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Outsider must rebuild trust at Air France-KLM

Benjamin Smith, the new head of Air France-KLM, faces one overriding question: can he make peace with the same French unions who pushed out his predecessor and in 2015 stripped executives at the airline half naked, forcing them to flee over a fence?
 It is a tough challenge for a self described “aviation geek” who takes over a group riven by conflict that has struggled to deal with recalcitrant unions that have cost the airline €335m in strikes in the first half of this year. Everybody knows that “what's been done in the past has not helped anybody. Nobody has gained, except the

Indian Startup Attracts $1 Billion

NEW DELHI — SoftBank Group Corp. is doubling down on one of its biggest bets in India by leading a $1 billion investment in hotel-booking startup OYO Hotels.
 The company, based in Gurgaon, India, has received $800 million in a round led by Soft- Bank's Vision Fund, which SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son is using to back cutting-edge technologies, OYO said Tuesday. U.S. venture-capital firms Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners also contributed to the round, and existing investors have pledged a

New York Hotels Roar Back

The New York City hotel market is bouncing back, as a growing U.S. economy and a wellspring of visitors have helped overcome years of construction that flooded the city with new hotels and pressured room rates.
 Hotels in the city are enjoying their highest occupancy rates since 2000 for the first eight months of the year, according to data provider STR. The market also has experienced the fastest growth in revenue per room since 2013.

America's Deadliest Place to Bike

Trung Huynh used a marked crosswalk with flashing yellow lights when he rode his bike across busy, six-lane Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park, Fla., one morning in June.
 The 18-year-old didn't make it to the median.
 A white Chevy Malibu going an estimated 45 mph slammed into him and his bike, police said. Mr. Huynh died at the scene.
 The collision added to the already-high cyclist death toll in Pinellas County. Its per capita cyclist death rate for the past decade ranks No. 1 among the four counties in the Tampa Bay

Uber Wins Appeal In Drivers' Lawsuit

Uber Technologies Inc. scored a legal victory over drivers on Tuesday after a federal appeals court dismantled the class-action status of a lawsuit that sought to reclassify independent contractors as employees, with possible broader implications for the so-called gig economy.
 A panel of judges at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that some 240,000 ridehail drivers who had sought to be certified as a class to challenge their worker classification would have to pursue their claims individually in arbitration.

WeddingWire to Marry the Knot in Match Made by Private Equity

XO Group Inc., parent company of wedding-planning website the Knot, agreed to be taken private for about $933 million, a deal that would hitch it to nuptials- planning marketplace WeddingWire Inc.
 In the deal, private-equity firms Permira and Spectrum Equity, lead investors of Wedding- Wire, will pay XO Group shareholders $35 a share, a 27% premium to XO Group's closing price Monday of $27.64.

Airlines Face Safety Upgrades

Federal air-accident investigators recommended an array of enhanced safety systems in cockpits and on the ground to reduce hazards of airliners mistakenly landing on taxiways instead of designated runways, an increasingly dangerous trend across U.S. airports.
 Tuesday's action by the National Transportation Safety Board was prompted by a July 2017 near-collision involving a landing Air Canada jet that flew roughly a dozen feet above the tail of another airliner waiting to take off from San Francisco International Airport.

Indian hotels start-up OyoRooms seeks to build on China success

Indian start-up Oyo Rooms is to put $600m from new funding towards a drive to become the largest hotel chain in China, its founder said, after a $1bn cash injection that made it one of Asia's most valuable unlisted tech companies. The company, founded by then 19-year-old university dropout Ritesh Agarwal in 2013, boasts 125,000 rooms at its hotels in India, more than any other rival.

The food app revolution will eat its drivers

WangXing, co-founder of Meituan Dianping, aspires to “make life better for everyone”, says the prospectus for the world's largest food delivery company, which floated this month in Hong Kong at a value of $53bn. That is an impossible dream, but his company is changing how millions eat.
 Uber's on-demand taxi service used to be the ultimate disrupter, but rides for people are being challenged by delivery of food. Motorcycles and bikes speed around cities, carrying

McDonald's Trims Preservatives

McDonald's Corp. is stripping artificial ingredients from more food to win over customers who, the burger chain believes, don't want to eat things with names like calcium propionate and sodium benzoate.
 Those and other ingredients found in the buns, cheese and sauce on some of McDonald's best-known burgers are gone from its U.S. restaurants, the chain said. The Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese and burgers in Happy Meals are now among items free from artificial preservatives, flavors and coloring.