Aviation minister, consumer agency react as Nigerian airlines threaten shutdown - NAN
The Airline Operators of Nigeria says aviation fuel price had risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has pleaded with Nigerian airlines to suspend their planned shutdown of operations from Monday over the increase of cost of aviation fuel from N190 to N700 per litre.
Mr Sirika made the appeal in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, James Odaudu, on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerian airlines, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), on Friday announced plans to shut down operations from Monday due to the high cost of aviation fuel.
The minister urged the airlines to consider the multiplier effect shutting down operations would have on Nigerians and global travellers.
He said: “The attention of the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has been drawn to reports that the nation’s air transportation system will be disrupted as from Monday.
“This follows the threats by airline operators to shut down operations as a result of rising cost of Jet A1, otherwise known as aviation fuel.
“As the ministry charged with the industry, we are greatly concerned about the difficulties being faced by the airlines in procuring aviation fuel which has resulted in spiraling costs in air transportation in the immediate past.
“We also acknowledge that the airlines are in the business to make profits, while servicing the very critical sector that is not only the preferred mode of transport for most Nigerians, but the main international gateway to the nation.
“Unfortunately, the issue of fuel supply is not within the purview of the ministry, so the much it can do in the present situation is to engage with agencies, institutions and individuals in positions.
“This is to provide succour to the airlines. This is already being done by the relevant team led by the minister.”
Also, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has appealed to airlines to shelve the proposed service shutdown, considering the effect on passengers and hardship associated with the action.
Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr Irukera said the commission was engaging both operators and major fuel marketers in a discussion to understand the global supply challenges and possible steps to ameliorate same.
Mr Irukera, however, expressed concerns that airlines had continued to sell tickets beyond May 9, the date for the proposed service shutdown.
According to him, if the airlines have decided and are resolute, it will be exploitation of consumers and a violation of law to purport to sell a service that the provider knows will not or does not intend to provide or deliver.
”It is misleading and deceptive under Section 123 of the FCCPA to represent that a service will be delivered on a certain date when the provider knows the same is false or improbable,” he said.
”If a service provider is unable to provide a service on account of its own decision, not a countervailing circumstance, the obligation for a refund is sacrosanct.
”The commission is optimistic that airline operators will not deliberately sell tickets for flights they do not intend to operate and is as such, hopeful that a solution short of a shutdown will emerge accordingly.
”The commission strongly advocates engagement among all stakeholders across the value chain to mitigate the current constraints and develop an acceptable interim arrangement. ”This is to address problems and costs associated with global supply constraints on account of a war, sanctions associated with the war, and a fragile ongoing post pandemic recovery in aviation,” he said.
Mr Irukera said that the commission would continue to monitor the sensitive and evolving situation and remained committed to supporting engagements to provide solutions and stability. (NAN)
UK visa: ASUU members, others react to exclusion of Nigerians - PUNCH
BY Gbenga Oloniniran
Following the exclusion of Nigerian graduates from a new United Kingdom visa- High Potential Individual Visa, reactions have trailed the development, with many linking the cause to the persistent school closures, especially the strike actions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The PUNCH had reported on Friday that a new UK visa excluded Nigerian university graduates from applying for the scholarship based on the requirement that graduates applying must be from any of the universities in the top 50 global rankings.
The PUNCH gathered reactions from some stakeholders in Nigerian universities.
The Chairman of ASUU, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife branch, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, noted that Nigerian degrees were not inferior to those of counterparts abroad, adding that lecturers in Nigeria were equally qualified to teach outside the country.
However, he said, “Nevertheless, the difference is in the process and facilities with which teaching and learning are done and this is the matter ASUU has been pursuing for decades. Because facilities are not readily available in our universities, infrastructures are not maintained among many other challenges, whereas the ranking of universities is dependent on such criteria and many others.
“The incessant strikes, foisted on ASUU by the government, have always resulted in unstable calendars, calling to question the duration of degree programmes in Nigeria.”
“If the government had not been paying lip service to the demands of ASUU over the years, we would not have experienced the rots we have in the universities and such UK authorities wouldn’t have exempted our graduates,” Egbedokun told The PUNCH.
He urged that the Nigerian government should urgently listen to the demands of ASUU, adding that the “deafness of Nigerian government is really hampering the chances of our graduates abroad. ”
- It is an interplay between mischief and reality- UNILAG don
A Research Associate Professor of Governance and Politics at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Kayode Eesuola, in his reaction, said, “the UK has the statistics of Nigerian universities’ graduates that drive the country’s economy in professions ranging from Medicine to Engineering and IT. The statistics will hardly support or warrant such discrimination. That’s the mischief part.
“The reality part is that one cannot deny that Nigerian universities are underfunded and underequipped in material and human resources, consequences of which are the incessant ASUU strikes the country currently faces. Apparently, the students become the victims as they lack concentration and state-of-the-art training in comparison to their peers elsewhere. Their finishing qualities will be affected,” Eesuola said.
Speaking further, he noted that it wasn’t given that the training grounds determined the quality of graduates, adding that the United States had “some of the best football and athletics training institutions and equipment in the world, but the best marathoners and footballers come from other countries.” He added that this was evident in the Nigerians that were doing well in their careers abroad.
He concluded that the Nigerian government should “understand and appreciate the wider implications of ASUU’s struggle for the revitalisation of education in Nigeria, for only that will improve the rating (not necessarily quality) of our graduates globally.”
- Lecturers sponsor researches with their salaries – OAU don
A lecturer who deals with Hydrology and Geographic Information System at the Department of Geography in OAU, Dr. Bayo Eludoyin, on his part, noted that lecturers now sponsored researches with their salaries while students lacked grants for their researches too.
“I do not find the decision to be a surprising one. We definitely are not in the first 50. I am not sure that any university in Nigeria is in the top 800 or 1000, depending on whose ranking we use.”
Speaking further, he said, “Nigerian public university system has a long way to go before they can rank even in 500th position. Forget the so-called ABUAD or Covenant University’s ranking but ask about the basis for the ranking. Is it on students’ satisfaction, research output, or specific programmes? The basis differs and the ranking is specific. Nonetheless, I think there are lots of things that are wrong with the administration of teaching and learning in Nigerian public universities, and many private universities may do better in some of these areas, including some selective facilities and lecturer-student relationships.
Dr. Eludoyin urged for autonomy in public universities to allow competitiveness, adding that most successful universities abroad were autonomous.
A Masters graduate of OAU, Ogumah Andrew Segun, said that the quality of teaching in public universities should not make anyone argue over the criteria of the UK.
“I do think that we can’t blame the UK for her criteria for admission into their country particularly on certificate or qualifications. I think we should blame ourselves for the poor level of attention we give to education in our country.
“Today, practically no federal university in the country has a functional laboratory. Part of what the ASUU is fighting for is the revitalisation fund to improve the facilities on our campuses. Why are we not going to be in the lowest ranking level when today the endowment for the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, alone, is more than the entire Nigeria budget in the last five years!” Ogumah said.
“What is the quality of the teaching in our public universities that we want to argue that we should be included?” He asked.
Another student activist at the University of Lagos, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, said, “The blame for this debacle must be dumped at the doorstep of the government. The question is why don’t we rank well globally?
“I disagree with some who say that our lecturers can’t deliver quality, that’s why the UK wouldn’t be issuing visas to Nigerian graduates. Many of our lecturers also lecture abroad and their expertise is not in doubt.”
“In practical terms, how do you come out as a proper learned person when you spend one month in class and the next three months at home or on the streets due to incessant ASUU strikes?
“How will such an arrangement rank well globally? It’s not possible,” Adeyeye added.
Presidency: Stop embarrassing Nigeria, Ezekwesili faults Emefiele’s response - PUNCH
BY Sodiq Oyeleke
Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has faulted the response given by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over calls for his resignation.
Many Nigerians, including the former education minister, had asked Emefiele to resign his position as CBN governor or be sacked by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over his presidential ambition.
There had been reports that the All Progressives Congress Expression of Interest and Nomination forms were purchased for Emefiele to contest the 2023 presidential election by his supporters.
A coalition comprising Rice Farmers Association, Emefiele Support Group and Friends of Godwin on Friday reportedly obtained the forms for him.
The CBN governor earlier denied having an interest in the presidential race but made a U-turn on Saturday.
In his response to the public outcry that greeted his purchase of nomination forms, Emefiele said he would decide on whether to contest or not in a few weeks.
Ezekwesili asked the CBN governor to stop embarrassing Nigeria by resigning his position.
She said this in a series of tweets on Saturday.
She posted, "I just read your waffling neither here nor there tweet reacting to news of your payment of N100M for the APC Nomination form for 2023 Presidential election. Seems you
did not read what the APC Spokes person said to @Bloomberg. Resign. Stop embarrassing the country. Stop. this is for you. Time to end your low grade hide and seek game that
dangerously toys with the monetary authority of this country and its people. Resign.
“It is legitimate aspiration to seek to be President of Nigeria but resign from cenbank to go pursue it.”
Reacting through his verified twitter handle, Emefiele said that, should he decide to contest for the political office, he would prefer to use his personal resources.
He said, “I am humbled by the growing interest of those asking that I run for the office of president in the 2023 general elections: I have not come to that decision.
“I note and salute the sacrifices of those farmers and patriots going as far as raising personal funds and offering me presidential nomination forms: I thank them most profusely.
”However, should I answer their calls and decide to seek presidential nomination, I will use my own hard earned savings to buy my own nomination forms.
“I will do so without proxies, in an open and transparent manner in full compliance with the laws and Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
He said that he would continue to serve the country in his capacity as CBN governor until he received divine counsel to contest for a higher office.
“I will continue to serve and sacrifice for the good people of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is a serious decision that requires God’s Divine intervention: in the next few days The Almighty will so direct,” he said.
New Helicopter Landing Charges Begin May 9 - DAILY TRUST
By Chris Agabi
Helicopter operators in Nigeria will from May 9, 2022 be required to pay higher landing charges.
>span class="s1">It is not immediately clear how much the new landing charges would be as the concessionaire declined to provide specifics on the charges.
However, stakeholders and Helicopter Services Operators in Nigeria, had in February 2022 at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, engaged with the management of Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited, the concessionaire empowered by the Federal Government of Nigeria, to collect helicopter landing charges as well as monitoring and surveillance of helicopter movements in Nigeria.
The Managing Director/CEO, Naed Dynamic Concepts Limited, Mr Stanley Chike, said the stakeholders and helicopter operators were briefed on the concessionaire’s mandate and informed of the statutory landing fees to be charged.
He said the collection of helicopter landing charges will begin on May 9, 2022.
He explained that the helicopter services are adding to the existing charge and collection is starting nationwide simultaneously.
He noted that 90 days’ notice was given after inauguration by the representative of the SGF and minister of aviation on February 4, 2022 and collection starts by May 2022.
He also said when the concession commences, they will monitor all helicopter movements in Nigeria. “We are building a state of the art control room to monitor all helicopter movements and give this information to the government promptly.
Gone are the days when unauthorised and illegal movements of helicopters will go unnoticed” he said.
BREAKING: Airline operators suspend planned operations shutdown - PUNCH
BY Idowu Abdullahi
Airline operators in the country on Sunday said they would not continue with the planned suspension of flight operations as earlier announced.
The body clarified that their decision followed intervention by the government with promises to dialogue with operators in seeking lasting solutions to the astronomic rise in the price of aviation fuel.
The operators’ position was contained in a statement on Sunday jointly signed by its President, Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, and other members.
Others who signed the statement include the Executive Director, Max Air, Alhaji Shehu Wada; the Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo; the CEO, Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu; the CEO, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood; the MD, Azman Air, Faisal Abdulmunaf, and Chairman, Air Peace, Barr. Allen Onyema.
The statement read, “The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wishes to inform the general public that further to numerous calls from the highest echelons in government with promises to urgently intervene in the crises being faced by airlines due to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, that the AON has acceded to requests to withdraw the action for the time being while we allow for a fresh round of dialogue with the government in the hope of reaching an amicable solution.
“We have also reached this decision with the highest consideration for our esteemed customers who have been faced with uncertainty over the last few days and to enable them to have access to travel to their various destinations for the time being during the period of discussions with relevant authorities.
“In view of the above and in the interest of national economy and security considerations, AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2022 is hereby suspended in good fate pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government.”
Nigeria is First Nation to Ground Flights as Fuel Costs Soar - BLOOMBERG
(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria will become the first nation to ground flights on Monday as surging prices for aviation fuel make business unprofitable.
Airline operators “will discontinue operations nationwide” until further notice, their union said in a statement. It’s the latest sign of the widespread impact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having.
The war has caused massive disruption to energy markets with Russian feedstocks used to produce jet fuel and diesel becoming untouchable for many parts of the world. China has also cut its oil product export quota, limiting supplies. The loss of 3.2 million barrels a day of refining capacity in the pandemic years also doesn’t help.
Nigeria’s 23 airlines say they have been “subsidizing” flights for the past four months and can no longer absorb the costs after the price of aviation fuel more than tripled to 700 naira ($1.68) per liter.
Jet fuel makes up a significant proportion of input costs for airlines. Any change in expenses can drive up ticket prices that could put travelers off, especially in price-sensitive markets.
“Many of the airlines are running at a loss already,” said Victor Enwezor, vice president operations at Lagos-based tour operator Leisure Afrique “Any further price hike will kill their business,” he said by phone.
This summer, global jet fuel demand is set to rise by more than a third as air-travel ramps up, surpassing six million barrels a day, according to the latest forecast from BloombergNEF.
Grounding flights may hurt Africa’s biggest economy, where the International Monetary Fund already forecasts growth will slow this year and next.
It’s not clear what the solution is. In March, following meetings with the government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Co. agreed to grant licenses to airlines to import fuel to boost supply and possibly bring down costs.
That hasn’t changed the situation. High Jet-A1 prices have pushed up the unit cost per seat for a one-hour flight in the West African nation to an average of 120,000 naira, 71% higher than the cheapest option, the union said. Many operators are caught in a bind: increasing prices too much will cut customer numbers and still won’t cover costs.
“Cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated, thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines,” the union said. “The airlines can no longer absorb the pressure.”
Canadian job gains stall as unemployment rate hits new low - BLOOMBERG
Canada’s labor market stalled even as the jobless rate fell to a new record low, hampered by a dearth of new workers.
The economy added 15,300 jobs in April, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa, fewer than half the 40,000 gain anticipated by economists. The small increase ended a surge that saw Canada create about 410,000 jobs over the previous two months.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.2 per cent in April -- the lowest in data going back to 1976 -- as the economy failed to produce any new growth in the labor force.
With employment already well above pre-pandemic levels, economists and policymakers have been anticipating a slowdown in job creation as the nation struggles to find new workers, amid elevated demand from employers. The imbalance between demand and supply of jobs is a primary reason why the Bank of Canada is tightening monetary policy. Canada’s economy has added almost 1 million jobs over the past year, with employment nearly half a million above February 2020 levels.
“This is an indication that we’re reaching a fairly mature stage in the economic cycle,” Josh Nye, a senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada, told BNN Bloomberg television. “It’s just going to be difficult to generate job gains on the scale that we’ve been used to in the past year or so.”
The yield on benchmark two-year Canada bonds dropped about 4 basis points after the numbers were released to 2.682 per cent as of 8:42 a.m. The loonie was little changed at $1.2836 per U.S. dollar.
Worries that Canada’s economy is up against capacity are stoking expectations the Bank of Canada will aggressively hike interest rates in coming months, including a half-point increase at its policy decision next month. The central bank has raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage points since early March to 1 per cent, and trading in overnight swaps suggest it will climb another 2 percentage points by the end of this year.
Canada’s labor-force participation rate dipped to 65.3 per cent in April. Adding to evidence of a tightening market, involuntary part-time employment reached 15.7 per cent, a record low.
The data also show the extent to which the economy was impeded by a surge in coronavirus cases last month, as the omicron variant swept the nation. Hours worked fell 1.9 per cent in April, in part because of a jump in COVID-related absences, Statistics Canada said.
Average hourly wages were up 3.3 per cent from a year earlier, little changed from 3.4 per cent in February. For permanent employees, wages were up 3.4 per cent. The nation lost 31,600 full-time jobs in April, which was more than offset by a 47,100 increase in part-time employment.
Construction led declines, with employment in the sector down by 20,700 jobs. Service-related industries posted a 31,400 gain for the month.
Making Nigerian Airports Viable - THISDAY
With about 32 airports and counting, Nigeria may be one of the countries in Africa that have the highest number of airports, but most of the airports are not viable. Industry stakeholders are therefore proffering ways airports in Nigerian could be made viable and profitable, writes Chinedu Eze
One of the major challenges airports face in Nigeria is that many of them are not viable. Airport business is capital intensive and it takes whooping sum to maintain existing airports, because only few of them generate income that can be used to sustain their operations.
This is why many states that built airports in the past later handed them over to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN) to manage. Many industry observers are of the view that the states that built these airports were not innovative to find ways to make the airports viable. They stated that in many parts of the world, airports are profitable because they are made host of many businesses, including hospitality facilities, enterprises, including shopping malls, and even discotheques. Recognising that the sterile areas of the airports are highly restricted, many other businesses can go on at other parts of an airport.
Recently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Finchglow Travels and the former President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mr. Bankole Bernard, spoke extensively on effective and profitable management of airports.
One of the reasons why aviation workers opposed the concession of four major airports in Nigeria, which include Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt was because these airports are the most profitable; so the question arises, if these airports are given out to the private sector as concession, how will the other airports that are unviable be sustained?
Bernard said, “We have all been distracted with the concessioning of the four major airports in Nigeria that we consider to be viable and we have neglected other airports all in the name of the fact that they are not commercially viable and my question is: Where is the document that revealed to any of us that those airports are not commercially viable? Are we looking at revenues from passengers as the only means that make an airport commercially viable?”
The former NANTA President explained that so much could be done with airport terminals and so many businesses and other investments could be hosted in airport terminals.
“As a matter of fact, let me tell you that airport terminals are no longer what they used to be. As a matter of fact, in some countries, they have turned their airports into a shopping mall – local and international where you can do and undo with a lot of things and that alone attracts passengers to ply such airport. So, if we have such a viable business outlook, why should we continue to say an airport is not commercially viable? There are quite a lot of things that we need to do and when we put those things in the right perspective, an airport becomes commercially viable.”
He argued that the federal government and the state government have not exploited the opportunities available to potentially maximiseopportunities offered by these airport facilities. For example, out of all the airports in Nigeria, only the Asaba International Airport has been given out in concession for the private sector to develop. Other states have held on tightly to their airports while they lament perennially that they are not profitable.
When Bi-Courtney opened the Murtala Muhammed Domestic Airport Terminal (MMA2) in 2007, established under the concession arrangement of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), it was expected that both the federal and the state government would take a cue from that successful concession and hand over many of the airports to the private sector. But it took another 14 years before Delta state government successfully concessioned the Asaba airport.
“If you say airport is not commercially viable, why don’t you allow those that have interest in those airports to turn them around? I have always said it that government is not in a business of doing business. They are regulators. They should stick to their strength, which is regulating, while we allow the business people to handle the business aspect of this.
Government can allow them to take some critical business decisions by allowing them to run the business the way it should be. I have been to some airports around the world and I will give you some instance.
“Do you know that the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport in United States as small as it is, it is an active airport? It is active because they are building more shops and renovating the place so people can enjoy the airport.
Akure airport, for instance, had only one airline going there before, but now about three airlines go there. Are you still saying the traffic is still the way it was? Let me remind you at this point that Nigerians are constantly developing the culture of flying,” Bernard said.
According to Bernard, statistics revealed that the recovery of travel in Nigeria is the highest in the world. He said the Nigerian figures indicated that the country is higher than the world and continent’s figures.
“But this is the same place where we have no money nor do we have a national carrier. This tells you that there is a culture. We have developed the flying culture and the number keeps increasing by the day. If the number is increasing by the day, it means it is a viable market.
“They shouldn’t tell us our airports are not commercially viable. People like us that come in have even the opportunity to prove that these airports are viable. How do you make an airport viable when you only put on the generator when you have an aircraft approaching and the moment the aircraft lands, you put off the generator again? This will not be viable because you have lost communication, so even when people show up and they can’t get electricity, they will probably stop,” he said.
The stakeholders noted that there are quite a lot of things that could be done to make nation’s airports commercially viable as long as there is a genuine interest and the facilities are given it to those that are passionate about the industry and not given to relatives and friends of political leaders to manage.
Travel expert and organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ambassador Ikechi Uko told THISDAY that airports can be profitable on their own, even when the aeronautical revenue is lean. He said that airports could be turned into tourist hub, businesses could be created around the airport, as aerotropolis, but when this is not done, airport environment could become residential area.
For example, many parts of the Lagos airport have been taken over by individuals and built private houses and it is difficult to recover those areas as airport premises.
“An area where businesses enterprises could be established in an airport environment could be turned to high quality real estate if such spaces are not quickly utilised to host business hubs, hotels.
“Many years ago, I made a proposal to build 13 hotels in the so-called unviable airports. An airport owner, whether state, federal government or individual can make his money by locating other businesses at the airport,” he said.
Federal Governments Airports
The Chief Executive Officer of Finchglow Travels said both federal government and state government owned airports are still under the scrutiny and regulation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), noting that if the authority does not give approval, no airport would operate and government is considered to be the same everywhere. So there should be no difference in practice or in expectation from the airports owned differently.
“If NCAA doesn’t give an approval, it can’t operate and government is the same anywhere in the world. It is just in this part of the world that we try to demarcate one from the other. Since government is the same, it means the users of the airports must just see it as the same. In a state owned airports, are the state governments saying the airports are not commercially viable? If they are saying same, then, let them give it out to a private sector that will run them effectively and efficiently that you will produce the kind of result that you like,” Bernard said.
He remarked that there are so many opportunities airport managers can make money from. For example, at the MMA2 at Lagos airport there are banks, eateries, gym, car parks, meters and greeters, communications companies, pharmacy and many others.
“If you give me the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos to run for one year, I will turn it around to the extent that I will triple the income that comes in. There are certain things that you will not joke with. How effective are the Wi-Fi within our airports? And it has to be free usage for everybody. For everybody that logs in, I am capturing their data. With that alone, I can tell you what the traffic is at that airport.
“Then, the shops now become viable because they now have Internet to trace and monitor a lot of things. Look at the toilets, why will you get to a toilet and the whole place is in a mess? Water on the floor, yet somebody is being paid? We have to remove all manners of sentiments. Let the best man that can do the job do it. These are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Those things are necessary,” he said.
Many industry observers believe that FAAN has no maximise the benefits of car parks by building more car parks like the one at the international wing of the airports. They remarked that multi-story car parks maximsesspace and add value by protecting vehicles from sun and rain while charging for the services. In addition, ancillary services like car wash, maintenance services could be established through concession and these would add to more activities that earn revenue at the airport.
According to Bernard, there must be arrangement whereby cars are parked and the government is making money from it.
“The car parks are not properly managed. You don’t have to see anybody there giving out tickets and collecting money. When you travel abroad, you don’t see anybody at the car park. From the terminal, you have paid your toll. The Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are there monitoring activities. Then can we say our airports are not viable? They are, but it is just our approach that we create around it. Then, we should stop this idea of do you know who I am? Who are you? We are all VIPs. If we all respect the law, we will make this country good for us and our generation yet to come,” he said.
According to FAAN sources, only few airports managed by the agency earn good revenue and the money earned by the Murtala MuhammedInternational Airport, Lagos is used to sustain other airports in the country. THISDAY learnt that non-aeronautical revenue sources are totally under developed in many airports in the country, especially those airports FAAN was forced to take over by the federal government. Industry stakeholders blame lack of innovation and lack of creativity as the major reason why many airports in Nigeria are unviable.
Some retired FAAN officials posit that for FAAN to develop the airports under its management, it must be made autonomous and the meddlesomeness of government through the Ministry of Aviation must be stopped, but for now, FAAN is micromanaged by the Ministry of Aviation.
British Airways is the latest airline to cut its summer flight schedule as it scrambles to hire enough staff to cope with the rebound in air travel - BUSINESS INSIDER
British Airways reduced its summer flight schedules by 10% amid staff shortages.
Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and Alaska Airlines had already cut flight numbers this year.
Demand is returning to pre-pandemic levels but airlines are dealing with a lack of staff.
British Airways reduced its flight schedules this summer, following its decision to cut almost 10,000 jobs when it faced travel restrictions during the pandemic.
The Financial Times reported the news on Saturday.
The UK airline is joining several other carriers in slashing the number of flights it is offering passengers this year. It plans to cut 10% of its flight schedules between March and October, due to a shortage in staff, according to the FT.
JetBlue Airways cut flights for May by between 8% and 10% and plans to make similar reductions for the summer, a CNBC report says. JetBlue made 2,500 new hires already this year but it is still understaffed, per the report.
Similarly, Alaska Airlines cut 2% of its flight schedule until the end of June after being forced to cut flights in April as a result of a lack of staff, per the CNBC report. While Southwest Airlines cut 65,000 spring flights, an SEC filing shows, and 20,000 summer flights, Dallas Morning News reported.
The airline industry is now grappling with staff shortages as it previously cut its workforce during the pandemic, amid global travel restrictions and reduced demand. Delta Air Lines was forced to drop more than 10 routes last year because of the slowdown in demand.
The number of flights British Airways has cut is the equivalent of 8,000 round trips, a majority on short-haul routes, British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle told the FT.
The airline plans to hire 6,000 new staff members to cope with demand, which Doyle says is between 65% and 70% of 2019 levels for business travel.
"The US carriers had similar rebuild problems earlier in the process, we see problems in Europe and the UK industry getting the system back up and running," Doyle told the FT.
However, not all airlines are coping with the return in demand but cutting flights as they have fewer operational challenges than big carriers. British Airways told Insider that while the past few weeks have been "challenging," the company is focused on its customers, supporting its "biggest recruitment drive," and increasing its operational resilience. "We've taken action to reduce our schedule to help provide certainty for our customers and are giving them maximum flexibility to either rebook with us or another airline as close to their original departure time as possible, or to receive a full refund," British Airways said in a statement.
JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines were not immediately available for comment.
Nigerian airlines suspend plans to ground local flights over cost of jet fuel - REUTERS
ABUJA, May 8 (Reuters) - Nigerian airlines have suspended plans to ground all local flights due to the soaring cost of jet fuel just hours before the move was due to take effect, the airline operators association said on Sunday.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria has been under pressure from the government, consumer protection bodies and customers to shelve the planned shut down since it was announced on Friday. read more
Airlines are complaining about paying for jet fuel upfront in cash at 700 naira ($1.69) per litre, a price that has more than doubled this year, partly as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, increasing their operating costs by around 95%.
Dollar shortages in Nigeria and a weaker local currency have worsened the woes for the sector, which also faces the country-wide challenges stemming from double-digit inflation, slow growth and mounting unemployment and insecurity.
The aviation ministry said earlier on Sunday that local airlines have faced unfavourable global oil market dynamics but efforts are ongoing to find a "lasting solution to the perplexing issue of aviation fuel availability and affordability".
Fuel shortages and high debts caused some carriers to suspend local flights indefinitely in 2016. Though the government has intervened with financial assistance to support the sector.
Nigeria subsidises imported petrol to keep pump prices low. But with the rise in global oil prices, the country has endured soaring costs in order to avert strikes, especially in the run-up to presidential elections next year.
Air Peace, Nigeria's biggest carrier, with flights to Dubai and Johannesburg, said on Sunday the suspension would go ahead before the association changed its stance.
Ibom Air on Saturday pulled out of the flight suspension due to obligations to financiers and suppliers. It was followed by Dana Air. read more
($1 = 414.69 naira)
(This story was refiled to fix typo in para 6.)