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Why Abuja-London Flight Is Cheaper Than Lagos-London – Stakeholders - LEADERSHIP

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

by Ejike Ejike and Yusuf Babalola,

Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom from Lagos pay higher tickets fare than those travelling from the Federal Capital Terirory (FCT), Abuja, LEADERSHIP investigation has shown.

Visits to the websites of British Airways, Qatar Airline, Air France and Rwanda Air, yesterday,  confirmed that flying from Abuja to the United Kingdom is, indeed, cheaper than going from Lagos.

For instance, a one way ticket, economy class, British Airways, Lagos-London is N776,096; Qatar Airways, Lagos-London cost N231,050 and Air France, Abuja-London: N293, 575.

However, Rwanda Air, Abuja -London costs N207,510; British Airways, Abuja-London is N315,178 and Qatar Airways, Abuja-London is N222,227 respectively.

According to www.statista.com, an average of 150,000 and 72,000 Nigerians travel to United States and United Kingdom yearly respectively for different purposes.

Stakeholders identify higher passenger traffic from Lagos, landing charges and taxes as determinant of air fare prices between Lagos to London and Abuja to London.

Speaking on the reasons for the difference in charges, a consultant with Ethiopian Airlines, Ikechi Uko said it’s basically because of the demand and supply.

He said the higher the demand, the higher the price. If the passengers are higher in Lagos, the fare will definitely be higher.

According to him, “How many passengers are there in Abuja? It is basically to the government officials and few passengers. In Lagos, the demands are higher and definitely, the prices will be higher.”

Also speaking, a stakeholder with over 15 years in aviation industry, said the traffic determines the prices.

He said when you have higher passenger traffic, you will definitely have higher prices.

He also identified landing Charges as another reason that could affect air fare. He said some airports have more charges to pay than others and this affect the prices of fares.

However, other stakeholders have identified trapped foreign airlines fund, increasing demands for tickets, government’s charges and taxes among others as causes of high ticket cost on the international routes.

Aviation stakeholders, however, opined that airlines’ booking app gives same information irrespective of any part of the world the passenger is making the booking from.

But, upon inquiry from a senior official of British Airways, Adetutu Otuyalu, on reasons why Abuja is cheaper than Lagos declined comment saying she doesn’t respond to media enquiries on weekend but, asked our correspondent to send electronic mail.

The chief operating officer, Aglow Aviation Support Services Limited, Tayo Ojuri said reasons why ticket price on international routes is higher in Lagos than Abuja was because of yield management in ticket sales and because of traffic on Lagos route than Abuja.

According to Ojuri, airlines tickets are sold on yield management because Abuja being the political capital of the country is more of people in government while Lagos as economic capital of the country is peopled with those in government, organised private sector among others.

He said, “ticket price is based on yield management that is, how fast can it be sold at a particular location due to traffic. So, because of Lagos demography and diversity, tickets sell faster than Abuja. Abuja is peopled mostly by those in government.” He continued, “aircraft gets filled faster in Lagos than in Abuja hence, responsible for the reduction in price in Abuja than in Lagos.”

A travel agent, Kunle Olayeni said the reason Abuja price is reduced to Lagos is because Abuja is closer to the United States than Lagos.

He said, “Abuja is 45 minutes from Lagos meaning 45minutes has been taken out of your journey to the United Kingdom.”

On his part, Frank Meke, another travel agent, explained to LEADERSHIP the cause of having fare disparity between Nigeria and other African countries.

According to him, withholding foreign airlines’ funds for years by the federal government which negates Bilateral Air Transport Agreements (BATA), is another reason why the nation is currently experiencing high disparity in ticket fare in West Africa.

Meke said, “high ticket fare from Nigeria to Europe and America is unexplainable and had been like that for ages. Simplist reason is that our Aviation mechanics is cumbersome with highest fees for services which aid international travels and also because we trap their funds down for years which negates Bilateral Air Transport Agreements ( BATA) so, to cover cost of these delays is the high fare rise.

“Also, sometimes, the foreign airlines were tempted to sell tickets in dollars instead of naira, which again, is to enable them, get their resources out. But again, this runs counter to Nigeria sovereign image, that no one can trade with dollar against naira, which is our currency of exchange,” Meke said.

Nigerian airports record 6.4 million passengers in six months - PREMIUM TIMES

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

The figure represents a 50.5 per cent increase from the numbers recorded in the same period last year

A total of 6,420,820 passengers travelled through domestic and international airports in Nigeria between January and June 2021, a report by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has shown.

The Passengers’ Traffic Statistics Report made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) indicates that the figure comprised 5,513,098 domestic passengers and 907,722 international travellers.

The figure represents a 50.5 per cent increase over 4,267, 409 recorded in the same period in 2020.

According to the report, in the first half of the year, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos processed the highest number of international travellers with 670,938 passengers, followed by Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja with 225,985.

NAIA Abuja, however, topped the chart for domestic air travellers with 1,974,249 passengers, closely followed by Lagos airport with 1,786,236. Others are Port Harcourt 377,679 passengers; Enugu 231,669; Kano 225,870.

The report indicates that Lagos and Abuja airports alone accounted for 3,760,485 out of a total of 5,513,098 or 68.2 per cent of all domestic arrivals and departures. Both airports also accounted for 896,923 out of a total of 907,722 or 98.8 per cent of all international passengers. Aminu Kano International Airport came a distant third with only 10,119 international passengers in the first half of the year.

On cargo, the five major international airports in Lagos, Enugu, Abuja Kano and Port Harcourt handled a total of 126.4 million kilogrammes of cargo between January and June this year, about 106 per cent increase from the 61.2 million recorded within the same period in 2020.

Lagos alone accounted for the lion share of 113.9 million kilogrammes or over 90 per cent of the total cargo handled at the five international airports.

Spanish tourism to recover 66% of 2019 levels in Q4, minister says - REUTERS

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

MADRID, Nov 15 (Reuters) - International travel to Spain will likely recover some two thirds of its pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter of this year, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday, suggesting a post-summer revival in visits will be sustained.

“Our forecast for the last quarter of the year is to recover 66% of all international tourist flows that we had in 2019, which as you know was a record year,” the minister said at an event in Madrid.


Foreign travel to Spain has been gathering steam in recent months, with visitor numbers increasing more than four-fold in September from the previous year, when COVID-19 restrictions decimated the industry.

Despite the positive momentum, the number of foreign visitors in the first nine months of this year was still below a third of the levels experienced in 2019, when more than 80 million tourists came.

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Maroto said the resumption of travel between the EU and the United States would contribute to the recovery of the number of foreign visitors.

She has said she expects tourism to fully regain those levels in 2022, up from less than 20% in 2020. (Reporting by Corina Pons and Nathan Allen, editing by Inti Landauro, Robert Birsel)

UK raises threat level after Liverpool taxi blast - REUTERS

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

By Phil Noble


LIVERPOOL, England, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Britain raised its national threat level on Monday to severe, meaning an attack is seen as highly likely, after declaring that a taxi explosion outside a hospital in Liverpool on Sunday was a terrorist incident.

Interior minister Priti Patel said the blast in the northern English city was the second fatal incident in one month following the stabbing to death of lawmaker David Amess.

British police said earlier on Monday that the Liverpool blast killed one passenger who is believed to have made the explosive device and carried it into the taxi. They are treating it as a terrorist incident.

"Our inquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device was manufactured, and our assumption so far is that it was built by the passenger in the taxi," said Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson of Counter-Terrorism Policing Northwest.

Police said they believed they knew the identity of the passenger but could not disclose it.

"Although the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident," he said.

The explosion engulfed the taxi in flames outside Liverpool Women's Hospital just before 11 a.m. on Sunday, when a Remembrance Day service to commemorate war dead was being held at nearby Liverpool Cathedral.

"We cannot at this time draw any connection with this but it is a line of inquiry which we are pursuing," said Jackson.

Three men aged 29, 26 and 21 were arrested on Sunday, and Jackson said on Monday another man aged 20 had been arrested. He added that "significant items" had been found at one address while several other addresses had been or would be searched.

He said the passenger had boarded the taxi at a location in Liverpool and asked to be driven to the hospital, which was about a 10-minute drive away. The blast took place within the car as it approached the drop-off point in front of the hospital.

The driver managed to escape from the vehicle but was injured and received medical treatment. He has since been released.

Jackson said it was unclear why the passenger had wanted to go to the hospital or what had caused the sudden explosion of the device.

Earlier, Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson described the actions of the taxi driver as heroic. The BBC said he had locked the passenger inside the vehicle.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson later chaired a meeting of the government's emergency committee on Monday to discuss the blast and Patel said the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre had decided to increase the threat level to the second highest, of severe.

"It is important that the public remains alert to the threat from terrorism but not alarmed," she said.

Reporting by Phil Noble in Liverpool and Kate Holton, Kylie MacLellan, Alistair Smout and William Schomberg in London, writing by Estelle Shirbon, editing by Mark Heinrich and Philippa Fletcher

India opens its doors to quarantine-free travel for tourists from 99 countries - CNBC

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

KEY POINTS

  • After shutting its borders to international visitors for 20 months due to the pandemic, India will now allow fully vaccinated foreign travelers from a list of nearly 100 countries to enter without the need to quarantine.
  • As of Nov. 13, there were 99 countries on that list including the United States, U.K., Singapore, Australia, Germany, France and Brazil.
  • To be clear, those arriving from countries that are not at risk can also skip quarantine, but need to self-monitor for 14 days.


File photo of Indira Gandhi International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, in New Delhi, India, on November 2, 2016. File photo of Indira Gandhi International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, in New Delhi, India, on November 2, 2016. Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

After shutting its borders to international visitors for 20 months due to the pandemic, India will now allow fully vaccinated foreign travelers from a list of nearly 100 countries to enter without the need to quarantine.

In guidelines updated last week, India said travelers arriving from these 99 countries will be allowed to skip a post-arrival Covid test, but must monitor their health for the next 14 days — even if the country they are coming from is deemed “at-risk.”

To be clear, those arriving from countries that are not considered at risk can also skip quarantine, but need to self-monitor for 14 days.

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As of Nov. 13, there were 99 countries on that list including the United States, U.K., Singapore, Australia, Germany, France and Brazil.

The countries on the list fall into two categories: 1. Those with reciprocal agreements with the Indian government to recognize each other’s vaccine certificates for either locally approved vaccines or those recognized by the World Health Organization; 2. and countries which do not have such agreements but that allow fully vaccinated Indian citizens to travel.

Notable countries missing from that list of 99 countries include China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.

India’s Covid situation

India experienced a devastating second wave that peaked in early May. It pushed the country’s health-care system to the brink as Covid-19 cases soared and hospital beds and other medical supplies ran out. Since then, cases have been trending lower while vaccination rates have somewhat picked up.

Information collated by online publication, Our World In Data, showed that the 7-day rolling average of Covid cases per million people fell below 10 on Oct. 31 and has stayed that way as of Nov. 14. At its peak in May, that number was as high as 280.

Still, due to the limited testing, the number of confirmed cases remain lower than the actual number of infections.

Last month, India reached a notable vaccine milestone — it administered more than 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses since starting its ambitious vaccination program in January.

Still, just under 40% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, falling below the pace needed to meet New Delhi’s previously announced target of inoculating every adult by the end of the year.

India has approved several vaccines since starting the inoculation program. They include the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University — locally known as Covishield and manufactured by the Serum Institute — as well as Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and Russia’s Sputnik-V.

Both Covishield and Covaxin have been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

India has also reportedly approved its first vaccine for those under 18 — a three-dose shot produced by Indian drugmaker Cadila Healthcare.

Clarification: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that those arriving from countries that are not considered at risk can also skip quarantine.

UK extends Covid booster vaccines to the over-40s - CNBC

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

KEY POINTS

  • The extension of the booster program was announced by the country’s medical regulators at a press briefing on Monday morning.
  • Until now, only over 50s and people with underlying health conditions were eligible for a booster shot.
  • As with the U.K.’s existing booster rollout, the newly eligible over-40s will have to wait six months from receiving their second shot before they can have the third dose.


Caroline Nicolls receives an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine administered by nurse Amy Nash at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, England, on April 13, 2021. Caroline Nicolls receives an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine administered by nurse Amy Nash at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, England, on April 13, 2021. Steve Parsons | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON — People over the age of 40 in the U.K. will be eligible for a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine from Monday.

The extension of the booster program was announced by the country’s medical regulators at a press briefing on Monday morning.

Until now, only over 50s and people with underlying health conditions were eligible for a booster shot.

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As with the U.K.’s existing booster rollout, the newly eligible over-40s will have to wait six months from receiving their second shot before they can have the third dose.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines, both of which use mRNA technology, are being used in the U.K.’s booster program.

Regulators also announced on Monday that 16- and 17-year-olds, who had initially only been eligible for a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Britain, would now be offered a second dose.

The U.K. reported 36,517 new Covid infections on Sunday, with cases over the last seven days rising by 6% from a week earlier. Cases have dropped from the huge numbers seen in October, but the country still has one of the highest rates of infection in the world.

Speaking at Monday’s press conference, Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said the booster program was moving “at considerable pace” and achieving “well in excess of 90% protection against symptomatic infection.”

Data from Israel — where boosters were rolled out in July and are now available for everyone over the age of 12 — shows that in over-60s, a third dose leads to a tenfold reduction in Covid infections, an 18.7-fold reduction in hospitalization, and a 14.7-fold reduction in mortality, according to Van-Tam.

“I believe, therefore, that if the booster program is successful with very high uptake, we can massively reduce the worry about hospitalization and death due to Covid at Christmas and for the rest of this winter for literally millions of people,” he told reporters. “It really is as simple and decisive as that.”

Waning immunity

Van-Tam also noted that it was clear immunity from the initial two doses of the vaccine waned over time, particularly in older adults and people with health conditions.

“The waning signal, whilst smaller, is also beginning to show in the 40 to 49s. Without boosting, I would not expect it to be static, I would expect it to increase,” he said.

June Raine, CEO of British medicines regulator the MHRA, told the press conference on Monday that the Covid vaccines continued to have an “overwhelmingly positive benefit-risk balance.”

“Since the booster doses began to be rolled out, we have identified no new safety concerns,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lim Wei Shen, a member of the U.K.’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, added that the booster dose “markedly strengthens existing protection and will extend the duration of that protection against serious disease.”

“We therefore urge people who are eligible for a booster to step up and have your booster and maximize your protection,” he said.

Italy is ‘very cautious’ about rising Covid cases in Europe, Trade Commissioner to the UAE says

Pfizer research has shown that immunity gained from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine peaks between a week and two months after the second dose. It then declines by an average of 6% every two months. Meanwhile, a U.K. study showed that immunity from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is around 82% effective after the first two shots, fell to 67% four to five months after the second dose.

A number of countries, including Israel, France and Germany, have rolled out some form of vaccine booster program.

In the U.S., the FDA has approved booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for elderly and at-risk adults six months on from their initial two doses.

Last week, Pfizer asked the FDA to extend that policy so that all adults over the age of 18 will be eligible for a third dose.

China fights biggest Delta outbreak as cases grow in city of Dalian - CNBC

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

KEY POINTS

  • Chinese authorities said 32 new domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms have been reported for Nov. 14.
  • That brings the tally of local cases since Oct. 17 to 1,308, Reuters calculations based on official data showed.
  • This marks China’s most widespread Delta outbreak.


Volunteers in protective suits handle garbage outside an apartment building at College of Arts and Information Engineering of Dalian Polytechnic University in university town of Zhuanghe on November 15, 2021 in Dalian, Liaoning Province of China. More tha Volunteers in protective suits handle garbage outside an apartment building at College of Arts and Information Engineering of Dalian Polytechnic University in university town of Zhuanghe on November 15, 2021 in Dalian, Liaoning Province of China. More than 60 students in university town of Zhuanghe city have been diagnosed as COVID-19 cases, as of Sunday in Dalian. VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

China is battling the spread of its biggest Covid-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variant, according to numbers announced on Monday, with travelers from a city where infections have grown faster than elsewhere in the country subject to tough quarantine rules in nearby areas.

Chinese authorities said 32 new domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms have been reported for Nov. 14, most of which were in northeastern Dalian city. That brings the tally of local cases since Oct. 17 to 1,308, Reuters calculations based on official data showed, surpassing the 1,280 local cases from a summer Delta outbreak.

This marks China’s most widespread Delta outbreak, which has affected 21 provinces, regions and municipalities. While it is smaller than many outbreaks in other countries, Chinese authorities are anxious to block any further transmissions under the government’s zero-tolerance guidance.

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A dozen province-level regions contained their flare-ups within weeks in the current outbreak, thanks to quick implementation of a complex set of curbs, including rigorous contact tracing, multiple rounds of testing of people in at risk areas, the closure of entertainment and cultural venues and restrictions on tourism and public transport.

However, Dalian remains locked in a struggle with the virus, Wu Liangyou, an official at the National Health Commission has said.

Since Dalian’s first local symptomatic patients from the latest outbreak was reported on Nov. 4, the port city of 7.5 million people has detected an average of about 24 new local cases a day, more than any other Chinese cities, according to Reuters calculations.

A few cities near Dalian, including Dandong, Anshan and Shenyang, have said people arriving from Dalian have to be quarantined at centralized facilities for 14 days before they can move freely, in an unusually cautious measure.

As of Nov. 14, mainland China had reported 98,315 confirmed coronavirus cases with symptoms, including domestically transmitted infections and those from overseas. There have been 4,636 deaths.

US Int’l student visa application opens Nov 24 - Embassy - VANGUARD

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

By Victoria Ojeme

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced November 24 as date for the opening of international student visa applications.

The embassy said it expected heavy surge, following the lifting of travel curbs for vaccinated travellers.

US travel restrictions were first imposed in early 2020 to check the spread of COVID-19. With the US presidential proclamation coming to an end on November 8, applications for all types of visas will become eligible.

The embassy in a statement, titled ”US student visa surge begins November 24, 2021”, said requests for appointment reschedule would not be accommodated in order to schedule as many qualified and interested students as possible.

It stated that for students in Abuja, the surge days were fixed for December 8, 15, and January 12.

The statement read:  “These surge days will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an appointment in Abuja, visit www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and review the criteria and instructions to request an emergency student visa interview, and prepare the below documents:

”A completed DS-160; an approved I-20 ; receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee; a GTBank (MRV) receipt for your visa fee; a scan of the biopage of your current valid passport and your passport photograph meeting these requirements.

“Lagos student surge days will take place on November 24, December 8, and 15. These surge days will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an appointment in Lagos, you should e-mail all the documents to [email protected]

‘To be eligible for a special application procedure, the embassy added that such “must be renewing a student visa that is still valid or has expired within the past 24 months and are renewing your visa either to continue participation in the same major course of study even if at a different institution or attend the same institution even if in a different major course of study.”

The applicants are required to present a passport containing the expired student visa, if that passport is expired, adding that a current valid passport and full transcript were also required.

Abuja applicants were directed to log on to www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and follow the instructions to complete their visa application, while Lagos applicants were required to bring all the requirements to the US consulate at 12:30-1:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, between November 25 and January 5.

”Accounting period for a US visa for various purposes like work, business and studies is between September of a year to August the next year,” officials said.

The embassy said it would be expanding operations to better serve the student population in the country through a special procedure for those who need to renew the student visas to continue their course of study, and a series of dedicated interview days for prospective new students.

It explained that an individual might be eligible for a priority student visa interview slot if the applicant was a prospective student seeking an F1 visa appointment and had not been refused an F1 visa in the past six months.

It asked Interested applicants to submit required documents as soon as possible to take advantage of the limited opportunity.

Nigerian Govt Demands Probe Into ‘Mysterious’ Death Of Citizen Jailed In Cote d’Ivoire - CHANNELS TV

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

BY  Akinola Ajibola  

The Nigerian Government has demanded a full autopsy on the ‘sudden and mysterious’ death of Itunnu Babalola, a Nigerian lady sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for alleged human trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire.

Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made the demand while condemning the death of the lady said to have been wrongfully jailed.

In a statement by the commission’s spokesman, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, NIDCOM revealed that Itunnu’s case caught its attention about five months ago.

For Dabiri-Erewa, the death of the lady was a tragic blow that came at a time the Nigerian mission in Cote d’Ivoire had engaged the services of a lawyer to handle her appeal case.

“Unfortunately, Itunnu died abruptly while all hands were on deck to seek both legal and diplomatic intervention for her by Nigeria,” she was quoted as saying in the statement shared on social media on Tuesday.

“Itunnu was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for an offence she did not apparently commit,” the statement read. “Itunnu had accused an Ivorian of a robbery at her residence and insisted on filing a case against him.

“The accused who happens to be related to an Ivorian policeman asked her to drop the case, but she insisted on getting justice. Itunnu went ahead to file charges against him and allegedly used a different name to file the case and somehow, a case of robbery which she filed mysteriously turned to a case of human trafficking against her.

“She was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment while the Nigerian mission in Côte d’Ivoire, supported by the Nigerian community, got her a lawyer, paid part payment of legal fees for the lawyer to appeal the judgment, while at the same time seeking diplomatic intervention.”

Itunnu Babalola was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for an offence she was wrongfully accused of.


According to NIDCOM, staff of the Nigerian mission had visited Itunnu in prison situated in the hinterland – a distance of over four hours from Abidjan.

While the appeal case was ongoing, Itunnu was said to have complications from diabetes and was rushed to the hospital.

The fee for her treatment, according to the agency, was paid by the Nigerian mission through the lawyer whose services were engaged by the mission.

But the lady later died after a few days of admission at the hospital.

“Her death will, however, not stop the appeal in court in order to vindicate her of the charges against her,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

Local airlines order 16 new aircraft at $1.2b at Dubai airshow - THE GUARDIAN

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

By Wole Oyebade

Ibom Air tables bid for 10 Airbus as Overland orders six Embraer175

Local airlines, yesterday, at the ongoing Dubai Airshow fiesta, placed aircraft orders in excess of $1.2 billion.

Akwa Ibom State-owned carrier, Ibom Air, was scheduled to table an ambitious bid for 10 brand new Airbus 200-300 aircraft. At a market price of $90.5 per aircraft, the bid is worth about $905 million in total.

Similarly, Overland Airways placed a firm order for three new Embraer E175 regional jets, plus rights for the purchase of another three. The deal is worth $299.4 million, at list prices, if all purchase rights are exercised.

The bid will fetch Ibom Air some of the latest modern and efficient airplanes made by the French commercial jet manufacturer, between 2023 and 2024.

The Guardian learnt that the request was part of measures to deepen operations of the startup that tested the waters with BombardierCRJ900 aircraft and lately tried its hands on two Airbus 220 that were wet-leased from Air Sinai.

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, at the weekend, said that the state government had concluded plans to add 10 additional A220-300 aircraft to the fleet of Ibom Air.

Emmanuel, who spoke at an event marking the 85th birthday of Obong Etim Abia, the Paramount Ruler of Eket in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, said: “As I am leaving here, we are signing fresh agreements that will give us 10 brand new A220-300 Airbus. So, even when I leave office, it will remain an enduring legacy,” he said.

According to the manufacturer, the A220-300 is perfectly tailored for the 120-160 seat market. It represents the fusion of performance and technology, allowing airlines to connect distant points on continents and for route sectors that were previously unprofitable or impossible to perform.

Overland opened event sales for Embraer at this year’s airshow, after Boeing and Airbus stole the show on an opening day on Sunday.

Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo, was confident that the airline has invested in the right equipment, as regional aviation is on an optimistic post-pandemic recovery.

“Our customers will really enjoy all comfort in the E175, and we appreciate our partnership with Embraer,” Boyo said.

The aircraft will be delivered with a premium class cabin configuration and 88-seats from 2023.

Vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Embraer Commercial Aviation, Cesar Pereira, commented on the order: “We are proud of this partnership with Overland and to support their regional expansion. We are seeing growing long-term demand for right sized aircraft to deliver profitable domestic connections in Nigeria.”

The E175 is Embraer’s smallest of the E-jet family, and the only one not to have been reworked into the new technology E2 configuration. It has proven to be a popular aircraft during the pandemic, offering incredible efficiency and the right sort of capacity for the depressed market size.

Ibom Air and Overland are apparently following the charge of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, encouraging operators to embrace a young fleet, coupled with Air Peace’s success with Embraer’s brand new airplanes.

The A220-300’s advanced aerodynamics, combined with specifically-designed Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G geared turbofan engines, contribute to an aircraft that delivers 25 per cent lower fuel burn per seat than previous generation aircraft, with half the noise footprint and decreased emissions, making it a true community-minded jetliner.

Both the A220-300 and the shorter-fuselage A220-100 share 99 per cent commonality, and use the same family of engines – enabling operators to fly both versions at a significant cost saving. Flight crews with the same pilot type rating, and cabin personnel assigned to both aircraft types, will enjoy a seamless transition between the A220-300 and A220-100, greatly reducing complexity and training costs for airlines.

In addition to delivering best-in-class economics, the A220 Family’s cabin was purpose-built for an excellent passenger experience. A220 Family aircraft are recognised for their low noise levels, providing a quiet, comfortable cabin.

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