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WHY IS ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES MOVING TO REVIVE NIGERIA'S NATIONAL CARRIER? - VENTURES AFRICA

NOVEMBER 08, 2022

In September, Nigeria’s Federal Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced a consortium led by Ethiopian Airlines as the preferred bidder for shares in Nigeria Air, the national carrier the country seeks to receive. The mission happens to be one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign promises. It has been on the top burner for the president, who has barely 7 months in office.

According to Reuters, Sirika said that Ethiopian Airlines will own a 49 per cent stake in the new airline deal. Whereas, the Nigerian Sovereign Fund will take 46 per cent and the federal government will keep the remaining 5 per cent. 

The minister added that Nigeria Air would have an initial capital of $300 million with plans to have 30 aircraft within four years. “We are going to bring in 6 Boeing 737 aircraft initially and between the third and fourth year the airline will be able to acquire up to 30 aircraft,” Sirika said.

For a country whose second attempt to own a national carrier (Virgin Nigeria) officially failed on 10 September 2012, this ought to be a piece of great news. But that is not the case as stakeholders and airline operators fault the agreement as inadequate.

“Ultimately, I feel this is an exercise in futility. Creating an airline requires really long-term planning, and this initiative definitely falls short in that respect,” said James Daniel, Managing Director at Omni Blu Aviation, a business jets and helicopters operator in Nigeria.

Speaking with Ventures Africa, Daniel noted that aircraft acquisition is the easiest part of this deal. However, it is saddled with other challenges like human capital development, the lack of a clear understanding of customers’ needs, poor engagement of other stakeholders (both internal and external), etc.

“Time is not in the government’s favour, and rest assured, Ethiopia Airlines is not doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. I feel it’s a needless trap and will lead to further embarrassment for Nigeria, as things will inevitably fall apart,” he added.

A few weeks have passed since the government approved this deal and there has been a lot of fuss by airline operators. Despite the clamour on the Nigerian aviation scene, the Federal government has kept a straight face, keeping up with the plan. 

Recently, local news reported that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria (AOPAN) had rejected the deal. “We do not think this is the best thing happening. It is not genuine. We reject it. Nigeria Air will not suffer any fate different from what befell the defunct Virgin Nigeria that could not go to the United States. This is clear in the Bilateral Air Services Agreement regulations,” said Alex Nwuba, AOPAN President.

Defunct Virgin Nigeria came into commercial operations in 2004, the year after Nigeria Airways finally ceased operations. Virgin Nigeria was a partnership between the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo and Virgin Atlantic, owned by British billionaire Richard Bradson. 

He had made a similar deal with the then government. But, he later decried high levels of corruption among government officials, a hint to what led his business out of the country.  A report quoted Brandon saying, “….We fought a daily battle against government agents who wanted to daily make fortune from us, politicians who saw the government 49 per cent as a meal to seek for all kinds of favour…watchdogs (regulatory body) that didn’t know what to do and persistently asking for bribes at any point…Nigerian people are generally nice but the politicians are very insane…that may be ironic because the people make up the politicians…”

Nigeria has not allowed foreign airlines operating in its airspace to repatriate their funds. This has led foreign airline operators to suspend operations or exit the country’s airspace. As of July ending, trapped funds of over 20 foreign airlines had risen above $600 million and stakeholders speculate that it could get to $1 billion by the year’s end. What’s in it for Ethiopia Airlines?

‘NPA charges dues in dollars’ — oil marketers lament poor access to official FX market - THE CABLE

NOVEMBER 09, 2022

The Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) says access to dollars at the official investors and exporters (I&E) window has been a great challenge.

Winifred Akpani, DAPPMAN’s chairman, said this at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday.

TheCable had reported that the naira dropped to a new low of N885 per dollar at the parallel section of the FX market, also called black market.

The continued depreciation of the naira has been consistently linked to increased demand, while supply remains low.

Akpani, at the press briefing, begged the federal government to give petroleum marketers access to foreign exchange at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate, to enhance the supply and distribution of petrol across Nigeria.

She added that the burden of sourcing forex through the parallel market for transactions domiciled in Nigeria had left petroleum marketers in a dire situation. 

“Accessing dollars for our operations has been an insurmountable hurdle for petroleum marketers, Akpani said.

“The difference between CBN exchange rate and the parallel market exchange rate continues to get wider by the day.”

Akpani also said in addition to core operational expenses denominated in dollars, petroleum marketers also contended with sourcing funds from the parallel market to pay for fees and levies — some unauthorised — also charged in dollars.

“For example, to charter a vessel to convey 20,000 MT of petrol within Nigeria for 10 days, freight charges are denominated in dollars, that comes to about N220 million at official forex rate of N440,” she said.

“And a whooping N440 million for petroleum marketers who have to source forex from the parallel market at N880.

“This implies an additional cost of N11 per litre for this transaction due to the forex official and parallel market differential.”

For the same transaction, she said jetty fees, also charged in dollars, amounts to N15.4 million at official forex rate and N30.8 million at the parallel market.

“In addition, jetty berth is charged in dollars and comes to N2.2 million at official forex rate and N4.4 million at parallel market rate,” she added.

“While port dues, charged in dollars by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), come to N71.51 million at official forex rate and N142.796 million for marketers who source forex from the parallel market.

“DAPPMAN, hereby calls on the government to establish a level playing field in the sector by giving petroleum marketers access to forex at the CBN exchange rate for their operations.”

Akpani further said accessing forex through the I&E window would enhance capacity and facilitate seamless supply of petrol.

She added that it would also birth a regime of sustainability in terms of storage, distribution, and supply across the country.

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, which historically served as the supplier of last resort, is now the major oil downstream company in Nigeria with the acquisition of OVH and has full access to dollars at CBN’s official rates,” she said.

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“The NNPC also has access to products through swap arrangements.”

The association’s chairman decried the absence of a level-playing field that guarantees access to dollars for all marketers at official rates.

She said having the NNPC as the sole importer of petrol was not sustainable, considering the huge consumption of the product.

According to Akapni, strategic decisions must be made in the industry to ensure Nigeria takes full advantage of expected growth in oil products demand across Africa.

“For us in Nigeria, this will include full deregulation of the sector and a deliberate strategy geared towards creating an enabling environment for all petroleum marketers to add value, alongside the NNPC,” she said.

Nigerian Aviation Minister Says Emirates Should "Exercise Restraint" - SIMPLY FLYING

NOVEMBER 09, 2022

 BY MOLLY RUSSELL

"We need their service, but they need our market more," Haidi Sirika told a senate committee on Wednesday.

Following Emirates’ decision to suspend its Nigerian services late last month, Nigerian Aviation Minister Sirika has urged the Dubai-based flag carrier to exercise restraint with its current approach, as reported by Vanguard.

Continued dispute

Speaking at a Senate Committee for Aviation led by Senator Biodun Olujimi earlier this week, Sirika highlighted the ongoing financial crisis within the country triggered by COVID-19 and the recession, slamming Emirates’ decision to stop flights despite having signed an agreement.

Close

“Almost all countries except UAE understood, and we are trying to pay this money, but my concern is that countries go through war and problems, and there should be mutual understanding with each other,” said Sirika.

“We need their service, but they need our market more. We are assuring them that the money will be paid, but they should exercise restraint and treat Nigeria with value.”

It is the latest in a dispute between several international carriers and the Nigerian government following a lack of foreign currency trapping over $700 million in revenue within the country.


Emirates paused flights to Lagos on October 29 after attempting to repatriate at least 80% of its $85 million blocked funds. In a media statement provided to Reuters, the carrier confirmed that ‘extraordinary circumstances’ had led it to implement measures to mitigate further losses within the country.

Sirika continued, emphasizing the importance of Nigeria’s rapidly developing aviation industry for the airline, adding that Emirates needs to treat Nigeria like a sovereign and a market.

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Ongoing issues

In September, Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) implemented fines for international carriers using a currency other than the Naira to sell flights amid ongoing foreign currency shortages.

After some pushback from carriers over the summer, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CNB) released $256 million in funds; however international airlines, including Emirates, could only access a total of $110 million. Since September, trapped funds have doubled from $346 million to $700 million, with the figure expected to rise even further.

IATA representative Samson Fatokun previously advised the government to uphold its contractual obligation to allow international carriers to access their funds given the mutual agreement to sell tickets in local currency, noting that the ongoing issues are portraying the country in a negative light to prospective investors.


Emirates is one of several airlines that has suspended services to the country. Delta Air Lines has paused its New York JFK-Lagos service citing loss of revenueBritish Airways also briefly halted flights in August, though services have since resumed.

Hadi Sirik previously challenged Emirates and other foreign carriers to follow through on their threats to shut down services in the country at a stakeholder meeting in October.

“We are not afraid of being shut down. The country can thrive without the operations of foreign airlines,” Sirika noted.

We are not going to be intimidated in any way at all.”


Heathrow flight boards at Canary Wharf as Elizabeth line links up - EVENING STANDARD

NOVEMBER 10, 2022

The journey from Canary Wharf to Heathrow now takes 45 minutes on the Elizabeth Line

Live flight departure times are being displayed at Canary Wharf after the first Elizabeth Line services connecting the business district directly to Heathrow Airport began on Sunday.

It now takes commuters just 45 minutes to travel directly from Canary Wharf to the west London airport, so flight departure boards with real-time information from the airport terminals are being displayed.

It’s hoped the speedy connection will attract international tourists to Canary Wharf - and boost local business revenue - as well as making international trips easier for residents and workers in the area.

“Business travellers and residents who would have previously opted for multiple connecting Tube lines or taxis can now enjoy state-of-the-art travel on the Elizabeth line,” Canary Wharf Group chief executive Shobi Khan said.

“We hope businesses currently taking residency in Canary Wharf will relish the vast number of international business opportunities the extension is sure to bring, and we hope to inspire other businesses and Londoners alike to take up residency here.”

The Elizabeth line has already proven popular, with two million passengers departing at the Wharf since it opened there in May.

It came just a week after the opening of Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which marked the completion of the last new station on the line.

More than two million trips are currently made each week on the Elizabeth line, which has air conditioning on each train carriage, increased luggage space, and a mix of metro and mainline seats.

Services from Reading and Heathrow in the west no longer terminate at Paddington but run through new tunnels under central London to Liverpool Street, and vice versa.

Similarly, services from Shenfield and other stations east of London no longer terminate at Liverpool Street but continue in tunnels to Paddington.

Services from the line’s south-eastern branch at Abbey Wood run directly to Heathrow or Reading rather than terminating at Paddington.

The November 6 changes also sees the line now operating seven days a week.

Heathrow tickets will cost £10.80 off-peak and £11.50 at peak time – up to £7.30 more than the same journey on the Tube but less than half the price of the £25 Heathrow Express service.

The third and final stage of the line’s opening – to allow direct trains to run between Reading or Heathrow and Shenfield – is due to happen next May.

This will include end-to-end journeys, including from Shenfield to Heathrow, and up to 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.

As Yuletide Approaches, Nigerian Carriers Acquire More Aircraft to Meet Demands of High Season - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 11, 2022

BY  Chinedu Eze

In order to meet the envisaged high passenger demand during the Christmas season when passenger traffic more than double that of the previous months, Nigerian airlines have started acquiring more aircraft to meet the expected surge in passenger movement.

THISDAY learnt that some of these airlines have leased aircraft while some are in the process of leasing.

Some others, THISDAY learnt, are bringing back their aircraft earlier sent out for major maintenance, which exercise has been completed.

Since 2022 there have been recorded depletion of operating aircraft to the extent that by July this year all operating aircraft in scheduled domestic commercial service was put at 28, but indication shows that the number in the aircraft fleet of Nigerian carriers has started increasing.

It was learnt that in addition of having the highest number of operating aircraft, Air Peace recently acquired four Airbus A320s and intends to add more before the height of the season in December.

Competent sources told THISDAY that Ibom Air is expected to have additional two Airbus A320 land in Nigeria before the end of this weekend.


In an exclusive chart with THISDAY, United Nigeria Airlines spokesman, Achilles Uchegbu, said the airline is expected to bring in additional aircraft in the next two weeks.

Also the Head of Communications, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, told THISDAY that the airline has made adequate preparation for the high season and would certainly add more aircraft to its existing fleet.

It was earlier projected that that if the current cost of ticket, which base fare is now N75, 000 continued, it would rise to N200, 000 for one hour flight because of surging demand at that time.

Currently fares rise to over N100, 000 if bought 48 hours or less before flight time and industry insiders attributed it to inadequate equipment, the high exchange rate and high cost of aviation fuel, known as Jet A1.


Experts project that passenger traffic in air travel would have depleted to about 40 per cent of the current statistics if other means of travel like the road were safe, noting that the high airfares are not connected to demand and supply principles but exigencies that have to do with high exchange rate, the cost of aviation fuel, the cost of maintenance, scarcity of dollars and limited operating hours due to many sunset airports.

The genesis of the high cost of fares and relatively fewer number of equipment could be traced to the impact of COVID-19 during the lockdown, industry experts said.

The industry insiders said airlines spent hugely to resume flights after the lockdown in training to prepare for flight service that was safe from spreading the pandemic.

They got involved in the procurement of COVID-19 kits and other attendant stringent measures, including vacating middle seats in the aircraft.


By the time the lockdown came to an end, aircraft that were still airworthy after servicing them for operation became due for C-Check. C-check is compulsory after 18 months, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Before the lockdown, airlines like Air Peace already had some of its aircraft ferried overseas for checks, due to the lockdown, maintenance facilities were not working and after the lockdown they were not quickly returned for service. Some existing operational aircraft in Nigeria then became due for C-check.

Then the Nigerian economy was hit by scarcity of forex, which value astronomically began to rise against the naira and made it very difficult for airlines to source dollars to pay and bring back their aircraft.

In February aviation fuel rose from N180 per litre to N400 per litre and has continued to rise and the airlines continued to reflect the increase in the cost of service to their airfares in other to sustain their operation.


Spokesman of Air Peace, Stanley Olise, told THISDAY on Wednesday that the airline was fully prepared for the Yuletide season, disclosing that it recently acquired four Airbus A320 and was inclined to adding more aircraft to its fleet. The airline has also added new routes and renewed service to Yola.

“We have been operating to our major destinations and we have also been operating to Warri, Akure, Ilorin and on November 8 we renewed flights to Yola, “he said.

He said that although the high airfares might have kept many potential air travellers from the airports, but airlines do not have any other choice if they must continue to operate and provide service to Nigerians, adding that the airline has been recording high load factor with lowest being 70 per cent despite the fact that there is overall reduction in passenger traffic.


Olise also said that the indication that fares might rise to N200, 000 for one hour flight would not happen because airlines have acquired more aircraft, so aircraft seats will to a large extend meet the demand of the travellers and that would to tame the fares.

“We always prioritise giving the best service to our customers and we are prepared to serve them efficiently this Christmas. I don’t think airfares will rise to N200, 000 during the holiday. It will not. We are bringing more aircraft and other airlines are doing so too,” he said.

But the CEO of Aero Contractors, Capt Ado Sanusi warned that airlines should be careful in the way they are wet leasing aircraft because of the rising cost of dollars, noting that as long as airlines sell tickets in Naira, it would always be difficult to source dollars to pay the leasing fees.


“The acquisition of aircraft is dependent of the business model of airlines. I know that some of the existing aircraft are going to maintenance but they should be careful as the dollar is unstable, so as they sell tickets in naira the dollar may rise that it will become very expensive to pay for the lease rentals,” he advised.

An official of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), Ayotunde Osowa, told THISDAY that the domestic terminal is fully ready for the upsurge of passengers during the holiday season in terms of facilities and personnel.

“Everything is in good shape. All the elevators are working. Our IT system are top notch; so we are prepared for the high season,” he said.

As Yuletide Approaches, Nigerian Carriers Acquire More Aircraft to Meet Demands of High Season

Chinedu Eze

In order to meet the envisaged high passenger demand during the Christmas season when passenger traffic more than double that of the previous months, Nigerian airlines have started acquiring more aircraft to meet the expected surge in passenger movement.

THISDAY learnt that some of these airlines have leased aircraft while some are in the process of leasing.

 Some others, THISDAY learnt, are bringing back their aircraft earlier sent out for major maintenance, which exercise has been completed.

Since 2022 there have been recorded depletion of operating aircraft to the extent that by July this year all operating aircraft in scheduled domestic commercial service was put at 28, but indication shows that the number in the aircraft fleet of Nigerian carriers has started increasing.

It was learnt that in addition of having the highest number of operating aircraft, Air Peace recently acquired four Airbus A320s and intends to add more before the height of the season in December.

Competent sources told THISDAY that Ibom Air is expected to have additional two Airbus A320 land in Nigeria before the end of this weekend.

In an exclusive chart with THISDAY, United Nigeria Airlines spokesman, Achilles Uchegbu, said the airline is expected to bring in additional aircraft in the next two weeks.

Also the Head of Communications, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, told THISDAY that the airline has made adequate preparation for the high season and would certainly add more aircraft to its existing fleet.

It was earlier projected that that if the current cost of ticket, which base fare is now N75, 000 continued, it would rise to N200, 000 for one hour flight because of surging demand at that time.

Currently fares rise to over N100, 000 if bought 48 hours or less before flight time and industry insiders attributed it to inadequate equipment, the high exchange rate and high cost of aviation fuel, known as Jet A1.

Experts project that passenger traffic in air travel would have depleted to about 40 per cent of the current statistics if other means of travel like the road were safe, noting that the high airfares are not connected to demand and supply principles but exigencies that have to do with high exchange rate, the cost of aviation fuel, the cost of maintenance, scarcity of dollars and limited operating hours due to many sunset airports.

The genesis of the high cost of fares and relatively fewer number of equipment could be traced to the impact of COVID-19 during the lockdown, industry experts said.

The industry insiders said airlines spent hugely to resume flights after the lockdown in training to prepare for flight service that was safe from spreading the pandemic.

They got involved in the procurement of COVID-19 kits and other attendant stringent measures, including vacating middle seats in the aircraft.

By the time the lockdown came to an end, aircraft that were still airworthy after servicing them for operation became due for C-Check. C-check is compulsory after 18 months, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Before the lockdown, airlines like Air Peace already had some of its aircraft ferried overseas for checks, due to the lockdown, maintenance facilities were not working and after the lockdown they were not quickly returned for service. Some existing operational aircraft in Nigeria then became due for C-check.

Then the Nigerian economy was hit by scarcity of forex, which value astronomically began to rise against the naira and made it very difficult for airlines to source dollars to pay and bring back their aircraft.

In February aviation fuel rose from N180 per litre to N400 per litre and has continued to rise and the airlines continued to reflect the increase in the cost of service to their airfares in other to sustain their operation.

Spokesman of Air Peace, Stanley Olise, told THISDAY on Wednesday that the airline was fully prepared for the Yuletide season, disclosing that it recently acquired four Airbus A320 and was inclined to adding more aircraft to its fleet. The airline has also added new routes and renewed service to Yola.

“We have been operating to our major destinations and we have also been operating to Warri, Akure, Ilorin and on November 8 we renewed flights to Yola, “he said.

He said that although the high airfares might have kept many potential air travellers from the airports, but airlines do not have any other choice if they must continue to operate and provide service to Nigerians, adding that the airline has been recording high load factor with lowest being 70 per cent despite the fact that there is overall reduction in passenger traffic.

Olise also said that the indication that fares might rise to N200, 000 for one hour flight would not happen because airlines have acquired more aircraft, so aircraft seats will to a large extend meet the demand of the travellers and that would to tame the fares.

“We always prioritise giving the best service to our customers and we are prepared to serve them efficiently this Christmas. I don’t think airfares will rise to N200, 000 during the holiday. It will not. We are bringing more aircraft and other airlines are doing so too,” he said.

But the CEO of Aero Contractors, Capt Ado Sanusi warned that airlines should be careful in the way they are wet leasing aircraft because of the rising cost of dollars, noting that as long as airlines sell tickets in Naira, it would always be difficult to source dollars to pay the leasing fees.

“The acquisition of aircraft is dependent of the business model of airlines. I know that some of the existing aircraft are going to maintenance but they should be careful as the dollar is unstable, so as they sell tickets in naira the dollar may rise that it will become very expensive to pay for the lease rentals,” he advised.

An official of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), Ayotunde Osowa, told THISDAY that the domestic terminal is fully ready for the upsurge of passengers during the holiday season in terms of facilities and personnel.

“Everything is in good shape. All the elevators are working. Our IT system are top notch; so we are prepared for the high season,” he said.

Diesel Tankers Are About to Get Biggest Demand Surge Since 1993 - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 13, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Oil tankers hauling fuels like gasoline and diesel are poised for their biggest demand surge in three decades next year, with disruption to Russian oil flows boosting the distances vessels will have to sail. 

A closely-watched shipping industry gauge known as ton miles -- effectively the volume of cargo transported multiplied by the distance it sails -- will surge by 9.5% in 2023, according to estimates from Clarkson Research Services Ltd. It would be the biggest annual increase for tankers hauling refined fuels since 1993, data from the research unit of the world’s largest shipbroker show. 

With sanctions on Russian oil products set to come into effect from February, a global rerouting of cargo flows seems inevitable, boosting distances. There’s also the potential for bigger volumes as new refineries in Asia and the Middle East begin producing exporting, while China has room to grow its outflows.

“It could easily be five or six times the distance and that means that you’ll need much more ships to transport the same volume that you imported previously,” said Anders Redigh Karlsen, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. “That is going to drive demand for product tankers.”

When combined with crude oil flows, ton miles are expected to rise by the most since 2014 next year, the data show, up by 6.4%.

That’s against the backdrop of an oil tanker market already seeing bumper earnings. Rates to hire so-called medium range tankers that carry refined fuels for one year are the highest since 2008, Clarkson data show. Crude tanker earnings are near the highest since May 2020

Turkish Airlines to Spin Off Low Cost AnadoluJet Operation - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 13, 2022

(Bloomberg) --

Turkish Airlines plans to carve out short-haul brand AnadoluJet into a standalone company as demand rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

The unit is currently flying with occupancy levels approaching 90%, compared with around 80% for the group as a whole, making it ripe for expansion, Turkish Airlines Chairman Ahmet Bolat said Tuesday in an interview.

“Under current market-demand dynamics it is much easier to spin off AnadoluJet as a separate unit to boost its growth,” Bolat said in Istanbul at an International Air Transport Association conference.

The new company would initially be 100% owned by shareholders of Turkish Airlines, in which the state has a 49% holding, though the spinoff would make a future stake sale, listing or other fund-raising move faster and easier.

Shares of Turkish Airlines rose as much as 7.7% and were trading 5.8% higher as of 3:43 p.m. in Istanbul. The stock’s value has increased more than fivefold this year.

AnadoluJet was founded in 2008 and operates a fleet of 63 narrow-body planes, more than 50 of them Boeing Co. 737-800s, supplemented by more modern 737 Max jets originally destined for Russia’s S7 before it was sanctioned after the invasion of Ukraine. It also has a handful of Airbus SE A320neos.

AnadoluJet, which has operated somewhere between a discount carrier and a regional airline, has its main base at Sabiha Gökçen airport on the Asian side of Istanbul and serves mainly domestic destinations, though Bolat said it will add more routes to European cities following the spinoff.

Plans for a similar separation of the Turkish Airlines cargo operation have been slowed, however, the executive said, reflecting waning investor interest in the sector, so that a spinoff would deliver only “marginal contribution.”

The business ranked fourth in the world among freight operations at passenger airlines in 2021, according to IATA, behind the cargo arms of Qatar Airways, Dubai’s Emirates and Korean Air Lines Co.

US Expansion

Turkish Airlines, or Turk Hava Yollari AO, will increase frequencies to North America, the fastest growing part of the overall business, according to Bolat, who spoke at IATA’s Wings of Change Europe event. The market contributed 22% of revenue in the third quarter, up from 15% pre-pandemic.

Asia traffic, which the company links with the rest of the world via an Istanbul hub offering more destinations than any other airport, is yet to pick up, though there are signs of recovery, especially in China and Japan, Bolat said.

“We have been diverting our business to other areas as Asia still lags far behind the global recovery,” he said.

Gatwick and London City Airports issue warnings to travellers as weather causes disruption - MY LONDON

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

Those heading to London City Airport or Gatwick Airport to catch a flight are being advised to check travel or the status of their flight due to weather conditions this morning (Monday, November 14). The Met Office has issued a weather warning this morning across London, the East and South East of England. The yellow warning for fog will be in force from 4am to 10am.

London City Airport tweeted today: "Due to adverse weather conditions, please check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport." It follows a tweet last night, which read: "It’s a foggy London night, and the fog may linger into Monday morning so we’d encourage all passengers to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport."

Gatwick Airport Police also posted an image on Twitter of the fog, warning drivers to take extra care travelling to and from the airport. They said there are some areas of very low visibility on the road network around airport.

The Met Office warns that visibility could be reduced to 100 metres in places due to the fog, and has told people to expect slow journey times with delays to bus and train services, and the possibility of delays or cancellations of flights.

The warning covers many major motorways, including the M4, M25, M23 and M1. The alert, which is in place from 4am to until 10am, warns that fog may cause some delays to travel during Monday morning.

Buhari Returns To Nigeria After UK Medical Trip - DAILY TRUST

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria, following a “routine medical check-up,” in London, UK. Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and…


President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria, following a “routine medical check-up,” in London, UK.

Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, announced this in a tweet on Sunday evening.

Buhari left the country on October 31.

“President Muhammadu Buhari just landed in Abuja. Alhamdu Lillahi,” Shehu tweeted.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, had announced that Buhari would return in the second week of November.

One of the highlights of Buhari in UK was his meeting with King Charles at Buckingham Palace.

The president disclosed this during his meeting with King Charles III at the Buckingham Palace, in the United Kingdom, according to BBC Hausa.

During a press conference after the meeting with the 73-year-old king, Buhari said the king asked him if he had a personal house in the UK to which he responded in the negative.

Buhari said the reason for his visit was to discuss the diplomatic and trade relationship between the two countries.

He said that the meeting was hitherto scheduled to take place in Kigali before Charles became king.

Buhari used the opportunity to congratulate the king on his ascension to the throne.

Faulty policies keep Nigeria’s aviation sector from flying high - BUSINESSDAY

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

Since the first aircraft in Nigeria landed in Kano city, in 1925, the aviation sector has continued to experience slow and piecemeal growth, with policies strangulating airlines and the industry generally. For a future where travel is affordable, yet profitable for operators, these need to change.

These policies range from multiple taxations, the absence of refineries causing fuel prices to skyrocket and foreign exchange rates. Airlines continue to struggle with operating costs such as taxes, surcharges and maintenance costs which have risen because of the scarcity of foreign exchange.

The aviation fuel crisis which began in late February and deteriorated further through the months of March to May has further worsened and is currently threatening the ability of airlines to continue operations with the price of JetA1 rising from N200 in December 2021 to over N400 per litre in February. Currently, the price has skyrocketed to over N800 per litre.

Nigeria’s domestic airlines are in a ‘life and death’ struggle to secure the Forex they need to acquire their spare parts to maintain their aircraft. This is a major influence on how quickly a grounded aircraft can be fixed and restored to its flight schedule, which in turn has a huge impact on the schedule reliability of domestic airlines.

BusinessDay’s checks show that aviation fuel currently takes about 45 percent of operating cost, labour 17 percent, aircraft rent and ownership 8.5 percent, non-aircraft rents and ownership 7 percent, professional services 4.5 percent, landing fees 2 percent, food and beverage 1.5 percent, maintenance materials 13 percent, transport-related 1.5 percent.

Stakeholders say if the right policies are put in and implemented, the country’s aviation sector would have been able to ride on the back of these policies to cushion the effects of the global economic crisis as a result of the oil prices.

In the last 50 years of commercial air travel in Nigeria, over four dozen of airlines have come and gone as a result of politics, mismanagement of funds, corruption, high cost of aviation fuel or financial loss.

Aviation experts over the years have expressed worry over the development in the aviation industry; which they said portended a bleak future for the industry in Nigeria.

Olumide Ohunayo, an aviation analyst said forex and the crippling fuel price, which has continued to increase uncontrollably. He said at this time, the funds for foreign airlines are not being remitted which has also put stress on the naira ticket in international routes.

This is the time government needs to address the foreign exchange crisis and mitigate the continuous rise in fuel prices, he said.

“Not having a refinery for aviation fuel has held us down in this situation. The government can however assist and work on the taxes associated with airline operations. This would help reduce the cost a bit. The airlines on their part cannot continue to run a subsidized system at the expense of safety.

“A fuel surcharge ranging between 25 to 40 percent would be charged depending on the routes and the removal of five percent NCAA fees. It is better for them to operate profitably instead of them to struggle in operations,” he said.

According to him, there would be an aggregate effect on the economy if the government does not work on the variables; from security to the forex crisis to the fuel crisis.

Roland Iyayi, the chief executive officer of Topbrass Aviation and former managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency said airlines are failing because the environment in which they operate is extremely harsh and not even conducive for growth.

“We have a multiplicity of charges in the industry that are inconsistent with the purpose of growing the industry. On one hand, we have government agencies that are supposed to be cost recovery agencies geared to grow their Internally Generated Revenues, which is an inconsistent objective with the industry growth,” Iyayi said.

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