Travel News

Visa Restrictions: Sirika Urges Nigeria, Qatar to Review Policy - THISDAY

APRIL 01, 2023

BY Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria and Qatar need to review their Visa policy noting that the restrictions on both sides were making it difficult to connect the two countries as expected.

Sirika said that the rate of returns on investments in Nigeria is 34 per cent and the highest in the world with a population of over 200 million people which should not be ignored. 

The minister disclosed this during a courtesy visit of the Charge d’Affaires of Qatar, Ahmed Mohammed Y.E Al-Hor to the ministry in Abuja. 

In a statement issued by the Head,  Press and Public Affairs Ministry of Aviation, Mr. Odutayo Oluseyi, Sirika revealed that Nigeria and Qatar should maintain a sustainable relationship, adding that “Nigeria is yearning for investments and is also committed to its policy of ease of doing business for investors.

“The rate of returns on investments in Nigeria is 34 per cent and the highest in the world with a population of over 200 million people and Qatar is rich in oil and gas with other areas of investments just as Nigeria equally has infrastructures required for a smooth business operation.

“Therefore, both countries need to improve their visa policy and the restrictions on both sides are making it difficult to connect the two countries as expected,” Sirika said.

Ibom air evacuates passenger over anti-Tinubu threats - PREMIUM TIMES

APRIL 01, 2023

“You all are sitting here, and Tinubu is about to be sworn in as President, Tinubu must never be sworn in. He must never be President,” he said.

By Abdulkareem Mojeed

An unidentified passenger was on Friday evacuated from an Ibom Air flight over alleged threats against Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu.

In a video making the rounds on social media, the man stood in between the passengers’ seat in the middle of the aircraft and could be heard threatening that Mr Tinubu must not be sworn in as Nigerian president next month.

“You all are sitting here, and Tinubu is about to be sworn in as President. Tinubu must never be sworn in. He must never be President,” he said.

“I am a PhD holder in law and I’ll keep saying what I am saying.”

His conducts and utterances attracted the attention of other passengers aboard the flight, while some other passengers asked him go to court.

“Instead of going off this plane, you will go down,” the unidentified man told another passenger who challenged him to disembark from the aircraft.

In the midst of the melee, some airport security officials evacuated the man from the aircraft.

Kenya Airways Operating Costs Increased 93% in 2022 - THISDAY

APRIL 01, 2023

In the financial year ending December 2022, Kenya Airways recorded an increase in revenue, losses, and operating costs.

Simpleflying.com reported that Kenya Airways released its full-year financial results for the year ending December 31, 2022 where the airline highlighted an increase in revenue, losses, and operating costs.

The latest statistics released on March 27, showed that the group’s total revenue in 2022 stood at $890 million, a 66% increase from the previous year. However, the group’s operating costs increased by 93% due to the rise in operations and fuel costs.

KQ’s revenue for 2022 increased by 66% to $890 million compared to 2021. The group has projected sustainable recovery by 2024 as the revenue is only five per cent below pre-pandemic levels. A total of 3.7 million passengers were uplifted in 2022, registering a 68% increase compared to 2021.

The increase in revenue was attributed to the increase in travel demand as the world has opened up. While passengers increased by 68 per cent, over 65,000 tonnes of cargo were airlifted by KQ, which is a 3.5 per cent increase.

The deployed capacity in Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) increased by 75 per cent, ending 2022 at 10.3 billion compared to 5.9 billion in 2021. As a result, the passenger load factors were only 3.9% below the load factors achieved before the pandemic.

Speaking at the investor briefing, Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph said that global air passenger traffic gained momentum and recovered sustainability as governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions and passengers grasped the opportunity to resume travel, which was reflective of KQ’s performance. He added;”In 2022, KQs operations were impacted positively by pent-up travel demand, the removal of travel restrictions and KQs efforts to increase frequencies across its network resulting in a strong and sustained recovery in performance compared to a similar period in the prior year. As a result, global passenger traffic recovered from 41.7 per cent of 2019 levels in 2021 to 68.5 per cent in 2022.”

UK travelers face hours-long waits for ferries to France - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

APRIL 01, 2023

LONDON (AP) — British vacation travelers were stuck in hours-long lines as they tried to cross the English Channel on Saturday, with the Port of Dover in England blaming the delays on bad weather, heavy traffic and processing delays by French authorities.

The port warned ferry passengers of severe delays and said it was “deeply frustrated” by the situation, which has become a regular feature of cross-channel travel since Britain’s exit from the European Union. Saturday was the first day of a two-week spring vacation for most schools in Britain.

While the port said bus passengers faced the longest delays, local media reports showed long lines of cars and trucks as well. Ferry operator DFDS said that due to the heavy traffic, it was offering a “shuttle service” that would put passengers on the next available ship as soon as they check in.

“Whilst freight and car traffic was processed steadily regardless of the additional challenging weather conditions and high seasonal volumes, coach traffic suffered significant delays due to lengthy French border processes and sheer volume,” the port said in a statement.

The Associated Press

FG to demolish Lagos airport jet hangars - PUNCH

APRIL 03, 2023

By Funmilayo Fabunmi

Barring any last-minute change of heart, the Federal Government will in the next one or two weeks begin the demolition of multibillion-naira private jet hangars located at the Murtala Muhammed International Lagos.

The Federal Government said the hangars were obstructing the efficient use of the international wing airport and there was a need to demolish them to pave the way for the expansion of the new international terminal built with Chinese loans at the Lagos airport.

The Minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who made the government’s plan known while unveiling 10 new fire tenders, said at the Lagos airport, said the expansion of the new international terminal in Lagos would commence soon.

He said, “Those two hangars, Dominion and Evergreen, they will have to go and give way for our airport to be more efficient. We are not operating the Lagos airport at full capacity and it is household knowledge now, we have some obstructions that would be removed within the next one or two weeks, so that we can expand the apron; so that Lagos can have the full airport in full use to 100 per cent.

”And they can’t sit there in public interest and we would certainly shift them somewhere, it has to go. You cannot deny this city Lagos and the country in general from the use of their airport.

He added, ”When we demolished the Accident Investigation Bureau building that belongs to us, some people said it was to move them to Abuja, they have never been in Lagos, their headquarters is in Abuja and if the entire country is to move to Abuja, what is small AIB of 200 people. I don’t need to demolish their building, if I say go and he doesn’t go, I will fire him, I appointed him, big deal.”

According to the minister, the government agencies have been directed to come up with a document that will make the aviation industry more efficient, adding that this paper will form part of his handover notes.

”Government is a serious business, if there is no government will not be able to exist, so, what needs to be done will be done,” he added.

Dominion Hangar is reportedly own by the Senior Pastor of Living Faith World Outreach (Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo, while a former Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation  Authority, Dr Harold Demuren, is rumoured to have a stake in Evergreen Apple.

Following the opening of the Chinese-built new international terminal last year March, international and foreign airlines with jumbo planes could not move to the facility due to its small apron size. The development has hampered the efficient use of the facility said to be worth $300m.

In a bid to expand the apron side and guarantee optimum use of the facility, the government said some structuring obstructing the expansion of the apron size would be removed. Last year, the Federal Government demolished the headquarters of the AIB located behind the new terminal.

However, the government could not reportedly demolish other structures, especially the private jet hangars owned by private entities due to litigation concerns.  There are reports that the government may pay about N5bn in compensation if it will have to demolish the hangars and other buildings located behind the new MMIA terminal.

It is unclear whether there is litigation on the matter or whether the Federal Government and the owners of the hangar have entered an agreement on the issue.

An official of Evergreen Apple could not immediately comment when reached for a reaction. Also, Dominion Hangar could not be reached for comments as of the time of filing this report.

The Assistant General Secretary, Aviation Safety and Round Table Initiative, Mr Olumide Ohunayo, while reacting to the development, said, “It is surprising that these actions are being taken after the elections when they should have been taken about four or five years ago. The terminal has been sitting there for about four or five years. It is about two months to the end of the administration. I feel we should have waited for the new administration on this. The government has to pay heavy compensation for this if it will go ahead to do it; because people have gone to banks to take loans to do these projects.”

Dollar ticket sales grow as airlines sidestep trapped funds - BUSINESSDAY

APRIL 04, 2023

Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have deployed several means to avoid collection of ticket sales proceeds in naira so as to reduce the amount of money trapped in Nigeria.

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) told BusinessDay that these measures have seen airlines recoup over 50 percent of their ticket sales in foreign currencies, thereby reducing the amount of money trapped in the country.

Since last year, airlines have stopped travel agents in Nigeria from issuing tickets emanating from other countries into Nigeria in a bid to reduce the amount of money that would be trapped.

The development has forced Nigerian travellers to bypass travel agents in the country to purchase tickets from agents in Ghana and other African countries over skyrocketing fares as a result of their inability to repatriate up to $744 million.

Airlines also blocked low ticket inventories, leaving high inventories to be sold in naira only while the low ticket inventories on most airlines’ websites can only be bought with dollar cards only. This is in a bid to cushion the effect of their trapped funds in Nigeria.

Delta Airlines, the only US carrier flying into Nigeria from its base in Atlanta Georgia, has been selling air tickets to travellers in dollars. Jimmy Echelgruen, the airlines sales director for Africa, the Middle East and India, confirmed the development.

Susan Akporiaye, president of NANTA, told BusinessDay that the measures deployed by the airlines have seen airlines realise over 50 percent ticket sales in dollars.

“Since airlines deployed these measures, travellers are forced to pay with their dollar cards instead of buying through the travel agents. Buying through agents will mean you pay about N1.8 million for an economy ticket to the United States and over N1.2 million to London. Buying with dollar cards costs less,” Akporiaye said.

She said most people now buy directly from the airlines’ websites, which means they have to use their dollar cards to make ticket purchases.

The NANTA president explained that while Emirates and Etihad Airlines suspended passenger flight operations into Nigeria, some airlines have found ways to mitigate the current foreign exchange crisis and are still making huge sales from tickets sold out of Nigeria.

She said some foreign airlines even requested to operate more frequencies into Nigeria because sales have been good for them in recent times.

In the last one year, foreign airlines have been finding it difficult to access their funds from tickets sold in the country as a result of foreign exchange scarcity and have resorted to buying dollars from the black market for as high as N700 to a dollar as against the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rate of N429/$1.

The trapped funds grew from $100 million in February 2022 to over $744 million last month, according to the International Air Transport Association, making it very difficult for airlines to operate seamlessly.

“People are still travelling, even though our sales are not showing the volume, it is cheaper for people to buy tickets outside Nigeria than buying from Nigeria because the naira exchange rate is very high. The airlines are opening cheaper ticket inventories outside Nigeria but closed these inventories in Nigeria,” said Bankole Bernard, managing director/founder Finchglow Travels and former NANTA president.

“If you enter the aircraft coming into Nigeria, they are still full. People are coming home and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority is losing five percent on every ticket that is not bought from Nigeria. If we are losing five percent and the plane is full, it means Nigeria is like a dumping ground,” he added.

According to him, a return flight from Lagos to London cost over one million naira, and even though airlines have opened up more inventories, ticket prices are still high and airlines do not want to add to their funds already tied down.

Chijioke Okeke, a student who recently travelled from Nigeria to Turkey to study, told BusinessDay that the best travel deals were accessible using his dollar card.

“All my friends use their dollar cards to buy air tickets. Before now, we would buy from travel agents but currently, we have to do it on our own because buying through travel agents costs us over 100 percent more,” Okeke said.

Amsterdam Hub to Halt Night Flights, Ban Private Jets to Cut CO2 - BLOOMBERG

APRIL 05, 2023

BY April RoachBloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- Schiphol Airport, a key European transfer hub, plans to stop late night flights and ban private jets to reduce noise and lower CO2 emissions.

Aircraft will no longer take off between midnight and 6 a.m. at the Amsterdam hub once the changes go into effect in the next two to three years, the airport said in a statement on Tuesday. There will be no more landings between midnight and 5 a.m. 

The moves are part of a push to reduce noise and carbon emissions in line with the Paris climate accord. Private jets and small business aviation cause a “disproportionate” amount of noise and CO2 pollution and will be banned, the airport said. Schiphol is also scrapping plans for an additional runway. 

The new rules, which will mean 10,000 fewer night flights annually, come after the Dutch government proposed slashing the airport’s annual capacity by as much as 12% to 440,000 flights by 2024 — an effort that’s being challenged at court by airlines. 

“Our choices may have significant implications for the aviation industry, but they are necessary,” Royal Schiphol Group Chief Executive Officer Ruud Sondag said. “This shows we mean business.”  

The Dutch arm of Air France-KLM said it was surprised by Schiphol’s proposals, which have “far-reaching consequences” for airlines. KLM, which accounts for close to 60% of traffic at Schiphol, will join other aviation organizations in submitting its vision on the plans to the Dutch infrastructure ministry by June 15, it said in a statement.

While cargo flights will have to adhere to tighter rules for noisier aircraft and night closures, Schiphol wants to keep 2.5% of the take-off and landing slots available for such planes. “Due to international slot regulations, cargo flights are currently struggling to keep their slots at Schiphol,” the company said.

Special Report: Tesla workers shared sensitive images recorded by customer cars - REUTERS

APRIL 07, 2023

  • Private camera recordings, captured by cars, were shared in chat rooms: ex-workers
  • Circulated clips included one of child being hit by car: ex-employees
  • Tesla says recordings made by vehicle cameras ‘remain anonymous’
  • One video showed submersible vehicle from James Bond film, owned by Elon Musk

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO, April 6 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc assures its millions of electric car owners that their privacy “is and will always be enormously important to us.” The cameras it builds into vehicles to assist driving, it notes on its website, are “designed from the ground up to protect your privacy.”

But between 2019 and 2022, groups of Tesla employees privately shared via an internal messaging system sometimes highly invasive videos and images recorded by customers’ car cameras, according to interviews by Reuters with nine former employees.

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Some of the recordings caught Tesla customers in embarrassing situations. One ex-employee described a video of a man approaching a vehicle completely naked.

Also shared: crashes and road-rage incidents. One crash video in 2021 showed a Tesla driving at high speed in a residential area hitting a child riding a bike, according to another ex-employee. The child flew in one direction, the bike in another. The video spread around a Tesla office in San Mateo, California, via private one-on-one chats, “like wildfire,” the ex-employee said.

Other images were more mundane, such as pictures of dogs and funny road signs that employees made into memes by embellishing them with amusing captions or commentary, before posting them in private group chats. While some postings were only shared between two employees, others could be seen by scores of them, according to several ex-employees.

Tesla states in its online “Customer Privacy Notice” that its “camera recordings remain anonymous and are not linked to you or your vehicle.” But seven former employees told Reuters the computer program they used at work could show the location of recordings – which potentially could reveal where a Tesla owner lived.

One ex-employee also said that some recordings appeared to have been made when cars were parked and turned off. Several years ago, Tesla would receive video recordings from its vehicles even when they were off, if owners gave consent. It has since stopped doing so.

“We could see inside people's garages and their private properties,” said another former employee. “Let's say that a Tesla customer had something in their garage that was distinctive, you know, people would post those kinds of things.”

Tesla didn't respond to detailed questions sent to the company for this report.

About three years ago, some employees stumbled upon and shared a video of a unique submersible vehicle parked inside a garage, according to two people who viewed it. Nicknamed “Wet Nellie,” the white Lotus Esprit sub had been featured in the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

The vehicle’s owner: Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, who had bought it for about $968,000 at an auction in 2013. It is not clear whether Musk was aware of the video or that it had been shared.

The submersible Lotus vehicle nicknamed "Wet Nellie" that featured in the 1977 James Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me,” and which Tesla chief executive Elon Musk purchased in 2013.  Tim Scott ©2013 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
The submersible Lotus vehicle nicknamed "Wet Nellie" that featured in the 1977 James Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me,” and which Tesla chief executive Elon Musk purchased in 2013. Tim Scott ©2013 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Musk didn’t respond to a request for comment.

To report this story, Reuters contacted more than 300 former Tesla employees who had worked at the company over the past nine years and were involved in developing its self-driving system. More than a dozen agreed to answer questions, all speaking on condition of anonymity.

Reuters wasn’t able to obtain any of the shared videos or images, which ex-employees said they hadn’t kept. The news agency also wasn’t able to determine if the practice of sharing recordings, which occurred within some parts of Tesla as recently as last year, continues today or how widespread it was. Some former employees contacted said the only sharing they observed was for legitimate work purposes, such as seeking assistance from colleagues or supervisors.


The sharing of sensitive videos illustrates one of the less-noted features of artificial intelligence systems: They often require armies of human beings to help train machines to learn automated tasks such as driving.

Since about 2016, Tesla has employed hundreds of people in Africa and later the United States to label images to help its cars learn how to recognize pedestrians, street signs, construction vehicles, garage doors and other objects encountered on the road or at customers’ houses. To accomplish that, data labelers were given access to thousands of videos or images recorded by car cameras that they would view and identify objects.

FILE PHOTO: The forward-facing camera of a Tesla Model S containing Autopilot features is pointed out during a 2015 Tesla event in Palo Alto.    REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach
FILE PHOTO: The forward-facing camera of a Tesla Model S containing Autopilot features is pointed out during a 2015 Tesla event in Palo Alto. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Tesla increasingly has been automating the process, and shut down a data-labeling hub last year in San Mateo, California. But it continues to employ hundreds of data labelers in Buffalo, New York. In February, Tesla said the staff there had grown 54% over the previous six months to 675.

Two ex-employees said they weren’t bothered by the sharing of images, saying that customers had given their consent or that people long ago had given up any reasonable expectation of keeping personal data private. Three others, however, said they were troubled by it.

“It was a breach of privacy, to be honest. And I always joked that I would never buy a Tesla after seeing how they treated some of these people,” said one former employee.

Another said: “I’m bothered by it because the people who buy the car, I don't think they know that their privacy is, like, not respected … We could see them doing laundry and really intimate things. We could see their kids.”

One former employee saw nothing wrong with sharing images, but described a function that allowed data labelers to view the location of recordings on Google Maps as a “massive invasion of privacy.”

David Choffnes, executive director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at Northeastern University in Boston, called sharing of sensitive videos and images by Tesla employees “morally reprehensible.”

“Any normal human being would be appalled by this,” he said. He noted that circulating sensitive and personal content could be construed as a violation of Tesla’s own privacy policy — potentially resulting in intervention by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which enforces federal laws relating to consumers’ privacy.

A spokesperson for the FTC said it doesn’t comment on individual companies or their conduct.

To develop self-driving car technology, Tesla collects a vast trove of data from its global fleet of several million vehicles. The company requires car owners to grant permission on the cars’ touchscreens before Tesla collects their vehicles’ data. “Your Data Belongs to You,” states Tesla’s website.

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model 3 vehicle is shown using the Autopilot Full Self Driving Beta software (FSD) while navigating a city road in Encinitas, California, February 2023.    REUTERS/Mike Blake
FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model 3 vehicle is shown using the Autopilot Full Self Driving Beta software (FSD) while navigating a city road in Encinitas, California, February 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake

In its Customer Privacy Notice, Tesla explains that if a customer agrees to share data, “your vehicle may collect the data and make it available to Tesla for analysis. This analysis helps Tesla improve its products, features, and diagnose problems quicker.” It also states that the data may include “short video clips or images,” but isn’t linked to a customer’s account or vehicle identification number, “and does not identify you personally.”

Carlo Piltz, a data privacy lawyer in Germany, told Reuters it would be difficult to find a legal justification under Europe’s data protection and privacy law for vehicle recordings to be circulated internally when it has “nothing to do with the provision of a safe or secure car or the functionality” of Tesla's self-driving system.

In recent years, Tesla’s car-camera system has drawn controversy. In China, some government compounds and residential neighborhoods have banned Teslas because of concerns about its cameras. In response, Musk said in a virtual talk at a Chinese forum in 2021: “If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.”

Elsewhere, regulators have scrutinized the Tesla system over potential privacy violations. But the privacy cases have tended to focus not on the rights of Tesla owners but of passers-by unaware that they might be being recorded by parked Tesla vehicles.

In February, the Dutch Data Protection Authority, or DPA, said it had concluded an investigation of Tesla over possible privacy violations regarding “Sentry Mode,” a feature designed to record any suspicious activity when a car is parked and alert the owner.

Tesla workers shared sensitive images recorded by customer cars
Reuters Image

“People who walked by these vehicles were filmed without knowing it. And the owners of the Teslas could go back and look at these images,” said DPA board member Katja Mur in a statement. “If a person parked one of these vehicles in front of someone’s window, they could spy inside and see everything the other person was doing. That is a serious violation of privacy.”

The watchdog determined it wasn’t Tesla, but the vehicles’ owners, who were legally responsible for their cars’ recordings. It said it decided not to fine the company after Tesla said it had made several changes to Sentry Mode, including having a vehicle’s headlights pulse to inform passers-by that they may be being recorded.

A DPA spokesperson declined to comment on Reuters findings, but said in an email: “Personal data must be used for a specific purpose, and sensitive personal data must be protected.”


Tesla calls its automated driving system Autopilot. Introduced in 2015, the system included such advanced features as allowing drivers to change lanes by tapping a turn signal and parallel parking on command. To make the system work, Tesla initially installed sonar sensors, radar and a single front-facing camera at the top of the windshield. A subsequent version, introduced in 2016, included eight cameras all around the car to collect more data and offer more capabilities.

Musk’s future vision is eventually to offer a “Full Self-Driving” mode that would replace a human driver. Tesla began rolling out an experimental version of that mode in October 2020. Although it requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, it currently offers such features as the ability to slow a car down automatically when it approaches stop signs or traffic lights.

Tesla's Autopilot system

This excerpt from the owner’s manual for the Tesla Model X explains the car’s Autopilot system, including the cameras that record video of the vehicle’s surroundings. Reuters found that Tesla employees shared clips that captured sensitive and embarrassing personal moments.

In February, Tesla recalled more than 362,000 U.S. vehicles to update their Full Self-Driving software after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it could allow vehicles to exceed speed limits and potentially cause crashes at intersections.

As with many artificial-intelligence projects, to develop Autopilot, Tesla hired data labelers to identify objects in images and videos to teach the system how to respond when the vehicle was on the road or parked.

Tesla initially outsourced data labeling to a San Francisco-based non-profit then known as Samasource, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The organization had an office in Nairobi, Kenya, and specialized in offering training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged women and youth.

In 2016, Samasource was providing about 400 workers there for Tesla, up from about an initial 20, according to a person familiar with the matter.

By 2019, however, Tesla was no longer satisfied with the work of Samasource’s data labelers. At an event called Tesla AI Day in 2021, Andrej Karpathy, then senior director of AI at Tesla, said: “Unfortunately, we found very quickly that working with a third party to get data sets for something this critical was just not going to cut it … Honestly the quality was not amazing.”

A former Tesla emp loyee said of the Samasource labelers: “They would highlight fi re hydrants as pedestrians … They would miss objects all the time. Their skill level to draw boxes was very low.”

Samasource, now called Sama, declined to comment on its work for Tesla.

Tesla decided to bring data labeling in-house. “Over time, we’ve grown to more than a 1,000-person data labeling (organization) that is full of professional labelers who are working very closely with the engineers,” Karpathy said in his August 2021 presentation.

Karpathy didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Tesla’s own data labelers initially worked in the San Francisco Bay area, including the office in San Mateo. Groups of data labelers were assigned a variety of different tasks, including labeling street lane lines or emergency vehicles, ex-employees said.

At one point, Teslas on Autopilot were having difficulty backing out of garages and would get confused when encountering shadows or objects such as garden hoses. So some data labelers were asked to identify objects in videos recorded inside garages. The problem eventually was solved.

In interviews, two former employees said in their normal work duties they were sometimes asked to view images of customers in and around their homes, including inside garages.

“I sometimes wondered if these people know that we're seeing that,” said one.

“I saw some scandalous stuff sometimes, you know, like I did see scenes of intimacy but not nudity,” said another. “And there was just definitely a lot of stuff that like, I wouldn't want anybody to see about my life.”

As an example, this person recalled seeing “embarrassing objects,” such as “certain pieces of laundry, certain sexual wellness items … and just private scenes of life that we really were privy to because the car was charging.”


Tesla staffed its San Mateo office with mostly young workers, in their 20s and early 30s, who brought with them a culture that prized entertaining memes and viral online content. Former staffers described a free-wheeling atmosphere in chat rooms with workers exchanging jokes about images they viewed while labeling.

According to several ex-employees, some labelers shared screenshots, sometimes marked up using Adobe Photoshop, in private group chats on Mattermost, Tesla’s internal messaging system. There they would attract responses from other workers and managers. Participants would also add their own marked-up images, jokes or emojis to keep the conversation going. Some of the emojis were custom-created to reference office inside jokes, several ex-employees said.

One former labeler described sharing images as a way to “break the monotony.” Another described how the sharing won admiration from peers.

“If you saw something cool that would get a reaction, you post it, right, and then later, on break, people would come up to you and say, ‘Oh, I saw what you posted. That was funny,’” said this former labeler. “People who got promoted to lead positions shared a lot of these funny items and gained notoriety for being funny.”

Some of the shared content resembled memes on the internet. There were dogs, interesting cars, and clips of people recorded by Tesla cameras tripping and falling. There was also disturbing content, such as someone being dragged into a car seemingly against their will, said one ex-employee.

Video clips of crashes involving Teslas were also sometimes shared in private chats on Mattermost, several former employees said. Those included examples of people driving badly or collisions involving people struck while riding bikes – such as the one with the child – or a motorcycle. Some data labelers would rewind such clips and play them in slow motion.

FILE PHOTO: A camera is seen on the body of a Tesla electric vehicle (EV) during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show, April 2021.  REUTERS/Aly Song
FILE PHOTO: A camera is seen on the body of a Tesla electric vehicle (EV) during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show, April 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

At times, Tesla managers would crack down on inappropriate sharing of images on public Mattermost channels since they claimed the practice violated company policy. Still, screenshots and memes based on them continued to circulate through private chats on the platform, several ex-employees said. Workers shared them one-on-one or in small groups as recently as the middle of last year.

One of the perks of working for Tesla as a data labeler in San Mateo was the chance to win a prize – use of a company car for a day or two, according to two former employees.

But some of the lucky winners became paranoid when driving the electric cars.

“Knowing how much data those vehicles are capable of collecting definitely made folks nervous," one ex-employee said.

Reported by Steve Stecklow and Waylon Cunningham in London and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco. Edited by Peter Hirschberg.

Airlines’ Operating License Now Valid For 5 Years – NCAA - DAILY TRUST

APRIL 07, 2023

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has said Air Operator Certificate (AOC) license for airlines offering scheduled flight operations will now be valid for 5…

    By Chris Agabi

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has said Air Operator Certificate (AOC) license for airlines offering scheduled flight operations will now be valid for 5 years as against the three years the regulation previously allowed.

The NCAA also said for non-scheduled operators like private jets operators, their license will now be valid for three years.

He said this is contained in the proposed amendment to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs).

In the proposed regulation, remotely piloted aircraft (drones) will also be officially regulated.

The regulation also features amendments to penalties for fractions and other critical amendments.

Speaking at the stakeholders’ engagements Captain Musa Nuhu, the Director General NCAA said the Stakeholders’ consultation coming shortly after the publication of the Civil Aviation Act 2022 is to get critical inputs into the regulations before they are published.

Air Canada, WestJet rank last for on-time performance in February - YAHOO FINANCE

APRIL 07, 2023

Canada's two biggest airlines had the worst on-time performance among 10 North American airlines in the month of February, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.

The on-time performance report, released last week, showed that out of 10 North American airlines tracked by the data company, WestJet Airlines ranked 9th, with 63 per cent of the more than 13,000 flights flown in the month of February landing on time. Air Canada (AC.TO) was the only airline that had a worse on-time performance rate in North America, with 57 per cent of the nearly 27,000 flights flown in February landing on time, according to Cirium.

Cirium tracks performance for major airlines in the United States and Canada, including ones that were not included in the ranking. A spokesperson for the company said the rankings include only the airlines for which Cirium has coverage for at least 80 per cent of flights by that airline.

U.S. carrier Delta Airlines (DAL) had the best on-time performance in North America, with 85 per cent of the more than 119,000 flights flown in February landing on time. Southwest Airlines (LUV) had 82 per cent of its nearly 104,000 flights land on time, while American Airlines (AAL) had 82 per cent of the more than 151,000 flights land on time.

Air Canada's on-time performance rate was well below carriers that flew a similar amount of flights in February. Alaska Airlines, which flew nearly 30,000 flights compared to Air Canada's 27,000, had an on-time arrival rate of 80 per cent. Spirit Airlines (nearly 23,000 flights) had an on-time performance rate of 77 per cent while Jet Blue (27,000 flights) had a rate of 74 per cent. Frontier Airlines, which flew 39 more flights than WestJet in February, had an on-time performance rate of 71 per cent compared to WestJet's 63 per cent.

Still, the results are an improvement for Air Canada and WestJet compared to their total on-time rate through 2022, a year that was marred by delays, cancellations and airport chaos across the country. In 2022, WestJet had an on-time performance rate of 59 per cent across nearly 95,000 flights, while Air Canada's rate was 55 per cent over nearly 151,000 flights.

The airline sector in Canada is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Air Canada said on its latest quarterly conference call that it will boost 2023 capacity by 24 per cent compared to 2022, bringing it to 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The airline expects it will match pre-pandemic capacity by 2024.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.


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