Monday, 23 January 2017

Passengers Stranded in London Heathrow Airport as Bad Weather Disrupts Flights

Photo credit: Planes in the fog at Heathrow Airport Steve Parsons/PA
Thousands of passengers are left stranded in Heathrow and other airports in the United Kingdom as  airlines cancel hundreds of flights to and from Heathrow due foggy weather condition.
Dozens more are delayed by an hour or more, with the likelihood of more cancellations as operations are further disrupted.
British Airways has cancelled 80 flights so far, mostly domestic services or short European hops - though links to and from Athens, Moscow and St Petersburg have also been grounded by the fog.
Please read The Independent for details.

Nigeria Aviation News Headlines For Monday January 23, 2016

Bi-Courtney Invites More Airlines to MMA2

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) in Lagos, has assured domestic airlines and passengers wishing to use the Kaduna Airport as alternative to Abuja Airport that MMA2 has the capacity to process all domestic flights and passengers during the proposed closure of the latter.
It is expected that many international airlines operating in Abuja would divert to Lagos to offload passengers, which would increase the frequency of local flights emanating from Lagos to other destinations.
Aviation Roundtable Slams NCAA over Abuja Airport Saga

Aviation Roundtable slams NCAA over Abuja airport saga

The controversy over the proposed closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja for six weeks has prompted the foremost aviation industry think-tank, Aviation Roundtable (ART), to task the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to conduct an assessment of runways across the country.
The group blamed the NCAA for ‘not being alive to its responsibility’ of conducting safety oversight of the Abuja runway which it said had been due for maintenance 14 years ago.
President of ART, Elder Gabriel Olowo, in a position paper made available to newsmen in Lagos, said the decision to close the airport should have been taken by the NCAA, the industry regulator, and not the government.
He said constant political interference had stifled the effectiveness of NCAA which should have compelled the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to adhere with the stipulated maintenance programme for the Abuja runway.

Golden Tulips Declares Long Term Partnership with Turkish Airlines

The management of Golden Tulip Hotel in Apapa, Lagos has said that it has established long-term partnership with Turkish Airlines to accommodate its passengers if flights are cancelled or delayed, noting that it has been doing this for the airline for some time now.
The hotel made this known in reaction to recent allegation that it threw out some passengers accommodated in the hotel, saying that it couldn’t have done that because such action would contravene the juicy contract it has with Turkish Airlines.
Tinubu’s Private Plane Flies Jammeh into Exile
Tinubu’s private plane flies Jammeh into exile

Troops secure Banjul for Barrow’s return
More details of the peaceful battle to restore democracy in The Gambia became known yesterday.
After days of stand-off, former President Yahya Jammeh suddenly agreed to quit office, yielding to last-minute pressure from Guinean President Alpha Conde and his Mauritanian counterpart Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, who were with him between Friday and Saturday.
After agreeing to leave and save The Gambia from a major crisis, Jammeh was confronted by big challenge –  how to fly out.
According to The Nation the African Leaders, reached out to All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who authorised his private aircraft to be used to fly Jammeh out of Banjul, sources said.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Nigeria's Aviation News Headline for Tuesday January 17, 2017

I am still wondering how Kaduna Airport will cope as a temporary hub! The Federal Airport Authority, Kaduna State Government and domestic airlines who will use the airport must plan ahead to ensure that passengers are not put through additional stress. Please find the headlines below and follow the links to read the stories in full.

Abuja Airport: Aviation Professionals Endorse Closure


ANAP Secretary General, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu who made the position known to journalists at their secretariat at the Lagos airport said the association is in total support of the closure of the airport and use of Kaduna airport as alternative in the interest of safety of air travelers.
According to him, Kaduna is best alternative to Abuja airport as it has a longer runway than Minna Airport. With a longer runway and better access road to Abuja, Saidu averred that generally, Kaduna airport is far better than Minna Airport.

Kaduna Airport Terminal Still Building Site Ahead Of Air Hub Switch

A new terminal at northern Nigeria’s Kaduna airport is still under construction with cables hanging from ceilings less than two months before it is due to become an aviation hub when the capital’s airport closes temporarily for runway repairs.
Nigeria plans to shut Abuja airport for six weeks from March 8 to repair its runway and divert flights to Kaduna, an airport used primarily for domestic flights about 160 km (100 miles) to the north, after airlines threatened to stop flying to the capital.
Abuja-bound passengers will have to fly to Kaduna and travel in buses, guarded by security, on a road where kidnappings have taken place in the past few years.
Kaduna airport handled 12 flights in December 2015, the last month for which Nigeria’s airports authority has figures, compared with 812 that used Abuja.
The government hopes international carriers will use Kaduna during the closure but the new terminal, in the works for about four years, was still a building site when a Reuters team visited the airport on January 10.

MH370: Search For Vanished Malaysian Airliner Suspended

The search for the Malaysian airliner that disappeared three years ago with 239 on board has been suspended.
In a statement, Australia, Malaysia and China said the decision was taken with “sadness” after a fruitless search in more than 120,000 sq km (46,300 miles) of the Indian Ocean.
Families of the victims called it an “irresponsible” move that must be reconsidered.
Flight MH370 vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur in 2014.
So far only seven of the 20 pieces of recovered debris have been identified as definitely or highly likely to be from the Boeing 777.
A report in November 2016 said the plane probably made a “high and increasing rate of descent” into the Indian Ocean.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Meet World's 20 Safest Airlines recently published the list of the safest airlines in the world. No African Carrier made the list! says some of the yardsticks it uses for rating airlines include  "audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; government audits; airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability and fleet age".

Australia's Qantas came tops in the list. PHOTO CREDIT; Boeing
The airlines are:
Air New Zealand
Alaska Airlines
 All Nippon Airways
British Airways
Cathay Pacific Airways
Delta Air Lines
Etihad Airways
Hawaiian Airlines
Japan Airlines
 Scandinavian Airline System
Singapore Airlines
United Airlines
Virgin Atlantic 
Virgin Australia

Finally, British Airways Cabin Crew Members Embark on 48 hours Strike

Employees of British Airways hold posters and banners as they start the 48-hour cabin crew strike at Heathrow Airport in London
Employees of British Airways hold posters and banners as they start the 48-hour cabin crew strike at Heathrow Airport in London

British Airways  Cabin Crew members have been threatening to go on strike since last year over pay dispute so the 48 hours strike which started on Tuesday did not come as a surprise to industry watchers.
The strike is being championed by members of Unite Trade Union to press for better wages for their members.
Though report says the British Airways has announced that most flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports will not be affected , the real impact of the strike will be known after the strike.

Nigeria Aviation News Headlines For Wednesday January 11, 2016

The year is still very young but the rate at which air-travelers are left stranded at airports is not encouraging. While it is true that no airline will deliberately want to delay or cancel flights, the airlines have a duty to manage these disruptions professionally without  unduly inconveniencing the passengers.
Please find the headlines below and follow the links to read the stories in full.

Chaos as Turkish Airlines Suspends Lagos – Istanbul Flight


…passengers stranded for four days in Lagos. 

Air travellers flying directly from Lagos to Istanbul, Turkey are having a hell of time as Turkish Airlines has temporary grounded its operations on the route citing harsh weather conditions at Instanbul Airport as reason.
In the last four days, two sets of passengers on flights on the Lagos – Istanbul route have been left stranded in Lagos with untidy accommodation arrangements leading to protests by affected passengers. The first set of passengers were supposed to have travelled last Saturday out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos to Istabul, while the next batch of passengers should have been flown out on Monday.
Daily Sun learnt that while the airline had explained to the over 600 passengers that heavy snow had stalled flight operations into the Istanbul Airport in recent days, it however had initially failed to make adequate provisions to accommodate and feed the affected passengers pending when situations would be normal to allow the resumption of flight operations.
At present, the bulk of the passengers are lodged at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Festac, Lagos. But that didn’t come without some crisis as the hotel had to eject the passengers over non-settlement of rents two days ago.

Senate Moves To Halt Abuja Airport Closure

The Senate yesterday resolved to invite the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi  Amaechi; Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirika; Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar; and the Managing Directors, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to provide details on the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as well as to explore other options that can avoid a total closure of the airport.
The resolution followed the unanimous adoption of a motion tagged “The Planned Closure of the Abuja Airport” sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, lmo) and five others at plenary.
The Senate noted with concern the decision of the FAAN to close the airport for six weeks, beginning from March 6, 2017 in order to carry out repairs on the only runway at the airport, which is reported to be in a deplorable state.

Why Aviation Parastatals’ Heads Were Sacked

….Fear Grips Workers over Imminent Job Losses

Fresh facts have emerged on why President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sweeping changes that consumed four out of six aviation chief executives on Monday.
Daily Sun authoritatively learnt that the mass sack, which left the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, and Capt Muhktar Usman of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as survivors, was a prelude to more disengagements to come in the sector.
“Next in line are those at the Directors level, some General Managers and others found deficient in their duties. Expect this in the next one or two weeks,” a top government source told Daily Sun.
Before the Monday ‘tsunami’, the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had informed the House Committee on Aviation during an oversight visit late last year that he would carry out major reforms and manpower realignment meant to reposition the sector for greater productivity.
He lamented that majority of aviation workers had no defined job cut out for them, noting that “spent forces” will be eased out, while square pegs will be appropriately placed in square holes.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Nigeria Aviation News Headlines for Tuesday January 10, 2016

Hotel Ejects Stranded Turkish Airlines’ Passengers

  • Travellers plan class suit

The quick intervention of security operatives yesterday prevented stranded Turkish Airlines’ passengers from taking laws into their hands at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos when they stormed the airline’s counter.
The 410 passengers’ frustration came to a head when the hotel they were lodged since Saturday evicted them from the facility, forcing them to the airport to find out why they were thrown out of Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac.
They said the carrier was not forthcoming when they stormed the airline’s Head office at its Victoria Island in Lagos. When New Telegraph visited the airport, the airline was seen selling tick ets even when it was not certain of airlifting the backlog of passengers as it was not sure when it would operate out of Lagos.

Buhari Sacks, Replaces Heads of Aviation Agencies

Stakeholders divided over intent
Senator Hadi Sirika, Nigeria's Minister of State for Aviation.
photo credit:

The Federal Government yesterday sacked heads of four aviation parastatals in continuation of the restructuring plan of the air travel industry.Those affected are the Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Emma Anasi; Director-General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforum; Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Capt. Samuel Caulcrick and Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr. Felix Abali.

Aviation Stakeholder Commends FAAN Boss Over Repositioning Of Airports

Umar, in an interview with aviation correspondents, said, sanity has  been restored in AVSEC following an enhanced training and retraining of personnel, while power outages have been reduced due to a recent installation of heavy duty generators capable of running the airport for days.
According to Umar, who scored Engr Dunoma high, the FAAN boss was able to achieve such feat because he has been a product of the system.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Nigeria Aviation News Headlines for Tuesday January 3, 2017

Happy new year to all of us! The year 2017 promises to be a better year for Nigeria's aviation sector as the new safety rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is indeed a confidence booster for the industry.
Please find the headlines below and follow the links to read the stories in full.

Nigeria Gets New ICAO Safety Rating

Nigeria yesterday attained another International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety rating, which now places it among the world leaders in the implementation of safety processes in its aviation sector operations.A statement by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the country has climbed to Level 3 State Safety Programme (SSP) Implementation Process.
This categorisation is dependent on the ICAO, which tracks the SSP implementation process of member-states via its integrated Safety Trend Analysis and Reporting System (iSTARS). An SSP is an integrated set of regulations and activities aimed at improving aviation safety, which will be monitored through Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA).

Jet A1: Airlines Mull Hedging to Lower Cost

There are indications that Nigerian carriers may decide to enter into partnership with a view to resolving some of the bottlenecks that affected their operations last year.
Consequently, two airlines are planning on fuel ‘hedging’ to minimise the excruciating pains they went through that crippled their operations.
The carriers are said to be planning to build huge storage facilities where fuel can be stored. The facility, it was learnt, are to be built in Lagos.
Alternatively, fuel marketers could also help the carriers to store their product as long as payment is done in advance for the quantity of JET A1 they would need within a certain period of time.

Airlines Record Huge Patronage on S’East, S’South Routes

Domestic airlines are recording huge patronage on some local routes as most aircraft designated to fly from Lagos and Abuja airports to the South-east and South-south are fully booked on their economy class.
But the trend, occasioned mostly by a huge passenger turnout which overwhelmed the few aircraft in the fleet of most airlines, comes with its attendant hardship and frustration to numerous passengers on these routes.
According to  Daily Sun , the non-availability of seats on economy class for scheduled flights from Lagos to Owerri, Uyo, Calabar, Enugu and Port Harcourt on the online portals of some of the local airlines.
 Notable airlines where such seats were not available included Dana Air, Air Peace, Arik Air, First Nation and Medview airlines.
 Where seats existed in the business class on these airlines, fares had gone up to between N45,000 and N60,000, far beyond what most passengers could afford.

Revenue Loss Looms Over Abuja Airport Closure

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
Experts fault diversion of air traffic to Kaduna
• Minister meets stakeholders on Thursday
• Nigeria moves up in aviation safety rating
Ahead of the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport runway, Abuja for repairs in February and March, there is a looming loss of revenue by the aviation sector.
Concerned stakeholders, who faulted the alternative provisions that include diversion of traffic to Kaduna airport, said the move would bring much discomfort to air travellers and foreign airlines especially, forcing many to temporarily quit air travel to the northern part of the country.