Airline Operatorsâ€™ Push for Better Deal - THISDAY
With the election of its new President, Airline Operators of Nigeria are looking forward to securing more favourable policies for the industry as well to strengthen their relationship with the federal government, writes Chinedu Eze
Industry experts identified four key factors that determine the success of domestic airlines in Nigeria. They are government policy; cost and availability of aviation fuel; airport infrastructure; as well as charges and taxes. These key factors are determined by government and are critical in determining the fate of the industry.
Therefore, government is largely instrumental to the success or failure of domestic operators. Other variables that could also be monitored by government are financial well-being of airlines, which could be checked by government through economic regulation by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). NCAA also regulates aircraft acquisition and management, recruitment of technical workforce and daily operations of airlines.
What this means is that for domestic airlines to succeed they must have to work with the federal government and there must be good understanding, geared with the sole purpose of having a viable and purposeful aviation industry.
THISDAY learnt that this was a key factor that determined the choice of the new leadership of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) a fortnight night ago when the Chairman of Max Air, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, was elected as the President and Chairman of CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema was elected the Vice-President after the end of the second tenure of the former Chairman of the organisation, Captain Nogie Meggison.
FGâ€™s New Approach There has always been clamour by domestic airlines for governmentâ€™s protection by curtailing the inroad of foreign airlines, supporting them in their international operations and ensuring that aviation fuel is available and at a good price.
They have also been calling on government to review charges leveled on the local operators, including tariffs on aircraft and spares, facilitate their negotiation for operational approvals with other countries and designate them to more international routes. The current administration has started acquiescing to some of these requests and has adopted the principle of reciprocity to enhance the opportunities of local carriers in their international operations.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration through the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has stopped the tariff on aircraft spares and during the evacuation insisted that all evacuations bankrolled by the federal government must be conducted by domestic carriers, except in destinations such could not be possible.
So it was a new approach and a new rapport between the airlines and the federal government and with this new disposition, it became critically important that the airlines must elect a person who is fully aware of the challenges of the airlines and can also prod his way in the government circles.
Expectations Airline operators, industry observers believe that this is the opportune time for domestic airlines to have rapprochement with government, push for favourable policies on critical issues that affect their business and ensure that government is with them all the way. The Director General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu recently explained in an interview that if a Nigerian airline is seeking for approval to operate to any country, it should notify the Ministry of Aviation, NCAA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These government organs will send their representatives to accompany the airline along with the Nigerian ambassador to that country. When this is done, such country will treat the request of the airline with the seriousness it deserves.
The NCAA boss noted that if the airline abides by this and the country fails to honour that request, the federal government would now retaliate through NCAA. Some airlines have commended Nuhu for that advice and it also echoes the disposition of government to the airlines; it wants the airlines to succeed.
The Chief Executive Officer of Top Brass and former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Roland Iyayi, said the election of new President for AON is a continuity because the association would continue to clamour for those things that the previous administration has demanded from the government. He said AON would continue to mount campaign for the review of taxes and charges against airlines, noting that this demand has been on so the new executive would continue from where the previous administration left off, adding that the approach might be different this time.
â€œWe are supposed to be engaged with the authorities to review the multifarious taxes and charges because nothing has been concluded yet. So it is just a continuity from where the last administration left off; but the approach should be different,â€ Iyayi said. The Top Brass boss explained that why it is difficult for Nigerian airlines to meet their demands on review of charges, support for international operation and waiver for tariffs on imported spares is because some government officials do not appreciate the critical role these airlines play in the economy of the country.
He said some officials of agencies in the aviation industry show open preference to foreign carriers and frowned at the remarks made by a senior government official in one of the aviation agencies who said that foreign airlines pay their taxes and charges promptly but they spend the money earned to push domestic airlines to pay up their debts. Iyayi said when government agencies have the kind of officials with such mindset, the industry would not grow as projected and it would be difficult for government to yield to the request of the domestic players.
He said domestic airlines buoy the nationâ€™s economy because without domestic airlines there would not be access to many of the nationâ€™s airports and there would not be quick movements from one point to another.
â€œWe have only five international airports and 21 domestic airports, while foreign airlines operate to the five, domestic airlines operate to additional 16 airports, which means that without domestic airlines you will not access to different parts of the country by air; so domestic airlines should be given a fair chance. â€œThe challenges they face should be reviewed because we need to encourage the domestic operators. This is where the leadership should take a cue from,â€ he said.
Job Creation Iyayi noted that Nigerian carriers provide most of the jobs in the industry outside that of the aviation agencies and remarked that foreign airlines provide 20-30 jobs directly and any other one would be on contract like engaging the services of haulage and others. â€œThese are what I believe people should look at. If you donâ€™t have people that understand the situation well there would be a problem,â€ he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Director of Engineering, Ibom Air, Lukeman Animaseun called for greater unity among domestic carriers in order to collectively push for policies that would aid the success of the operators. He said issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) should be resolved because the airlines still pay VAT despite the belief that it was been removed, adding that the airlines should now push for its final remove.
â€œAlso on the payment of duty on imported spares, the system chose to deal with the airlines individually but there should be a comprehensive policy on this so that all the airlines will benefit collectively,â€ Animaseun said. He also noted that there should be more collaboration among domestic airlines, whereby they would code-share some routes by allowing one airline that has strength on the route to operate it while others that also operate to that destination would sell their tickets but one airline would airlift the passengers to the route on behalf of the other operators. After the airlines would reconcile their accounts. He said this would enable the carriers to ensure the make good load factor on every route they operate.
Industry analyst and Secretary General of Aviation Round Table (ART), Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), said that over the years, except for the time in the 90s when the AON was headed by Dr. Steve Mahonwu of the defunct Okada Air, the leadership of the organisation has been from the private aircraft operator and the aspirations of the private charter operator and that of schedule service providers differ in some areas. This he said had led to the failure to have collective push for changes that would favour the scheduled operators. â€œWhat I believe they need to do first is to collectively demand that the foreign airlines should be restricted to two international airports out of the five airports so classified.
None of them should be cleared to Lagos and Abuja but Lagos or Abuja and any other from alternate geographical zone. The aim is to ensure that the domestic routes and markets benefits are not infringed upon by the foreign airlines. However, the foreign airlines can operate as many frequencies as they wish daily or weekly to the two airports of their choice. To further help themselves, the AON must review members business plans before they are submitted to the NCAA for approval to avoid the recycling of the business plans that have been found to be another reasons for their short lifespan and the general setbacks of the industry,â€ Ojikutu said.
He lamented that there are 38 known taxes and charges leveled on airlines but only 11 are necessarily charges on the airlines…. â€œOnly VAT is a tax; four are statutory charges, two are non statutory while four are operational support services charges and two of these are optional. The remaining are charges on other operators and support services not on the airlines.
The eleven charges on the airlines are include VAT (FIRS) not the NCAA nor FAAN; Processing aircraft licensing and registration/renewal fees; Personnel licensing and registration/renewal Fees. (Optional); airlines licensing and registration/renewal fees; aircraft inspection fees. Others are simulator training inspiration fees; ATC terminal navigational charges; enroute navigational charges; landing and parking charges and avo-bridge charge, which is optional.
Reawakening The Chief Executive Officer of Mainstream Cargo Limited, Seyi Adewale said the last AON executives having contributed their quota to sub sector wellness needed to step aside due to their significantly diminished role and stake in the industry.
However, the newly inaugurated AON executive is the reawakening of the association because this leadership is current, relevant and major stakeholders in this sub-sector. â€œThe new President and the Vice President have between them over 30 passenger aircraft and constituting over 50 per cent of the entire domestic (scheduled flight) aircraft fleet. They are directly and most significantly impacted by Covid 19 Pandemic, taxation, maintenance, exchange rate, aviation fuel cost etc. furthermore, the new executives have enough â€˜weight and statureâ€™ to influence policy and pressure government to consider their charge,â€ he said.
He said that AON should concentrate its demands on the immediate release and access to palliatives, grants, waivers and incentives as indicated by the federal government. â€œThe commercial domestic airlines need funding support for their Operations post-Covid -19 lockdown. This will ensure they donâ€™t go under. AON should exert more or sustain the pressure on government to disallow foreign airlines from multiple entries into the country.
Government should encourage and incentivize these foreign airlines to partner local airlines through Code-Sharing and/ or be their feeder, encourage joint trainings that lowers their high overall training costs, discourage unhealthy rivalries or competition and resolve conflicts within members or with government agencies, set up monitoring committee to oversee agreed initiatives and report its progress and assist in resolving disputes with aviation unions,â€ Adewale said.
Ottawa unveils new commercial rent relief program - YAHOO FINANCE
The federal government unveiled its new commercial rent relief program on Friday, one that will bypass landlords and provide direct support for small businesses.
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, will be available for small businesses until June 2021.
Trudeau said the governmentâ€™s goal with the new program is â€œto support Canadian employers and help businesses bridge to better times.â€
â€œThatâ€™s why we are updating support for commercial rent and mortgage payments, with the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy,â€ he said. â€œThis will provide support to businesses directly, not through landlords, for businesses who have seen a revenue drop.â€
The program will fund up to 65 per cent of rent or mortgage interest payments for businesses that have seen revenue decline by at least 70 per cent. Companies that have had revenue fall by less than 70 per cent will receive â€œa gradually decreasing level of supportâ€ in line with revenue, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday. Businesses that are forced to temporarily shutdown by mandatory orders will be able to qualify for funding that covers up to 90 per cent of rent or mortgage interest payments.
Freeland said one of the goals of the program is to make obtaining support â€œas straightforward and simple as possible.â€
The governmentâ€™s previous program, called the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), expired at the end of September. The program was widely criticized by small businesses for its strict requirements, as well as its reliance on landlord participation.
Trudeau acknowledged on Friday that some tenants were frustrated with the program and had landlords who opted not to participate in the program.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), one of the most outspoken critics of the governmentâ€™s original rent relief program, said the new initiative was welcome news for small businesses.
â€œWe are particularly pleased the government has delivered on CFIBâ€™s three major recommendations for rent support, ensuring the program is independent of landlord participation, continues for the months ahead and provides support to businesses with revenue losses on a sliding scale,â€ CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones said in a statement.
â€œThe additional 25 per cent coverage for businesses facing closures due to public health orders is also good news.â€
The government also announced it will expand the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), a popular program that provides $40,000 loans for companies struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, doubling the amount that is forgivable, to $20,000, if certain conditions are met. It will also continue covering 65 per cent of wages through its subsidy program until Dec. 19.
Ontario announced it will impose new restrictions in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Premier Doug Ford said the government will provide $300 million in funding to help support businesses that are forced to shutdown." data-reactid="28" style="margin-bottom: 1em; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Yahoo Sans Finance", "Helvetica Neue", Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The new announcements comes in the midst of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has prompted provincial governments in Quebec and Ontario to impose targeted lockdowns in specific regions. On Friday, Ontario announced it will impose new restrictions in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Premier Doug Ford said the government will provide $300 million in funding to help support businesses that are forced to shutdown.
Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj." data-reactid="29" style="margin-bottom: 1em; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: "Yahoo Sans Finance", "Helvetica Neue", Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.
More than 600 million people traveled in China during â€˜Golden Weekâ€™ - CNBC
More than 637 million people traveled within China over the past week in celebration of the countryâ€™s annual â€œGolden Week,â€ the countryâ€™s government said on Friday.
The government estimates domestic travelers generated around 466 billion yuan ($68.6 billion) in tourism revenue during the holiday period.
Two holidays converged this year: National Day, which celebrates the founding of the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949, and the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is set by the lunar calendar. As a result, the usual week-long holiday was expanded to eight days, making Golden Week the longest holiday period of the year.
While less than the 782 million tourists who traveled during Golden Week last year, China is celebrating the estimates as a rebound for its domestic travel industry.
Photographs from this yearâ€™s celebrations stand in stark contrast to scenes elsewhere in the world, where countries continue to struggle with rising coronavirus infection rates and muted economic activity.
China claims to have 205 active Covid-19 cases among its population of 1.4 billion people.
Hangzhou East Railway Station
Long Wei | VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Crowds packed Hangzhou East Railway Station on Sept. 30, one day before the start of Golden Week. High-speed train tickets were sold out within hours of going on sale, according to Chinaâ€™s state-owned media.
Rail travel was expected to peak on Oct. 1, the first day of Golden Week (meaning things may have got busier than this).
The Bund in Shanghai
VCG | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Tourists jammed the expansive pedestrian walkways that line The Bund on Oct. 2.
Situated along the western bank of the Huangpu River, the 1.6-mile stretch is famous for its ornate architecture, with structures built in Gothic Revival, Neo-classical and Art Deco styles, among others, which have housed banks, office buildings, luxury hotels and social clubs through the years. The area sits in contrast to the modern skyscrapers of Pudong — including the 128-story Shanghai Tower — that sits on the other side of the river.
â€œThe bund is a reflection of Shanghaiâ€™s Western concession and also the starting point of the modern city of Shanghai,â€ said Dr. Jie Xu, an associate professor at Villanova Universityâ€™s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
An amusement park in Wuhan
Zhang Chang | China News Service | Getty Images
A parade of giant pandas passed families visiting Wuhan Happy Valley theme park on Oct. 2. Xu likened the park to â€œa mini-Disney World or Six Flags in America,â€ stating it is â€œgreat for kids and family.â€
The park reopened several months ago with a cap on daily visitors and social distancing requirements on rides.
Wuhan has not declared any new Covid-19 cases since May. China, however, does not count asymptomatic carriers of the virus as confirmed cases, according to the countryâ€™s National Health Commission.
The Great Wall outside of Beijing
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Domestic tourists battled slow-moving lines as they steadily climbed the Great Wall of China on Oct. 4.
Though the Great Wall is some 5,500-miles long, itâ€™s common to see this section, called Badaling, in photographs and tourist websites. Badaling is popular with domestic and international tourists for its picturesque meandering lines, well-preserved condition, and proximity to Beijing — itâ€™s less than 40 miles away.
Longmen Grottoes in the Henan province
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Tourists flocked to see the Longmen Grottoes on Oct. 4, halfway through the Golden Week celebration period. The site is â€œa famous treasure house of stone inscriptions … reflecting the Buddhism culture,â€ said Xu.
A UNESCO World Heritage site located south of the city of Luoyang, the tourist attraction is home to more than 100,000 Buddha statues and 2,800 inscriptions that have been carved onto a 1-kilometer stretch of limestone cliffs and caves. UNESCO refers to the area as â€œthe largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties.â€
The ancient city of Xiâ€™an
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Throngs of tourists walked the elevated city walls of Xiâ€™an on Oct. 5. The ancient fortification is one of the best-preserved walled cities in China with a walkable perimeter that is nearly 40 feet tall and over eight miles long.
Xiâ€™an also draws tourists to see its â€œTerracotta Army,â€ a collection of over 8,000 life-sized statues found buried in pits outside of the city in 1974.
The streets of Hangzhou
Lian Guoqing | VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Volunteers in face masks held hands to help control pedestrian traffic during Golden Week in Hangzhou on Oct. 6. During major public events, traffic can come to a standstill if pedestrians and drivers disregard traffic rules.
Hangzhou (population 7 million) is popular with tourists for its scenic West Lake and ancient water towns. Itâ€™s about an hourâ€™s journey by train from Shanghai.
The Forbidden City in Beijing
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
On Oct. 6, Chinese tourists exited the Forbidden City, one of the most popular tourist sites in the country. Considered a masterpiece of Chinese architecture, the former imperial palace comprises 980 buildings spread over 180 acres in the middle of Beijing.
In August, the Chinese government eliminated mandatory mask requirements for residents of Beijing after the city reported 13 consecutive days without new coronavirus cases. Despite that, many people continue to wear masks for their own safety or due to societal pressure.
Shenzhen North Railway Station
Alex Tai | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
As Golden Week winds down, Chinese travelers lined up at the boarding gate at Shenzhen North Railway Station on Oct. 7. It is one of four large railway stations in Shenzhen, a city home to more than 12 million people on the mainland near Hong Kong.
Trump raises coronavirus stimulus offer to $1.8 trillion, then says he wants bigger bill than Dems or GOP - CNBC
BY Jacob Pramuk
- The White House will increase its coronavirus stimulus offer to $1.8 trillion, about $400 billion less than the $2.2 trillion bill Democrats previously passed.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to talk again Friday as they try to strike a pandemic relief agreement.
- To pass a bill before the election to boost a reeling economy and health-care system, the sides would have to both come to an agreement and get the support of the Republican-held Senate.
Mnuchin to present a $1.8 trillion deal to Pelosi, $400B less than Democrat deal
The White House on Friday took a new coronavirus stimulus offer to Democrats, believed to cost $1.8 trillion, as the sides work to strike a deal before the 2020 election.
The plan would mark an increase from the $1.6 trillion the Trump administration previously proposed. House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion bill earlier this month, and the sides have struggled to find a consensus in between those figures.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for more than 30 minutes Friday afternoon, the California Democratâ€™s spokesman, Drew Hammill, said. Mnuchin offered a proposal â€œthat attempted to address some of the concerns Democrats have,â€ he added.
â€œOf special concern, is the absence of an agreement on a strategic plan to crush the virus. For this and other provisions, we are still awaiting language from the Administration as negotiations on the overall funding amount continue,â€ Hammill said in a tweeted statement.
In a tweet before the meeting, Trump urged negotiators to â€œGo Big!â€ Trump later added more confusion to a chaotic week of discussions over aid.
â€œI would like to see a bigger stimulus package frankly than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering,â€ he told radio host Rush Limbaugh, hours after apparently signing off on the offer that costs $400 billion less than the Democratsâ€™ plan.
Congress still faces several hurdles to crafting pandemic relief legislation and passing it. Even if the White House and Democrats can reach an accord on how much money to inject into a reeling health-care system and economy, they have to craft a bill that can get through the Republican-held Senate.
Earlier Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said another stimulus package is â€œunlikely in the next three weeks.â€ He has focused on confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the election, and the Senate has set a confirmation hearing for Monday.
To find a deal, Republicans and Democrats would have to quickly resolve several issues that have seemed intractable throughout months of fruitless talks. Pelosi has insisted on at least $436 billion in relief for cash-crunched state and local governments, while Trump has resisted sending them more than the $150 billion they received earlier this year.
Democrats want to reinstate the enhanced federal unemployment insurance at $600 per week through January. Mnuchin last offered a supplemental benefit of $400 per week.
Other areas of dispute include tax credits and food aid.
After Pelosi and Mnuchin renewed talks toward a deal early in the week, Trump abruptly told his administration to back out of discussions. After the stock market took a hit in response to the president pulling out of negotiations, Trump reversed course and urged Congress to pass direct payments, small business loans and aid for airlines to cover payroll.
Congress has failed to send new relief money in months as the U.S. health-care system buckles under a rampaging outbreak. The country reported more than 56,000 new infections Thursday, the highest single-day mark in nearly two months.
As millions of Americans remain unemployed, lifelines to sustain them through economic shutdowns earlier this year have expired in recent months. The supplemental unemployment insurance and a federal moratorium on evictions ended, as did the window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans. Trump signed executive orders that temporarily sent additional jobless benefits to some Americans and extended student loan assistance.
U.S. jobless claims remain stubbornly high as hiring starts to slow. Airlines and other major U.S. companies have moved toward furloughing or laying off tens of thousands of workers.
This week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell urged Congress to pass more fiscal stimulus, saying that failing to do so could â€œlead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.â€ He said Congress had a limited risk of â€œoverdoingâ€ relief.
— CNBCâ€™s Ylan Mui contributed to this report.
British Airways boss steps down as airline navigates â€˜worst crisis faced in our industryâ€™ - CNBC
BY Sam Meredith
- Shares of IAG dipped 0.2% during morning deals, reversing earlier gains.
- The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to an unprecedented hit to air travel, with the pandemic bringing the industry to a near standstill.
- More than 40 airlines have failed so far this year, and aviation experts expect more to follow in the coming months.
British Airwaysâ€™ announcement fell short for some frequent fliers who expressed their disappointment online. Scott Barbour
British Airways Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz will step down as the airlineâ€™s chief executive, parent firm IAG announced on Monday, with Aer Lingus Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle set to take the reins after a transition period.
â€œWeâ€™re navigating the worst crisis faced in our industry and Iâ€™m confident these internal promotions will ensure IAG is well placed to emerge in a strong position,â€ IAG Chief Executive Luis Gallego said in a statement.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to an unprecedented hit to air travel, with the pandemic bringing the industry to a near standstill.
More than 40 airlines have failed so far this year, and aviation experts expect more to follow in the coming months.
â€œI want to thank Alex for all that he has done at British Airways. He worked tirelessly to modernise the airline in the years leading up to the celebration of its 100th anniversary. Since then, he has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees,â€ Gallego said.
Cruz, who began his career at American Airlines, became British Airways chairman and chief executive in April 2016. He was previously CEO of Vueling from 2009 when it merged with Clickair, an airline Cruz founded in 2006.
Cruz will remain as the non-executive chairman of British Airways, IAG said. His replacement as the airlineâ€™s CEO, Doyle, has been at the company since 1998.
Doyle has worked in various roles at British Airways, before being appointed to the airlineâ€™s executive management committee in 2016 as director of network, fleet and alliances.
Doyle became Aer Lingus chief executive in January 2019.
â€œSean Doyle has extensive experience at British Airways having worked there for 20 years before moving to head Aer Lingus nearly two years ago where he has done an excellent job. I am confident that will continue at British Airways,â€ IAGâ€™s Gallego said.
Shares of IAG dipped 0.2% during morning deals, reversing earlier gains.
IAG said Fernando Candela, LEVEL chief executive, would join as the Groupâ€™s management committee in a new role of chief transformation officer.
At Aer Lingus, Donal Moriarty, the current chief corporate affairs officer, will become interim chief executive of the airline, IAG said, adding that a permanent appointment would be announced in due course.
Air Peace takes delivery of another ERJ-145 aircraft, set to receive 2 brand new E195-E2s - VANGUARD
By Lawani Mikairu
Air Peace Airline, weekend, took delivery of a new ERJ-145 aircraft to help boost its domestic and regional operations. The aircraft, with registration number 5N-BXF, arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at about 20:00hrs on Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Disclosing this to newsmen yesterday, Spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olisa, said the new arrival is a 50-seater aircraft. According to Olisa, â€œWe are very glad to announce the arrival of our eighth Embraer 145 Jet, another addition to the fleet of our subsidiary, Air Peace Hopperâ€.
He reiterated the airlineâ€™s commitment to ease the burden of travel in Nigeria and beyond by acquiring the right aircraft types for the different routes.
Aviation unions ground Arik Air operations Air Peace now boasts of 26 aircraft in its fleet. Meanwhile, the airline is set to receive the first two of the thirteen Embraer aircraft it placed firm order. â€Weâ€™re also gearing up to receive two brand new 124-seat capacity Embraer 195-E2 Jets this October, the first set of the 13 we had ordered, with purchase rights for 17 moreâ€, the airline Spokeman disclosed.
He also affirmed Air Peaceâ€™s ambition to interconnect various cities in the country and added that the flying public should expect more domestic and international routes to be launched, like Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou, Mumbai and other planned destinations.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/20...
A seamless experience: The Nigeria International Travel Portal by Dr Olamide Tayo - LEGIT.NG
by Jerrywright Ukwu
Editor's note: Dr Olamide Tayo, a Nigerian healthcare professional, shares his experience using the Nigeria International Travel Portal the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Nigeria Centre for Disease Contro, NCDC established as the international travel protocol for COVID-19 management in the country. PAY
I returned to the country recently amidst publicized frustration with the Nigeria International Travel Portal the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and NCDC established as the international travel protocol for COVID-19 management. It motivated me to share my personal travel experience departing and returning to Nigeria.
Departing Abuja, Nigeria Before leaving Nigeria, I drove to a COVID-19 testing site at The Dome in Abuja and did a test five days before my travel date. It took ten minutes to complete paperwork and sample collection. I got my results by text on the fourth day. Returnees who avoid repeat COVID-19 test to face travel ban as FG announces new guidelines On departing, I observed that physical distancing and face masks were practised at the Abuja airport.
I noted that not all airlines and countries require a COVID-19 test before departing, therefore, travellers need to confirm with the airline and the country of destination well ahead of time. I had booked Air France for the first leg of my trip to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It was a packed flight with no space between seats. However, passengers wore face masks. On arrival at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, I found that there was no physical distancing, but people wore face masks. A medical professional shares his experience in the new Abuja international airport.
The next leg was a Delta Flight from Paris to Atlanta. There was particularly useful physical distancing, as well as the use of face masks and hand sanitizers. Everyone was well spaced-out at the airport. Passengers filled a form, and they guided us to self-isolate for the first 14 days. Change your attitude towards COVID-19, it is real and deadly - FG tells Nigerians Returning to Abuja, Nigeria For my return flight to Nigeria, I did my COVID-19 test in Atlanta, Georgia, without a problem by logging onto the Georgia Department of Health website.
I booked my appointment five days before departure. It took 10-15 minutes, and I got my required PCR results in two days. Apparently, Nigeria does not accept rapid antibody test results. It must be PCR. With my negative PCR test result, I logged onto the NCDC website - https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng. It took me six minutes to enter information for my spouse and me. However, it took about three trials for our payment processing for the re-test. It eventually worked as it initially showed error messages. I paid N39,500 using my naira debit card.
I got both our QR codes in my email inbox within five minutes. I printed hard copies but also had electronic versions. When I did not get my QR code initially, I printed the temporary code available on the website but ended up not needing it after I got the permanent QR code as proof of my registration and my receipt for the re-test in Nigeria. Coronavirus: Top White House security official gravely ill, been hospitalized since September My travel itinerary was Atlanta-Chicago-London-Abuja. All the airline staff insisted on seeing COVID-19 test results to confirm my negative result and five-day testing window.
The last leg of the flight was on British Airways. There was spacing between passengers on board. We landed in Abuja at 4:35 am, and I was out with my luggage and through immigration by 5:30 am. I completed the Nigeria health form on the flight prior to landing; a one-pager that only took three to four minutes to fill out. I have a few observations from my experience at the Abuja airport. There were four arrival lines. It was quick and seamless for those of us who had registered, paid, and had a QR code before arrival.
I went through Immigration in about 15-20 minutes. Other traveller categories were those who registered on the NCDC website but didnâ€™t receive their QR code despite payment; travellers who registered and printed a temporary code but had not paid; and those who had not done any registration or payment. This category of non-payment or registration had to go to another section.
Out of curiosity, I asked someone in this category why he did not register. He said he just ignored the link the airline had sent to him once he had the COVID-19 test to board. FG reveals when UAE will begin issuing visa to Nigerians Another observation was that there was no rushing or disorganization at the arrival airport.
I got through Immigration quickly and had to give them my address in case they needed to track me for not doing the COVID-19 retest. The next step will be to self-isolate for seven days and go for the test on Day 7. It was a smooth experience overall.
Passengers stranded in Benin as taxi drivers protest extortion - PREMIUM TIMES
The drivers protested along major roads in Benin City
For several hours in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Monday, passengers were stranded as marked taxi and minibus operators withdrew their services.
The drivers protested along major roads in Benin City, alleged extortion by members of the National Union of Roads Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) outside their official daily payment of N400 each per day.
Their protest caused gridlock in adjoining roads leading to the Kingâ€™s Square (Ring Road), as motorists made use of alternative routes around the Government Reservation Area.
Passengers were seen trekking long distances along Airport Road, Benin-Sapele Road, Sakpoba Road, Akpakpava Road, among other major roads, while unmarked taxis made brisk business as they took the place of regular taxis.
A road user, Moses Ugbenu, said he trekked from Oko Central Road to Airport Road before he was able to get a vehicle that took him to his destination.
The protesting drivers, who stormed the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, along Reservation Road in Benin City, said they were forcefully made to pay several levies daily.
Leader of the protesting drivers, Richard Owali, said, â€œGovernment told us that the ticket we will pay daily is N400. NURTW N100, RTEAN N100, local government N100 while state government also collects N100 and when you are moving to another local government area, you pay an extra N100.
â€œOur problem is that after paying this N400 to the state government account, these two unions still send their men to our parks to forcefully collect N200 each from us and if you donâ€™t pay, they will be at your and throw one into the gutter.
â€œWhen we challenge them, they mobilise more of their members from several parks to attack us, we are tired and we want the government to come to our rescue. The government should tell us who to pay to.â€
Yet, another driver, Victor Edosonmwan, said, â€œWhat we do is to balance and carry and we have agreed to pay the amount as stated by the government but for over two weeks they have been beating anyone of us who donâ€™t pay. The government did not tell us that these lions and tigers will come back to the road again. We are scared of working now.â€
Efforts to reach the leadership of the two unions were not successful as the leaders did not pick any of their calls as of the time of filing in this report.
A seamless experience across the world during COVID-19 pandemic - THE CABLE
BY OLAMIDE TAYO
I returned to the country recently amidst publicized frustration with the Nigeria International Travel Portal the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and NCDC established as the international travel protocol for COVID-19 management. It motivated me to share my personal travel experience departing and returning to Nigeria.
Before leaving Nigeria, I drove to a COVID-19 testing site at The Dome in Abuja and did a test five days before my travel date. It took ten minutes to complete paperwork and sample collection. I got my results by text on the fourth day. On departing, I observed that physical distancing and face masks were practiced at the Abuja airport. I noted that not all airlines and countries require a COVID-19 test before departing, therefore, travellers need to confirm with the airline and the country of destination well ahead of time.
I had booked Air France for the first leg of my trip to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It was a packed flight with no space between seats. However, passengers wore face masks. On arrival at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, I found that there was no physical distancing, but people wore face masks. The next leg was a Delta Flight from Paris to Atlanta. There was particularly useful physical distancing, as well as the use of face masks and hand sanitizers. Everyone was well spaced-out at the airport. Passengers filled a form, and they guided us to self-isolate for the first 14 days. Returning to Abuja, Nigeria.
For my return flight to Nigeria, I did my COVID-19 test in Atlanta, Georgia, without a problem by logging onto the Georgia Department of Health website. I booked my appointment five days before departure. It took 10-15 minutes, and I got my required PCR results in two days. Apparently, Nigeria does not accept rapid antibody test results. It must be PCR.
With my negative PCR test result, I logged onto the NCDC website. It took me six minutes to enter information for my spouse and I. However, it took about three trials for our payment processing for the re-test. It eventually worked as it initially showed error messages. I paid N39,500 using my naira debit card. I got both our QR codes in my email inbox within five minutes. I printed hard copies but also had electronic versions. When I did not get my QR code initially, I printed the temporary code available on the website, but ended up not needing it after I got the permanent QR code as proof of my registration and my receipt for the re-test in Nigeria.
My travel itinerary was Atlanta-Chicago-London-Abuja. All the airline staff insisted on seeing COVID-19 test results to confirm my negative result and five day testing window. The last leg of the flight was on British Airways. There was spacing between passengers on board. We landed in Abuja at 4:35 am, and I was out with my luggage and through immigration by 5:30 am. I completed the Nigeria health form on the flight prior to landing; a one pager that only took three to four minutes to fill out.
I have a few observations from my experience at the Abuja airport. There were four arrival lines. It was a quick and seamless for those of us who had registered, paid, and had a QR code before arrival. I went through Immigration in about 15-20 minutes. Other traveller categories were those who registered on the NCDC website but didnâ€™t receive their QR code despite payment; travellers who registered and printed a temporary code but had not paid; and those who had not done any registration or payment. This category of non-payment or registration had to go to another section. Out of curiosity, I asked someone in this category why he did not register. He said he just ignored the link the airline had sent to him once he had the COVID-19 test to board.
Another observation was that there was no rushing or disorganization at the arrival airport. I got through Immigration quickly and had to give them my address in case they needed to track me for not doing the COVID-19 retest. The next step will be to self-isolate for seven days and go for the test on Day 7. It was a smooth experience overall.
Tayo, who lives in Abuja, works in the health sector
Nigeria okays air pacts with U.S., India, others - THE NATION
â€¢Domestic carriers set to benefit
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
President Muhammadu Buhari has ratified the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) with the United States, India, Morocco and Rwanda.
This will create a window for the country to draw benefits from BASA, which over the years, has been lopsided due to inadequate capacity by indigenous carriers.
With the new arrangement, domestic carriers are set to actualise the reciprocity on the listed routes.
Before now, only few indigenous carriers operate on intercontinental routes.
Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema applauded the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to ratify agreement.
Other operators also commended the government on the development, describing it as a good window for indigenous operators to demonstrate their capacity.
Buhari endorsed the instrument for the ratification of the BASA with the four countries last month.
Onyema described the signing of the agreements as another testimony of the commitment of the government to the growth of the domestic aviation industry.
He emphasised that the determination of the government to raise the local bar was deep, stressing that the era of lopsidedness against Nigeria in international aviation was over.
With these agreements, he said, the Federal Government had challenged indigenous operators to build capacity and remain competitive in the global air space, adding that this would lead to increased job opportunities and ancillary benefits to the domestic economy.
Onyema in a statement said: â€œThis couldnâ€™t have happened at a better time than now that the domestic industry requires all the support to stay afloat.
â€œIt is most commendable and I promise Mr. President that the gains thereof shall be fully harnessed.â€
To the minister, he said: â€œHis determination to raise the local bar is palpable. I can say for sure that the era of lop-sidedness against Nigeria in international aviation is over.
â€œWhat Mr. President has done is a call for local operators to build capacity and remain competitive in the global air space. This shall increase job opportunities and ancillary benefits to the domestic economy. I thank you Mr President for this patriotic master stroke.â€
Meanwhile, Air Peace at the weekend took delivery of a new ERJ-145 aircraft to help boost its domestic and regional operations.
The aircraft, with registration number 5N-BXF, arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at the weekend.
Breaking the news to reporters, the spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olisa, said the new arrival is a 50-seater aircraft.
He stated, â€œWe are very glad to announce the arrival of our eighth Embraer 145 Jet, another addition to the fleet of our subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper.â€
Olisa reiterated the airlineâ€™s commitment to ease the burden of travel in Nigeria and beyond. Air Peace now boasts of 26 aircraft in its fleet. â€˜â€™Weâ€™re also gearing up to receive two brand new 124-seat capacity Embraer 195-E2 Jets this October, the first set of the 13 we had ordered, with purchase rights for 17 more,â€ he added.
Olisa affirmed Air Peaceâ€™s ambition to interconnect various cities in the country and added that the flying public should expect more domestic and international routes to be launched, including Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou, Mumbai and others.