Travel News

China International Air Traffic Builds on Back of Visa Tweaks - BLOOMBERG

MAY 17, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- China’s international air passenger traffic recovered to over 80% of pre-Covid levels in April, reflecting efforts by Beijing to attract more overseas visitors to the nation’s shores and a growing propensity of Chinese to travel abroad after the pandemic.

About 5.1 million international air passenger trips were made in April, Li Yong, a senior official with Civil Aviation Administration of China, said at a briefing in Beijing on Friday. It’s the third month that international air passenger traffic held at more than 80% of the pre-pandemic levels, according to Li.

The total number of air passenger trips, including domestic and international routes, reached 56 million, representing a year-over-year growth of 10.6% and an increase of 5.3% from 2019, before Covid, according to CAAC.

Read more: Chinese Tourism Surge Brings Relief to Global Travel Industry

China has introduced a slew of policy measures since late last year to try and attract more international visitors. Earlier this month Beijing said it would allow visa-free entry for foreign tour groups that come to the country via cruise ships and visa-free entry is now available for travelers from some European and Asian countries.

Travel sentiment is also finally picking up within China, according to a survey from Bloomberg Intelligence, as a willingness to spend boosts the number of domestic and outbound trips that people are taking. Most major international destinations are seeing gains, including in Southeast Asia, and interest in Europe is building, analyst Tim Bacchus said.

The trends are reflected in the April monthly data of China’s top three airlines.

China Southern Airlines Co., the country’s largest carrier by planes and passengers, said in an exchange filing late Thursday that its passenger traffic grew 19.8% from a year ago last month. International routes saw a 143.8% year-on-year growth in traffic.

For China Eastern Airlines Corp. and Air China Ltd., the year-on-year growth of international passenger traffic in April was 338.56% and 228.9% respectively. 

Aviation Stakeholders Fret over Recent Aircraft Incidents across the Country - THISDAY

MAY 17, 2024

BY  Chinedu Eze

Aviation industry stakeholders have expressed deep concern over the many aircraft incidents in recent time, insisting that the development is aggravating their fears and compelling them to remember major air accidents that occurred in Nigeria in the past that claimed the lives of many Nigerians

They therefore called on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the federal government to take urgent action to stem the situation.

Since last year, Nigeria has recorded many air incidents involving aircraft overshooting the runway and even accident, where a single engine aircraft crashed on the street in Ikeja, Lagos but there were no fatalities.

Industry insiders say this is similar prologue that led to tragic crashes in early 2000s, peaking in 2005 and 2006, involving Sosoliso Airlines, ADC Airlines, Bellview Airlines

During this period, some accidents with fatalities come to mind, including Skypower Express Airways Bandeirante 110P1A that crashed on landing at Abuja airport, January 5, 2000, killing 17 person; the EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 that crashed on May 4, 2002, killing 76 out of 105 persons on board in Kano. It crashed on densely populated suburb, killing 72 persons on the ground, and bringing total casualties to 148.

On December 19, 2004, a Boring 727 aircraft operated by Chanchangi Airlines belly-landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos but there were no fatalities. On October 22, 2005, a Boeing 737-200 operated by Bellview Airlines which took off from Lagos on its way to Abuja, crashed at high speed, just a few minutes after take-off, killing all 117 persons on board.

Also, on December 10, 2005, a Port Harcourt bound flight 1145 from Abuja, operated by Sosoliso Airlines, crash landed at the airport, killing 109 passengers, including 60 students of Jesuit Loyola College, Abuja and on October 29, 2006, Aviation Development Corporation (ADC) Airlines operated Boeing 737 with 104 passengers on board crashed minutes after take-off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, killing 98 passengers with six survivors.

Industry insiders posited that before these major tragic accidents there were minor and major incidents that happened in between. They noted that since 2006 there were the missing Beechcraft 1500 that disappeared on its way to Bebi airstrip in March 2008, which was later found to have crashed in a dense forest in Cross River state with the three-member crew dead and also there was the tragic crash of Dana Air flight on June 3, 2012 that killed 153 people on board and six on the ground. Also, the Associated Aviation Flight 361, which crashed on take-off at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on October 3, 2013, killing 16 of the 20 persons on board.

Since 2013 till date, there have not been major tragic accident that involved commercial airline on scheduled flight service, but there have been incidents that awake the fear that Nigeria may be heading to another major accident if NCAA does not take the right actions.

In November last year, Valujet operated Bombardier, CRJ-900 aircraft with registration 5N-BXR, skidded off the runway after landing at the Port Harcourt International Airport. There was serious incident that happened at the Samuel Ladoke Akintola Airport, Ibadan in Oyo State on November 3, 2023, which an aircraft not designated for charter service was involved in charter operation and it landed short of the runway in the night and crashed into the bush. Also, on August 2, 2023 a single engine, fixed wing, Jabiru aircraft with registration number 5NCCQ and three persons on board crash-landed into an old communication pole inward Ikeja Bus Stop on Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja Lagos. Before these two incidents there have been records of helicopter accidents that claimed lives. Industry operators attributed these accidents to growing poor oversight function of NCAA. Then there was another serious incident at the Ibadan Airport involved HS25B aircraft with Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) with call sign, 5NAMM operated by Flint Aero. All these incidents preceded the skidding off runway of Dana Air flight and that of Xejet, which happened last week.

Reacting to these incidents, industry stakeholder and former Commandant of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), agreed these could be precursor to a major accident. “Oh yes, I do because there have been similar currencies even after that safety recommendations were made and am not sure they all have been implemented. But where you think they have been implemented, were the corrections done by certified impementor approved by the NCAA? One major problem between the NCAA and FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) is the word ‘AUTHORITY’ in their nomenclature that makes FAAN perceive itself as a self regulatory authority.

“In the recent incident like in the past, is FAAN certified to do runway derubberisation or has it presented any qualified and NCAA certified agent  for the derubberiation? Did NCAA inspect the job and certified it okay for flights operations to use? When last did the NCAA itself conduct the periodic maintenance audit on the runway? I hope these questions would be effectively answered to clear both FAAN and NCAA. I forgot to mention that runways are good to be certified for flights operations just as aircraft too are certified before flights operations,” he said.

However, the Managing Director of Flight and Logistics Solutions Limited, Amos Akpan said the recent incidents at the nation’s airports do not translate to “harbinger of tragic accident that may come in future”.

“My position is that:we isolate each incident and take seriously the investigation and the reports. Make sure the recommendations from the investigation reports are implemented, then give feedback on the implementation to the industry. There must be an industry monitoring records of: What happened? What caused it? What are we doing to avoid reoccurrence? These must be documented like the law report in the Judiciary. Copies of these reports and recommendations should be originated by NCAA and deposited for reference purposes with the operators, Nigerian Safety Investigation Board  (NSIB), and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria (as academic and workplace reference materials).

“Incidents and accidents will happen where machines and humans interface. But there must be safety systems in place aimed at zero injuries or harm. Adherence to these safety systems reduces injury or harm to the bearest acceptable minimum. Operators and NCAA must rise up to these challenges by adherence to their own documented and approved operational specifications,” Akpan said.

He also advised that NCAA should not only inspect, correct, and, where necessary sanction airlines; but it must spread effective and noticeable oversight to include the following: handling companies, fuel companies, catering companies, FAAN, private or state owned airports, maintenance organizations, and airfreight companies.

“The system must be able to throw up non compliance and compromisers like the sore thumb for all to see. Most of the preventive and preemptive steps to take are documented in the civil aviation regulations. All concerned just need to practice what we have documented,” he said.

Speaking, the member of Airline Operators of Nigeria and the President of Topbrass Aviation Limited, Captain Roland Iyayi, said the major challenge the aviation sector has is the inability to keep data of past incidents and other activities in the industry.

“Assuming we kept data, things like these will continue to remind NCAA of what to do. If a trend is not good you correct it. Runway excursion at different airports could be an indication of poor training. Data give you a trend and help you to repair something before it becomes a crisis. I can see a trend and that can point at poor training. You can use data to draw conclusions,” he said.

Deficient bill of lading, knowledge gap hobble Nigeria’s $4.5bn non-oil exports - BUSINESSDAY

MAY 17, 2024

Nigeria’s non-oil exports of $4.5 billion is being constricted by a knowledge gap among exporters and the challenge of incomplete documentation, including the bill lading, as well as the failure to comply with the required trade guidelines, experts say.

According to the Nigerian Customs Service, exporters must have specific basic documents for an export transaction to be allowed to exit the country.

Among these documents are a duly completed Nigeria Export Proceed Form (NXP), a Proforma Invoice, a sales contract/agreement where applicable, NEPC registration certificate, a relevant certificate of quality issued by one or more of the agencies such as Plant Quarantine, NAFDAC or SON, shipping documents including Bill of Exit, Bill of Lading and Form EUR-1

A bill of lading is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper that details the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.

In 2023, Nigeria’s non-oil export proceeds declined by 6.25 percent to $4.5 billion compared to $4.8 billion earned in 2022, according to Nonye Ayeni, executive director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Analysts warned that the value could further decline this year if the challenges hindering export trade in Nigeria are not resolved in earnest.

BusinessDay findings show that thousands of export containers get trapped at port terminals due to logistics hurdles to move from the export processing terminals and warehouses to the ports in Lagos.

The standard, according to analysts, is that export goods are not supposed to stay in the port terminals for more than seven days, but several are retained for upwards of two years, jeopardising the Nigerian Ports Authority and the NEPC-created Export Processing Terminals and Export Warehouses, respectively.

Today, most export cargo that gain access to the port spend between three weeks and over two years, while some end up not leaving Nigeria.

A recent visit to Apapa Port revealed that a total of 4,837 export container boxes were trapped at the port. A breakdown shows that about 1,940 containers spent between zero and 10 days; 1,524 containers stayed between 11 and 20 days; 757 containers spent between 21 and 30 days while 616 were categorised as abandoned export containers for spending between 31 days and over two years.

Obiora Madu, the director-general of the African Centre for Supply Chain, said most of the challenges and delays faced by exporters in the value chain centred around poor and incomplete documentation as well as non-compliance to trade guidelines.

According to him, 95 percent of documents submitted by exporters have discrepancies due to a lack of export skills.

Citing an example, Madu told BusinessDay on the phone that an export document was brought to his desk during his days in the bank, and after going through the documentation, he called the attention of the exporter to one missing document.

He said the exporter insisted that the document was not needed, only for the goods to be detained in the destination port and the exporter was compelled to return to get that missing document.

“That incident caused both the exporter and importer additional delays and losses that could have been avoided if the right thing was done in the country of origin, Nigeria,” Madu said.

Madu noted that exports thrive on a tripod of development, promotion, and the ability of exporters to submit documents that can’t be faulted.

Also, Kayode Daniel, government relations manager at APM Terminals, said “There is an established procedure and documents clearly defined by government agencies that some exporters are not complying with.”

According to him, the inability of exporters to complete the documents required for the containers to leave the port is creating operational bottlenecks for the terminal operator resulting in multiple handling of export boxes.

Technically, Daniel said, exporters’ action or inaction stalls the shipment of goods because Customs would not authorise the loading of export boxes without proper documentation.

BusinessDay discovered that the development has created inefficiency and delay in the country’s export value chain as new export cargo finds it difficult to enter the port while those in export processing terminals spend longer days, thereby jeopardising the quality of Nigeria’s export goods shipped to international markets.

Also, Lukman Shittu, chairman of the Nexus Association of Maritime Transport Operators, said Nigeria’s exports do not get to the international market on time, and that is why exports originating from Nigeria do not meet quality standards.

Shittu said the country was losing its export position to other West African countries and contracts cancelled by importers overseas due to challenges limiting the Nigerian government’s export drive.

“Nigeria cannot diversify to become a major exporter of non-oil goods if it remains business as usual. We are not serious because up until now; we have yet to make exports seamless, especially the small exporters. Nigeria needs to be intentional about driving export trade if we must earn the much-needed dollars to grow our economy,” Madu said.

He noted that Nigeria must borrow a leaf from a country like Finland by creating an export task force to ensure export bottlenecks are resolved using phone calls rather than memos.

“We need to give a mandate to government agencies involved in the export value chain to ensure speedy clearance of export, introduce technology to check delays and fast-track documentation. We also need to build the capacity of Nigerians to become good exporters by ensuring they take certification that would prepare them to become good exporters,” he stressed.

UK regulator reports Air Peace over alleged safety violation - PUNCH

MAY 20, 2024

BY Olasunaknmi Akinlotan

The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority has written Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority stating Air Peace has reportedly violated some aviation safety regulations

The development came barely three months after the Nigerian carrier commenced the Lagos-London route.

Two mandatory occurrence reports on Air Peace had been reportedly sent to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority.

The UK CAA, in turn, forwarded the complaints to the NCAA.

The CAA’s letter of complaint forwarded to NCAA was entitled; ‘United  Kingdom SAFA Ramp Inspection Report with reference number: CAA-UK, -2024-0217’ and ‘NATS Management System  Safety Report.’

The NCAA has also written to Air Peace to provide clarification on the issues.

The letter, with reference number: NCAA/DOLTS/APL/Vol.11/03624 was titled, “United Kingdom SAFA Ramp Inspection Report.

It was dated May 14, 2024, and signed by the NCAA General Manager of Operations, Capt. O.O. Lawani.

In the letter, the NCAA said the UK CAA had called its attention to the no operational approval of Electronic Flight Bag functions affecting the safe operation of the aircraft, while adding that the captain of the flight admitted that an Electronic Flight Bag was being used for navigational purposes.

NCAA further noted that the CAA stated in its letter that there was “no mounting device for the use of EFB, no charging points or battery for backup.”

Air Peace recently commenced operation to London Gatwick from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos under the Bilateral Air Services Agreement, which Nigeria has with the UK.

The spokesperson of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, could not be reached as of press time.

When called, the spokesperson of the airline picked but when this reporter began to enquire about the development, he kept mute until the call ended.

Our correspondent also sent a text message of enquiry to the spokesman but there was no response as of the time of filing this report.

US-Nigeria air transport agreement reintroduced to boost bilateral aviation ties - PUNCH

MAY 20, 2024


The United States has announced the reintroduction of an Air Transport Agreement with Nigeria to strengthen bilateral aviation ties between the two countries.

This was disclosed by the Public Diplomacy Department of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.

According to the statement, the agreement, which had provisionally been applied since 2000, was muted to establish a modern civil aviation relationship between the two countries.

The statement reads, “The U.S.-Nigeria Air Transport Agreement, which has been provisionally applied since 2000, entered into force on May 13, 2024. This bilateral agreement establishes a modern civil aviation relationship with Nigeria is consistent with U.S. Open Skies international aviation policy and with commitments to high standards of aviation safety and security.”

Giving the essence of the agreement, the Public Diplomacy Department of the U.S. Mission stated that the benefits included provisions that allow for unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and open code-sharing opportunities.

It further noted, “This agreement with Nigeria is a step forward in liberalising the international civil aviation sector in Africa and further expands our strong economic and commercial partnership, promotes people-to-people ties, and creates new opportunities for airlines, travel companies, and customers.

“With this agreement, air carriers can provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air services to travellers and shippers, which in turn promotes tourism and commerce.”

I Need 35 Different Visas To Travel Within Africa – Dangote - DAILY TRUST

MAY 20, 2024

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has lamented that he confronts obstacles as an investor, because he needs different 35 visas on his Nigerian passport to travel within Africa.

The 67-year-old business mogul said he does not have the time to move around the continent to drop his passport at embassies to get visas, adding that it is a big challenge.Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote said his counterpart in France does not face the same problem.

  • Dangote said, “I still complained to President Kagame. I told him that as an investor, I have to now apply for 35 different visas on my passport.

    “And I told Mr. President, I really don’t have the time to go and be dropping my passports in embassies to get a visa.

    “But you see, the most annoying thing is that yes, if you are treating everybody the same, then I can understand.”

    In his explanation, Dangote said the Chairman of Total Energies, Patrick Pouyanne, does not need 35 visas on his French passport to gain access to African countries.

    “You don’t need 35 visas on your French passport. This means you have a freer movement than myself in Africa,” he said.

  • In his submission about businesses within Africa, Dangote said, “Our main job is to make sure the regional markets all work. Once they work, then we can now go to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). But then, for AfCFTA also, we need to make sure that it works”.

    “We cannot have a very promising continent and our intra-trade rate is less than 16 percent. Okay, so we Africans will have to do it. If we are waiting for foreigners to come and do it, both the development of Africa, it’s not going to happen,” he said.

    “So it can only happen to us Africans. We must risk our sources and make sure that we lead, then we will have people who actually trust and believe in Africa like Patrick to come and help us to push to the next level.”

    At the event, Dangote said Nigeria will stop importing fuel by June, as his refinery begins production of the product.

    “Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of litre,” he said.

    Consequently, Dangote said the shortfall in the supply of petrol will be addressed not only in Nigeria but other West African countries.

    “We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa. We have enough diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa,” he added.

  • Flight disruption looms as NLC pickets Turkish Airlines today - BUSINESSDAY

    MAY 21, 2024

    There may be flight disruptions and cancellations as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will Tuesday commence the picketing of Turkish Airlines in Lagos.

    The picketing is in a bid to make the carrier reinstate staff that were allegedly dismissed, forced to abandon duty or forced to resign, including those victimised for their union membership in 2020.

    The NLC in a notice of picketing of Turkish Airlines in Lagos signed by Chris Ufot, its Acting General Secretary, stated that all affiliate unions in aviation are particularly charged to mobilise heavily for the picketing action without fail, adding that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) council is to stand by in case there becomes a need to escalate the matter to Abuja airport.

    According to the group, Turkish Airlines management had continued its determined bid to exterminate the union, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) from the airline.

    It noted that in this latest onslaught, the management had dismissed seven out of eleven members of the union without benefits under trumped-up charges, using a disciplinary committee constituted outside the dictates of the prevailing condition of service as negotiated with NUATE.

    More provoking according to the NLC is the plan to get rid of the remaining four members to pave the way for the engagement of new staff who would be compelled not to join the union or in the alternative procure a General Sales Agent (GSA).

    By the above action of unjustified dismal of their workers, the management of Turkish Airlines was said to have allegedly put to waste ten, fourteen years of service. “And fate has befallen these hapless workers purely on account of exercising their constitutional right to belong to a trade union. Congress will not tolerate this situation.

    “Therefore, the Lagos State Council of NLC is hereby directed to commence picketing of Turkish Airlines in Lagos with effect from May 21, 2024, until all staff of Turkish Airlines who have been sacked, dismissed, forced to abandon duty, or forced to resign under duress, including those victimized for their union membership in 2020, have been fully restored to their jobs without any losses of any kind,” the statement by the labour union read.

    One Dead After Singapore Air Flight Hit By Severe Turbulence - BLOOMBERG

    MAY 21, 2024

    BY Siddharth Philip and Katrina NicholasBloomberg News

    <p>    </p>, Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg


    , Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

    (Bloomberg) -- Singapore Airlines Ltd. said one person was killed and several others injured after a flight from the UK to Singapore encountered severe turbulence in the skies over Asia and was forced to make an emergency landing in Thailand.

    “We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER,” the carrier said in a statement. “We are working with the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary medical assistance and sending a team to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed.”

    The widebody aircraft with 211 passengers and 18 crew on board was traveling from London Heathrow and diverted to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after encountering the turbulence. Unverified photos posted on social media showed food and other loose items strewn across the cabin floor. 

    Airports of Thailand said in a separate statement that medics were dispatched to the scene to assist passengers, and that those with minor or no injuries are awaiting transfer to the original destination. Singapore Airlines said 18 individuals have been hospitalised, and another 12 are being treated in local hospitals.

    Fatalities are extremely rare in incidents of turbulence, particularly during travel at cruising altitude that’s considered the most stable part of the journey. Carriers routinely caution passengers to keep their seat belts fastened even when they have been switched off as unforeseen turbulence may still occur. 

    Wake Vortex

    About 240 events of severe turbulence were reported to European planemaker Airbus SE between 2014 and 2018, with injuries to passengers and crew occurring on 30% of long-haul flights where such events were reported, and 12% of short-haul flights, according to a briefing document on the phenomenon.

    Turbulence describes an event when an airplane hits a strong wind current that can push or pull. The phenomenon can be caused by pockets of hot air rising, or weather systems such as cumulonimbus clouds. At higher altitudes, aircraft might encounter clear air turbulence caused by the differences in speed of air masses. 

    Smaller planes can also encounter turbulence from larger planes that shake up the air with their engines. Since 1969, multi-aisle aircraft such as the Boeing 747 or Airbus A380 have been given a wide berth from other large planes because of what’s called wake vortex, requiring to stay several miles apart as they arrive or depart.

    Read More: Why Climate Change Could Make Your Next Flight a Bumpier One

    In cases where turbulence cannot be avoided, Airbus recommends pilots fasten their shoulder harnesses and secure loose objects in the cockpit, leave autopilot systems on and possibly descend to a lower altitude. 

    Weather Conditions

    Singapore Airlines hasn’t yet provided details of the accident. The airline has a robust safety record, consistently ranking among the world’s safest. The last fatal accident involving the carrier occurred in 2000, when one of the airline’s Boeing 747 crashed while attempting to take off in the middle of a typhoon, killing 83 people.

    The aircraft involved in Tuesday’s incident took off from London at 10:38 pm local time the previous day, according to FlightRadar24. The plane operating flight SQ321 was 16 years old, and is one of Singapore Air’s 23 777-300ERs. Boeing Co. didn’t immediately have a comment on the incident.

    In 2001, Singapore Air said four passengers and three cabin crew were hurt when a flight from Kolkata to Singapore experienced unexpected turbulence. Emirates, the Dubai-based carrier said in early 2010 that 20 passengers on a flight from Dubai to Kochi in India suffered “minor injuries” when the aircraft “encountered a short period of heavy turbulence prior to descent.”

    A study by Reading University published in 2023 said that clear-air turbulence, which is invisible, had increased with climate change. While the US and North Atlantic had seen the biggest increase, routes over Europe, the Middle East and South Atlantic had also seen significant rises in turbulence.

    --With assistance from Patpicha Tanakasempipat.

    (Updates with details on turbulence)

    Emirates to resume Nigeria flights after nearly two years - REUTERS

    MAY 21, 2024

    ABUJA, May 16 (Reuters) – Dubai’s Emirates airline will resume flight schedules to Nigeria from Oct. 1, it said on Thursday, ending a close to two-year halt to flights.

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stopped issuing visas to Nigerians in 2022 after Emirates suspended flights between the nations because of an inability to repatriate funds from Nigeria.

    “We are excited to resume our services to Nigeria. We thank the Nigerian government for their partnership and support in re-establishing this route and we look forward to welcoming passengers back on board,” Adnan Kazim, the airline’s deputy president and chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

    The Lagos-Dubai service has been popular with Nigerian customers in the past and Emirates said it hopes to reconnect travellers to Dubai and onwards to more than 140 destination with its resumption of services.

    Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met last September in Abu Dhabi and discussed the lifting of the visa ban and new investments into Africa’s most populous country.

    The resumption of schedules also includes cargo flights, the statement said.

    (Reporting by Ope Adetayo; Additonal reporting by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman)

    Europe Set for Unusually Hot Weather in First Blast of Summer - BLOOMBERG

    MAY 21, 2024

    Eamon Akil FarhatBloomberg News

    , Copernicus Climate Change Service

    (Bloomberg) -- Europe is bracing for its first hot spell of the summer, with Germany and the Nordics set for unusually high temperatures next week.

    In Berlin, the maximum temperature is set to soar to 28C (82F) on May 30, according to Weather Services International. That means the German capital will see demand for cooling offices and homes well before air conditioners are usually turned on.

    Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic have soared to their highest in at least 40 years, suggesting the coming summer will be hotter than usual. March was the Earth’s 10th consecutive month of record-breaking heat, with populations across much of the northern and southern hemispheres experiencing temperatures overshooting climate targets. 

    On the Greek island of Crete, the mercury climbed to 38.6C over the weekend, according to Meteo Gr. Temperatures are forecast to remain above the norm in the coming days.

    The heat will boost power demand for cooling and could lead to price spikes in countries, such as Italy and Spain, that rely on air conditioning. In southern Spain, Seville is forecast to experience highs of 35C on May 27, while the capital Madrid will exceed 30C for the first time this year. 

    Nordic capitals are also set for much hotter weather than usual. In Oslo, the mean temperature is forecast to rise as high as 19C on May 24, 8 degrees above the 30-year norm. Helsinki is expected to be 7 degrees above the norm that day, while Stockholm is forecast to exceed the norm by 6 degrees on May 31.

    Global warming is not only increasing the intensity of heat waves — with 2023 the hottest year on record — but also hurricanes and typhoons as warmer water and moister air provide additional fuel for storms. The past 12 months have been 1.58C above pre-industrial temperatures, exceeding the 1.5C limit that policymakers and scientists warn could threaten life on the planet.


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