Air Peace Adds Ilorin On Daily Flight Routes - DAILY TRUST
BY Abdullateef Aliyu
Air Peace on Thursday commenced daily flights to Ilorin from Lagos and Ilorin to Abuja as part of its expansion drive and realisation of its no-city-left-behind policy to connect major cities in Nigeria.
The inaugural flight from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos landed at the Ilorin International Airport around 11:00 a.m amid excitement from stakeholders and representatives of the state government led by the Deputy Governor of the state, Otunba Kayode Alabi, who represented Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
Also, the National President of the Ilorin Emirates Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) representing Ilorin indigenes at home and in the Diaspora, Alhaji Ota Aliyu Uthman, was on ground to welcome the flight.
The inaugural flight P47110 commanded by Capt Adeoye Ajibola on the airline’s B737-500 had 48 passengers onboard.
Safety Manager of the Airline, Capt. Godfrey Ogbogu, who represented the Chairman/CEO of the Airline, Mr. Allen Onyema said the commencement of the Ilorin flights “signifies the provision of more network options and connectivity for the people in the Middle Belt region.”
Ogbogu described the daily flights into Ilorin from Lagos and Abuja as “a momentous feat”, saying it would boost the economy of the state and generate employment for the unemployed people in the state.
He said, “If you have been keeping tabs on the trajectory of Air Peace, you will have noticed our strategic and consistent route network expansion.
“This is driven by our unwavering resolve to plug the gaps in Nigeria’s Air travel and more importantly, give the Nigerian flying public multiple network options.
“We are famed for our ‘no-city-level-behind’ initiative. The goal, really, is to interconnect various cities in Nigeria and beyond to tremendously impact the country’s economic indices.
“And this explains why we have also extended our wings to Ilorin. With the support of the state government, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, whom we are profusely grateful to, Air Peace is promising the people of Ilorin and its environs seamless and affordable air travel.
“Air Peace is a socially sensitive and responsive airline, and as such, we are constantly reviewing our route network vis-à-vis the public’s needs while factoring strategic ways of expanding it to provide enormous value to Nigerians. That is precisely what today’s inaugural flight into Ilorin represents.
“As we commence daily flights into Ilorin from Lagos and Abuja today, we are promising that this new route will be optimally serviced, and Nigerians, especially Ilorin residents, will vastly benefit from it.
“We also pledge to work concertedly with all the stakeholders in the state, the aviation regulator, the airport administrator, and of course the state government to ensure we maximise the gains of air travel and sustain the impact.”
He solicited, “the continued support and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders for the airline to keep soaring high.”
The state Deputy Governor in his remarks hailed the airline for taking a great management decision to commence the flights into Ilorin from Lagos and Abuja.
Noting that the Air Peace flight would support the state’s drive towards industrialization, the Deputy Governor explained that the inaugural flight testifies to how the state has evolved as a new investment destination in Nigeria.
He promised that the state government would provide the requisite support and encouragement for the airline to succeed on Ilorin route.
The Vice-President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), South-West Zone, Comrade Ezekiel Afolabi commended Air Peace for the bold decision to connect Ilorin, urging the airline to replicate the same in other states in the South-West.
Beware of fake visa lottery websites, US Mission warns Nigerians - PUNCH
BY Gbenga Adeniji
The US Mission to Nigeria has said it is aware of websites and messages promoting fake US Diversity visa lottery.
In a statement on Friday by the mission, it stated that the sites were fake and provided websites where accurate information regarding the lottery could be obtained.
The statement indicated, “The US Mission to Nigeria is aware of websites and messages advertising the U.S. visa lottery. All of these sites are FAKE! The only accurate information on the visa lottery is available at ng.usembassy.gov and travel.state.gov. Addresses that have a .gov are the only accurate source of visa information.’’
Some of the fake messages which circulated online, especially on WhatsApp, announced online registration for the migrant lottery and urged Nigerians to take a chance of living in the US by applying for the US Green Card lottery. The message read, “The Green Card unlocks the door to the United States for thousands of USA fans every year. It allows the lucky Green Card winners permanent residence as well as unlimited work permit for the USA. Every year, the United States grants 55,000 Green Cards through the Green Card Lottery.’’
The Immigration Act of 1990 established the Diversity Visa programme, where 55,000 immigrant visas would be available in an annual lottery, starting in fiscal year 1995. The lottery was initiated to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants mostly from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States in the previous five years.
Earlier, the US consulate in Nigeria noted on its website that Nigerians were no longer eligible for the Diversity Visa Lottery.
It stated, “Only people that were born outside of Nigeria or have parents that were born outside of Nigeria are eligible for the Diversity Visa. If you were born in Nigeria to Nigerian born parents, you are not eligible for the visa lottery. Some websites and emails attempt to mislead customers, posing as providers of official U.S. government information.’’
COVID-19: Dubai flight restrictions relaxed for Nigerians - PUNCH
BY Segun Adewole
Restrictions on direct flights between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates caused by the use of rapid COVID-19 tests has been lifted.
This was announced by UAE authorities on Saturday while giving updates on travel protocols for inbound passengers from Nigeria, South Africa and India.
While South African and Indian passengers are expected to prove they are have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Nigerians are to provide a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure. Also, a certificate and QR code from a government-approved laboratory is required.
This becomes effective from June 23, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Management in Dubai, stated as reported by Channels TV.
Before the new update, Nigerians had to quarantine for 14 days in other countries before gaining access to the UAE.
Emirates to fly from India again after ban over virus - AFP
Aviation giant Emirates said Sunday it will resume flights from India from next week, after Dubai lifted a ban imposed when coronavirus cases spiked.
The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, suspended all flights from India — including for transit passengers — in April in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We will resume carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India… from June 23,” Emirates said in a statement.
Dubai said on Saturday that only passengers from India “with a valid residence visa and who have received two doses of a UAE-approved vaccine” would be allowed to travel to the emirate.
They would also need a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure, a rapid test four hours before departure, and another PCR test on arrival with “institutional quarantine” required until the results are received.
Dubai authorities did not specify the rules for transit passengers and Emirates did not say whether transit passengers were allowed to fly through Dubai en route to third nations.
Some 300 flights a week were operating between the UAE and India before the ban was announced in April, according to local media, making the air corridor one of the busiest in the world.
The UAE is home to some 3.3 million Indians who make up a third of the population — most of them in Dubai.
Some Indians who had been stranded in their homeland during a coronavirus surge had hired private jets to take them back to the UAE, which had exempted private jets from the ban.
American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights due to staffing crunch, maintenance issues - CNBC
BY Leslie Josephs
- The carrier canceled hundreds of flights due to staffing shortages, maintenance and other issues.
- American Airlines says it will trim its schedule by 1% through mid-July though this weekend’s cancellations were higher than that amount.
- The disruptions come as airlines are trying to capture a surge in vacation demand after record losses in the pandemic.
American Airlines said it canceled hundreds of flights this weekend due to staffing shortages, maintenance and other issues, challenges facing the carrier as travel demand surges toward pre-pandemic levels.
About 6% of the airline’s schedule, or 180 flights, were canceled on Sunday, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. About half of those were because of unavailable flight crews, showed a company list, which was viewed by CNBC. On Saturday, about 4%, or 123 flights, were canceled, the site showed.
American said it is trimming its schedule by about 1% through mid-July to help ease some of the disruptions, some of which it said resulted from bad weather at its Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hubs during the first half of June.
“The bad weather, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July,” said American Airlines spokeswoman Sarah Jantz in a statement. “We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation.”
Bad weather has impacted flight crews’ ability to get to assigned flights and bad weather can mean that crews can fall outside of the hours they are federally allowed to work, the spokeswoman said.
Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s roughly 15,000 pilots, said the company should offer more overtime in advance to encourage staff to fill in as well as more flexibility in pilots’ schedules to cover staffing shortages.
“They’re trying to put a Band-Aid on something that needs stitches,” said Tajer, who is also a Boeing 737 captain.
American is also racing to train all of the pilots it furloughed in between two federal aid packages that prohibited layoffs as well as its aviators who are due for periodic recurrent training. Jantz said American is on track to finish training furloughed pilots by the end of this month and added the company is offering overtime because of its operational issues.
The weekend’s disruptions, reported earlier by the View from the Wing airline blog, come just as carriers are trying to capture a surge in travel demand and stem record losses. American said in a filing earlier this month that it expects its second-quarter capacity to be down 20% to 25% from 2019, while United Airlines said it expects its capacity to be down about 46% and Delta forecast a 32% decline versus 2019. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines forecast its July capacity to be off just 3% from 2019, down from a 7% decline this month.
U.K. Signals Overseas Travel Limits Will Remain as Covid Spreads - BLOOMBERG
BY Bloomberg News,
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: A man wearing a protective mask walks into departures at terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport on March 16, 2020 in London, England. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to gather pace, travel companies and airlines have seen a slump in demand, forcing them to lay off staff and cut flights. British Airways owner IAG has announced that it will cut capacity by around 75% over coming months as the company fights heavy losses in demand. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) , Photographer: Leon Neal/Getty Images Europe
The U.K. government signaled it will keep restrictions on overseas travel in place for now to control a surge in coronavirus infections and the risk of new variants of the virus taking hold.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said “normal” holidays were “never going to be the case” this year because of increasing Covid-19 cases. His comments indicate increasing concern about a third wave of cases in the U.K. despite one of the world’s most aggressive vaccination programs.
“There are going to have to be significant trade-offs” Buckland said on Sky News’s Trevor Phillips show on Sunday. “We’ve tried to strike the right balance between the natural need in some cases for international travel, but also the imperative of making sure that we do everything we can at home to contain and prevent inadvertent spread of new variants.”
The remarks are a blow to airlines and a growing number of members of Parliament in the ruling Conservative Party pressing for the government to loosen restrictions. While the U.S. and European Union are starting to open borders for travel, Britain has rules requiring quarantine and Covid testing for travelers arriving from most places.
Liam Fox, the former Conservative cabinet minister in charge of trade policy, urged the government to find a way for those who have received two doses of a vaccine to travel without having to quarantine.
“The world cannot be closed down and that, sooner or later, we will have to learn to live with Covid-19 just as we have learned to live with other viral illnesses over time,” Fox wrote in a column for the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office confirmed that officials are considering plans to open up international travel for passengers who’ve been fully inoculated. They didn’t give an indication when the measures could be in place.
For now, health authorities are urging the government to move slowly in lowering restrictions, especially on foreign travel.
“The extra time to vaccinate more people, get two doses of vaccination in as many people as possible will hopefully mean that what we’re seeing with this wave won’t look the same as the previous waves that we’ve seen in this country,” Susan Hopkins, the strategic response director at Public Health England, said on British Broadcasting Corp.’s “Andrew Marr” show.
While Hopkins said the country is moving toward living with Covid-19 as it does with influenza and other respiratory infections, “we may need to do further lockdowns this winter” if hospitals become overwhelmed. “We should predominantly holiday at home this summer.”
Under current rules, destinations are coded red for the highest coronavirus infection risk, amber for medium risk and green for the lowest risk. Travelers are advised against going to amber or red list countries.
People who arrive in England from destinations on the amber list must quarantine at home or in the place where they are staying for 10 days, and take at least two Covid-19 tests during the period. Airlines have criticized the policy, especially after Portugal was abruptly taken off the green list earlier this month, dealing a blow to the summer travel season.
The number of flights into and out of the U.K. has plunged 73% from 2019 levels, eliminating or putting on furlough 860,000 jobs in travel and tourism that now risk being lost, according to the British Airline Pilots Association.
“The U.K. aviation industry is the hardest hit in Europe,” said Brian Strutton, general secretary of the industry group, said in a statement on Sunday. “Hapless ministers give all the appearance of deliberately attacking aviation and tormenting the public with their mixed messages over summer holidays.”
Buckland told Sky News “we are doing our very best to maintain that balance with regular reviews of the regulations to allow the maximum flexibility.”
Air Peace Begins Lagos-Ilorin, Ilorin-Abuja Flights - THISDAY
BY Chinedu Eze
Air Peace has commenced daily flight to Ilorin from Lagos and Ilorin to Abuja as part of its expansion drive.
The move is also part of the airline’s no-city-left-behind policy to connect major cities in Nigeria. The inaugural flight, P47110, from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos landed at the Ilorin International Airport by 11:00 am on Thursday, and was received by the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Kayode Alabi.
Other dignitaries that welcomed the flight included the National President of the Ilorin Emirates Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), representing Ilorin indigenes at home and in the Diaspora, Alhaji Ota Aliyu Uthman and other excited indigenes of the state who were on ground to welcome the flight.
Safety Manager of the Airline, Capt. Godfrey Ogbogu who represented the Chairman/CEO of the Airline, Mr. Allen Onyema said the commencement of the Ilorin flights, “signifies the provision of more network options and connectivity for the people in the Middle Belt region.”
Ogbogu described the daily flights into Ilorin from Lagos and Abuja as, “a momentous feat”, saying it would boost the economy of the state and generate employment for the unemployed people in the state. “If you have been keeping tabs on the trajectory of Air Peace, you will have noticed our strategic and consistent route network expansion. This is driven by our unwavering resolve to plug the gaps in Nigeria’s air travel and more importantly, give the Nigerian flying public multiple network options.
“We are famed for our ‘no-city-level-behind’ initiative. The goal, really, is to interconnect various cities in Nigeria and beyond to tremendously impact the country’s economic indices.
“This explains why we have also extended our wings to Ilorin. With the support of the state government, under the visionary leadership of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, whom we are profusely grateful to, Air Peace is promising the people of Ilorin and its environs seamless and affordable air travel,” Ogbogu said.
He said Air Peace is a socially sensitive and responsive airline, and as such, it constantly reviews its route network vis-à-vis the public’s needs while factoring strategic ways of expanding these routes to provide enormous value to Nigerians.
The Governor in his remarks hailed the airline for taking a great management decision to commence the flights into Ilorin from Lagos and Abuja. Vice-President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), South-West Zone Ezekiel Afolabi commended Air Peace for the bold decision to connect Ilorin flights.
Emirates suspends Nigeria passenger flights until further notice - KHALEEJ TIMES
- Flights from the nation had previously been cleared
Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates has announced a suspension of flights to and from Nigeria from June 21, 2021.
“In line with government directives, passenger flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with effect from 21 June 2021 until further notice,” it said in a statement.
“Customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel. Customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE,” said the statement posted on its website.
The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai on Saturday eased travel rules for inbound passengers arriving from India, South Africa and Nigeria.
“We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking. Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow,” Emirates said.
Immigration officers collecting bribes from criminals – Babandede - DAILY POST
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has warned officers and men of the service against compromising Nigeria’s security through bribe taking.
Babandede gave the warning on Monday while addressing operatives in Katsina State.
“We are aware that some of you have been collecting bribes from criminals. I am warning you to stop such because it is a threat to the country’s security.
“We cannot tolerate such an attitude because by doing that, you are compromising the country’s security and the country will not move forward,’’ Babandede said.
Babandede charged them to be professional while carrying out their duties and desist from bribe taking at border checkpoints.
He said, “I have received reports that some of you collect bribes at several checkpoints. I don’t know who you give the money to,’’ Babandede cautioned.
The CG, therefore, warned that any officer caught in such an act would be disciplined.
He said that he was in the state to seek traditional rulers’ collaboration in identifying illegal aliens in view of the security challenges facing the state.
Emirates bans Nigeria flights, extends South Africa route suspension - GULF NEWS
Flights to and from Nigerian cities of Lagos and Abuja are suspended until further notice.
Dubai: Dubai’s Emirates airline said passenger flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with effect from June 21 until further notice. Customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel, and those who have been to - or connected through - Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE.
“We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking,” said the airline. “Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow.”
Emirates’ also said that flights from South Africa will remain suspended until July 6, in line with government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa, into the UAE. Daily passenger flights to Johannesburg will operate as EK763, but outbound passenger services on EK 764 remain suspended. Customers who have been to or connected through South Africa in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights bound for Dubai.