Travel News

COVID-19 breach: FG may fine airlines $94,500 - PUNCH

OCTOBER 09, 2020

BY   Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority could impose a total penalty of $94,500 on international airlines for breaching COVID-19 safety protocols as established by the Presidential Task Force.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Thursday at the PTF briefing in Abuja that the culpable airlines flew in 27 passengers into Nigeria with no negative PCR test result on COVID-19.

In August, the PTF said airlines that failed to comply with the laid down international flight safety protocols against the spread of COVID-19 would be slammed a $3,500 fine per passenger.

This implies that for the 27 passengers that were flown into Nigeria by the airlines, the carriers would pay a total of penalty of $94,500 to the government through the NCAA.

Sirika said some of the 27 passengers arrived the country with rapid test results, which were not accepted, while others came with expired PCR results and the remaining had no results at all.

The minister said, “We had sadly some 27 cases in Abuja of passengers that did not comply with our guidelines on PCR negative result test.

“Some of them came with rapid result test which is not accepted, some came with expired PCR result test and others came with no PCR test at all.

“The protocol and procedure is that the airlines that have brought in these passengers will, of course, answer and will be dealt with according to the law.”

Sirika added, “For those violations, the NCAA will deal with them accordingly.”

The aviation minister further stated that all inbound flights were only allowed to have maximum of 200 passengers, while they could carry as much as they wanted outbound.

Sirika also stated that Emirates Airline was now allowed to fly into Nigeria beginning Friday.

This came as the the PTF said 60,000 environmental health workers had been mobilised to ensure safe reopening of schools across the country.

How a Biden presidency may lead to increased supply in the oil market - CNBC

OCTOBER 09, 2020


  • A Biden presidency could bring 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil back into the market, but lead to lower demand in the long run because of environmental concerns, said David Fyfe of Argus Media.
  • On the flip side, the Democrat’s policies on climate change — including re-entering the Paris Climate Accord — could be “bearish” for demand over the long run, he said.
  • Fyfe also said that his base case is for a “steady recovery” in oil, and that prices could return to the $50 to $55 range by late 2021.

An off-shore oil platform off the coast in Huntington Beach on Sunday, April 5, 2020. An off-shore oil platform off the coast in Huntington Beach on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Leonard Ortiz | MediaNews Group | Orange County Register | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A Biden presidency could bring 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil back into the market, but lead to lower demand in the long run, an economist said this week.

That’s because Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is likely to reestablish relations with Tehran if he is elected, but introduce environmental policies that limit U.S. oil and gas, said David Fyfe of Argus Media.

“Arguably, a Biden presidency would move fairly rapidly toward some sort of rapprochement with Iran,” he told CNBC’s â€œCapital Connection” on Friday.

“That of course could lead to maybe up to a million barrels a day of Iranian oil coming back onto the market,” he said. “It might not happen immediately, but you could see that happening within the sort of first six months of a Biden presidency.”

By contrast, the Trump administration has put maximum pressure on Iran, which has seen heavy economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, including on its oil exports.

OPEC has a ‘pretty bullish’ long-term oil demand forecast, says economist

Biden has been leading President Donald Trump in multiple polls, including one by NBC News, which shows that he is up more than 10 percentage points, 51.6% compared to 41%.

On the flip side, the Democrat’s policies on climate change could tighten the market over the long run.

“A Biden administration would try to get the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Accord,” Fyfe said. “Therefore, over the longer term, it might actually be relatively bearish in terms of restraining hydrocarbon demand in the U.S. going forward.”

Biden last year announced a climate plan that would see $1.7 trillion invested into clean energy research and changes in infrastructure. He could also impose restrictions that would further slow the growth in U.S. shale oil and gas production, said Fyfe.

$50 to $55 oil by late 2021

Separately, he said Argus Media’s base case scenario is for a “steady recovery” in the oil market, assuming Covid-19 cases do not surge and lead to widespread lockdowns.

Oil futures crashed when demand evaporated as the coronavirus crisis spread earlier this year and the market worried about an oversupply. If the virus situation doesn’t escalate, the oil market should continue to recover, Fyfe said.

“Gradually, the 1.3 billion barrels of surplus oil that has accumulated in storage, that can be drawn down by the end of 2021, and that suggests that prices could recover to something closer to $50 to $55 by late 2021,” he said.

“If we have a second spike in the virus and renewed shutdowns on a broad basis, then really, all bets are off and OPEC will be scrambling to try and stitch together a new deal on supply.”

OPEC in April agreed to cut 9.7 million barrels per day and gradually increase production until April 30, 2022. 

Brent crude was down 0.62% at $43.07 a barrel during Asia’s late-afternoon trading, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 0.68% at $40.91.

Nigerian Airline to test direct flights to Jamaica - NYCARIBNEWS

OCTOBER 10, 2020

A Nigerian airline is making history for the first time as it tests direct roundtrip commercial flights in December and January from Lagos, Nigeria to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Janet Olisa, said the initiative was a collaboration between herself and Jamaican counterpart in Abuja, Esmond Reid.

Olisa said, “I must give credit to the Jamaican High Commissioner in Abuja. He has been able to convince the Nigerian airline to make that happen. I would like to see more Jamaicans visit Nigeria. Come and see where the ancestors came from. We (Nigerians) are coming so they should come. I think we need more tourists from Jamaica to Nigeria and I am inviting Jamaicans to come.”

She is also hopeful that direct flights will help to boost trade between the countries and regrets not fostering greater commercial relations.

“When we look at the logistics and look at how expensive it is to even fly down, what’s the bottom line for them (businesses). I understand and I appreciate. I wasn’t able to get the business community to buy into business in Nigeria. I know there are informal trading going on, but not so recorded.

Olisa wants the next Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica will continue the push for better trade relations between the two countries.

She is hopeful that this is the first step in air transport agreements between the two countries. First passengers, then cargo, and then goods and services.

Nigeria cherry-picks airlines - CH-AVIATION

OCTOBER 10, 2020

Nigeria has granted daily traffic rights to British AirwaysVirgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines, while continuing to ban other European carriers over reciprocal visa issues.

From October 2, British Airways and Turkish Airlines, along with Ethiopian AirlinesRwandAirASKY Airlines, and Air Côte d'Ivoire have approval to operate daily flights to Lagos and Abuja, according to the latest flight schedule update from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Africa World Airlines has approval to operate twice-daily flights to Lagos and daily ones to Abuja; while Virgin Atlantic, Qatar AirwaysDelta Air Lines, and Kenya Airways may now fly daily to Lagos, according to the approval signed by NCAA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Captain Musa Nuhu.

Meanwhile, the West African country continues to blacklist LufthansaAir France, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines over travel restrictions imposed on Nigerian tourist visa holders by the European Union. This despite a meeting between Nigeria’s Aviation Ministry and EU ministers last month when discussions were reported to have "progressed well".

In similar tit-for-tat aero-politics, Nigeria banned Emirates for travel restrictions imposed by the United Arab Emirates, but reversed its decision on September 30 after the UAE backed-down. Aviation Minster Hadi Sirika tweeted the UAE would begin issuing visas to Nigerians on October 8, 2020.

BA, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines were excluded from the blacklist published by Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Aviation ahead of the reopening of the country's international airspace on September 5, 2020.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, BA started operating daily flights from October 3 to Lagos and daily to Abuja from October 7. Virgin Atlantic was scheduled to operate three weekly flights from October 7. Turkish Airlines began flying to Lagos and Abuja on October 3, increasing its frequencies to Abuja and Lagos to four weekly by October 8 and October 9 respectively.

South Africa backtracks after Emirates cancels flights - CH-AVIATION

OCTOBER 10, 2020

The South African government has backtracked on visa obligations for certain travellers and has clarified health requirements for flight crews after Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) cancelled flights to Durban King Shaka following confusion over South Africa’s new international travel regulations.

The country on October 1 reopened for international travel but travellers from high-risk countries are restricted in terms of a “risk-adjusted strategy” to be reviewed every two weeks. Emirates resumed flights to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Cape Town on October 1, however a NOTAM issued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on October 3 said both flight crew and passengers required a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) certificate not older than 72 hours in order to move freely in South Africa upon arrival.

This resulted in Emirates cancelling flights to Durban, which were meant to have resumed on Sunday (October 4), with reports of international passengers being offloaded or denied boarding in Dubai on Saturday afternoon, prompting intervention by airline and tourism lobby groups in South Africa concerned over the impracticality and impact of the requirements.

Following an emergency meeting by the Ministers of Transport, Health, Home Affairs and Tourism on Saturday afternoon, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on Sunday issued a statement saying it had decided to reinstate the visa exemptions - temporarily revoked at the start of the country’s lockdown on March 26 - of citizens from the following countries: South Korea, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, UK, France, Portugal and Iran. Nationals from these countries were now free to visit South Africa subject to complying with applicable health regulations and protocols, it confirmed. The DHA said “immigration officers will be required to assess the movement and place of origin of the traveller and not the country of origin of the airline concerned”.

In a separate statement, the Department of Transport (DoT) moved to clarify confusion over the health requirement for flight crews: “Air crew who are not in possession of a negative PCR certificate will still be permitted entry into South Africa, but will not be permitted to move around freely. Such crew members are expected to self-quarantine at their hotel,” the DoT said.

Airline lobby group, the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa, argued that flight crews were already operating in a safe “bubble” while quarantined in their quarters and that a PCR test for flight crews was neither feasible nor a requirement anywhere else in the world.

However, the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) on October 5 said the requirements for aircrews on regional flights to and from South Africa had not yet been resolved. AASA was awaiting clarity on the issue from the DoT, a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the DHA said regional business travellers providing services across SADC (Southern African Development Community) borders needed a PCR test not older than 72 hours, but it would be valid for 14 days.

Transit air travellers through South Africa would be allowed to connect to their destinations, subject to complying with applicable health protocols, but need not produce the 72-hours negative test result. Anyone from a country listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate, who wished to travel to South Africa on business, must apply in writing to the Minister of Home Affairs.

According to Emirates current flight schedule, flights to Durban will resume on October 8, 2020.

Qantas ‘Full-Day’ Flight to Nowhere Takes Off to Battle Slump - BLOOMBERG

OCTOBER 10, 2020

Qantas Airways Ltd. launched a sight-seeing flight across Australia in the airline’s latest effort to contend with the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector.

The “full-day outing” from Sydney took off on Saturday morning with 150 passengers and was scheduled to pass over some of the country’s key landmarks, including Uluru, the famed red sandstone monolith in the Northern Territory, the carrier said in a statement. The airline didn’t specify the duration of the flight or when it is scheduled to return to the same airport.

The aircraft will drop to 4,000 feet at some points during the trip for a better view, compared with 35,000 feet normally. The flight on a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner, usually reserved for long-haul international flights, will use offsets to account for its carbon emissions, Qantas said.

Airlines and tourism operators are grappling with a dramatic plunge in passenger traffic as a result of border closures, quarantine measures and curbs on movement. A third of the world’s passenger jets remain grounded, while the number of flights in the U.S. is about half the total a year ago and about 60% lower in Europe, according to aviation data provider Cirium.

Qantas, which plans to cut as many as 8,500 jobs and is considering the future of its Sydney headquarters under a cost review, last month offered loaded bar carts from retired 747s for about A$1,474 ($1,067) each, and previously sold off stocks of pajamas.

I Want To Remove My Traditional Marks https://tribuneonlineng.com/i-want-to-remove-my-traditional-marks - TRAVEL NEWS

OCTOBER 10, 2020

By Dr. Wale Okediran

I am an 18- year old female undergraduate. My parents informed me that my grandmother, without their knowledge, gave me traditional marks on my face when I was small. Now, as a mature lady, I find the marks very embarrassing. It is also the cause of my poor history of relationships. I will appreciate it if you can recommend a plastic surgeon who can help me to remove them.

Although there are a number of creams in the market that are said can remove traditional facial marks, there is no fool proof remedy among all of them. In addition, surgical procedures are very expensive and not readily available. However, a visit to a Specialist or Teaching Hospital close to you to see a skin specialist (Dermatologist) and a Plastic Surgeon will greatly assist you in taking a final decision.


Over 40 airlines have failed so far this year — and more are set to come - CNBC

OCTOBER 10, 2020

BY  Abigail Ng


  • Huge aid packages saved airlines at a time when air travel came to a near standstill because of the coronavirus, but the worst is not over, analysts said.
  • Travel data company Cirium found that 43 commercial airlines have failed — completely ceased or suspended operations — in 2020 so far, compared to 46 in all of 2019 and 56 throughout 2018.
  • The effect of the pandemic is so great that larger airlines have also been badly hit in this environment, said Rob Morris of Cirium.

A fleet of Airbus SE A380 passenger aircraft, operated by British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, sit parked near other grounded jets at Chateauroux airport in Chateauroux, France, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A fleet of Airbus SE A380 passenger aircraft, operated by British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, sit parked near other grounded jets at Chateauroux airport in Chateauroux, France, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Nathan Laine | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Strong government support has stopped some airlines from going bankrupt — but more carriers could fail in the coming months, aviation experts say.

Travel data company, Cirium, found that 43 commercial airlines have failed since January this year, compared to 46 in the whole of 2019 and 56 in all of 2018. A failed airline is one that has completely ceased or suspended operations, according to Cirium’s definition.

“Without government intervention and support we would have had mass bankruptcies in the first six months of this crisis. Instead, we have had a manageable number of bankruptcies and very few collapses,” said Brendan Sobie, an independent analyst at Sobie Aviation.

Sobie said many airlines were already struggling before the pandemic hit, but they now have a “better chance at survival” because of government help.

Chart of global airline failures and aircraft affected

“If there is any silver lining in all of this, it is that things were so bad that governments had no option but to support,” said Rob Morris, global head of consultancy at Cirium.

More failures on the way?

Despite the financial aid, however, the outlook for the rest of 2020 is “not encouraging,” Morris said.

“Many airline failures typically occur in the final few months of the year,” he told CNBC in an email. The first and fourth quarters are “the hardest” because most of the revenue is generated in the second and third quarters.

But I still don’t expect mass bankruptcies. The number of bankruptcies and collapses should be manageable and also spread out over a relatively long period of time.
Brendan Sobie

“I would typically characterize that airlines spend summers building ‘war chests’ so that they can survive winters,” he added. The goal for airlines now is to “survive at any cost” and see if the summer of 2021 brings solutions or higher demand. 

“With demand recovery in most regions stalled and airlines still struggling with revenue generation and cash outflow, we expect to see more failures in the final quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021 at least,” he said.

Why is tourism picking up so slowly in Southeast Asia?

Brendan Sobie of Sobie Aviation agreed with the prediction, and said some governments may be reluctant to bail airlines out a second time.

“But I still don’t expect mass bankruptcies. The number of bankruptcies and collapses should be manageable and also spread out over a relatively long period of time,” he said.

Larger airlines affected

Bigger airlines are being impacted this time, Morris pointed out.

Of the 43 airlines that failed in 2020 so far, 20 of them operated at least 10 aircraft, compared to 12 in all of 2019 and 10 throughout 2018, Cirium’s data showed.

“Although we have seen fewer airline failures this year, the number of those airlines failing that operated ten or more aircraft is already greater than we have seen in any of the past six complete years. Thus it is clear that the pandemic is impacting larger airlines and causing them to fail,” Morris said.

A higher number of aircraft has also stopped operating as a result. Some 485 planes have been idled because of airline failures so far, versus 431 in 2019 and 406 in 2018.

Chart showing the number of larger airlines that have failed in 2020

Airlines may go bankrupt because of poor business models or other local issues, he highlighted. But the larger failures of 2020 and those to come are “inevitably a consequence of the pandemic-induced loss of demand.”

“Coming off the back of ten years of continued demand expansion which resulted in the global traffic base almost doubling in that time, this sudden shock has left airlines with no revenue and structurally high costs,” Morris added.

The International Air Transport Association this week warned that the industry will burn $77 billion in cash in the second half of 2020, and continue to bleed around $5 billion or $6 billion per month in 2021 because of slow recovery.

The association in July said passenger traffic is likely to return to 2019 levels only in 2024.

FG Targets Processing 55mn Passengers at Airports by 2048 - THISDAY

OCTOBER 10, 2020

BY  Chinedu Eze

The federal government has projected that the major international airports: the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa would be processing about 55 million passengers annually by 2048.

This was the estimate made by the Outline Business Case Report for the concession of the four major airports, titled: “Nigeria Four Airports PPP,” and made available by the Ministry of Aviation. The report stated that the forecast of total traffic for the four airports in Nigeria was expected to grow on average at 5.3 per cent over the next 30 years, from 11 million passengers in 2017, to 55 million by 2048.

The report attributed the anticipated growth to the strong population growth and affluence of its population, noting that the concessionaires would be required to provide sufficient capacity to handle the expected amount of traffic. “In addition to the terminals that are currently under construction, the Concessionaire is required to refurbish the existing facilities in Abuja and Port Harcourt. In Lagos a new terminal needs to be constructed and the existing MMA1 international terminal decommissioned.

“The Ministry aims to develop Nigeria’s major commercial airports and surrounding communities into efficient, profitable, self-sustaining, commercial hubs which will create more jobs and develop local industries,” the report stated.

It also disclosed that the federal government would like to use the PPP (Public, Private Partnership) model to leverage private sector participation and foreign investment to achieve the upgrade and development of new infrastructure at these airports in the fastest and most cost-effective manner.

On the scope of the project, the report stated that it fits well within the scope of the Ministry and the ICRC (Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission) and would help Nigeria to reach its objective in terms of air transport: developing and profitably managing customer-centric airport facilities for safe, secure and efficient carriage of passengers and goods at world-class standards of quality.

The report stated that work was on-going at the four airports designated for concession. “At all four airports terminal construction is currently ongoing, initiated by the government, and assumed to be operational by 2020.

“The terminals will be part of the concession and the Concessionaire is expected to take these over and operate. Additionally, the Concessionaire is required to develop additional capacity to provide for the traffic demand until the end of the concession period,” the report said.

The report also observed that the airports in Nigeria are currently operating in a suboptimal environment, most notably due to the following factors that would have to be improved as part of the PPP programme: urgent need of infrastructure investments and modernisation.

“All Airports require investments in runway maintenance, navigation aids as well as terminal facilities; relatively low asset utilisation due to the limited opening hours of other smaller Nigerian airports; lack of terminal capacity as the airports fall short of gates, stands and check-in desks; the airports have not been designed as international hubs but operate separate international and domestic terminals.

“The aviation infrastructure needs to be prepared to facilitate the macro-economic demand of the forecast population growth and its increasing affluence. A private operator of the four main airports in the country will be able to operate the airports with an international standard and expand the facilities in accordance with traffic demand at each airport.

“Typically, on Airport PPP projects, the Authority sets minimum service levels for the Concessionaire to comply with. This will provide the Authority with a tool to set service standards for the operation of the terminals and secure a reliable high-level product,” the report also said.

It noted that a strong aviation industry provides the country with a high connectivity, both on a domestic and international scale. This has several economic and social benefits for the country as identified in this OBC (Outline Business Case). These include time and cost savings for companies, efficiency gains for the economy, increased connectivity for remote regions, and improved access to health care.

EgyptAir sees highest daily operating rate since return of flights - EGYPT INDEPENDENT

OCTOBER 10, 2020

EgyptAir announced Friday that it has seen its highest daily operating rate on Saturday since international air traffic resumed on July 1, after the global lockdown on flights due to the coronavirus was lifted.

In a statement, the EgyptAir Holding Company said that 60 flights operating on Saturday will carry roughly 5,500 passengers.

Egypt’s flagship carrier explained that these 60 flights are one trip of each to the following destinations: Baghdad, Accra, Lagos, Tunis, London, Athens, Madrid, Paris, New York, Milan, Frankfurt, Geneva, Abuja, Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Moscow, Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Bahrain, Khartoum, Medina, Sharjah, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa.

This is in addition to three trips to each of Dubai and Jeddah and two flights to each of to Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Riyadh, and Beirut.

The company will also operate 13 domestic flights – an average of five to Hurghada, four to Sharm el-Sheikh, two to Luxor, and one to each of Taba and Aswan alongside five air cargo flights.

Egypt had suspended flights and tourism in March as part of measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Traffic in all Egyptian airports resumed since July 1, in accordance with Egypt’s preventive and precautionary measures to coexist with the coronavirus.

Civil aviation traffic in Egypt had been suspended since March 19, excluding air cargo flights, charter flights only for tourist groups already in Egypt who want to return home, international medical flights and domestic flights.

Beginning September 1, all local and foreign passengers were demanded to provide a PCR analysis document proving they tested negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of reaching Egyptian territory.


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