Airlines Seek 45% Increase in Fares (Guardian)
Government pledges to end aviation fuel scarcity.
The current spike in the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira may be taking its toll on the country’s Foreign-exchange-dependent aviation sector as airline operators seek to increase their fares by 45 per cent.
The dollar exchange rate, which currently stands at N350, according to the airline operators, has further pushed the cost of running the business beyond them.
Some operators told The Guardian that their plight was not helped by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) disapproval of a new air fare regime that should have officially gone up by 45 per cent, to keep pace with the dollar rate.
Some airlines, however, appear to have resorted to self-help in raising ticket prices for over-the-counter purchase.
An operator, who is also a leading member of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), told The Guardian on the condition of anonymity that the current fare regime, in relation to foreign exchange, was not realistic.
He said: “The current rate is killing our business and it seems our regulators don’t care if we go into extinction. The truth is that this sector cannot survive under the current realities. You cannot do anything without the dollar, which is not in any way favourable.”
FG To Appoint Transaction Adviser For Airport Concession – Minister(Leadership)The Federal Government says it has concluded arrangement to appoint the Transaction Adviser for the concession of the big four airports in the country.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this during an inspection tour at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Sirika said the government would concession the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos; Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports.
He said that government would go ahead with the concession of the airports through Public Private Partnership, adding that the asset will ultimately come back to the Nigerian people.
“This will take time because we have to respond to law and due process and the government is in the process of appointing a Transaction Adviser.
“We have already been to Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), they have posted a staff to us and they are also partnering with us to see that we have a very smooth activity.
“The Transaction Adviser would be the one to guide the process and I am sure that government will not hesitate to give us the liberty that is critical in the appointment.
“Going forward, we do believe that in this current situation that the country has found itself, the new challenge, sources of revenue are dwindling and the rate of foreign exchange is not favourable.
“In accordance with global best practices, it is not wise for us to continue to take the burden of running these airports,’’ the minister said.
Sirika also explained that the construction of the second runway for Abuja airport would be carried out by whoever takes over the running of the airport after the concession.
How Not to Privatise Nigerian Airports, by Stakeholders(Guardian)
Murtala Muhammed Airport II (MMA2), under the watch of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, is a good example of why airports in the country should be privatised for viability.
However, stakeholders are unanimous that the airport is also a case study of how not to go about privatisation.
A travel website, The Guide to Sleeping in Airports, last year rated the Port Harcourt aerodrome as the “world’s worst airport”. Lagos and Abuja international airfields were also named among the 10 worst airports in Africa.
Stakeholders, except the managing authorities, attested that the airport experience in Nigeria indeed falls short of what such facilities are known for around the world.
The website and stakeholders’ assessment was actually concentrated on only four international airports (Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt) among 26 others nationwide that are more or less a no-no in matters of taste and efficient services.
Since 1999, the Federal Government and the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) have not been miserly in awarding billions of naira worth of contracts for “remodeling” the airports. But the end result has never justified the cost.
It, however, came as a significant step when the current administration declared that the four international airports, like apples among oranges, would be given to private investors to manage on behalf of the government.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during a fact-finding tour of facilities and agencies at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, said that the planned concession of the four airports was to guarantee efficiency and good management in view of dwindling
resources from the government for infrastructural development in the aviation industry.
Local Airlines Lose N32bn to Paucity of Aviation Fuel(Thisday)
Domestic carriers may have lost over N32billion in revenue and additional costs paid for Jet A1 as the price of the product continues to soar owing to its scarcity.
The airlines, including Air Peace, Medview, Dana, Aero and Arik Air said the scarcity came at a time passenger traffic had reduced by about 40 percent due to economic downturn.
THISDAY investigations revealed that as at March this year, the average price of Jet A1 was N96 per litre; by May/June it had risen to N140 per litre and by July it soared to over N200 per litre.
Number of Pilots, Technicians to Hit 1.5m by 2035, says Boeing(Guardian)
As global economies expand and airlines take delivery of tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners, Boeing has projected a demand for nearly 1.5 million pilots and technicians over the next 20 years.
It revealed in its 2016 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook forecasts that between now and 2035, the aviation industry will need to supply more than two million new aviation personnel, which include 617,000 commercial airline pilots, 679,000 maintenance
technicians, and 814,000-cabin crew.
According to Boeing, the 2016 outlook showed a growth of 10.5 per cent for pilots over the 2015 outlook and 11.3 per cent for maintenance technicians, noting that the new pilot demand is primarily driven by new airplane deliveries and fleet mix, while new
technician demand is primarily driven by fleet growth.
Tefferra: West Africa Still Suffers from Air Connectivity Gaps(Thisday)
Managing Director of Asky Airlines, Henok Tefferra has described the West African air transport market as a competitive one in a restrictive environment. He spoke to journalists at the just concluded Accra Weizo. Chinedu Eze brings the excerpts:
The operating environment in West Africa is described as harsh but your airline has continued to operate successfully. How do you weather the challenges?
I think that there are three or four things that are key ingredients for the success of any airline including in this region. The first is the business strategy, you need to have an airline that is purely commercial driven and market focus but market driven, because in
this region and in Africa you have airlines commonly referred to as flag carriers which is another model all together.
Militancy: Military Launches Aerial Bombardment of Lagos, Ogun Creeks(New Telegragh)The Nigerian military took to the skies on Thursday in its quest to tackle the rising cases of militancy in parts of Lagos and Ogun states, launching air strikes on their suspected hideouts in creeks located in the two states.
Scores are believed to have been killed in the aerial bombardment which took place on Thursday morning.
Residences of Arepo told New Telegraph that they heard the sounds of helicopters flying overhead and then the explosion of bombs when the militants’ camps were struck.
The camps are located on an island behind Arepo in a river which is said flows all the way to Delta State. Informed sources explained that the aerial bombardment might last till Sunday.
Several residents of the areas close to the creeks, including some journalists living at the Journalists Estate in Arepo, and many landlords living in Ibafo both in Ogun State, have fled their homes having been frequently robbed.
Incidentally, military operatives were deployed to Arepo last year as the government of Muhammadu Buhari vowed to curtail the activities of pipeline vandals, who frequently case fire outbreaks when they siphon fuel from the NNPC pipelines carrying the product
from Atlas Cove in Lagos to other parts of the country.
However, it was learnt that before the operation commenced, the leaders of the affected communities had been properly briefed by the military hierarchy.
On Aviation Fuel Scarcity(Guardian)
The spectacle of stranded passengers in their thousands at the nation’s airports has not only embarrassed Nigeria, it has re-ignited a sense of bewilderment at how and why one of the world’s largest oil producing countries can come to this sorry pass.
Against the backdrop of Nigeria’s inability to produce much-needed petroleum products locally, the airline industry has for weeks been plunged into crisis as a result of severe scarcity of Jet A1 or aviation fuel.
The result is that flight operations have been curtailed with terrible consequences for passengers and businesses.
As Uncertainty Trails the Non-appointment of NAMA MD(Thisday)
Almost six months after the head of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency was removed, the federal government is yet to appoint a substantive successor. Chinedu Eze examines how this has affected service delivery and created an air of uncertainty in the
In February this year, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) was removed alongside some top officials over allegation of fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Since then, the agency is being
supervised by Mr. Emma Anasi in an acting capacity.http://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2016/07/29/as-uncertainty-trails-the-non-appointment-of-nama-md/
Turkey Extends Coup Clampdown to Nigeria, Wants 17 “Turkish” Schools Closed(Premium Times)
The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, has called on the Nigerian Government to close 17 Turkish schools in Nigeria for their alleged links with a movement his government says was involved in the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey.
The ambassador, who made the call when the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, paid him a courtesy visit, said the Turkish Government had nothing to do with the schools.
According to the ambassador, investigations by the Turkish government showed that a movement led by US-based Fethullah Gulen was responsible for the failed coup attempt, which claimed over 200 lives.
He said the Turkish government was dissociating itself from any school bearing the country’s name in Nigeria, adding that while the country had schools in other countries, it had none in Nigeria.
“We are requesting the Nigerian Government to close down the schools.
“I have requested officially, both orally and in writing, the closure of these schools. Also, I have sent a letter to Mr Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Minister) and Mr Abba Kyari (Chief of Staff to the President) about this subject and requested their support for the closure of the schools.
“I will also send letters to the Chairmen of Committees on Foreign Affairs in the National Assembly as well as the Senate Majority Leader over the issue and I am going to enclose some documents in English on how the group members are engaged in the army, police and the Judiciary.
“In Nigeria, there are 17 schools, which belong to the Gulen Movement, one in Kano, one in Kaduna, one in Abuja, Lagos etc and they are offering scholarships.