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Amazon says the coronavirus pandemic saved it $1 billion in travel expenses

  • Amazon has saved nearly $1 billion in travel expenses this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, CFO Brian Olsavsky said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call.
  • While Amazon has seen a drop off in business travel expenses, the company said coronavirus-related costs continue to rise.



Nikol Szymul staffs a reception desk at Amazon offices discretely tucked into a building called Fiona in downtown Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017.


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Nikol Szymul staffs a reception desk at Amazon offices discretely tucked into a building called Fiona in downtown Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017.

Amazon has saved nearly $1 billion in employee travel expenses this year, as the coronavirus pandemic kept employees from hopping on airplanes.

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“There’s some benefits going on right now,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said on the company’s third-quarter earnings on Thursday. “Travel ground to a halt.”

Internal travel expenses will likely resume “at a later date,” but they may not rise to the same level that they reached in the past, Olsavksky added. He also said the company saved some money from reduced marketing costs.

Early on in the pandemic, Amazon told its more than 1 million employees to avoid all non-essential travel in the U.S. and abroad out of concern for their health and safety. Additionally, many countries have prohibited or restricted U.S. citizens from entering, as U.S. coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Despite the cost savings from travel and marketing, Amazon says expenses are increasing in the current quarter. Coronavirus-related costs are expected to rise to $4 billion in the period, up from $2.5 billion last quarter.

The company said fourth-quarter operating income will range from $1 billion to $4.5 billion, with about $4 billion of costs tied to Covid-19, up from $2.5 billion last quarter. The bulk of those costs are related to “productivity headwinds” from increased social distancing, along with testing employees for the coronavirus and acquiring protective supplies.

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LeBron James saved Carmelo Anthony’s life on Bahamas vacation: ‘He jumped off the boat into the water’

While the NBA season continues to remain on hold because of the outbreak of COVID-19, Portland Trail Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony and NBA analyst Dwyane Wade are passing the time by sharing old stories with fans via social media.

Wade and Anthony took to Instagram Live on Friday to recall a 2015 vacation in the Bahamas with their families where LeBron James saved Anthony’s life after a snorkeling trip gone bad.

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“We jumped off the boat in the Bahamas. Everybody swam to the little gratto over there, underneath, and we came out,” Anthony said.

While everything seemed fine, the 10-time NBA All-Star quickly realized something was wrong.

“It was my fault though because I’m still trying to see the last little bit of the barracudas snorkeling and all that … I look up, the current is taking me in the middle of the ocean like opposite from the boat,” he said.

Wade added: “We couldn’t see you.”

It was at this point Anthony says James jumped off the boat like “MacGyver.”

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“He jumped off the boat into the water. He was bringing me back with one arm. He’s swimming with the other arm and he’s carrying me with one arm,” Anthony said laughing.

“That was special,” he continued. “He saved my life. … Yo Bron, I appreciate that, you saved my life that day. Them little flippers wasn’t working for me.”

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