Travel News

Japa: Canada unveils three-year immigration levels plan for Nigerians, others - VANGUARD

NOVEMBER 01, 2023

By Biodun Busari

The Canadian Government is billed to announce its annual immigration plan on Wednesday in non-election years under the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA), which is Canada’s main immigration law.

This was disclosed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on its website adding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government will announce the Immigration Levels Plan for 2024 – 2026.

According to CIC news, the Immigration Levels Plan acts as the guideline for the number of new permanent residents who will be admitted into Canada over the next three years under each of the three immigration classes: economic, family, and humanitarian.

The plan advances the mission of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to strengthen Canada’s economy, reunite families and make Canada a safe place for those fleeing oppression or other humanitarian crises.

In 2022, Canada broke the record for new immigrants at 437,000 admissions, as the target for permanent resident admissions in 2023 increased to 465,000.

It said the Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 would be declared following Canada’s unveiling of a new strategy to improve its immigration system. 

The Canadian Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, on Tuesday, acknowledged there were inadequacies in the country’s immigration system as he outlined the pillars of a new approach to modernise the system.

The new strategy, entitled ‘An Immigration System for Canada’s Future’ has three major goals which are to create a more welcoming experience for newcomers, align immigration with labour market needs, and develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan.

Furthermore, IRCC is seeking to deliver a more pleasant and user-friendly experience to its clients.

IRCC would like to better align Canada’s immigration policies with its skills and labour strategy.

Also, IRCC would like to develop an integrated plan among all three of Canada’s levels of government to ensure the country can offer adequate housing, health care, and infrastructure to its growing newcomer population.

Japa: Canada unveils three-year immigration levels plan for Nigerians, others

Flights Remain Canceled at Hamburg Airport on Hostage Incident - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 06, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- A hostage situation at Hamburg Airport ended Sunday afternoon with the suspect surrendering to authorities and the child he held for almost 18 hours appearing unharmed, according to police. 

The male suspect had barricaded himself in a car on the tarmac Saturday evening after driving through the gates of the airport with his young daughter. 

Preparations are underway for a rapid resumption of flight operations in close coordination with the security forces. Nevertheless, further delays and cancellations should be expected, the airport said. 

The suspect, who was armed, broke through a barrier with his vehicle Saturday and drove onto the airfield. He demanded that he and his four-year-old daughter be flown to Turkey, according to newspaper Bild. Authorities said the man’s wife had previously contacted them about a child abduction.

According to the airport, flight operations were suspended at 20:24 local time on Saturday. The airport reported 61 canceled flights in the morning. 

According to Bild, the hostage-taker drove directly to the airfield and stopped next to a Turkish Airlines passenger plane. The police assume that a custody dispute is behind the hostage-taking.

A total of 139 departures and 147 arrivals with about 34,500 passengers were planned  Sunday at Hamburg Airport, Germany’s fifth largest by passenger traffic.

Air Peace Begins Direct Flight To Jeddah As Emir Of Kano Lauds Airline -

NOVEMBER 06, 2023

By Abdullateef Aliyu

Air Peace has launched its sixth international destination with the commencement of scheduled flight services to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 The inaugural Lagos-Kano-Jeddah operated with wide-bodied B777-200 aircraft was airborne from Kano at 23:22hrs with 231 passengers on Tuesday.

 Prior to the launch of the scheduled service, Air Peace has been operating charter flights to Saudi Arabia for the airlift of Nigerian pilgrims during the Hajj and the airline was one of the carriers appointed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria for this year’s Hajj.

But this inaugural flight officially kicked off its scheduled operations into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This is just as the Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, has lauded the airline’s giant strides in the last nine years of operation.

The Chairman of Air Peace, Dr Allen Onyema, described the entry into Jeddah as ‘Another milestone recorded in the annals of Nigeria’s aviation history’, stating that Jeddah is the airline’s sixth international destination in just nine years of launching commercial flight operations.’

He noted that with the entry into Jeddah, Air Peace has increased its presence on the Asian continent.

“This is huge, not just for Air Peace but for Nigeria. We are undoubtedly exemplifying our ambition of connecting Nigeria to the world with world-class flight services. Air Peace is on a mission to easing the air travel burden for Nigerians and plugging the connectivity gaps that have hitherto existed. We are happy to be serving as a means of solidifying socio-economic ties between Nigeria and other countries of the world,” he said.

The Emir of Kano congratulated Air Peace for the Jeddah launch and lauded the airline for always blazing the trail in Nigeria’s aviation industry.

He further commended Onyema for the impact he is creating in Nigeria through Air Peace.

Immigrants Are Leaving Canada at Faster Pace, Study Shows - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 06, 2023

New research suggests more newcomers to Canada have chosen to leave in recent years, a threat to a country that relies on immigration to drive population and economic growth.

The rate of immigrants leaving the country, or onward migration, has been steadily increasing since the 1980s and is rising among recent cohorts, suggesting newcomers “may not be seeing the benefits of moving to Canada,” according to a study on immigrant retention by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Conference Board of Canada.

The report, published Tuesday, underscored the risks of Canada failing to meet expectations of newcomers, who are facing worsening housing affordability, a strained health-care system and underemployment, among other issues. It also highlighted how disillusionment among immigrants can slow down progress even in a country that consistently sets fresh records for population gains.

“It’s a reflection on our broader society and more intractable failings that we have. If immigrants are saying ‘no, thanks’ and moving on, that’s a real existential threat to Canada’s prosperity,” Daniel Bernhard, chief executive officer of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, a pro-immigration advocacy group, said in an interview. “We need to wake up and recognize that if we don’t deliver, people will leave. And if they leave, we’re in trouble.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has been using immigration to rapidly add more workers to stave off economic decline from an aging populace. But record population growth in recent years has led to growing criticism that its policies have exacerbated existing housing shortages and added more pressure on infrastructure and services like health care.

The report showed spikes in the annual rates of immigrants leaving Canada in 2017 and 2019, reaching 20-year highs of 1.1 per cent and 1.18 per cent, respectively. That’s compared to the average of 0.9 per cent of people who were granted permanent residence after 1982 who leave Canada each year. While the numbers may not sound significant, they add up over time and can lead to attrition of 20 per cent or more of an arrival cohort over 25 years.

Earlier this week, a survey by Environics Institute showed waning public support for high levels of immigration due to concerns of housing affordability and availability. That dwindling support, combined with growing dissatisfaction among newcomers, will be a fresh challenge for a government that’s trying to placate an outcry over an affordability crisis while competing in a global race for skilled workers.

The lack of enthusiasm for staying in Canada, which led to onward migration by some newcomers, is also behind a sharp drop in immigrants choosing to become Canadians, according to Bernhard. The proportion of permanent residents who took up citizenship within 10 years of arrival dropped by 40 per cent between 2001 and 2021.

“If Canada can’t reverse these issues and can’t provide these vital services and affordability, immigrants will leave,” Bernhard said. “We need to be working harder to make sure that they’re happy here, so that they contribute here, become Canadians and contribute to our shared success. We need to realize that on balance, immigrants may owe Canada less than Canada owes immigrants.”

Emirates Considers New Planes, Conversions for Air Cargo Expansion - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 06, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Emirates is considering an order for Boeing Co. or Airbus SE freighters and may convert more passenger jets to expand its cargo fleet. 

The carrier, which aims to double freight capacity in the next decade, hasn’t decided between Boeing 777-8 freighters and Airbus 350Fs, and could take another four years to commit to either, Emirates’ cargo chief Nabil Sultan said. The airline’s cargo fleet is currently all Boeing. Some of its more than 100 Boeing 777 passenger planes could be converted for cargo use too. 

The company “will evaluate, hopefully by 2027, whether we require a different mix to what we have already,” Sultan, divisional senior vice president of Emirates SkyCargo, said in an interview at an industry conference in Singapore. 

While cargo yields have fallen from their Covid peak, they remain 20% above pre-pandemic levels. Demand is also increasing in the lead up to Christmas.

“We’re probably at a much more stable stage now,” Sultan told Bloomberg News. “We’ve passed the bottoming out. We’ve seen consistent growth.”

Global air cargo demand grew 1.5% in August from a year earlier, the first increase in 19 months, according to the International Air Transport Association. Middle Eastern carriers saw a 1.4% on-year rise in cargo volume, continuing a three-month upward trend, while capacity was 15.7% higher than August 2022. 

Emirates SkyCargo has 11 dedicated Boeing freighters and added two wet-leased 747 cargo planes during Covid. It also ordered five new Boeing freighters a year ago and is converting 10 Boeing 777-300ER passenger jets.

“We have a lot of opportunities to convert a lot of these aircraft,” Sultan said, adding that the company can get almost another 10 years of service from planes that are switched to the cargo side. 

Emirates as a whole has an order backlog of 200 widebody planes, a number that will grow as it replaces Airbus A380s over the next decade. It already operates over 250 widebody passenger aircraft.

Emirates’ SkyCargo unit generated $4.9 billion revenue last financial year. The airfreight division of rival Qatar Airways logged $5.6 billion in revenue in 2022. Those two are among the top three biggest cargo carriers by international capacity, jostling with FedEx Corp. for the top spot.

These Countries Are the Best at Attracting World’s Top Talent - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 07, 2023

BY   Kevin VarleyBloomberg News

, Sources: INSEAD, Descartes Institute for the Future, Human Capital Leadership Institute.

(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland retained the top spot in a ranking of nations based on their ability to attract and retain talent, marking a decade of domination in the competition to get the creamy layer of human capital.

Singapore and the US rounded out the top three slots in the list dominated by European nations — seven out of the top 10, according to the 2023 Global Talent Competitiveness Index published by business school Insead.

Switzerland placed first in enabling and retaining talent categories due to its high levels of social protection and its natural environment. Quality of life and sustainability will be a “critical asset for those aiming at becoming talent hubs” over the next decade, according to the report.

Singapore’s “highly-educated labor force and innovative economy” vaulted it to the best overall in global knowledge skills, while the US placed first in growing talent due to its “world-class universities and business schools”.

Among other countries, the UK placed 10th overall on the strength of its tertiary education and had dominant showings in general knowledge skills and talent growth despite low marks in vocational and technical skills.

Elsewhere, China placed first among the so-called BRICS nations made up of China, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa. Its status as “the global leader in matching the skills of people with the needs of the economy” was anchored by its “Achilles heel” in attracting talent, which contributed to its score of 40th overall.

India, the world’s most populous nation, ranked 103, regressing in the past three years since 2020 to place at the bottom of the BRICS pack. A slump in business sentiment hampered its ability to attract talent domestically and from overseas, according to the authors.

Competition for talent among nations may grow even fiercer over the next 10 years, according to the report, which cited rising uncertainties in trade, investment and geopolitics. The report placed emphasis on the ability of countries, cities and organizations to innovate and project soft-power.

This may create further talent disparity between rich and poor countries as the “the wealth/talent correlation remains strong,” according to Insead.

The report also found that Covid strengthened gender inequality, as parity in high-skilled jobs decreased over the past three years from a 2019 peak.

AI may exacerbate this trend as “unqualified or low-qualified labour will bear much of the additional pressure, while new categories of workers, some with higher skills, will suffer from stronger competition from algorithms and specialised equipment.”

Canada investigates fatal embassy explosion in Nigeria, issues travel alert - REUTERS

NOVEMBER 08, 2023

LAGOS, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Canada is investigating an explosion at its embassy in Nigeria that killed two people, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Monday, as Ottawa joined Washington and London in issuing a warning against nonessential travel to the West African nation.

"We can confirm there was an explosion at our High Commission in Nigeria. The fire is out and we are working to shed light on what caused this situation," Joly said on X.

"I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the 2 people killed in this tragedy," she said.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu's spokesperson said that there were deaths and injuries in a fire on Monday at the High Commission of Canada but did not give any figures.

"President Tinubu prays for the repose of the departed souls and wishes all injured persons a rapid and full recovery," the statement said.

Canada's High Commission in Nigeria, without commenting on the explosion, said on social media that it had "temporarily suspended operations until further notice."

The embassy issued a travel advisory, warning against non-essential travel to Nigeria, including capital Abuja, "due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country and the significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings."

Tinubu, preoccupied with fixing the economy, has yet to outline how he plans to tackle widespread insecurity across the country, including a long-running insurgency in the northeast and kidnappings for ransom in the northwest.

The United States and Britain had said on Friday there was an "elevated threat to major hotels in Nigeria's larger cities" and warned against travelling to Africa's most populous nation.

Western countries routinely issue warning about travelling to Nigeria, which the Abuja government often dismisses as lacking merit.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe in Lagos and Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Sandra Maler

Airbus Raises Widebody Output as Long-Distance Travel Booms - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 09, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE said it will significantly increase aircraft output next year as the European planemaker ramps up production across its model range to meet surging demand.

The company didn’t provide a new target for output, while saying it’s confident of meeting its goal of 720 deliveries in 2023. The planemaker will increase production of its A350 widebody aircraft, adding to previously announced higher rates on its best-selling A321neo and smaller A220 models. 

“By definition, by nature, the 2024 output will be significantly higher than 2023, and we’ll be more specific at the beginning of next year,” Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said on a call with reporters after the planemaker reported quarterly earnings. 

Planemakers are trying to strike a balance between customers buying planes in record numbers and suppliers struggling to keep up with the faster pace of production. Both Airbus and rival Boeing Co. have encountered roadblocks with manufacturing faults at some parts companies, making their ambitious output goals more challenging. 

The European company still has 161 deliveries to go in the final two months if it wants to meet its target. Airbus made the announcements as it reported third quarter earnings, with adjusted profit before interest and tax of €1.01 billion ($1.1 billion). That was short of the €1.17 billion in an analyst estimates, largely because of charges at the defense and space unit.

Airbus said Wednesday that it plans to raise output on the A350 to 10 a month in 2026, after previously saying it would reach 9 by the end of 2025. The aircraft has been a major seller for the company this year, particularly the larger A350-1000 variant that can ply the longest routes, with Airbus approaching an unprecedented 100 individual orders for the plane.

While the recovery in long-haul travel took more time after the pandemic than shorter routes, demand for trans-Atlantic flights and trips between Europe and Asia has surged in the last six months. More airlines are also ordering planes that can fly extended routes, in part because closed air spaces over Russia, Ukraine and certain sections of the Middle East have made detour journeys more common.

Division Review

Boeing is also increasing output of its popular 787 widebody model. The company is moving in on a target of assembling five of the twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner, which competes with the A350, per month by the close of the year. The US company plans to then double production of the carbon-composite 787 over the next two to three years to keep pace with booming sales.

In the third quarter, revenue at Airbus rose 12% to €14.9 billion, broadly in line with analyst estimates of 14.96 billion. The planemaker took a charge of about €400 million in the first nine months due to delays and cost overruns on a satellite program. 

Airbus’s American Depositary Receipts fell 0.5% to $34.25. The shares closed 0.9% higher in Europe ahead of the earnings’ report. 

The company said it has initiated a review of its Defence and Space unit, with a plan to rebalance risks and improve competitiveness. The unit lost €79 million before interest and taxes in the quarter. Faury said the company doesn’t plan to exit the business and expects a transformation to take as many as five years. 

Supply Issues

Airbus has been struggling to ramp up output of its bestselling A321neo model even as the backlog for the model stretches past the end of this decade. The planemaker said that the supply chain for the industry continues to be constrained as it reiterated its long-term ambition of building 75 A320neo jets a month by 2026. 

Last month, Boeing cut its target for deliveries of its workhorse 737 model due to expanded inspections and rework following manufacturing glitches by a supplier.

Alongside existing part shortages, Airbus is contending with potentially flawed components on Pratt & Whitney engines powering its A320neo aircraft. Next year will likely see hundreds of aircraft on the ground at any given time for inspection, further curtailing already strained capacity.

Airbus is working with Pratt to balance deliveries of engines for new aircraft along with ensuring an adequate supply of spare engines for the existing fleet, Faury said. 

(Updates with details of defense business restructuring in seventh paragraph.)

Dubai Home Sales Zoom Past Last Year’s Record in Ten Months - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 09, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- A property boom in Dubai that pushed the number of residential transactions to a record high last year has continued into 2023, with sales surpassing those levels in the first 10 months of this year. 

The Middle East’s tourism and financial hub recorded 93,590 transactions through to the end of October, surpassing 92,178 in all of 2022, according to CBRE Group Inc. Still, the number of sales slowed in October, falling 23.6% from a year earlier as developers offered fewer new off-plan projects.  

“Demand hasn’t weakened even as monthly transactions have started to slow because fewer new projects are being started,” Taimur Khan, CBRE’s head of research, said in an interview. “The absorption that we have seen within the off-plan segment of the market has been almost unprecedented.”

Dubai’s property market has broken a decade-long record for total home sales and seen rents jump to unprecedented levels. That rebound from a seven-year slump has been fueled by an influx of foreigners — from crypto millionaires and bankers relocating from Asia to wealthy Russians seeking to shield assets. The government also relaxed visa laws and introduced permits for job seekers and freelancers.

Off-Plan Demand

Off-plan developments have seen a surge in demand since 2022, with 90% of all homes in prime and core locations already sold. Just over 67% of such properties across the city have also garnered buyers, according to CBRE. 

Such properties are popular in Dubai as they allow buyers to enter the market at lower prices compared to existing homes. Most developers tend to complete projects within a two-to-three year period. 

Last week, about 800 homes in a new Dubai residential development sold out within hours generating $844 million for the firms backing the project, which includes Abu Dhabi’s main developer Aldar Properties PJSC. Construction of the first phase of the development is due to begin in the second quarter of 2024.

Read More: Dubai Buyers Snap Up Homes Worth $844 Million Within Hours

Meanwhile, average home prices climbed 19.1% in the year through October, slowing from a month earlier. The rate of increase for rents is also slowing, rising 19.7% in October, slightly lower than the 20.6% growth registered a month earlier, according to the real estate adviser.

UK Sees Fully Self-Driving Cars Hitting Its Roads Around 2026 - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 09, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Self-driving cars may be on Britain’s roads as soon as 2026, the UK’s Transport Secretary Mark Harper said, as the government starts crafting a legal framework for technology it hopes will create jobs and lure investment.

The Automated Vehicles Bill, announced as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s legislative agenda on Tuesday, will create a legal safety threshold for companies building self-driving vehicles and place liability for the vehicle’s behavior on the manufacturer. It also will prohibit misleading marketing, including using ambiguous language as to whether vehicles are fully self-driving.

“Potentially, we could see fully self-driving vehicles on the road in the next couple of years,” Harper said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “So 2026, that sort of time frame.”

The framework is part of the government’s plan to create a £42 billion ($51.6 billion) industry with 38,000 jobs in the UK by 2035. The legislation is likely to take many months to pass through Parliament before it becomes law, and the government is already behind the curve in establishing regulations compared to other jurisdictions.

Read More: UK Weighs Criminal Liability for Self-Driving Car Companies

When asked specifically if Tesla Inc.’s marketing of what it calls Full Self-Driving Capability — which the company itself says doesn’t render its vehicles autonomous — would be allowed under the new law, Harper said that manufacturers will “only be able to describe something as self-driving if it actually is, so that customers and drivers are not confused.”

Wayve, a London-based autonomous vehicle startup that’s been pressing the government to craft a regulatory framework, praised the legislation.

“It gives us the confidence to invest in the UK,” Alex Kendall, Wayve’s co-founder and chief executive officer, told Bloomberg. “It’s tragic, the accidents and injuries and deaths that we see on our roads today, and I truly believe this technology can help bring that down to zero.”


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