Travel News

Lufthansa Says IT System Issues Causing Widespread Cancellations - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG is returning to normal flight operations after widespread software problems linked to damaged Deutsche Telekom AG broadband cables grounded hundreds of planes.

The situation at Lufthansa’s main base in Frankfurt is normalizing, a spokesman said Wednesday. Lufthansa expects the IT issues that affected systems including check-in operations to be fully resolved by early evening.

Still, more travel disruption is around the corner. Ground staff at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs are planning strikes on Friday in a move that’s likely to lead to hundreds of additional flight cancellations. The Verdi services union has called the one-day walkout due to slow progress in talks over pay and conditions for security and other staff. The strikes complicate travel for delegates attending the Munich Security Conference, a major annual event for defense and foreign-policy makers.

Wednesday’s disruption, caused by damage to broadband cables at a rail location in northern Frankfurt, forced Europe’s biggest airline by fleet size to ground hundreds of flights worldwide. Lufthansa’s global flight operations center is located on the outskirts of Frankfurt’s airport, so damage to the communications links there ripple through Lufthansa ground IT systems across the world. In Germany, air traffic control had to divert landings in Frankfurt to prevent an overflow.

Deutsche Telekom spokesman Peter Kespohl said that since Tuesday, four broadband fiber cables had been damaged at a Deutsche Bahn railtrack by drilling work neither commissioned nor conducted by the telecommunications company. Deutsche Telekom has repaired two of the cables and is working on the others, Kespohl said, adding the company couldn’t immediately say how long it will take to finish the repairs.

In total, Lufthansa has around 700 aircraft. Its stable of airlines includes its namesake brand and the national flag-carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss. The company also operates low-cost carrier Eurowings as well as other smaller brands.

Lufthansa declined 0.44% as of 3:48 pm in Frankfurt. The shares are still up around 24% this year.

The German company is scheduled to report earnings for 2022 next month. In December, the carrier raised its full-year earnings target on rebounding air travel.

British Carrier Flybe to Be Wound Down as Sale Talks Fail - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Flybe Group Plc, the distressed British carrier, is to be wound down after attempts to sell the struggling business failed.  

The regional airline had already ceased operations and canceled all of its flights in January after collapsing into administration, a form of insolvency proceedings. It was the second failure for Flybe which previously halted operations in 2020 when the pandemic wiped out demand for air travel. 

Although there were sale discussions with a number of “credible parties” it was not possible to conclude a deal “in the available timeframe,” said administrators at Interpath Advisory in a statement Wednesday. 

Read More: Lufthansa Grounds Fleet After Fiber-Cable Damage Crippled IT

Part of the problem with the sale was complexity around “use it or lose it” rules related to landing slots. There were also challenges with European authorities regarding a temporary operating licence for the airline, once the UK’s largest domestic carrier, that would have been issued by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. 

Interpath said it will now look at options for selling any assets and specific rights that Flybe owns. A further 25 employees of Flybe have lost their jobs with immediate effect. 

Flybe operated flights from Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, to places such as Amsterdam and Belfast.

EXCLUSIVE: Buhari to extend validity of old naira notes till April 10 - THE CABLE

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

President Muhammadu Buhari is considering extending the validity of old naira notes by 60 days, TheCable understands.

This is to avoid disobeying the order of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which ruled that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes remain valid until it delivers judgment in the case filed by some states against the federal government.

The CBN had insisted that the deadline of February 10 would not be changed but a senior government official told TheCable that Buhari was worried about the hardship faced by Nigerians as well as the legal implications of disobeying the order of the constitutional court.

The official told TheCable that this was the focus of a meeting between Buhari and the leadership of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) as well as the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) until the early hours of Wednesday.

The governors were then expected to withdraw their case at the apex court.

“The resolution was to give room for President Buhari to make concession on the monetary policy and make the following announcements public,” the official said.

“One, that the old naira notes of N200 be allowed free movement in and out of the banks for the next 60 days.

“Two, that all three notes will be legal tender during this period, but that any old N500 or N1,000 that goes into a bank will not be sent back into circulation.”

The official said that while others were “on the same page with the president”, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, insisted on total cancellation of the policy.

Buhari, who had earlier delayed attending the federal executive council (FEC) meeting by 40 minutes to monitor the development at the Supreme Court, was disappointed that the governors reneged on their promise to withdraw the case.

He had, after the meeting on Wednesday, met with Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, and Modibbo Tukur, the director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), on the need to allow all old notes circulate in the system to ease hardship on ordinary Nigerians.

“The president will not disobey the court. But he is also concerned about the suffering of Nigerians and wants the to find lasting solution to it,” the official further explained to TheCable.

“It is clear that some militancy is being propagated against the people by the elite who have the means to secure the new notes no matter what while the people continue to suffer.

“The president will continue to engage and see the way out of the logjam.”

Editor’s note: A slight correction has been done to the story to reflect that only old N200 notes will be allowed to go in and out of the banking system till April 10. Old N1,000 and N500 notes will not be dispensed by banks under the imminent concession. 

Nigeria among Africa’s top five private jet charter markets – Operator - PUNCH

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

The Managing Director of an aircraft management and charter flight company, Leading-Edge Aviation Company, Mr Victor Mgbachi, speaks with FUNMI FABUNMI on the prospects of business aviation and private jet charter sub-sector in Nigeria, among other key issues

What would you say are the factors driving business aviation and private jet charter in Nigeria?

I would say that the industry has never been very profitable. The sub-sector is not a robust one in Nigeria or in West Africa. However, in the African region, I would say Nigeria is among the top five. South Africa is far ahead of us, Kenya is catching up or exceeding our capacity already.  I would say that what drove business aviation in recent times was the COVID-19 pandemic that happened in 2020. It was the period people saw the need for business aviation. Before now, it used to be for pleasure and class. But now, post-COVID, many people now have a business to do with it. With the recurring delays with the scheduled commercial flights, several people now want to have a tab on what time they want to arrive at their meetings in different locations. They also want to have a tab on the time they want to return back to base to continue their businesses. I recall that during the COVID, there was an increase in the passenger-sharing model of private jet ownership. So a few brokers came together and said, you know, we have people who want to go and do business in Abuja, Port-Harcourt and other locations, but they are not willing to pay as much as $7,000 per hour for an Embraer Legacy private jet charter, for instance. So, what do we do? So, these brokers started pulling individual clients together. They work together to pull seven people together who will pay $1,000 each. That way, you get seven people who will pay $7,000 to cover for a sector of the flight. And if it is meant to be a return sector, each passenger pays $2,000, for example, and that covers for both sectors; and all these passengers agree that they are going to return back to Lagos at a specific time. So, business continued even while the pandemic was still on but the lockdown was lifted, and people became a bit skeptical to sit next to someone who they were not sure of their health status as per COVID. So, we saw that but that has suddenly fizzled out because COVID is now over, and life has returned to normal. However, most people who enjoyed the private jet charter service have now seen that business aviation basically was not for luxury, but for ease of movement or ease of business, depending on where they want to go. So, it is picking up and I would say a whole lot of people are beginning to understand that this is basically for business. There are a few owners in Nigeria who own their private jets, specifically for private use-they don’t use it for charter. They are purely Part 91. But for those who are Part 1, 3 and 5, they keep their aircraft out and there is regular cleaning of the aircraft interior to ensure that the aircraft is sterile for flights.

How has rising inflation and volatile exchange rate affected private charter service pricing in Nigeria?

One of the parts of business aviation is charter. One of the challenges that business aviation has faced is basically the price of fuel pre-COVID and then post-COVID when everything went up. In the past 12 months, there has been an increase of over 200 per cent in the price of jet fuel. However, the advantage is that the price of jet fuel is in naira, so we can always manage it. Well, for business aviation and charter, the prices are always in the United States dollar, so it is left for the operators and the aircraft management company to assess their operating costs against their charter prices and fix a price for their clients. But for Leading-Edge Aviation Company, we are also into charter services and with the type of aircraft we manage, we have kept our prices very competitive compared to other operators; this one of the cutting-edge for us. So, we also look at the middleman between the end user and the charter company. We usually give rebates to the middleman; the middleman is called the broker in this business. This also gives us an opportunity to get more business from the end users. However, the price of fuel has not really affected business aviation because it is usually charged in USD. However, we have seen some operators that increased their prices just to accommodate the extra cost of operation.

Are there challenges with running a private charter with foreign-registered private jets?

It is always a bit difficult to run a charter business with foreign-registered airplanes, and that’s why the regulatory authorities would always encourage any investor in business aviation to deregister their aircraft and put it in Nigerian registration. This will help them to cut down on the cost of landing and en-route navigational charges. I will give you a very good example. If an aircraft is registered as Five-November (5N), the operator of such an aircraft will pay their charges at a particular index, which is over 90 per cent lower than what the operators of the foreign-registered aircraft will pay. However, there is also the fear that if an operator registers their aircraft in Five-November (5N), the aircraft will lose its value in the global market. Well, all that has changed over time. We now have more aircraft Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul (MROs) facilities and Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs), coming into the Nigerian market. We have the likes of ExecuJet, Air First, Seven Star Global and a whole lot of AMOs. They are giving first-world services to these airplanes as per maintenance. However, the fears are still there. Most insurance companies try to shy away from 5N-registered aircraft. Again, we also try to make our brokers smile because they are the ones who know the end users. They bring the end users to us, while we do the charter. They are often given a rebate of what the fee is. Basically, we are competitive and we can offer more services. We have had a few of our clients use our airplane and the feedback has been phenomenal. They say to us, “your in-flight service is off the roof.’’ We serve proper meals within the first 35 minutes of the flight.

Talking about elections, it is believed that politicians often fly private jets to attend campaigns and political meetings during electioneering. Is the sector not expected to record more sales during this period?

There is always an upsurge before every election, but this upsurge would always declines two to three weeks before the real election period and I will tell you why. Most private jets have their insurance cover, particularly foreign-registered aircraft which often have their insurance covered by foreign insurance companies. As a practice, private jet operators often get a red flag or an alert from the insurance company warning them against flying to certain states in Nigeria. They often state that aircraft operators can’t operate in some states because of unrest and the activities of insurgents in those areas. But generally, before an election, we always have an upsurge and increase in the demand for private jets. However, private jets are still limited in terms of number in Nigeria. We have a few individuals who always want to take advantage of that period to bring in an airplane, especially on a lease purchase, to operate within that period and then exit.  But it has been very difficult doing that because you really cannot hold the market. You cannot tame the market. And part of the reason you cannot tame the market is that some of these airplanes can be due for maintenance within and around the election period, you can’t skip that.  On the other hand, part of the issue may have to do with certain restrictions like crew duty hours. A few operators do not stick to this rule, and they often run into trouble with regulatory authorities like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the rest of them. For Part 91, which is the private jet part of business aviation, a pilot or a set of the crew are only expected to fly for eight hours; or between eight to 12 hours maximum; and they must have their minimum rest before the next flight. So, the restriction there is that the demand will be there but there are a lot of restrictions that have to do with aircraft maintenance, crew rest period, and other factors. Another downside could be the airport operating hours. For example, if a politician has an evening rally, there is always a restriction for most airports that do not operate for 24 hours. There are airports that operate sunrise and sunset-7:00AM to 6:00PM. So, there is a restriction of arriving and departing such airports within that period, otherwise the aircraft will be grounded. Alternatively, they may be asked to pay for an extension. So yes, there are increases in demand during election period but there are also limiting factors during an election period. While there is an increase in demand, the limiting factors must also be considered.

Home Price Drop Hits 15% in Canada as High Rates Squeeze Buyers - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian home prices fell for an 11th straight month as rising interest rates continued to limit what prospective buyers can afford, ramping up pressure on the country’s housing market.

The national benchmark price for a home declined 1.9% to C$714,700 ($532,060) in January from December, according to data released Wednesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. It’s down 15% from last year’s peak.

The Canadian housing market has seen an abrupt reversal from its frenzied pandemic days as the central bank raises interest rates last year to combat inflation. The fast rise in borrowing costs has priced out buyers, squeezing affordability even with prices down.

Sales fell 3% in January from the previous month, while the number of new listings rose 3.3%, keeping downward pressure on prices, the real estate board data show.

That came as the Bank of Canada kept up pressure when it raised its benchmark interest rate to 4.5% at its January meeting. The benchmark rate was just 0.25% last March, making for one of the quickest increases in borrowing costs in Canada’s history. But the central bank has signaled that it might now pause to see how the country’s economy and its consumers are handling the increases.

Despite the increase in supply in January, the number of houses available for sale across the country remains constrained. The number of homes that hit the market last month was the lowest for the month of January since 2000, and the 4.3 months worth of inventory currently available for sale nationwide is still about a month less than that measure’s long-term average, real estate board data show.

“We may have to wait another month or two to see what buyers are planning this year since new listings are currently trickling out at near-record low levels,” Jill Oudil, chair of the national real estate board, said in a press release accompanying the data. “But that should change as the weather warms.” 

Court dismisses suit seeking to allow Nigerians in diaspora vote - THE CABLE

FEBRUARY 15, 2023

A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking to stop the general election over the exclusion of Nigerians in diaspora from voting.

Delivering judgment on Wednesday, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, held the suit lacked merit.

The judge also held that the right to vote in elections was not guaranteed by the country’s laws for Nigerians living abroad.

“The court does not enact laws. It cannot also expand the law in order to accommodate an issue before it no matter how sympathetic or humanitarian the cause or situation is,” the court held.

“It only interprets and expounds the laws, and it is the law as stated before in this judgment, that when interpreting the provisions of a statute, the court must not ascribe meanings to clear, plain and unambiguous provisions in order to make such provisions conform to the court’s view of their meanings or what they ought to be.”

The judge said by the provisions of sections 77(2) and 117(2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the right to vote is reserved for Nigerian citizens resident in Nigeria.

“The right to vote for a president or governor is tied to the right to vote in an election of any legislative house, going by the provisions of sections 132(5) and 178(5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended),” the judge added.

Ekwo also raised concerns over the filing of the suit three months to the general election.

“The applicants can only be commended for bringing this matter to the fore. However, the court is not where the solution lies for now,” he said.

“What this case has revealed is that there is lacuna in the existing law with respect to the right of Nigerians in the diaspora to votes in elections in Nigeria.

“The lacuna here is not such that the court can fill by pronouncement or by importing statutory provisions from anywhere.

“There is a situation whose solution is by legislative and not judicial process.”

Chikwe Nkemnacho and Kenneth Nkemnacho, the plaintiffs who live in the United Kingdom, instituted the case on behalf of Nigerians in the diaspora.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the INEC chairperson, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are listed as the first to fourth defendants, respectfully.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2119/2022, the plaintiffs asked the court to order INEC and the federal government to suspend campaigning for the 2023 elections until they are included as registered voters for the polls.

Additionally, they asked the court to rule thatin accordance with sections 13, 14, 42, and 17 of the 1999 constitution, those of them who are of voting age are entitled to take part in the electoral process by registering to vote in all elections, regardless of their places of residence.

Lufthansa’s Global Fleet Grounded by Just Four Snapped Cables - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 16, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Grounding one of the world’s largest airline fleets took little more than four snapped Internet cables in a sleepy Frankfurt suburb.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG passengers from Tokyo to New York were unable to board flights Wednesday after workers accidentally drilled through fiber cables buried some 16 feet below ground in Eschersheim.

The damage brought down Lufthansa’s IT systems, disrupting operations at its main base in Frankfurt and forcing Europe’s biggest airline by fleet size to ground hundreds of flights. While services have since been normalizing, the incident raises questions about how robust the carrier’s computer systems are.

“This should not be possible,” said Anthony Glees, emeritus professor at the University of Buckingham in England and an expert in aviation security. “Big international airlines should always have a backup system and it’s simply amazing that there wasn’t one.”

Lufthansa is conducting an internal investigation into why backup systems didn’t function, according to a person familiar with the matter. It’s possible that external IT providers were at fault for redundancy measures not working, the person said.

Still, passengers bruised by Wednesday’s disruptions should brace for more inconvenience. Ground staff at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs are planning strikes on Friday in a move that will lead to hundreds of additional cancellations. The Verdi services union has called the one-day walkout due to slow progress in talks over pay and conditions for security and other staff. 

Munich Airport will be closed to regular passenger air travel on Friday, with more than 700 flights affected, according to a statement from the hub’s operator. While special flights for the Munich Security Conference will go ahead, the strikes are still bound to complicate travel for delegates attending the annual gathering of defense and foreign-policy makers.

Lufthansa isn’t the first airline to see flights grounded due to IT system failures. British Airways in December experienced hours-long delays to its services after a failure involving to flight-planning software.

Wednesday’s disruption began with an accident on Tuesday around 7 pm local time, when workers handling a drill damaged four Deutsche Telekom AG fiber cables buried near a local train station. They also spilled concrete over the cables, further complicating repairs, according to a spokesman for the telecommunications company.

Lufthansa’s global flight operations center is located on the outskirts of Frankfurt’s airport, so damage to the communications links there ripple through Lufthansa ground IT systems across the world. In Germany, air traffic control had to divert landings in Frankfurt to other airports to prevent an overflow.

Lufthansa still is tallying the exact number of flights affected and the cost of it all. Deutsche Bahn AG, the state-owned railway company that had commissioned the works, issued an apology to affected travelers.

In total, Lufthansa has around 700 aircraft. Its stable of airlines includes its namesake brand and the national flag-carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss. The company also operates low-cost carrier Eurowings as well as other smaller brands.

Lufthansa is scheduled to report earnings for 2022 next month. In December, the carrier raised its full-year earnings target on rebounding air travel.

(Updates with Munich airport disruption in seventh paragraph.)

Boeing says parts shortages persist, hampering plane production - REUTERS

FEBRUARY 16, 2023

By Valerie Insinna and Abhijith Ganapavaram

(Reuters) -Boeing Co is still facing parts shortages as the supply chain remained unstable and unpredictable, its finance chief said on Wednesday.

Boeing aims to increase production of its bestselling 737 MAX narrowbody jetliner from a stable rate of about 31 jets a month to 38 by the end of the year. The timeline for the ramp-up will hinge on whether MAX suppliers are stable and ready to support the higher rate, Chief Financial Officer Brian West said at a Cowen conference.

"The supply chain continues to have its moments of disruption," West said. Operations had improved at suppliers at the tier one level, or subassemblies and systems; visibility of constraints had improved at tier two, components; and tier three, parts, he said.

"We're just not there yet," West said.

Deliveries of the MAX in February were expected to drop to the "low 20s" from 35 in January, West said, then ramp back up to allow Boeing to meet its goal of delivering 400-450 MAX planes this year.

Boeing plans to boost MAX deliveries to 50 planes a month by the 2025-2026 timeframe, while at the same time creating a fourth production line in Everett, Washington. The line will initially focus on producing MAX jets with more complicated configurations, but West hinted it could also accommodate future demand beyond 50 planes per month.

The 787 Dreamliner has also experienced production lags, including pauses in production due to supply chain delays at Spirit Aerosystems, which makes the forward fuselage, West said.

"Our expectation is that they will get back to that three per month, and then as we move through the course of this year, be exiting the year more closer to five per month," he said.

Boeing intends to deliver all 100 787s in its inventory over the next two years, West said.

He said the company had confidence in its 2023 cash flow goal of $3 billion to $5 billion.

(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru and Valerie Insinna in WashingtonEditing by Shinjini Ganguli, Matthew Lewis, David Gregorio and Leslie Adler)

Brain Drain, Ghost Doctors And The Misfortune Of Healthcare In Nigeria - DAILY TRUST

FEBRUARY 17, 2023

Nigeria’s healthcare system has been plagued by brain drain which translates into a very poor doctor-patient ratio. Recently, it was reported that the UK licensed…

    By Ejuailo Ibrahim

Nigeria’s healthcare system has been plagued by brain drain which translates into a very poor doctor-patient ratio. Recently, it was reported that the UK licensed 91 Nigerian doctors within 15 days, bringing the number of Nigerian-trained physicians to more than 10, 200 comprising specialists, associate specialists, general practitioners and doctors in training. This figure is quite alarming considering the fact that Nigeria, with less than 30,000 practicing doctors, currently has far less number of physicians to meet the medical demands of its citizens.  

During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, according to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), about 5,000 doctors had applied for, and met the requirements to work abroad: they were only waiting for the ease of lockdown in order to leave the country to various parts of the world. Subsequently, officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were in Nigeria scouting for medical personnel to fill up available spaces in their health sector. These are doctors and other medical specialists trained in Nigeria and who were working within the country at the time.  

Some of the major reasons for the continued brain drain in Nigeria’s healthcare sector are poor welfare of the personnel, inadequate facilities and poor working environment.  

In India, for instance, despite the multidimensional challenges associated with high population, the country has been able to develop its health sector such that there is efficient service delivery. The only challenge that most citizens may face is the ability to afford it. This implies that if the majority of the citizens can afford the cost of medical care locally, then it would save the government the cost of balancing trade due to medical tourism abroad. India is one of the favoured destinations for Nigerians seeking medical treatment abroad. At the High Commission of India in Abuja, on the one hand, one of the easiest visas to process is of seeking medical care in the country. On the other hand, when applying for a visa to study a professional course, especially in the field of medicine, the process is tedious. This could partly be because these professionals would return to train other compatriots in the field thereby reducing income to the country. 

However, they are not to blame because they developed their system and their diplomats are only acting in the manner they deem as in the best national interest of their country.  

The case of a serious brain drain in Nigeria is not in doubt. Every medical personnel considers working in Europe, the United States, or the Middle East unless they lack the opportunity to leave. The only way to reduce the mass exodus is by improving welfare and emoluments of the workers within the sector.  

An efficient healthcare system can be a source of foreign exchange earnings as Nigeria would become a medical hub and an easier and more accessible destination to most people in need of medical care especially within West Africa and some parts of Africa as a whole.  

To some extent, individual attitudes towards national development are part of the problems that hamper growth in the country. In mid-January, there was another alarming report that the Zamfara State government discovered 199 ghost doctors on the state payroll of 280 doctors. The imagination that 199 ghost doctors are on the payroll of government hospitals is alarming to any well-meaning citizen. To begin with, 280 is an appalling number for physicians in a state with a population above nine million people. How many hospitals are in the state and where are these ghost doctors located? It is more disheartening that some individuals defraud the state by including non-existent physicians on the pay-roll making the challenge of fewer doctors look less macabre than it actually is from distant observation. This is at a time when Zamfara, a major state affected by banditry, is in dire need of all the possible healthcare attention it could get. 

If this is happening in Zamfara State, then how many more states could be suffering from the same challenge of ghost doctors and medical personnel in the country? Rural communities are usually the ones to bear most of the brunt as they are the places with more chances of having quacks and location of non-existent hospitals with dubious staff lists. This is devilry at its peak. These are challenges that the various state governments and policy developers must look into.  

Primary healthcare is another area of concern in national health security; ensuring a very functional primary healthcare system shall greatly reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortalities which is very poor in the country. Primary healthcare reaches most of the citizens in the urban and rural areas as the first, and in most cases, the only means of affordable healthcare to many Nigerians. If the primary healthcare system can be optimised towards better service delivery, it could save the higher echelons of healthcare the burden and need to handle many health issues of primary concern and, at the same time, reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortalities ravaging the country.  

Consequently, the government at the centre must endeavour to commit all resources towards upgrading the standard of healthcare. This stands as one of the major components of contemporary security. If the government is serious about economic diversification, then luring other African states towards medical tourism in Nigeria should be one key area that will definitely increase foreign exchange. In fact, if only to cut the humongous amount Nigerians spend on medical tourism abroad. Citing how Nigerian leaders flock abroad for medical tourism, how much could Nigeria save if the president and other elected officials get medical care locally? Thus, if the president is going to London, it should be strictly on holiday but not with an additional cost for healthcare.  

Having, at least, two medical structures as those frequented by the president constructed and functional within Abuja and similar ones (one) in each geopolitical zone of the country could save Nigeria a lot and earn more for the country in terms of foreign exchange.  If the leaders use it, it would definitely build the confidence of other African leaders to change their preferred destinations for medical tourism abroad. These are structural policy concerns that government at all levels must take into consideration with respect to revamping the health sector in Nigeria.  


Ibrahim can be reached through  [email protected]  

JFK Airport’s Terminal 1 to Reopen Saturday After Power Outage - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 18, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Terminal 1 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport will reopen with limited operations on Saturday after a Thursday power outage caused flight delays, cancellations and the closing of the terminal.

“Contingent on the completion of repairs and testing, we anticipate the start of limited operations at Terminal 1 on Saturday,” Alana Calmi, a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in an emailed statement. “Travelers should continue to check with their carriers for flight status before coming to Terminal 1.” 

About 39 flights have been canceled as of Friday afternoon, the statement said. Terminal 1 represents 5% of all JFK scheduled passenger flights, and of today’s 64 scheduled Terminal 1 arrivals and departures, 13 will operate at other JFK terminals, 12 will operate at other local airports, according to the Port Authority. 

Terminal 1 has 11 gates and serves several major international carriers including Korean Air, Air France, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. Some planes have been diverted to other airports, while others have returned to their points of origin. Those decisions are typically made by the airline, not the airport. 

NYC’s JFK Terminal 1 Remains Closed Following Power Outage (1)

The outage was caused by an electrical-panel failure that sparked a small fire that was quickly extinguished, according to the Port Authority.

The power outage impacted flights including Air New Zealand Ltd. Flight NZ2, which should have touched down at JFK Terminal 1 at 5:40 p.m. local time Thursday, but had to make a U-turn back to Auckland about halfway into its journey over the Pacific Ocean. 

(Updates with context throughout)


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