Air Peace Moves Int’l Flights To New MMIA Terminal - DAILY TRUST
By Abdullateef Aliyu
Air Peace has announced moving its international flight operation to the new terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, becoming the first to do so.
The new terminal was commissioned nearly a month ago, built by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The airline operated its 7:00hrs Lagos-Accra flight from the terminal on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, Daily Trust reports.
Spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olisa, said Air Peace had notified the flying public that from April 19, 2022, its international and regional flight departures would be at the Terminal 2 of the airport.
Olisa’s statement reads in part: “We are delighted to be the first airline to operate a flight at the newly commissioned MMIA Terminal 2, and going forward, all our regional and international departures will be from this new terminal. We commend the federal government for the feat, and Air Peace will continue to blaze the trail.”
Olisa added that passengers flying to Accra, Banjul, Freetown, Douala, Dakar, Johannesburg and Dubai were henceforth expected to proceed to the new terminal for ticketing, check-in and boarding.
He added that, “Our ground personnel are ready to assist the passengers to ensure they seamlessly adjust to this new development.”
More than 15,000 holidaymakers are stranded as airport chaos continues - DAILY MAIL
BY Dan Sales For Mailonline 9 hrs ago
Desperate Brits trying to jet abroad on holiday faced more than 100 cancelled flights today as travel problems plaguing the UK continued.
The axed jets at Heathrow and Gatwick have been caused by schedule reduction as well as staff being forced off work with Covid.
Among them are 96 flights from British Airways as well as ten EasyJet services.
As many as 15,000 passengers could be affected, according to the Independent.
It reported one jet to Naples from Gatwick last night had to be delayed because of staff working too hard.
EasyJet told them: 'This is due to earlier disruption your flight resulting in the crew reaching their maximum legal working hours.'
There have been chaotic scenes in recent weeks at airports across Britain, with passengers frequently left waiting for hours, often in uncomfortable conditions.
The disruption was so bad at Manchester, the UK's third busiest airport, that its boss dramatically quit earlier this month amid a disastrous few days, which saw huge security queues forming as early as 4.45am and travellers missing flights.
Meanwhile at Heathrow, a male passenger in his early 30s collapsed while queueing as staff shortages left people waiting four hours to clear passport control.
The Transport Secretary last week blamed airports and airlines themselves for the disruption, which has largely been due to a shortage of available staff and a sudden surge in demand in air travel, as restrictions are eased in a number of popular destinations around the world.
Grant Shapps insisted that, while he accepted they have 'lost a lot of people' during the pandemic, ministers had 'warn[ed] them for a long time that they would need to gear up again.
Video: Further airport delays expected (Sky News Australia)
Consumer chiefs are also urging the Government to get tough on the airline industry, who they say must quickly fix the 'shambles'.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said airlines, airports and the Government must make it a priority to learn from the disarray seen in recent days - ahead of the summer holiday rush later this year.
Mr Boland also criticised the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport, arguing the Government should have handed the aviation regulator fining powers to punish airlines who fail to give compensation to delayed customers.
But the airlines have pointed the finger at the Government over the inability to get enough working staff on the ground.
EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren explained this is primarily due to high levels of coronavirus-related staff absences but also blamed the time it is taking for the Government to vet new recruits.
It is not just at airports where travellers are likely to face disruption over the coming weeks, however, with further pain potentially coming down the track, after it was announced some 40,000 railway workers are to be balloted for strike action.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said a yes vote among its members could lead to the biggest rail strike in modern history.
The union said Network Rail is planning to cut at least 2,500 safety-critical maintenance jobs as part of a £2 billion reduction in spending on the network, while workers at train operators have been subject to pay freezes and changes to their terms and conditions.
The ballot opens on April 26 and closes on May 24 so strike action could begin in June.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: 'Railway workers have had to contend with pay freezes, the prospect of losing their jobs and repeated attacks on their terms and conditions.
'Removing 2,500 safety-critical jobs from Network Rail will spell disaster for the public, make accidents more likely and will increase the possibility of trains flying off the tracks.
'Train operating companies have praised our members for being key workers during the pandemic but have refused to keep staff pay in line with inflation and soaring living costs.
'As a result, thousands of railway workers have seen their living standards plummet and have run out of patience.
'The way for trade unions to effectively take on the cost-of-living crisis is to stand up for their members at work and take industrial action when employers are not moved by the force of reasoned argument.
'A national rail strike will bring the country to a standstill, but our members' livelihoods and passenger safety are our priorities.'
NBS: Over 15m Passengers Passed Through Nation’s Airports in 2021 - THISDAY
BY Chinedu Eze
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated that a total of 15,225,627 travellers passed through Nigeria’s airports in 2021.
This was an increase of 101.02 per cent in domestic and international travel when compared to 2020.
The data released by the NBS yesterday, stated that the figures were provided by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and verified and validated by the bureau.
The details showed that the total number of international passengers who passed through Nigerian airports was 2,219,146, as against 1,408,026 passengers in 2020.
This represented 57.61 per cent growth rate, while in 2021, the total number of domestic passengers who passed through Nigerian airports was 13,006,481 as against 9,069,295 in 2020, which also represented a 43.41 per cent growth rate.
Furthermore, the data showed that the number of arrivals in 2021 stood at 6,533,740, which was higher compared to 4,870,072 in 2020.
On the other hand, departure stood at 6,472,741 in 2021 compared to 4,199,223 in 2020. Similarly, the total number of international passengers who passed through Nigerian airports were 2,219,146 in 2021 as against 1,408,026 passengers in 2020. This represented 57.61 per cent growth rate. Similarly, the number of arrivals in 2021 stood at 1,109,621, which was higher compared to 690,765 in 2020. Also, departure stood at 1,109,525 in 2021 compared to 717,261 in 2020.
The data showed that Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Owerri recorded the highest rate of traffic, while Katsina, Kaduna, Ibadan and Jos recorded the lowest traffic.
A total of 4,758,843 passengers passed through the domestic terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, while 4,093,712 passengers passed through the domestic terminals of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. The domestic terminals of Port Harcourt International Airport had 900,728 passengers, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (545,749) and Akanu Ibiam International Airport (508,513).
Others were Owerri (583,464) Benin Airport (433,017) Margaret Ekpo Airport (197,998) Yola (175,699) Maiduguri (197,898), Ilorin (148,109) Akure (113,625), Sokoto (137,511) Kaduna (73,110), Jos (57,020), Ibadan (51,172) and Katsina (30,313).
For foreign travel, Lagos recorded the highest traffic, with 1,595,522 passengers, while Abuja came second with 565,062 passengers. Port Harcourt had 14,519 passengers, while Kano had 39,441, Enugu had 4,532 and Maiduguri had 68.
Reacting to the significant increase in passenger traffic in 2021, the President of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs. Susan Akporiaye said while COVID-19 initially stopped many people from traveling after the lockdown, it was also the major factor that made more people to travel later, as people who were locked down were eager to travel on business and pleasure.
“COVID-19 was a factor that brought down the passenger traffic in 2020 but it is also the reason it went up in 2021. COVID-19 protocol introduced by countries restricted many people from travelling because it was costly and inconveniencing but immediately countries began to lift COVID-19 protocol there was a surge in passenger traffic; people started travelling.
“Doing those tests was not funny, since you would spend almost the same amount you paid for airfare on tests. So that’s why there is increase in air travel,” she said.
Also the Regional Manager, South West in charge of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba told THISDAY that due to the lockdown in 2020, there was a record of low passenger throughput because people did not travel as much when the airports were reopened in September, 2020 but in 2021 more people travelled with the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, adding that there was increase in the number of people on international destinations because “a lot of people are leaving the country.”
UK minister overruled official's concerns about plan to send migrants to Rwanda - REUTERS
LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - British interior minister Priti Patel overruled reservations from officials about her plan to send thousands of asylum seekers to the East African country of Rwanda, documents published by the government on Tuesday showed. read more
The plan, unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, seeks to act as a deterrent to migrants who make illegal boat crossings to Britain from France. It has drawn heavy criticism from political opponents and campaigners.
In an exchange of letters with Patel, the top official in the Home Office highlighted uncertainty over the scheme's value to the taxpayer.
The government has said it would contribute an initial 120 million pounds ($156 million) to the scheme.
"I do not believe sufficient evidence can be obtained to demonstrate that the policy will have a deterrent effect significant enough to make the policy value for money," Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft said.
Patel ]acknowledged the concerns, but stated her belief that without taking action to stop the crossings, both the monetary costs and the loss of life among those who attempt to navigate the busy shipping channel would rise.
"It would therefore be imprudent in my view, as Home Secretary, to allow the absence of quantifiable and dynamic modelling ... to delay delivery of a policy that we believe will reduce illegal migration, save lives, and ultimately break the business model of the smuggling gangs," she wrote.
Last year, more than 28,000 migrants and refugees made the crossing from mainland Europe to Britain, a fraction of the number arriving in other European countries, but enough to keep immigration a politically sensitive topic among some voters.
Concerns over immigration were a big factor in the 2016 Brexit vote, and Johnson has been under pressure to deliver on his promise to "take back control" of Britain's borders.
($1 = 0.7676 pounds)
Airlines Rake In N390bn As Airports Record 13m Passengers In 2021 - DAILY TRUST
As Nigerian roads remain insecure for travellers, local airlines may have raked in about N390 billion through ticket sales as 13 million passengers travelled through airports in 2021.
The number of passengers was obtained from the Air Transportation report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Wednesday.
In 2021, air tickets sold at an average of N30,000 for economy tickets while business tickets sold for an average of N60,000.
Checks by Daily Trust also showed that during the yuletide season, air fares usually surge to almost double the figure as a result of the demand to travel.
According to the NBS, the figure represents an increase of 43.41 per cent compared to the nine million recorded in 2020.
The NBS stated that there were 6.5m arrivals in 2021, higher than 4.9m recorded in 2020. Similarly, departure stood at 6.5m in 2021 compared to 4.2m in 2020.
It said that 2.2m international passengers passed through Nigerian airports in 2021, as against 1.4m passengers in 2020, which represents a 57.61% growth rate.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja recorded a total of 4.76m domestic travellers, accounting for 37% of the passengers in 2021.
It was followed by the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos State had 4.09m domestic passengers, accounting for 31% of the total figures.
For the foreign travel, there was 1.1m arrivals in 2021 while passengers’ departure was at 1.1m, making it 2.2m foreign movements in 2021.
In the same vein, the foreign movement statistics showed that arrival in Q1 2021 was 212,977 while passengers’ departure stood at 222,453 in the same quarter. Similarly, second quarter 2021 recorded 220,171 (arrival) and 232,501 (departure).
In Q3 2021, passengers’ departure stood at 285,189, and arrival was 318,841. In Q4, the figure arrival stood at 391,284, and departure was at 335,730.
The surge in passenger traffic in the year has been predicted by stakeholders especially as widespread insecurity persists in the country, especially on the roads. Bandits and kidnappers have made Nigerian roads unsafe, leaving many Nigerians with no option than to travel by air.
Domestic, int’l passengers rise by 44%, hit 15.23million - PUNCH
BY Amarachi Orjiude
Nigerian Airports witnessed increased patronage between January and December 2021, as the number of air travelers rose to 15.23 million from 10.55 m recorded in 2020.
According to the latest Air Transport Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the figure includes domestic and international passengers.
This means that air travellers across Nigerian airports rose by 44.36 per cent as of the end of 2021.
Details of the report show that the domestic air passengers rose to 13 million in 2021, up from 9m in 2020.
Also, international passengers who passed through Nigerian Airports climbed to 2.2m, up from 1.4m in 2020.
In terms of arrival, Nigerian airports recorded 6.53m passengers, while 4.87m passengers departed the country.
The report read in part, “In 2021, the total number of domestic passengers who passed through Nigerian airports were 13,006,481 as against 9,069,295 in 2020, which represents 43.41 per cent growth rate.
“The number of arrivals in 2021 stood at 6,533,740, which was higher compared to 4,870,072 in 2020. Also, departure stood at 6,472,741 in 2021 compared to 4,199,223 in 2020.
“Similarly, the total number of international passengers who passed through Nigerian airports were 2,219,146 in 2021 as against 1,408,026 passengers in 2020.
“This represents 57.61 per cent growth rate. The number of arrivals in 2021 stood at 1,109,621, which was higher compared to 690,765 in 2020. Also, departure stood at 1,109,525 in 2021 compared to 717,261 in 2020.”
The report added that Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport recorded the highest number of domestic air travellers for the period under review. The airport recorded 2.75m air passengers.
It was followed closely by the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos which recorded 2.09m air travelers during the period under review and Port Harcourt which recorded 900,728 air passengers.
Unlike domestic travellers, the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, recorded the highest with 1.59m international travellers as of the end of 2021.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja ranked second with 565,062 passengers.
Read Also Air passengers grow by 34% in Nigeria, others — IATA Nigeria, others suffer 69% air passenger revenue drop –Report Air passengers to benefit from competition – Stakeholders The report also shows that Minna Airport didn’t record any travel activity last year.
There are however concerns that the number of domestic air travelers may begin to decline as a result of the recent hike in airfares.
Domestic airline operators had in February resolved to increase airfares by over 60 per cent with effect from March 1.
The hike in airline tickets came soon after operators, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria issued a statement complaining about the current high cost of aviation fuel and the unavailability of foreign exchange.
The statement read in part, “Aviation fuel cost above N410 in Lagos, N422 in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and N429 in Kano per litre, while the dollar, which sells for between N580 to N600 is in short supply.”
“Airlines carry out most of their activities in dollars which today sells for between N580 to N600 and is in short supply.
“Nigeria’s domestic airlines are in a ‘life and death’ struggle to secure the Forex they need to acquire their spare parts to maintain their aircraft.”
” This is a major influence on how quickly a grounded aircraft can be fixed and restored to its flight schedule, which in turn has a huge impact on the schedule reliability of the domestic airlines.”
While the Federal Government, through the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has ordered domestic airlines to reverse the hike, investigations show that the directive hasn’t been implemented.
Green Africa introduces N27,500 fare for Ramadan - THISDAY
Green Africa, Nigeria’s Lagos-based value airline has introduced special fares for travellers in the season of Ramadan starting from N27, 500 only across all routes.
These special fares are available for bookings between April 20 and May 4, 2022 and travel between April 21 and June 30, 2022, allowing customers to live the essence of the season with friends and loved ones while enjoying low airfares.
Speaking on the offer, Chief Commercial Officer, Green Africa, Obiukwu Mbanuzuo said, ‘Ramadan emphasizes values such as charity, sacrifice, empathy and acts of generosity. Thus, in the spirit of the season, we have made available airfares starting from as low as N27, 500 so our customers can have a memorable Ramadan with loved ones”.
The Ramadan offer from N27, 500 is applicable on the gSaver flight ticket which is recommended for customers who travel light or who would like to pay for luggage separately. The gClassic ticket which offers 15kg checked-in luggage starts at N34, 500 while the gFlex ticket with 23kg checked-in luggage has a starting fare of N43, 500 only across all Green Africa routes.
Customers are encouraged to take advantage of this offer and book flights up to 30th June 2022 at these special rates.
Customers are advised to visit greenafrica.com between 20th April and 4th May to enjoy these special fares while limited seats are available.
Islamic State claims Nigeria bombing, says about 30 killed or hurt - REUTERS
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, April 21 (Reuters) - Islamic State claimed responsibility for an explosion that it said killed or injured 30 people at a market where alcohol was sold in Taraba State, Nigeria, marking an expansion of the area where the extremist group operates in the country.
Northeast Nigeria, especially the states of Borno and Yobe, have been in the grip of Islamist insurgencies for over a decade, but Taraba, located at the eastern end of Nigeria's Middle Belt central region, has not previously been attacked.
The explosion took place on Tuesday in Iware, a rural town, and local police initially said three people were killed and 19 injured. They could not immediately be reached on Thursday to comment on the Islamic State claim or casualty count. read more
In a statement posted late on Wednesday on a Telegram messaging channel used by Islamic State to distribute its propaganda, the group described those who detonated the bomb in the market as "soldiers of the caliphate in central Nigeria".
The statement said the attack had struck "a gathering of infidel Christians" and expressed satisfaction that the drinking spot had been damaged. It did not break down the casualty figure into dead and injured.
The whole of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, has been suffering from a rise in crime and violence, exacerbated by the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Armed robberies are rife everywhere, kidnappings for ransom have become increasingly common, and the northwest has been hit by mass abductions of children from schools as well as indiscriminate attacks on towns and village by armed gangs.
The worst and longest-running crisis, however, is in the northeast, where rival Islamist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) have killed, abducted and looted on a massive scale whilst fighting against the Nigerian military.
In the latest attack, on the town of Geidam in Yobe State, Boko Haram fighters came in the early hours of Thursday and burnt down a school and several private buildings, according to two residents and two security sources.
The residents said a local drinking spot selling beer had been attacked. One said he had seen nine dead bodies, while the other said he had seen several dead including two women. The authorities were yet to release a death toll.
Medical Tourism And Nigeria’s Ailing Health System - NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
By Yusuf Abdulkadir
Over the years, there has been a progressive decline in the Nigerian health sector. It is so disheartening that the health institutions that should be properly managed and taken care of by the Nigerian government have been neglected and the current and the previous governments are serial causes of this negligence.
Nigerians are now left alone to suffer and source for good healthcare by themselves due to the failure of the government to provide good healthcare for its citizens. To further compound the issue, President Muhammdu Buhari, who ought to lead by example for other Nigerian leaders to emulate, is guilty of this. He left for the United Kingdom for his routine medical check up weeks ago. Is our healthcare system not good enough to cater for his medical needs?
President Buhari-led administration’s claims to have implemented and facilitated a lot of infrastructural projects within the health sector is not left out. The question here is that are these so-called projects properly maintained, equipped and financed? Or why will the president keep spending and awarding money for projects without believing in them?
Truth to be told, our health system is dilapidating gradually. The health sector is nothing to write home about. Why should government officials run abroad to receive treatment, after claiming to have spent billions of naira on infrastructural project in the country, the health sector included?
Why do our governors, senators, honourables, ministers, and others travel abroad to receive treatment? The best answer to these questions is that they do not belief in their actions. They believe they will always receive the best treatment abroad irrespective of what they do in their own country, which should never be the thinking of a good government officials that were voted for to protect the lives and properties of their people. They run abroad just because they have failed woefully in maintaining our health system.
Assuming Nigeria’s health system is up to the task, properly equipped with modern facilities, staff and medical practitioners treated well with instant payment of salaries, bonuses, incentives and other necessary things in place, things would not be this bad. I honestly doubt if the Nigerian government knows or feels what Nigerians are going through when it comes to health challenges, coupled with inadequate health facilities, hospitals, etc.
It is no longer a surprise that in today’s Nigeria, some people are frustrated to the extent of going on the social media to seek support by circulating fliers to get money to treat themselves, especially those who are to travel abroad to undergo a particular surgery and other health issues. These days, some medical practitioners are leaving the country for Saudi Arabia, United States, Canada, United Kingdom to secure jobs that come with good pay. Working conditions in these countries cannot to compared to Nigeria where one struggles to get a good job and sometimes embark on strike to get entitlements.
Without a doubt, it is time our leaders took adequate responsibility and push hard for the allocation of sufficient funds to the health sector. The free healthcare system promised during the elections should be properly implemented. It is time they facilitated projects effectively in the health sector. They should equip our hospitals, starting from the community health care centres in various wards and local governments down to the national and teaching hospitals. This applies to other sectors, be it the education sector, economic sector, and others.
Finally, by putting all these in place gradually the country would develop, and this to a large extent would pave way for growth and development. https://tribuneonlineng.com/me...
Emirates Launches Initiative For Nigerian Passengers - DAILY TRUST
By Abdullateef Aliyu
Emirates has launched its “Dubai Experience” for Nigerians travelling to Dubai for business and leisure.
The platform was described as powerful and intuitive for customers to easily browse, create and book their own customised itineraries, including flights, hotel stay, visits to key attractions and other dining and leisure experiences in Dubai and the UAE, while experiencing the vibrancy of Dubai in a more exciting way, according to Emirates.
It said customers could choose from pre-curated itineraries if they were first-time visitors, or if they had specific interests in sports, culture, adventure, or entertainment and the arts.
They could also have fun creating their own unique itineraries from scratch, pulling from an extensive list of recommended activities and dining options, or mix and match, using pre-curated itineraries as a starting point.
Emirates’ chief commercial officer, Adnan Kazim, said Emirates was proud to promote the very best that Dubai and the UAE had to offer on the “Dubai Experience”.
He said, “This powerful platform offers our customers the ability to plan their Dubai journeys and stopovers, and benefit from exclusive rates and expertly curated recommendations.
“Through the Dubai Experience platform, Emirates aims to add value to our customers and enrich their journeys, and ultimately drive more people to visit our beautiful home and hub in the UAE. We will continue to add more exciting content on Dubai Experience, and look at opportunities to launch it to customers in more markets.”