole Field.

The Dodgers (2-1 overall) are sacrificing a home game in the process, but in this day and age, programs are doing whatever it takes to find alternatives to cancellations. Head coach Nik Moser’s squad was originally scheduled to play Des Moines North this week, and the Bobcats (1-2) had Des Moines East on their slate. When the Des Moines Public School District paused live activities after going strictly to online learning, both North and East were sidelined, bringing FDSH and Marshalltown together on the gridiron for the 29th consecutive season.

“We’ve always played tough games against (the Bobcats), for as long as I can remember,” said Moser, a former Dodger all-stater and 2001 FDSH graduate. “I think there’s a mutual respect between the programs, and we’ve been similar in our style and competitiveness through the years.

“It’s good to have this opportunity. We were disappointed (originally) that they were taken off the schedule (when the regular season was reduced from nine to seven contests in August).”

In 52 all-time meetings, Marshalltown holds a slim 26-25-1 overall edge. The schools squared off every year from 1967 through 1990 as members of the Big 8, and missed only the 1991 campaign as the CIML transition began. Their rivalry was renewed the next fall, and has been a staple ever since.

Fort Dodge has prevailed in six of the last seven meetings, eking out a 21-17 victory to end the 2019 campaign.

The Bobcats are anchored by senior tight end Carson Williams, a University of Buffalo recruit. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has a team-best 11 catches for 125 yards through the first three games, and also plays linebacker on defense.

“He’s a really good, physical player on both sides of the ball, which is obvious given he’s a Div. I recruit,” Moser said. “Their quarterback, (Brendan) Bates, is a returning starter, and (Malik) Haynes is an experienced (running) back and a big kid at about 210 pounds.”

Haynes has rushed for 303 yards at 8.2 yards per carry so far. Bates has 288 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Junior Austin Close (17.5 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss) is the Bobcats’ top defender.

Marshalltown is coming off a sloppy 6-0 setback against ninth-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington last Friday at home in a driving rainstorm.

“You couldn’t take much away from that,” Moser said. “It was a mess. Neither team was able to do much offensively; it’s tough when you’re just trying to hang on to the ball.

“They were impressive in a (42-8) rout of Newton (the week before).”

Fort Dodge tasted defeat for the first time against fifth-ranked Ankeny last Friday, 52-18. The Hawks eventually wore the Dodger defense down and the offense sputtered against a stout AHS defense, but Moser saw a more glaring weakness in reviewing the film.

“We have to execute better on special teams,” Moser said. “We just weren’t very good (against the Hawks); the field-position situation was lopsided all night.

“Again, the effort was there. I’m not worried about that. But we have to be more consistent with the fundamentals. It will be a positive to be close to full-strength again (after playing two consecutive games without five starters).”

Regulars Thomas Daniel (linebacker), Collin Munter (offensive line), Amaris Harris (wide receiver), Jake Wagner (offensive line) and Gavin Schillerstrom (kicker) are expected to rejoin the rotation tonight at their respective positions. All five have been out since Week 1.

Senior captain Sawyer Springer, who rolled an ankle late in the fourth quarter last week, will be on the field and starting at center.

Senior tailback Dayson Clayton needs 43 yards to pass Zach Mason for third on the school’s all-time rushing list.

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