‘Why Azman Air Suspended Domestic Flight’ - DAILY TRUST
Azman Air, one of the nation’s domestic airlines, has suspended its domestic flights for the past two weeks due to lack of serviceable aircraft, Daily…
- By Abdullateef Aliyu
Azman Air, one of the nation’s domestic airlines, has suspended its domestic flights for the past two weeks due to lack of serviceable aircraft, Daily Trust learnt.
Our correspondent reports that many passengers and stakeholders of the airline have been at a loss as to the sudden suspension of domestic flights by the airline.
One of the staff who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said, “We have not been operating for the past two weeks now but we don’t know what is happening.
“Many passengers were asking us when are we resuming but we didn’t really have any clue. It was later that we were told that we don’t have any aircraft serviceable.”
Daily Trust gathered that the airline suspended flights because all its aircraft were due for maintenance.
One of the officials who spoke with our correspondent said the airline on its own suspended flights to enable it carry out scheduled maintenance on the aircraft.
“This action is part of our commitment to safe flight operation and we will never compromise safety in our operation.”
It was further learnt that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was informed of the development.
When contacted yesterday, a spokesperson for the airline, Mr. Nura Aliyu said two of the aircraft would arrive next week for the airline to resume operation.
“All our aircraft are under maintenance but we will resume operations by next week by the grace of God. Two of our aircraft will arrive by next week,” he said.
Ethereum’s Shanghai Upgrade Looks ‘Stable,’ Developer Beiko Says - REUTERS
(Bloomberg) -- Ether rallied past $2,000 for the first time since August after a widely anticipated software upgrade to the most commercially important blockchain went according to plan, and as worries of initial rapid outflows proved unfounded.
The so-called Shanghai update enables investors to queue up to withdraw Ether coins that they had pledged to help operate the Ethereum network in return for rewards, a process called staking. Ether jumped as much as 5.2% to $2,008 as just 0.3% of all 18.1 million tokens staked were withdrawn in the 12 hours following the upgrade, according to data from Nansen.
Ether is now up 67% this year and within a whisker of topping an August high, which would take it to levels not seen since late May. Its advance still trails the 83% surge in larger token Bitcoin, hinting at more upside should withdrawals remain muted.
“The amount of ETH entering the market from Shanghai withdrawals is much lower than what was previously expected,” said Grayscale Research analyst Matt Maximo. “The amount of new ETH being staked is also outpacing the withdrawals, which is creating added buy pressure to offset the withdrawn ETH.”
Tim Beiko, who helps to co-ordinate the development of Ethereum, posted on Twitter on Wednesday that the upgrade is now “official.”
The network revamp — also known as Shapella — is designed to let people exit an Ether staking investment and has stirred debate on whether the appeal of the largest token after Bitcoin will increase over time.
“Ethereum is updating and navigating with great skill — so far anyway — and cementing its position as the No. 2 crypto,” said Aaron Brown, a crypto investor who writes for Bloomberg Opinion. He added that the network is “moving to the future much faster than Bitcoin.”
About 1.2 million of Ether tokens — worth approximately $2.3 billion at current prices — are expected to be withdrawn over the next five days, according to researcher Coin Metrics. Some $36.7 billion of Ether is locked up for staking, data from Staking Rewards shows.
Crypto exchange Kraken dominated the initial exit queue, based on figures compiled by Rated Labs. Kraken is discontinuing staking products in the US as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulator earlier this year alleged the firm’s staking service was an illegal sale of securities.
Investors were braced for crypto price swings around the upgrade but digital-asset markets were largely steady.
Smaller coins from applications that try to make it easier to harness Ether staking rewards, such as LDO and RPL, also advanced, according to CoinGecko data. LDO clinbed 6.1% and RPL was up 2.3%, the data showed.
The Ethereum blockchain in September last year transitioned to a proof-of-stake from a proof-of-work approach, a revamp called the Merge that slashed the network’s electricity consumption.
Proof-of-stake uses piles of Ether — placed in special so-called staking wallets — to help order transactions on the Ethereum network. Proof-of-work, the system used by Bitcoin, relies on power-hungry computers and consequently has been attacked for its environmental footprint.
--With assistance from Sidhartha Shukla.
(Updates with Ether price reaction from first paragraph.)
Flight Operations May Be Disrupted in Nigeria as Aviation Unions Embark on Strike April 17 - ARISE NEWS
The strike is over ths FG’s plan to demolish Lagos offices of aviation parastatals and the delay to review workers Condition of Service.
Flight operations might be disrupted in NigerIa as aviation unions have announced that they would embark on strike from April 17th to 18th, 2023, over the plan of the federal government to demolish Lagos offices of aviation parastatals and the delay to review workers Condition of Service, (CoS) as negotiated between the unions and four aviation agencies seven years ago.
Other reasons given for the planned industrial action included non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019 and the planned demolition exercise of all the agency buildings in Lagos by the Minister of Aviation for an airport city project, known as aerotropilis.
In a notice of a two-day warning strike to workers of all aviation agencies, signed by the scribes of the five unions, it insisted that if the warning strike fails, an indefinite strike shall ensue.
The unions included National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots (NAAP) and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
The unions which signed the notice said they had earlier issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Minister of Aviation since February 7, 2023 on the same matter.
According to the notice, the ultimatum had since expired and nothing tangible had been yielded from their efforts.
“Recall our unions as named above issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Honourable Minister of Aviation and specific aviation parastatals since February 7, 2023 over the following demands: non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet since 2019, refusal of the Salaries, Income & Wages Commission, NSIWC and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, OHCSF, to release the reviewed Condition of Service, CoS, of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT and Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet , as negotiated between our unions and the Agencies, and as duly conveyed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation since upwards of nine years.
“The ultimatum has since expired and nothing tangible has been yielded from our efforts and that of the Ministry of Aviation. Furthermore, it has become evident that the Minister of Aviation remains adamant in carrying out his threat to demolish the headquarters of FAAN, NAMA and NCAA in Lagos, despite all our entreaties towards caution.
“In view of the foregoing and unless the demands are met , NiMeT consequential adjustment is implemented and the arrears paid, the CoS for NAMA, NCAA, NCAT and NiMeT are immediately released and the Minister’s demolition exercise is halted, all aviation workers are hereby directed to withdraw all services in the sector on April 17 and 18, 2023 as warning strike. Should the warning strike fail to achieve the desired results, an indefinite strike shall ensue. All workers should comply and all state councils and branch exco members shall enforce this directive without compromise,” the statement read.
The unions have directed all their members to comply with the directive while all state councils, branches and executives have been urged to enforce the directive without compromise.
Delta remains bullish on travel demand, forecasts strong earnings - REUTERS
CHICAGO, April 13 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) on Thursday offered an upbeat outlook for summer travel demand that it expects will result in higher-than-expected profit for the quarter through June, despite growing risks of an economic recession.
Rising interest rates, high inflation, mounting job losses and turmoil in the banking industry have fueled concern about the strength of consumer spending, which has allowed carriers to mitigate rising labor and fuel bills with higher ticket prices.
Investors had been alarmed by recent booking data that showed customers were booking trips well in advance, leading to a moderation in close-in ticket sales, particularly for domestic travel. Delta's advance cash bookings in the first quarter were up nearly 20% compared to 2019.
Chief Executive Ed Bastian, in an interview with Reuters, attributed it to an attempt on the part of customers to lock in the opportunity to travel sooner as well as elimination of flight change fees by many airlines, including Delta.
"Consumers are anxious to travel," he said, adding that demand for international travel was especially strong this summer.
Delta's air traffic liability, reflecting future bookings, at the end of the January-March quarter came in at $11.2 billion, up about 35% from the end of last year.
Some analysts said the company's outlook helped ease demand concerns. "Ticket purchase patterns have changed, let's get used to it," said Citi analyst Stephen Trent.
Delta's shares, however, were down 0.5% at $33.57 in afternoon trade.
The lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions is encouraging more people to travel overseas. Travelers are also being emboldened by a strong U.S. dollar and more flexible work arrangements.
Delta said 75% of its international flights in the June quarter have already been booked. Premium cabins, which have been outperforming the main cabin in terms of revenue growth, are in great demand on its long-haul flights, it said.
To meet increasing demand, it is adding 20% of seating on international flights from a year ago.
Revenue in the June quarter is estimated to rise 15% to 17% from a year ago on capacity growth of 17%.
"We're growing supply at that level and not seeing a deterioration in the overall revenues," he said. "It's unusual in our industry."
Delta expects an adjusted profit of $2.00 to $2.25 per share in the second quarter, higher than a profit of $1.66 per share estimated by analysts.
It posted weaker-than-expected profit of 25 cents a share in the first quarter, as winter storms hurt its revenue and drove up operational expenses.
Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Jamie Freed and Shinjini Ganguli
Delta Air Eyes Profit Beat After Falling Short to Begin Year - BLOOMBERG
(Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. sees profit this quarter topping Wall Street’s estimates, buoyed by steady bookings heading into the crucial summer travel season, even as it posted weaker-than-expected results for the first months of the year.
Adjusted second-quarter earnings will be $2 to $2.25 a share, the Atlanta-based airline said in a statement Thursday. That compares with a $1.61 analyst consensus estimate compiled by Bloomberg.
Revenue and average fares continue to grow, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said, even if the pace of demand across the industry has moderated from a recent post-pandemic surge. The carrier forecast that second-quarter revenue will climb as much as 17% from the same period a year ago.
“If there are signs of slowing, don’t look here,” he said in an interview.
Investors are watching for any signs of waning demand, particularly in April and May before summer leisure travel demand kicks in, as consumers face high prices and threats of recession. The air-travel industry, which so far has been resistant to those pressures, also has been battling stubbornly high operating costs.
The carrier’s shares rose less than 1% at 9:39 a.m. in New York. Rivals including American Airlines and United Airlines, along with some European carriers, climbed as well.
Delta’s guidance for growth in average fares confirms demand strength in the peak summer travel period and “is a good sign for other international carriers,” Helane Becker, a TD Cowen analyst, said in a note Thursday. But investors remain concerned about non-fuel unit costs for the full year, which will need a “meaningful drop” in the second half to hit Delta’s forecast for a decline of 2% to 4% in 2023.
The company reiterated its existing expectation for full-year revenue growth of 15% to 20% over 2022 and earnings per share of $5 to $6. Delta’s pricing power for tickets is allowing the carrier to offset its own rising costs.
Delta’s first-quarter adjusted profit of 25 cents a share fell short of the 29-cent average from analyst estimates. Revenue excluding refinery sales was $11.8 billion, shy of analyst expectations for $12 billion.
Demand is typically weakest early in the year after peak holiday travel and before spring break. The 11 largest US airlines operating under their own brand are expected to report a combined net loss of $550 million for the quarter, with $50 billion in revenue and an operating profit of $400 million, according to Michael Linenberg, a Deutsche Bank analyst.
American Airlines Group Inc. said Wednesday that first-quarter profit will likely fall short of Wall Street’s estimates, with persistently high costs offsetting gains from steady travel demand. The airline will report full results on April 27.
Delta’s guidance counters investor concerns that followed American’s update, which was viewed by some “as signaling a meaningful slowdown in domestic demand in March,” Savanthi Syth, a Raymond James analyst, said in a note. Delta and United should have “outsized momentum” going into this quarter from growth in international demand, she said.
Delta’s non-fuel costs to fly each seat a mile, a gauge of efficiency, rose 4.7% — more than the carrier originally expected. The airline expects so-called unit costs to rise 1% to 3% in the second quarter. First-quarter revenue on the same basis climbed 23% year over year.
The airline will trim some flying this summer, primarily at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, in response to a Federal Aviation Administration request for help easing summer congestion, Bastian said without providing details.
United Airlines Holdings Inc. already has reduced planned May flights at LaGuardia, Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, and Washington Dulles in response to the FAA request, which is tied to a shortage of air traffic controllers.
(Updates with opening shares in sixth paragraph)
Aviation workers plan strike over minimum wage, others - PUNCH
By Funmilayo Fabunmi
Aviation workers’ unions have threatened to withdraw their services over the refusal of the Federal Government to release the reviewed condition of service negotiated over seven years ago.
Other grievances include the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage consequential adjustments and arrears for workers of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency since 2019.
The union also rejected the planned demolition of aviation agency buildings in Lagos to pave the way for an airport city project initiated by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
In a notice of a two-day warning strike signed by the secretaries general of five aviation unions – National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees – it was stated that if the warning strike, scheduled to commence on April 17 failed, an indefinite strike would be embarked upon.
The unions had on February 7, 2023 issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government on the same issued.
In the latest strike notice, the unions said they had directed their members to comply with the directive, adding that all state councils, branches, and executives had been mandated to enforce the directive.
Copies of the notice of the warning strike have been sent to the Airport Command of the Nigerian Police Force, Airport Commandants of the Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Services, chief executive officers of aviation agencies, and foreign airlines.
The situation may disrupt aviation services in Nigeria if the industrial action sails through.
Bezos’s New $500 Million Superyacht Is Undergoing Sea Trials - BLOOMBERG
BY Bloomberg News,
(Bloomberg) -- Jeff Bezos should have his new superyacht in time for the summer.
The 417-foot (127-meter) Koru left a shipyard in the Netherlands last week and anchored Wednesday off the coast of Spain near Mallorca, where it’s undergoing tests.
The Koru’s excursion is part of the sea trials where an owner puts the boat through its paces to make sure everything is working properly, according to a person familiar with its travels, who requested anonymity discussing private matters. It could return to the shipyard for final tweaks before being delivered.
The three-masted superyacht is estimated to have cost the Amazon.com Inc. founder more than $500 million. Bezos, 59, is the world’s third-richest person with a fortune of $126.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Previously known as Y721, the ship is now registered as Koru and is flying under a Cayman Islands flag. It’s the largest sailing yacht afloat, according to Boat International, and one of the biggest to be built by Alblasserdam, Netherlands-based Oceanco.
Read More: Jeff Bezos’s New Superyacht Heralds Roaring Market for Big Boats
An Amazon spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The superyacht’s size has caused a number of headaches for Bezos and its builders. The height of its masts was originally going to force the city of Rotterdam to dismantle a historic steel bridge, De Hef, for the boat to be able to make it to the ocean.
City officials initially agreed to temporarily take apart the bridge’s central section, but Oceanco ended up retracting the request amid public outcry. The shipbuilder eventually towed the vessel out to sea without its masts.
The size of the sails also meant that the yacht couldn’t have a helipad on board. Instead, Bezos and his helicopter pilot partner Lauren Sanchez will rely on a support boat, which is currently crossing the Atlantic with a destination of Gibraltar, according to vessel-tracking data.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a UK Visa from Nigeria - WINGS HERALD
Applying for a UK visa from Nigeria can be a complex process, but with the right guidance, you can successfully navigate it. This article provides a step-by-step guide for Nigerian citizens seeking to obtain a UK visa, whether for tourism, work, study, or other purposes.
- Determine the Type of Visa You Need
The first step is to determine the type of visa that suits your purpose of travel. Common visa categories include:
- Standard Visitor Visa: For tourism, visiting friends or family, or short-term business purposes.
- Work Visa: For those with a job offer in the UK, such as Tier 2 (General) or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visas.
- Student Visa: For individuals who plan to study at a UK educational institution, such as the Student visa (previously Tier 4).
- Family Visa: For those joining family members who are already settled in the UK.
Visit the UK government’s visa and immigration website to learn more about different visa types and their requirements.
- Complete the Online Application Form
Once you’ve determined the appropriate visa type, you’ll need to complete the online application form. Visit the UK government’s visa application website (https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk) to start your application. You’ll be asked to provide personal information, details about your travel plans, and the purpose of your visit.
- Pay the Visa Fee
After completing the online application form, you’ll need to pay the visa fee. Fees vary depending on the type of visa and duration of your stay. Ensure you pay the correct fee for your specific visa category.
- Schedule a Biometric Appointment
As part of the application process, you’ll be required to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a digital photograph). You’ll need to schedule an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Nigeria, operated by Teleperformance. There are VACs located in Lagos and Abuja.
- Gather the Required Documents
Before your biometric appointment, gather all the required documents for your visa application. Typical documents include:
- A valid Nigerian passport with at least one blank page.
- A recent passport-sized color photograph.
- Proof of finances, such as bank statements or pay slips.
- Proof of accommodation in the UK.
- Travel itinerary and booking confirmations.
- Employment or study-related documents, such as a job offer or admission letter.
Check the UK government’s website for a full list of required documents for your specific visa category.
- Attend Your Biometric Appointment
Attend your scheduled biometric appointment at the UK VAC. Bring your appointment confirmation, application form, passport, and all required documents. Your biometrics will be taken, and you’ll submit your documents for processing.
- Track Your Application
After submitting your application, you can track its progress online using the reference number provided at the UK VAC. Processing times vary depending on the visa type and application volume. Generally, it takes 15 working days for a decision, but it can take longer during peak periods.
- Collect Your Passport and Visa
Once your visa application has been processed, you’ll receive a notification from the UK VAC to collect your passport. If your visa has been granted, it will be affixed to your passport. If your application was unsuccessful, you’ll receive a letter explaining the reasons for refusal.
Applying for a UK visa from Nigeria can be a time-consuming process, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can increase your chances of success. By understanding the visa types, completing the online application, gathering required documents, and attending your biometric appointment, you’ll be well
Cyprus Revokes Golden Passports of Three More Investors - SHENGENVISA
Authorities in Cyprus have revoked passports from three investors who acquired citizenship in this country through the Citizenship by Investment Scheme known as the Golden Passport Program, thus benefiting from Cyprus’ passports.
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The decision, according to the government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis was taken after the “necessary investigation in this regard was undertaken,” SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
A 2023 bill in order to protect the collective interest of consumers was also approved by the country’s cabinet.
“The bill modernises the existing institutional framework for protecting consumers’ collective interests,” which permits courts to order a stop to behaviours that go against the legislation on consumer protection.
The bill also includes new rules that courts are eligible to use in order to issue corrective decisions where consumers have been wronged.
Wealthy investors from foreign countries were eligible to acquire citizenship in Cyprus if they made a financial contribution of at least €2.5 million and met specific conditions.
Even though it helped Cyprus’ economy rapidly grow, attracting investors from China and Russia particularly, it also turned a blind eye to many unlawful affairs, including corruption, tax evasion and money laundering.
Cyprus abolished its Golden Passport Scheme back in 2020, following a report provided by Al Jazeera named the Cyprus Papers, which brought into light the fact that persons involved in illegal acts also managed to acquire residency in Cyprus through this program.
A previous report by AP revealed that Cyprus’ authorities revoked a total of 222 passports granted through the Citizenship by Investment Scheme. The deputy government spokeswoman Niovi Parisinou stressed that such figures also included a total of 63 investors and 159 of their relatives, including spouses, children and parents.
According to the Cyprus Probe report provided last year, 6,779 people benefited from this program for a period between 2007 and 2020.
Last year, the Audit Office found that the country’s Golden Visa Program remained rotten until the end, thus causing the loss of millions in public revenue.
Besides, the report also stressed that several actions of the Cyprus government officials could also account for criminal acts.
The government spokesman Marios Pelekanos noted that a response would come in the name of the government “as soon as possible after the findings of the report are studied with due diligence, alongside the findings of the [separate] Nicolatos inquiry and always taking into account the opinions of the attorney-general.”
Previously it was reported that the former President of the country’s Parliament and three other former Members of Parliament were charged with corruption over their involvement in the country’s Citizenship by Investment scheme.
Why UK passport holders need to check the issue date of their passports before travelling to the EU - CN TRAVELLER
Make sure you don't get caught out by the new passport rules before it's too late…
Did you know that the expiry date on burgundy British passports might be meaningless when travelling to EU countries (except Ireland) or Schengen zone countries such as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland? This is because since Brexit, British passports cannot be more than 10 years old when used to travel to the EU – which means you need to look at the date the passport was issued, rather than the date it expires. Most people – understandably – assume that an adult passport lasts 10 years, but if your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months might have been added to its expiry date if the previous passport was renewed before it fully expired (the additional months used to be rolled over).
In spite of being a travel journalist, I was caught out by this sneaky rule on a recent trip to France (you can read more on the FCO’s website). It was ironic because I was aware of it, and then forgot about it. I had completed a trip to the US just the previous week and hadn’t thought twice about a trip to France with my daughter for the Easter holidays because I still have seven months left on my passport – it expires in November 2023 (you need a minimum of three months to travel to the EU). So I checked in online with Easyjet – uploading my passport details as requested – travelled to London Gatwick with my four year old, had our passports checked before dropping off our suitcase, and then proceeded through security.
A couple of hours later we were queuing to board the plane, but when it came to our turn a member of Easyjet staff scanned my passport and it flashed up as “amber” on her screen. She sternly proceeded to tell me that my passport had expired and we wouldn’t be allowed to board. My daughter started crying and begging to be allowed to see her grandparents whom we were supposed to be visiting. The Easyjet representative was unsympathetic – insisting there was no way we could travel and telling me to step away from the gate. I was shocked – it felt like an arbitrary rule. She wouldn’t even acknowledge that it was confusing for flyers and accepted no responsibility on behalf of the airline for not flagging it during the booking or check-in process.