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Insecurity: Police on red alert in Lagos, ISWAP claims Zuma rock attack on soldiers - THE GUARDIAN

AUGUST 01, 2022

• Air Peace, Arik, Azman operate at 38.8% fleet capacity
• Hurdles for air travellers as over 30 per cent are underserved
• Operators blame lack of foreign exchange for maintenance
• Sirika’s Aviation Roadmap fails to deliver on promises seven years on
• Industry needs new policy direction to survive, stakeholders say
• Only four of 22 airports are viable, turn others to shopping malls, Bernard tells FG

Beyond the withdrawal of services by two scheduled carriers, the entire local aviation sector may be in for a shutdown of operations over steady loss of fleet capacity that has made schedule reliability near impossible.

Findings by The Guardian showed that the eight active airlines are operating a cumulative 38.77 per cent fleet capacity, with a total of 60 out of 98 listed aeroplanes grounded, pending the availability of foreign exchange earnings to defray maintenance cost.

This is just as an aviation sector stakeholder, Mr. Bankole Bernard, suggested, yesterday, that 18 unviable airports in the country should be turned into shopping malls to generate revenue. According to him, only four airports – Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano – out of 22 airports in the country are viable. The operations of the other 18 airports had been unviable over the years, he noted.

Across the network, rail and road-shy travellers are not finding succour in air transport either. Flights to their destinations are either scarce or available seats are way too expensive, coupled with poor schedule reliability that routinely keeps checked-in passengers stranded in packed terminals.

Stakeholders acknowledged the dire straits of the local operating environment. They blamed the lack of a buffer on the absence of a sustainable aviation development policy.

Most conspicuous is the Aviation Roadmap initiative of the current administration, which has failed to deliver at least one of its promises in seven years.

A painstaking look at the ramp of Lagos Airport at the weekend suggests an industry that is winding down. Grounded aeroplanes are fast taking the parking spaces meant for operating aircraft. And further inquiries confirmed the fears.

Air Peace airline is the market leader with over 40 per cent of the total domestic operation as at 2021. It boasts of 32 aeroplanes, out of which only 12 were active as at last Friday.

Arik Air is next in terms of market coverage. It earlier boasts of 11 aircraft out of 30 on its fleet before its takeover in 2017. Currently, it has five active aircraft in operation.

Azman Air has a total of eight aircraft on its record, out of which only three are currently active. According to Airfleets Aviation platform, Max Air has a total of four active aeroplanes out of over eight credited to its operations.

The only state-owned airline, Ibom Air, has a total of eight aeroplanes out of which six are in active service. United Nigeria, has in over a year of operation, acquired four aircraft and two are currently active. Overland Airways also has about four in operations out of a total of 11 aeroplanes. Green Africa has its two aircraft in active operation. The duo of Aero Contractors and Dana Air have a total of 14 aeroplanes between them, all currently inactive.

The implication of having only 38 planes active out of a total of 98 or 38.77 per cent fleet operating capacity is most telling in the surging passenger traffic. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in April 2022, estimated that 13 million passengers travelled Nigerian airports in 2021.

About 10 million of the figure is domestic travellers, which translates to 27,397 travellers daily. And when benchmarked against 38 active aeroplanes, each aeroplane has 720 passengers daily – that is, an average of seven to nine hours of operation (depending on aircraft cabin size).

Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, George Uriesi, at an aviation conference in Lagos, noted that in other parts of the world, nine flight hours daily would be fine, but not in Nigeria where the average daily operating hours per aircraft is five – given myriads of limiters that render aeroplanes grossly under-utilised.

Technically, more than 30 to 40 per cent of the travellers are currently underserved, with attendant crimp on demand and soaring cost of travel, just as air travel has become an act of faith.

As of yesterday, The Guardian learnt that most seats on the busy Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Kaduna routes, where available, were sold for between N76,000 to N100,000 for one-way economy seats. Round-trip tickets ranged between N140,000 to N190,000, depending on route, airline and time of purchase.

Chief Operating Officer of one of the airlines said the heavy downtime mirrors the dire reality in the sector.

“The truth is that more than half of those inactive (60) aeroplanes should be in operation right now. I’m aware that quite a number of them are in different stages of maintenance but delayed by shortage of hard currency. So, as we are struggling to fuel the few schedules available, we are also looking for dollars to bring more equipment into operations. You know how much a dollar costs now (N725/$) and you need an average of $2 million to do a C-check on B737.

“The two issues together are an overkill for any operator. We are really struggling and trying to make the most of the situation. The delays and cancellations are unfair to customers, but the airline also has to survive first. I have to put a cost to every move; otherwise, there is no point. It is a very difficult situation for us all. And without something drastic happening, I don’t see anyone surviving this for too long,” he said.

Uriesi, who is also a former Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said operators were the most affected by the rash of idle capacity caused by the ‘Nigerian conundrum.’

He explained that for every one hour of flight an average aircraft missed, it is at least N4 million of potential revenue lost.

“The Nigerian airline uses the same airplane as everyone in the world. But compared to Europe, America and even Asia, our aeroplanes are way more expensive to purchase than theirs. Secondly, we pay higher insurance costs. Our safety record is very good now, but it has no impression on the insurers. As far as they are concerned, they have blacklisted Nigeria and you will have to pay a premium that is three-times more than the operators in Europe.

“Already, there is no balance, yet you are paying in dollars but selling in Naira. On top of it all, you are operating in a systemically limiting environment that makes it harder for you to be as productive as your colleagues in Europe, Asia and North America.

“The number of flights we do not utilise in a day because of those limiters is plus/minus three flights. That is N12 million worth of revenue daily opportunity lost. And I’m using N60,000 per seat on a 67-passenger flight, which is very low for most aircraft. That will be N4 million revenue per flight, 90 flights a month and N360 million of revenue off the table in a month for one aircraft. And in a year, it is 1,000 flights and N4.3 billion per aircraft,” Uriesi said.

He added that it was time Nigeria set up a home-based aircraft leasing company that would service the local operators in local currency and off-take the burden of seeking hard currency for aircraft purchase.

Indeed, his proposal is one of the cardinal objectives of the Aviation Roadmap initiative that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, unveiled to stakeholders in Lagos and Abuja in 2016. The roadmap, aimed at “transforming” the sector, has deliverables like: a new national carrier, concession of airports for efficiency, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities to curb capital flight, and aircraft leasing companies to serve local operators. None of those have seen the light of the day.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Belujane Konsult, Chris Aligbe, reckoned that the components of the Aviation Roadmap are crucial elements that should change any industry at any time, and “it is for that reason many of us supported it.

“Sometimes, one gets worried that those components did not come as early as they should. The industry would have been by far better. I feel somewhat disappointed in the context that circumstances appear to have made it what it is today. We were at the threshold of it, but circumstances of COVID-19 became a major issue and the depression that followed the pandemic too, not only for our country but for many countries,” he said.

He added that the problems of the local sector are beyond the industry and the Ministry of Aviation. And until the various arms of government come together with an affirmative action to address the issue of forex and fuel, “we would continue to be in this quagmire.

“If we allow aviation to collapse, the whole nation has collapsed. But we should not wait for that to happen,” Aligbe warned.

CEO of Topbrass Aviation, Capt. Roland Iyayi, said that the sob story could have been different where the aviation policy is right to catalyse economic growth.

Iyayi noted that Kenya and Ethiopia had similar challenges, but are least complaining because they have designed their policy framework for the development of their natural economy.

“The policy we operate in our sector is not suitable for the development needs of the country. You don’t set up aviation because you can, but to catalyse the growth of the country. All our airlines are operating into a finite market; and that is the same thing we have been saying in the last 10 years. There is a need to address the policy to support growth of other aspects of the economy – tourism, extractive industry and so on.

“I see more airlines failing in the short-term, simply because there is no capacity and airlines not getting adequate financial muscle to meet obligations. So, airlines will fail. It is probably going to get worse before it gets better. It is a shame, just because the foundation is not right,” Iyayi said.

MEANWHILE, Bankole Bernard, suggested, yesterday, that 18 unviable airports in the country should be turned into shopping malls to generate revenue. Bernard, Group Managing Director of a holding company in the aviation sector, was speaking on the sidelines of the 26th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents.

According to him, only four airports – Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano – out of 22 airports in the country are viable. The operations of the other 18 airports had been unviable over the years, while efforts to enhance operations of Owerri Airport, another international aerodrome to operate from sunrise to sunset had proved abortive over the years.

He urged the Federal and state governments to consider the construction of shopping malls and other facilities that would attract more commercial activities to the unviable airports.

“What are the possible solutions to consider given the numerous challenges we are faced with in the industry? We can start with the modernisation of airport terminals with shopping malls.

“This will contribute to the commercial viability of the airports and other necessary infrastructures like the internet and constant power supply to support businesses.

“We must begin to think of an alternative power supply like renewable energy to keep the airports functional and reduce the cost of operation in the long run. This will also make the airports viable and attractive,” he said.

He added that government could also consider the provision of affordable hotels, which would give credence to investments in the industry.

Most Workers in Singapore Want a Four-Day Week, Survey Finds - BLOOMBERG

AUGUST 02, 2022

BY  Chanyaporn ChanjaroenBloomberg News

Morning commuters in the business district in Singapore, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. Singapore is expected to announce tax increases in its budget Friday as officials seek to balance the books after two years of pandemic-induced deficits -- even as challenges mount from rising inflation and a slowing economic recovery. Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg

Morning commuters in the business district in Singapore, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. Singapore is expected to announce tax increases in its budget Friday as officials seek to balance the books after two years of pandemic-induced deficits -- even as challenges mount from rising inflation and a slowing economic recovery. Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Seven in 10 Singapore employees want a four-day work week to help them achieve better balance in their lives, the Straits Times reported Monday, citing a July poll conducted by Milieu Insight.

Some companies in Singapore are already experimenting with a shorter working week, according to the report. New York-listed PropertyGuru Group Ltd. is giving staff more rest days, as are smaller businesses including barbershop chain Sultans of Shave and dental practice DP Dental.

Read More: Four-Day Work Week Has a Chance to Gain Traction This Time

Flexible employment arrangements have been in the spotlight in recent years, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions of people to work from home. In a six-month experiment that is the largest of its kind in the world, 70 companies in the UK are currently allowing staff to work a four-day week without a reduction in wages. 

Read More: Return-to-Office Strategies to Avoid Being There All the Time

The Singapore National Employers Federation will be watching the outcomes of the UK trial but will not endorse it, the Straits Times  quoted SNEF executive director Sim Gim Guan as saying, adding “There is no one-size-fits-all type of work arrangement that can apply to all workplaces.”

Nigerian airports: NCAA raises alarm over poor infrastructure, insecurity - DAILY POST

AUGUST 02, 2022

By 

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says some factors are affecting night travel operations.

The federal agency listed paucity of funds, poor infrastructure and insecurity.

Capt. Musa Nuhu, NCAA Director-General spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Citing the African Development Bank (AfDB) report, Nuhu noted that Nigeria would require more than N1.5 trillion to fix airports.

Nuhu said airports planning to operate beyond dusk required large financial outlay and compliance with conditions for safe landing and take-off of aircraft.

The conditions include adequate number of competent personnel, adequate power supply and availability of ancillary service providers.

The NCAA said security risks and traffic level must be taken seriously in 24-hour airport operations.

Nuhu expressed concern about kidnapping and robbery being recorded in many parts of Nigeria.

“The evolving security challenges make night operations dangerous because many airports.

“The risks are enormous and seriously impacting airports’ operations, airport workers and passengers and crew even in daytime”, Nuhu added.

British Airways has stopped selling short-haul tickets out of Heathrow for a week in a further disruption to summer travel - BUSINESS INSIDER

AUGUST 02, 2022

  • British Airways has suspended ticket sales on short-haul flights out of Heathrow until August 8.

  • Heathrow has been limiting the number of passengers who can fly out from the airport each day.

  • The aviation industry is struggling to meet a surge in demand amid easing pandemic restrictions.

British Airways has suspended ticket sales for short-haul flights out of London Heathrow Airport — a key global aviation hub — until August 8.

The move will impact domestic and European routes, per the FT and BBC. It stands to add to a summer of disruptions as the aviation industry struggles to meet a surge in demand amid easing pandemic restrictions.

"As a result of Heathrow's request to limit new bookings, we've decided to take responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services to help maximise rebooking options for existing customers, given the restrictions imposed on us and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry," British Airways told Insider in a statement.

The UK flag carrier's latest move comes three weeks after Heathrow asked airlines to stop selling tickets and started limiting the number of passengers who can fly out from the facility each day. Its cap of 100,000 passengers each day is set to end on September 11.

Airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways criticized Heathrow for the passenger caps, but the airport's chief of staff and carbon, Nigel Milton, defended its operations in a July 20 statement. He said the airport started recruiting in November 2021 to prepare for the summer peak travel season and has ramped up security capacity to 2019 levels.

"But over recent months, anyone who has travelled anywhere will have seen that aviation is struggling to cope with the wave of pent-up summer demand we're now seeing after two years of COVID cancellations," Milton added.

He blamed airlines for not investing in "the basics," resulting in a shortage of ground-handling staff who manage a range of operations including check-in and baggage handling. Ground handling companies are typically contracted to airlines.

"Airlines have driven down costs over the years, and this was one of the first costs they slashed during the pandemic," he wrote. "For months ground handling companies have been trying to recruit and train skilled workers, but if their airline customers aren't willing to pay market rates, then they aren't able to fill the posts."

The aviation industry is under fire for a summer of travel chaos amid flight disruptions and lost bags. Issues faced by airlines include staff shortages, absences due to the ongoing pandemic, and bad weather.

Travellers Stranded As Dollar Shortage Hits Banks - DAILY TRUST

AUGUST 03, 2022

Nigerians are finding it increasingly difficult to access the United States dollar at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official rate for eligible transactions, Daily...

Nigerians are finding it increasingly difficult to access the United States dollar at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official rate for eligible transactions, Daily Trust findings revealed.

Worse affected are those travelling abroad who are experiencing delays in accessing Business Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and monies to pay for medicals and others.

Parents are also affected as they are finding it difficult to access the dollar for remittances of school fees and upkeep allowances for their children.

Forces behind the shortage

Daily Trust investigations revealed that it is extremely difficult to access the dollar because the demand far outweighs supply, forcing some banks to extend the request period for PTA/BTA from two weeks to eight weeks.

But other sources said the CBN had tightened the processes of getting the dollar because some unpatriotic Nigerians have been abusing the process.

A source said investigations by the apex bank showed that many people had no plan to travel anywhere or to remit money abroad for legitimate purposes but yet forge papers and apply for the foreign currency only for them to hoard it or sell it at the parallel market.

Recall that the CBN had deployed an electronic Form ‘A’ to expedite applications for PTA/BTA, medicals, education and other remittances.

The CBN assured Nigerians that all legitimate requests for foreign currency for eligible transactions would be fully met at the official exchange rate.

However, Stanbic IBTC Bank recently sent a message to its customers stating that it requires six to eight weeks before it can process the request for dollars.

“To serve you better, please be informed that we now require six to eight weeks to process your FX needs for international school fees, upkeep and medical payments. This will enable us to review your requests in line with regulatory requirements and ensure that we can source for FX to fulfil them,” it stated.

A visit to a branch of Polaris Bank on Gimbiya Street in Abuja and First Bank in Asokoro showed that customers have been in the waiting queue for more than 3 weeks

In Kano, many students and people on medical and business trips looking for official forex from banks narrated that they have been experiencing difficulties in getting dollars since the introduction of the new strategy.

They alleged that there were middlemen always working within the banks who were complicating the process thereby leading to difficulties.

Travellers narrate ordeal

Abdullahi Ahmad who had finished his preparations and the requirements to travel to Dubai for medicals said he could not get the $4, 000 he applied for over two weeks.

“I have only two weeks for my Dubai Visa to expire and yet I didn’t get the dollar from my bank. When I contacted my elder brother, he then contacted a bank manager, who later promised to give me $4,000 at the end of this week. But that is not enough, she (the bank manager) said I have to pay N340, 000 as a kickback to be able to get the money,” he said.

He said although he accepted to pay that amount, he was not sure of getting the money as his visa expiration date was fast approaching.

A marketer at the BDC market in Kano, who chose not to be named, said the banks have crippled their businesses and forced the dollar to be scarce leading to the high exchange rate in the parallel market.

He alleged that the banks now only give dollars to people who add a huge amount of money, adding that it has led to the hike in the price.

We’re battling fake applications – Banks

A top source in one of the banks in Lagos, who does not want his name in print, said the scarcity has led to rationing.

“It is an open secret that we have shortage but we are trying as much as possible to meet genuine demand of people. So, we prioritise from the most critical as we can’t meet all the demand.  We look out for the most urgent need,” he said.

He said the banks also have to battle fake applications in some instances.

“Many of the applicants are not going anywhere but they use different methods to apply for the dollar,” another banker said.

“You see them forging medical records, fake admission letters and others all in an effort to deceive us and get the scarce currency,” he said.

Asked if there was any way to solve the problem, he said, “The most important thing is to encourage export so that our earnings would increase. The federal government and the security agencies must also put some measures to track and prosecute offenders.”

However, Mavis Ikpeme via her Twitter handle, @mavisikpeme, lamented the difficulties in getting PTA/BTA from banks, noting that Nigerians were forced to patronise the black market.

“You can’t even file for PTA/ BTA from banks. Nigerians travelling are forced to patronise the black market. You can hardly cash USD from a dorm account too. Is the CBN not aware of these atrocities perpetrated by banks? These are part of the issues?” she said.

Another user, Olayinka Biu, accused banks of deliberately frustrating genuine applicants for PTA while making dollars available for Bureaux De Change.

“The actual problem is genuine applicants for PTA are not getting it. With excuses of dollars not being available or the queue being so long it couldn’t get to your turn before your travel date. Meanwhile, BDC agents are getting dollars directly from these banks,” she posted via her handle, @olayinkaBiu

We’re tackling the menace – CBN

The CBN has however assured that it was tackling the scarcity nightmare, even as it advised against succumbing to the speculative activities of some players in the exchange market.

The Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi said the apex bank remained committed to resolving the foreign exchange issues confronting the nation and as such has been working to manage both the demand and supply side challenges.

While admitting that there was huge demand pressure for foreign exchange to meet the needs of manufacturers as well as those for the payment of tuition, medical fees and other invisibles, Nwanisobi said the CBN was concerned about the international value of the naira, adding that the monetary authority was strategising to help Nigeria earn more stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange in the face of dwindling inflows from the oil sector.

 

By Sunday M. Ogwu (Abuja) Abiodun Alade (Lagos) Zahraddeen Y. Shuaibu (Kano)

More Foreign Airlines May Cut Flights Over $600m Blocked Funds - DAILY TRUST

AUGUST 03, 2022

Many foreign airlines are considering further drastic steps to mitigate the effects of blocked funds in Nigeria, findings by Daily Trust showed at the...

Many foreign airlines are considering further drastic steps to mitigate the effects of blocked funds in Nigeria, findings by Daily Trust showed at the weekend.

The options, according to a highly placed source, include outright stoppage of flights to Nigeria, reduction in frequencies which Emirates Airlines hinted about and further hike in ticket prices.

This was coming after Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) indicated in a July 22, letter to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, that it would reduce its flights from 11 per week to seven per week from August 15 over the blocked funds.

Emirates indicated in the letter which got leaked at the weekend that its $85m was trapped in Nigeria.

Daily Trust, however, gathered that the funds as at last week had accumulated to about $600m for all the foreign airlines; the same amount in dollars the President Muhammadu Buhari administration inherited and cleared in 2015.

Emirates stated that it had no choice “but to take this action to mitigate the continued losses Emirates is experiencing as a result of funds being blocked in Nigeria.”

The letter further reads: “We simply cannot continue to operate at the current level in the face of mounting losses, especially in the challenging post-COVID-19 climate.

“Emirates did try to stem the losses by proposing to pay for fuel in Nigeria in naira, which would have at least reduced one element of our ongoing costs. However, this request was denied by the supplier. This means that not only are Emirates’ revenues accumulating, we also have to send hard currency into Nigeria to sustain our own operations. Meanwhile our revenues are out of reach and not even earning credit interest.”

Emirates later said in a statement at the weekend that it was “making every effort to find a solution to this issue through constructive and substantive dialogue with limited success, and welcome any support from the Nigerian government so we can move towards a positive outcome to avoid a reduction in our operations.”

Our correspondent learnt that other airlines like British Airways, Delta and Qatar are considering available options to mitigate the effects of the blocked funds.

A source said, “The truth is we will continue to buy expensive tickets on foreign airlines as the funds accumulate. Some airlines have been selling tickets at expensive rates enough to buy dollars at the parallel market so they can have something to repatriate.”

Speaking with Daily Trust, President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), Kingsley Nwokoma, said, “If the foreign airlines continue to operate, it means the money will keep skyrocketing and government has not found solutions to it. And because of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), the airlines can’t sell tickets in dollars.

“If all countries are not repatriating their money, it means the airlines will shut down.”

The implication of the possible shutdown, he said, would be felt in the economy as passengers would have to go to neighbouring countries like Ghana and Benin Republic to board international flights.

Speaking on the sidelines of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) conference, Group Managing Director of Finchglow Holdings, Mr Bankole Bernard, said government should have addressed the issue by now.

He said, “I think it is an issue that is over flogged. I don’t think at this particular point in time we should still be talking about things like this; we need to go back to the drawing board and address this thing the way we had addressed it in the past.

“Remember two years ago, we had this kind of issue that even the funds got to an amount far higher than what it is now about $750m and here we are talking about $450m that has been stocked as a result of CBN not providing funds. I think we need to give priority and I think with the sort of service that these foreign airlines have brought to us, I think CBN should have given them priority in being able to repatriate their money. I honestly don’t understand what is happening at CBN, but it really requires a lot of intervention; the government needs to address the issue.”

Why Nigerian Airports Can’t Operate For 24 Hours - NCAA - DAILY TRUST

AUGUST 03, 2022

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, has said one of the many reasons some airports are restricted to...

By  Abdullateef Aliyu

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, has said one of the many reasons some airports are restricted to sunrise – sunset flight operations in Nigeria is to eliminate or mitigate the safety implications and challenges of night operations.

He spoke just as it emerged that Nigerian airlines lose at least N4.3bn annually due to the inability of most airports to operate for 24 hours.

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Our correspondent reports that apart from the major international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, other airports in Nigeria are tagged sunset airports as they cannot operate beyond 6 or 7 p.m. daily.

 The DG, represented by the Director of Airports and Aerodrome Standard, Capt. Tayib Odunowo, spoke at the 26th conference of League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents held in Lagos, with the theme: “Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications.”

Some of the challenges he itemised that are militating against 24-hour operation are inadequate infrastructure; airports poor financial outlays; security risks and threats; inadequate Airport and ANS Infrastructure; traffic level; airline capacity among others.

He disclosed that Nigeria needs over N1.5 trillion Naira or 5 billion US dollars to fix the airport infrastructure gap in the country, quoting the African Development Bank (2019) report.

He said, “There are issues involving fire cover, primary and secondary power sources, provision of communication, navigation and surveillance aids, automatic weather stations and now-casting equipment among others.

He however said the challenges can be addressed by developing Air Navigation Services (ANS); Airport infrastructure; developing Ancillary Infrastructure; Aerotropolis and others.

He noted that maintenance and service delivery at many airports in Nigeria are still seen as a great disincentive to travelling and tourism, advising that a lot needs to be done to make the airports economic tools for Nigeria’s development.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ibom Air, Mr George Uriesi, stated that airlines are bleeding because of lack of 24 hours flight operations to major routes in Nigeria.

In his presentation on “Maximising Runway Utilisation: A Nigerian Airline Perspective,” he disclosed that the country’s carriers are losing an average of N4 million per flight, N12 million in every flight, N360 million in 90 flights and N4.3 billion annually on every flight to sunset airport operations.

He said while aircraft are designed to operate for 24 hours, they are underutilised because of the operational restriction caused by the absence of required facilities to operate for 24 hours at most airports in Nigeria.

To address the problem, Uriesi appealed to the government to prioritise airfield infrastructure and provide the necessary Instrument Landing System (ILS) and accompanying accessories for every airport, while also keeping the aerodromes open to meet the needs of airlines and other users.

 Kila called for total rethink and resetting of the aviation industry by all players in the sector while canvassing for the establishment of the Bank of Aviation, which would make access to foreign exchange by airlines easier.

New York May See Up to 15 Days of Flooding as Sea Levels Rise - BLOOMBERG

AUGUST 03, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- New York may face as many as 15 days of high-tide flooding in the next year, underscoring the city’s need to prepare for a growing threat of potentially deadly inundations linked to rising sea levels. 

Floods that happen as a result of storm surges are now likely to happen during a full moon or with a change in currents or prevailing winds, officials with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday, when it announced its forecast. Last year the city experienced 13 flood days, the agency said.

Often referred to as “nuisance” or “sunny day” floods, such occurrences will become more common as climate change and other factors cause sea levels to rise, said NOAA officials. In September, remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped more than 3 inches of rain in New York in one hour, flooding subway stations, submerging basement apartments and killing more than a dozen people.

Outside of the five boroughs, the NOAA said that several parts of the country broke high-tide flooding records, a trend that is expected to continue if communities do not work to strengthen their flood defenses.

“The East and Gulf coasts already experienced twice as many days of high-tide flooding compared to the year 2000, flooding shorelines, streets and basements and damaging critical infrastructure,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

Flood records were set in Delaware, South Carolina, and the Marshall Islands. In Reedy Point, Delaware, there were six days of sunny day flooding. Near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, there were 11 days while in the Pacific’s Marshall Islands, there were four. Twenty-two years ago, these locations would only flood anywhere from zero to two days a year. 

With the current rate of sea level rise, NOAA estimates that New York could see 60 to 85 days of flooding a year by 2050. 

China Warns Airlines to Avoid Areas Near Taiwan as Tensions Rise - BLOOMBERG

AUGUST 03, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- China warned airlines operating in Asia to avoid flying in areas around Taiwan where it is conducting military exercises in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island. 

An official notice was sent at late on Tuesday Hong Kong time, designating six areas of airspace as “danger zones,” according to carriers who received the message and Jang Chang Seog, a Korean transport ministry official. Flights will be restricted from 12 p.m. Aug. 4, to 12 p.m. Aug. 7.

Read more: Pelosi to Meet Taiwan Leader as China Opens Military Drills

Pelosi flew to Taipei late on Tuesday as the highest-ranking American politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years, prompting China to condemn the visit and unveil a series of economic and military responses. China considers the island, a vibrant democracy and a key supplier of semiconductors, as part of the country. Taiwan remains the most sensitive issue between the US and China, with the potential to one day spark a military conflict. 

Xiamen Airlines Co. announced adjustments to several flights, citing “flow control” in Fujian. Korean Airlines Co. is planning to re-route some routes to South Asia in order to avoid Taiwan’s airspace during the period of China’s military exercises, a spokeswoman said by text message. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. pilots were advised to carry 30 minutes worth of extra fuel for possible rerouting in Taiwan. 

Calls and messages to China’s civil aviation authority weren’t immediately returned.

Local branches of China’s maritime safety administration also issued multiple warnings for ships traversing certain territories, citing military exercise and firing practice, according to government statements. 

The disruption at airliners came as tensions escalate between the US and China while companies are grappling with global supply-chain snags sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s not clear whether the three-day flight ban would be extended, adding to concerns over soaring commodity prices and supply chain risks. 

At Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, one of the mainland airports close to Taiwan, 123 flights were canceled, while 79% of flights were operating as usual, according to data provider Variflight. At Fuzhou Changle International Airport in Fujian, 93 flights were scrapped and 74% flights were operating as normal. 

Following up the notice, South Korea’s transport ministry issued another notice to local airlines to reaffirm the safety of flights heading toward Taiwan, Jang said. Asiana Airlines, another major Korean airline, has no change on operation yet, a spokesman said by phone. 

Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. said their flights to and from Taiwan were operating as usual. 

Three More Airlines May Shut Down Before 2023, Expert Warns - DAILY TRUST

AUGUST 03, 2022

Foremost Aviation analyst, Capt. Alex Nwuba, has said three more airlines may go under before the end of the year as a result of...


Foremost Aviation analyst, Capt. Alex Nwuba, has said three more airlines may go under before the end of the year as a result of the current challenges facing the industry.

Nwuba, who is the National President, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, while featuring on Trust TV, also said the proposed National carrier, Nigeria Air, will not perform any magic in terms of addressing the depleting capacity of the domestic airlines.

Daily Trust reports that the airline industry is currently on the edge of the skyrocketing price of aviation fuel known as Jet A1 and the rise in foreign exchange rates.

Two domestic airlines – Aero Contractors and Dana Air are on temporary exit, thereby creating gaps in the domestic market even as other carriers are struggling to survive.

Speaking on Trust TV, Nwuba said while the airline industry is not immune from the challenges of the global economy, the aviation sector is in a very dire situation.

He said government must put in place short term measures like downward review of taxes and charges like the ticket sale charge (TSC), Passenger Service Charge (PSC), fuel tax, among others to ameliorate the challenges of the airlines.

According to him, while the short term solutions help, they do not in anyway eliminate the problems.

“The problems are much more fundamental and need to be addressed much more fundamentally.”

“Everything helps. The 5 percent helps, PSC reduction helps,  removal of over flight charges helps, removal of taxes on aviation fuel helps, government intervention in some matters, availability of foreign exchange helps. So when we put these together, ultimately things become a lot easier,” he added.

“This industry faces a serious problems and that problem is that a few more airlines are likely to go under if nothing is done because you can’t continue to spend and the environment is very challenging.

“Most of the airlines depend on money from ticket sales and bank borrowings… In the short term if nothing is done, before the end of this year we would lose three more airlines.”

On the plan to lease three aircraft for the establishment of national carrier, the expert said a truly Nigerian carrier is what the country needs to make an impact, saying wet leasing aircraft to start an airline is not sustainable.

“There is no solution or magic a national carrier will provide given the basic problems in the industry,” he said.

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