Wednesday, July 28Inside Business Africa
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Aviation

Foreign airlines jostle for Nigerian market ahead of summer travels

Foreign airlines jostle for Nigerian market ahead of summer travels

Aviation, Business, Economy
At least seven major international carriers are jostling for a pie of the Nigerian market ahead of this year’s summer travels. The airlines, some of which are making a return to the Nigerian routes since the beginning of the pandemic, have lined up multiple frequencies in and out of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, beginning from July 12. The Guardian learnt that the trio of Emirates, Lufthansa, and Air France are also angling for a return in July.Aviation stakeholders said holidaymakers and summer travellers may be in for competitive fares from the foreign airlines that are pushing for survival via available traffic across popular routes. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic over a year ago, air travel has been disrupted with grounded airlines recording huge losses. Sa...
No airport in Nigeria has up to 80% functioning equipment – NATCA

No airport in Nigeria has up to 80% functioning equipment – NATCA

Aviation, Business
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has revealed that that no airport in the country has up to 80% functioning equipment. This was disclosed by the group’s President, Abayomi Agoro, in an exclusive interview. He explained that the deplorable conditions in airport control towers around the nation’s airports, including Katsina, Kano, Sokoto and Calabar, among other aerodromes, had been of great concern to his group. He said, “No airport in the country has up to 80% functioning equipment. These shocking realities, from the lack of a control tower at the Kaduna Airport, to lack of a urinary system at the Katsina control tower, and failed equipment in Kano… ATCs bear the brunt of the dilapidated system. The working environment is becoming deplorable, as som...
Travellers to face longer processing time over protocols, traffic

Travellers to face longer processing time over protocols, traffic

Aviation, Business
• Aero Contractors opens Bauchi, Maiduguri routesAhead of summer travels and imminent boom in international traffic, airlines have warned that chaotic scenes await passengers at airports over COVID-19 travel protocols. The airlines said compliance with mandatory tests and vaccine certificates at departure and arrival terminals may cost passengers between three to eight hours of delay, “which will be discouraging for customers and an industry in recovery phase”. In a related development, Aero Contractors airline has disclosed plans to reopen Bauchi and Maiduguri operations as part of its route expansion programme. Deploying its Boeing 737-400 aircraft just back from C-checks, the airline will open Abuja-Bauchi route tomorrow, and subsequently follow with the Maiduguri operations....
Aviation Act to check illegal operators, breaches in industry

Aviation Act to check illegal operators, breaches in industry

Aviation
72 out of 95 private aircraft in Nigeria registered overseas Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has assured aviation practitioners that the pending Civil Aviation Act will address irregularities in the sector, especially sharp practices by private jet operators. Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said they were aware of irregularities and complaints about the general aviation, and were making moves to check all excesses. Nuhu, who was the guest at African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) Speaker Webinar series on Wednesday, said business aircraft in the country are 95, out of which 72 are still not registered in Nigeria, in violation of the extant rules. Recall that the illegal incursion of private jet operators into commercial scheduled services and...
Air cargo business surges as African airlines record 24.6% demand spike

Air cargo business surges as African airlines record 24.6% demand spike

Aviation
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released March 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that air cargo demand continued to outperform pre-COVID levels with demand up by 4.4 per cent. African airlines’ cargo demand in March increased 24.6 per cent compared to the same month in 2019, the strongest of all regions. Robust expansion on the Asia-Africa trade lanes contributed to the strong growth. March international capacity decreased by 2.1 per cent compared to March 2019. March demand reached the highest level recorded since the series began in 1990. Month-on-month demand also increased, albeit at a slower pace than the previous month, with volumes up 0.4 per cent in March over February 2021 levels.x Global demand was up 4.4 per cent compared to March 20...
Airlines record 73% traffic slump amid restrictions, quarantine

Airlines record 73% traffic slump amid restrictions, quarantine

Aviation
Airlines in Nigeria and other African countries have recorded 73.7 per cent slump in passenger traffic for the month of March 2021. The downturn, though a global trend, is not unconnected with travel restrictions and quarantine in many countries. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in the March passenger traffic survey released yesterday, showed that African airlines’ traffic sank by 73.7 per cent in March versus March two years ago, marking a deterioration compared to a 72.3 per cent decline recorded in February compared to February 2019. Globally, total demand for air travel was down 67.2 per cent compared to March 2019. That was an improvement over the 74.9 per cent decline recorded in February 2021 versus February 2019. The better performance was driven by gains in...
Aviation workers flay minister for ‘poor handling’ of sector, failed promises

Aviation workers flay minister for ‘poor handling’ of sector, failed promises

Aviation
Aviation workers, yesterday, flayed their Minister, Hadi Sirika, for alleged poor handling of the sector and failure to deliver on the promises made since inception of office about six years ago. The workers were miffed by the one-man show posture of the minister in running the sector, manifesting in absence of statutory governing boards of aviation agencies. The workers, in commemoration of 2021 Workers’ Day said the untidy arrangement robbed them of better welfare, conditions of service and general wellbeing of the industry as earlier pledged by the minister. Sirika had on assumption of office rolled out an aviation development masterplan, which has the launch of a new national carrier, concession of the airports, aircraft leasing company and maintenance repair and overhaul...
Local airlines to roll out common ticket under interline pact

Local airlines to roll out common ticket under interline pact

Aviation
Two local carriers have entered into a rare interlining arrangement that offers customers the benefit of the two airlines, using a single ticket. The Guardian learnt that the partnership is between Dana and Ibom Air, and is set to roll out in May.The pact is the first time indigenous carriers have heeded aviation experts’ advice for competing airlines to interline, and make the most of available customers to cut operational wastage and losses.An interline flight is an agreement between airlines to coordinate passengers with an itinerary that uses multiple airlines, without having to check in again or deal with their baggage at the stopover. x The Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, George Uriesi, yesterday, gave a hint on the partnership. Uriesi, who spoke at the quarterly meeting of...
Local airlines spend N44b yearly on overseas maintenance

Local airlines spend N44b yearly on overseas maintenance

Aviation
•Homegrown MRO yet to be set up six years after it was muted Overseas maintenance of aircraft costs scheduled local airlines excess of N44 billion yearly. The capital flight, from a conservative estimate of about 70 operating airplanes, lately soared given the black market exchange rate of close to N500/$1. Stakeholders said the loss, to airlines in particular and the economy in general was avoidable had the Federal Government kept to its promise of setting up local maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in the last six years. The Guardian estimated about 70 aircraft currently on the fleet of nine local carriers. By the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) rules, each airplane is due for a C-check maintenance every 18-month. Except for Aero Contractors’ A...
FX scarcity cripples local airlines, spike airfares

FX scarcity cripples local airlines, spike airfares

Aviation
‘Airlines should interline, codeshare to survive’  The foreign exchange (FX) liquidity crisis is eating deeper into the daily operations of the local airlines, causing airlines’ capacity to dwindle and hitting up airfares. The Guardian, yesterday, learned that operators in the aviation sector have not received FX requests from the Central Bank since February, which explains why multiple airplanes are stuck in maintenance facilities overseas, and a lot more unserviceable and on the ground at airports.  The chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, who confirmed the dire straits, said local carriers might have to consider interlining or a codeshare arrangement to cut down the cost of operation and enhance survival chances.But the effect is telling on air travellers...