Tuesday, August 11African Business News
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Aviation

Pilots, engineers shut Bristow over wage dispute, others

Pilots, engineers shut Bristow over wage dispute, others

Aviation
Union of pilots and engineers yesterday, made good its threat to picket Bristow Helicopters’ operations nationwide over disagreements on wages, the applicable rate of exchange and other alleged infractions. The workers, who insisted on the review of N345 to N355/$1 in the pay package, met denial of the management, with the latter citing harsh operational and economic realities in the COVID-19 era. The workers, under the aegis of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), had lately engaged the management over diverse welfare issues. The grey areas include the management’s proposal to suspend negotiation on Condition of Service (COS), alleged subversion of established terms of agreement with the workers, refusal to train qualified persons for Airline Transport Pilo...
Airline operator, pilots spat over pay cut

Airline operator, pilots spat over pay cut

Aviation
Pilots in the operations of Air Peace airlines and their management have had a spat over pay cuts that is not unconnected with the dwindling fortunes of local airlines. The Guardian learnt the pilots recently protested against a cut in salary and downed tools, forcing the management to lash out at the “insensitive” workers, amid the chairman’s threat to shut down operations. Recall that local airlines three weeks ago resumed commercial flight operations, although with low patronage and an attendant load factor of about 30 per cent. The development has caused airlines to struggle, unable to recoup the cost of operations among other obligations, which have forced some of the airlines, including Air Peace, to review the salary of pilots and crew. Apparently displeased by the pilot...
FG clears Benin, Jos, Sokoto airports for flight operations

FG clears Benin, Jos, Sokoto airports for flight operations

Aviation
The Federal Government has cleared another four airports to resume commercial flight operations in line with the COVID-19 safety and security protocols. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the disclosure, saying ministerial approvals in and out of the airports would no longer be required. The new entrants are: Sultan Abubakar Airport, Sokoto, following its approval on July 19. Birnin Kebbi Airport resumed on July 20, while Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos; and Benin Airport, Benin, were given approvals to resume operations on July 24. The Minister, via his Twitter handle, said the recent approvals brought the total number of certified airports to 14. “I am glad to announce that the following airports are open for full domestic operations, hence ministerial ...
Airlines bid farewell as jumbo 747 begins final approach

Airlines bid farewell as jumbo 747 begins final approach

Aviation
It’s been a long time in coming. Now it is here. It is the end of an era for the iconic Boeing 747 jet – ‘the queen of the skies’ – that airlifted about 500 passengers at a lift. The disruption of travel during the coronavirus pandemic and the heavy cost of its maintenance are compelling world airlines to pull the jumbo aircraft from commercial service. British Airways (BA) recently said it was retiring its entire fleet of Boeing 747 airplanes. With 31 of the planes, BA operates the world largest fleet of the plane type. Qantas of Australia lately accelerated plans to retire the fleet because of the coronavirus pandemic and has begun a series of farewell flights for the last of its 747s. The final 747 in that airline’s fleet will depart Sydney later this month, and be stored in t...
Calabar, Kaduna, Yola airports open amid traveller apathy

Calabar, Kaduna, Yola airports open amid traveller apathy

Aviation
At least another two airports were yesterday certified ready and opened to commercial flights services after three months of COVID-19 lockdown.The facilities, Margaret Ekpo Airport, Calabar and Yola Airport, Adamawa State, reopened, although amid general traveller apathy since local flight services resumed a fortnight ago. Corporate Affairs General Manager at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed the development, and hinted that Kaduna Airport would also join the active aerodromes today. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has insisted on compliance with the standard safety and security protocol, to avoid the closure of recently reopened airports.To date, a total of 10 out of 22 airports have opened for local flights operations, amid very low...
Airlines cancel flights over low patronage, apathy

Airlines cancel flights over low patronage, apathy

Aviation
A number of flights were yesterday and Wednesday cancelled over low patronage on some of the recently opened routes. Following the early success on the Lagos and Abuja corridors, more airports have resumed operations but without the airlines having flights on the routes. The Guardian learnt that although Kaduna Airport has resumed, it was yet to receive flights. At least three airlines cancelled their sole flight to Kaduna yesterday, just like on Wednesday, due to low passenger turnout. The Maiduguri Airport, according to the Federal Government’s reopening plan, was cleared as of last Saturday. It also had its scheduled flights cancelled. The Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, has been having few flight services, but with a very limited number of passengers. Operat...
Enugu airport reopens August 30, says Sirika

Enugu airport reopens August 30, says Sirika

Aviation
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, says the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu will reopen for normal business on Aug. 30. Sirika gave the assurance at the airport in Enugu after inspecting the progress of ongoing rehabilitation of the runway and upgrade of other infrastructure, aiming toward international standards, on Tuesday. According to him, the project has reached between 90 and 95 per cent completed. The ministet said the Federal Government planned to make a quick intervention in the procurement to ensure dilapidated runway, which was a threat to the safety of operations, is fully dealt with. ”We were on course, but unfortunately, COVID-19 came and the workers took to their heels to ensure that they remain safe. ”We are back on site and we have made...
‘Local travellers to arrive airports 90 minutes before departure’

‘Local travellers to arrive airports 90 minutes before departure’

Aviation
The Federal Government, Monday, reduced the passenger facilitation time for local air travellers from three hours to 90 minutes.The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the reduction was in the aftermath of local operations since commercial flight services resumed last Wednesday. The adjustment comes just as the government scrapped earlier directive mandating airlines to keep onboard middle seats vacant, and global airlines rally against extra safety measures, as filtered cabins are adjudged safer for all. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), earlier shifted the pre-boarding arrival time from one hour to three hours for local travellers. The international passengers got a shift from two to five hours, as part of measures to facilitate health and security screening...
Aviation workers vow to resist airport concession

Aviation workers vow to resist airport concession

Aviation
Aviation workers yesterday rejected the planned concession of the big four airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano, describing the processes as faulty and unilateral decision of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika. The workers, under the coalition of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Association of Nigerians Aviation Professionals (ANAP), vowed not to cooperate with the concession programme. The Federal Government has in the last five years been working on a plan to concession the 22 airports nationwide, beginning with the big four, to ensure that they run efficiently and profitably. Just recently, the Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) issued the Certifica...
Long-haul records zero traffic as foreign airlines resume

Long-haul records zero traffic as foreign airlines resume

Aviation
Travellers’ apathy has welcomed long-distance international travels, as more foreign airlines resume operations globally. The development is not unconnected with fears of coronavirus infections, the luxury of leisure travel during the recession, and tedious safety protocols like mandatory 14-day quarantine still in place at many destinations. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), however, urged governments to embrace the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) harmonised safety guidelines that include the use of face masks as a better alternative to quarantine and physical distancing onboard the airplane. IATA, the clearinghouse for over 280 airlines worldwide, disclosed that the demand for long-haul travel remains close to zero. The forwar...