Monday, 1 December 2014

SAA Voyager, Recognition and Rewards Reinvented

South African Airways (SAA), has today announced revolutionary changes to SAA Voyager positioning it as the frequent flyer programme of choice on the African continent.
The changes according to a release are in line with the airline’s Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS). SAA Voyager is a key element of the SAA Group’s customer value proposition and aligns with SAA’s Vision of Africa’s Leading World-Class Airline.
Speaking on this development, Nico Bezuidenhout, SAA Acting Chief Executive said “In terms of the Strategy, our key deliverables for the Voyager programme are non-negotiable Immediate interventions were required to improve our customer value proposition to ensure customer retention in the highly competitive domestic, regional [Africa] and international market.”
Suretha Cruse, SAA Executive Customer Loyalty at the launch event of the Re5 campaign also said “The programme changes which, for the most part, will come into effect on 1 February 2015, focus on our enhanced customer value proposition. “Our members have spoken, experts and analysts have commented, and we have listened.”
The Re5 campaign, the release noted was anchored on five key programme changes. It has been designed to respond to Voyager members’ feedback; the objectives of the airline’s LTTS; and in alignment with SAA Voyager’s aspiration to become Africa’s Leading World-Class Loyalty Programme (SAA Voyager’s Vision).
The campaign was supported by an elegant marketing drive which has been rolled out on board SAA’s aircraft and billboards. SAA Voyager members will receive a newsletter detailing the elements of the Re5 changes

“SAA Voyager’s strategic objectives are clear in that we want to attract new and retain valued customers, by recognising their loyalty and reward them fairly through the earning and spending of Miles. Of equal importance, our objective is to provide excellent customer service. We are therefore delighted to present to our most valued customers a best-in-class and Africa-first revenue-based frequent traveller offer,” adds Cruse.

SAA Voyager also announced its expansion plan in terms of its future partnership categories for both earning and spending of Miles, thus reinforcing its intent to evolve from a multi-sector retail and travel frequent flyer programme to that of a purist loyalty programme. “Whilst earning and redeeming Miles will continue to be foremost about flying, we will as a priority, be securing a solid footprint on the African continent and every effort will be made to present our valued members with more choices for their Miles. We want to be part of their lifestyle and to each and every one of them we say, we would like to be: Forever Part of Your Journey”, she concluded at the exclusive SAA Voyager media launch.

The press release from the company also affirmed that effective from 1st February 2015, members should look forward to the following:

1. All SAA Voyager members world-wide will earn Miles for travel on flights operated by SAA, based on the ticket price (base fare and fuel levy) rather than the distance travelled. Under the new SAA exclusive earning structure, all members will receive 1 SAA Voyager Mile per ZAR 1.60 spent and the accumulation of Miles under this earning structure, will count towards Tier status. Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum members will earn additional miles based on their status on the day of departure. SAA will furthermore no longer restrict its SAA Voyager members to a minimum or maximum amount of miles when travelling on flights operated by SAA.
2. All SAA Voyager members world-wide will be able to spend their Miles for any available seat for travel on flights operated by SAA.
3. The redemption of Miles under this new structure will be applicable to the base fare and fuel levy of a member’s requested flight(s), referred to as an SAA exclusive Dynamic Award. During the initial phase, SAA Voyager members will be able to use their Miles as full payment. During the course of 2015, part payment of Miles and cash will be introduced and members will be informed when the technology supporting this feature, has been finalised for implementation.
4. Based on the new SAA exclusive earning and spending structure, SAA Voyager members’ loyalty towards SAA will be rewarded with a leading principle of at least 5% return on their SAA spent when requesting an SAA exclusive Dynamic Award for an SAA operating flight. Therefore, if an SAA Voyager member has spent R5,000 on an SAA operating flight, a value of R250 in loyalty Miles as a currency will be available to spend towards an exclusive SAA Dynamic Award.
5. As part of these changes, which will be effective 1 January 2015, SAA Voyager reviewed and improved the benefits of members based on their status in the programme, ensuring that loyalty over time is rewarded.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Unique roller coaster concept thrills Yas Mall diners

Abu Dhabi-based food and beverage concept development and investment company, The Roller Coaster Restaurant LLC, part of Group JWA, has opened its first UAE outlet with the launch of ROGO’S, a roller coaster inspired casual dining venue located in the capital’s latest retail hotspot, Yas Mall.

A one-of-a-kind dining concept with unique visual appeal both on and off the plate, the focal point of the 14,000-square foot restaurant is the network of 30 individual roller coaster tracks that loop, spiral and spin in and around diners to deliver an exciting menu of international comfort food directly to each table.

“The UAE is globally acknowledged as a groundbreaking destination for world firsts and with the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa, part of the neighbouring Ferrari World experience, ROGO’S offers a spectacular culinary experience for fun-loving diners looking for a new and exciting dining adventure,” said Jessica Wadih Al-Absi, Chairman & CEO, Group JWA.

“Each table has its own individually designed roller coaster track and a unique silent delivery system that thrills diners as they get to watch their food make a gravity-defying 360-degree journey to their table. Our state-of-the-art technology makes dining fun as it transports both cold and hot food and drinks along the multi-spiral, double loop and tornado tracks,” she added.

As well as its hi-tech high-flying food delivery system, the 378-seat restaurant provides guests with a fully integrated ordering system in the form of individual handheld tablets that allow them to order from the carefully crafted menu of delicious specialties.

The extensive menu covers all the culinary bases with dishes from the Americas to Europe and Asia. Signature dishes range from an Asparagus and Sweet Pea Risotto, topped with a Crispy Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce, to the DIY ROGO’S Tornado Burger, which offers a choice of 13 different toppings and a multitude of combinations. Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy the Upside-Down New York style Warm-Baked Cheesecake or the Sticky Date Pudding with Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

“Another unique element to the ROGO’S experience is the way our food is served. Each dish is presented in individual pots, making it a real journey of discovery from start to finish, and one that we know will resonate with children and fun-loving adults alike; because who doesn’t enjoy eating straight out of the pot?” noted Al-Absi.

British executive chef Paul Owens heads up the 34-person culinary team and has developed the menu to reflect dishes and flavours from across the globe using the freshest, highest quality ingredients and innovative combinations.

The Yas Mall location is the brand flagship and the first in what Al-Absi confirms will be a series of ROGO’S restaurants in both the UAE and the rest of the region.

“The global trend today is moving towards the development of eating and dining experiences that are fun and memorable; both our concept and our menu reflect this whilst, at the same time, consistently delivering on our commitment to quality, freshness and creativity,” she noted.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Madinat Jumeirah scores international sustainability certification first

Madinat Jumeirah resort in Dubai has been awarded international Green Globe certification across its entire luxury complex. The integrated resort is the first mixed-use hospitality destination in the world to receive the Green Globe badge of honour.
The resort’s three high profile hotels, popular conference centres and souk-themed mall were given the Green Globe seal of approval following a comprehensive sustainability audit conducted by Dubai-based consultancy Farnek, Green Globe’s preferred partner in the Middle East.
Margaret Paul, General Manager at Madinat Jumeirah, said: “We are proud to show leadership in sustainable practices and delighted to share this responsibility with our colleagues and guests. We work daily to ensure we create harmony at the resort, enhance the knowledge of our local culture and preserve our environment. In addition, we ensure our colleagues are valued and engaged, our customers have exhilarating experiences and our local community wellbeing is increased.”
The successful certification includes two firsts for the region. The Madinat Conference Centre became the first of its kind to be Green Globe certified in the Middle East & Africa and Souk Madinat also scooped the same accolade as the first shopping centre to be certified in the region.
“We were very impressed by the resort’s established track record of both employee and guest engagement and its associated achievements in the area of sustainability. Change and innovation are a cornerstone of Madinat Jumeirah’s corporate philosophy and this was a key driver in supporting the efforts of all five hospitality-related units in integrating a remarkable collection of environmental technologies over the past year, with the resort as a whole aiming for a 3% year-on-year increase in Green Globe sustainability criteria,” said Sandrine Le Biavant, Director Consultancy for Farnek, Green Globe’s Middle East partner and authorised auditor.
Madinat Jumeirah achieved extremely high scores across all areas of the operational audit. A host of ground-breaking initiatives positively impacted its performance including the Madinat Conference Centre’s successful Green Meetings programme that covers both back and front-of-house operations to address waste reduction, paperless event planning and food donation initiatives.
The trio of hotels has also been active in the area of waste management, investing in a composting machine and Al Qasr became one of the first UAE properties to implement the Bokashi Digester Compost Programme. Around 2.1 tonnes of composted waste per month are used to fertilise the resort’s gardens with the hotel also introducing a glass-crushing machine earlier this year.
Each individual operating unit within the resort also undergoes monthly monitoring and benchmarking using Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer programme to maximise performance and support further energy enhancement initiatives.
In addition, a new rooms management system at Dar Al Masyaf allows customers to control their own energy consumption using an iPad and Souk Madinat also implemented a new automatic door system in order to effectively partition specific areas of the operation to make further energy savings.
These examples, combined with other ongoing energy management practices have shown a 14% annual saving since 2008.
“Innovation extends beyond the implementation of technology and Madinat Jumeirah, the first audited property in the Middle East to have a dedicated Community Engagement Manager, also happens to be a UAE national and coordinates programmes supporting the community related to special needs, breast cancer, tobacco and diabetes,” noted Le Biavant.
The resort has a strong focus on Emiratisation and also on training in general, with its 3,000-plus employees all receiving environmental awareness and on-the-job waste management training.
Souk Madinat, which in itself represents the respect of the local architecture, is also the venue for a weekly farmer’s market targeting the local community as well as in-house guests.
The group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, one of its flagship initiatives, has seen the release of over 700 rehabilitated turtles back into their natural habitat over the last 10 years where, after initial treatment at the Burj Al Arab aquarium, they are accommodated at the Mina A’Salam rehabilitation pen prior to release. The resort also showcases its natural flora and fauna with a nature trail experience for guests.

'After Hajj Exercise What Next'

An interview of some Pilgrims that per took in the 1435 Hajj exercise(2014); sharing their experiences and impact of the hajj exercise in their lives

(Alhaji Monzur Dawud Olowosago, Publisher ORIWU SUN NEWSPAPER, A community Newspaper that will celebrate its 30 years of existence in April 2015).

" '1435 Hajj is an exercise without stress.' : Having experienced Hajj exercise for 18 years consecutively, first and foremost will like to look at the performance of those in charge of this exercise and I will prefer to rate the performance of both the Saudi Government and Lagos State Government high. For the Saudi Government, their ability to turn and reduce hajj exercise from a frustrated one 18 years ago to a stress free one in the last five years earned them this reward. They've really impressed me technology wise compared to my first year experience I 1996 to the Holy Land where at Arafat, you don’t use rug to sleep but on a floor, mosquitoes here and there and in fact pilgrims were jam-packed to a particular area. Having lots of pilgrims packed in a place...hunnn,,, it was hell then but now things changes yearly. Beside the money they realized from oil, they have positively invested the revenue they generate from their tourism to the development of their country. There is no year you will not recognize new development in their environs. Is it the Kaabah or Jamran or the new hotels and inns, their hospitality towards pilgrims and in fact their health sector. It’s a place you will always want to be yearly if you can afford it. Their government have made the system so regulated that averagely all citizens can afford a mini Air Condition. I will rate those 95 percent in all. For example, 'Kaaba alone now generates about 4000 mega watts,' information I got from their literature review. The development: Air Condition seen at every nooks and crannies of their environment, 24hrs light on, no case of light-out for a second, all these have reduced number of death rate of pilgrims yearly. They are conscious of people’s health and theirs as well and there was no case of disease what so ever despite the population, i wish Nigerian Government could learn from their Government to help improve our own country. Secondly, Lagos State Government part, I’m not just impressed both overwhelmed with their performances and handling of the yearly exercise, especially in the last five-six years. I can only speak for Lagos State anyway because I followed them yearly and in fact National Hajj Commission rated them one for their fantastic performance. They've made hajj exercise what i will call 'hajj without stress' in terms of food, basic amenities and in some cases providing funds for pilgrims, and also their medical personnel, among others, are fantastic right from Nigeria here to the holy land. But as we know, no matter how tiny we slice an onion it will have the good and the weak side, both arms still need to improve their dealings in one way or the other. For the Saudi Government, they need to allow pilgrims to take their local food to the holy land and not ban it. This is because not every pilgrims or visitors can afford to eat their (Saudi) local prepared food. The Lagos State Government on their part, to me, needs to help in area of accommodation. We can still be having at most 3 pilgrims in a room and not the five to six numbers managing a room. Lastly, hajj exercise has help increase and strengthen my faith. My prayer point is always granted each year i performed hajj and I’ve prayed to Almighty Allah to still help me improve my faith."-

(Alhaji Kazeem Ganiyu Sanni)"
'Hajj experience helps to strengthen my faith, beside I’m mostly impressed by the way rich Saudis assist the average/poor ones genuinely without any biased or should I say eye-service.' Though I was not at the last hajj but penultimate one, but my experience initially was very funny. As we all know, it’s important to settle ones family and be sure of oneself before embarking on this exercise, when I got there, I first missed the bus that would have conveyed us from our hotel to where we will tawaf, so I had to trek, in the process i missed road though stressful and hectic but was later directed to the right place by those that knows the way. I thank God that my entire request was granted but what impressed me most was the way the rich ones give out gifts genuinely without biased mind. One is just amused at people's behaviour over there, the system there is well regulated to the extent of having the assurance of buying and seeing quality things in any super market/ shop you find yourself. It’s a place you will always pray to go yearly and I pray Almighty Allah in his infinite mercy grant my wish because i wish to go there again. The Ramah of Allah in that holy land has help improved my faith greatly." -

(Ridwan Arole, a Businessman)
"Hajj 1435 is my first experience and it was lovely, right from Nigeria down to the Holy Land. The Lagos State Government really tried for the pilgrims. We were given meals though not thrice daily but they tried and for the Saudi Government, there health sector was fantastic-drugs were given free and it's not a situation where you have headache and will be given leg or body pain medicine. You are sure of getting original things wherever you go in Mecca as there system is so regulated that you can get fake things in their shops. Besides, there is no cause for alarm in any angle, whatever intention you have before going and while you are there, whether good or bad, you will definitely see the reward before leaving the holy land. Infract, I'm impressed, short of words-what more can I say. I’m happy that I’m among those that per take in this last hajj and I pray to Allah in his infinite mercy not to make it my last, because i still wish to go more and more."-

(Miftau Jimoh, an online Journalist)
"I was geared up by the way the Pakistanis, Indonesians, Arabians supplicate to Almighty Allah. Though my mission back then was two sided-spiritual and journalistic purpose. I followed an airline to cover event, though was able to practice the hajj spiritually but I’m meant to cover the exercise from the airline's angle. The little time I spent with other pilgrims from other countries: Arabs, Indonesia, Pakistan, the white generally, gave me an insight of how Islam should truly be practiced. Their ways and attitudes toward SOLAT prayers especially, have a positive impact in my way of practicing Islam now. It’s not that I’m not practicing well before going for the Hajj, but I became sounder and willingly spend most of the right time with Almighty. In fact, my imaan has improved positively, though going to the Holy land is not a prerequisite of one’s attitude towards Islam, it is a personal decision for one to change once attitude positively or not. For me, after performing hajj, have realized that Solat prayer is not just to pray and start outlining prayer points to Allah but it is a duty we must perform as a true believer to Allah and for any prayer points, we can observe Tahjuud at midnight to seek whatever we want from Allah."

Eurostar looks to the future with new e320 trains

European airlines beware: Euro-star, the high-speed train company connecting London with Brussels and Paris, has just upped its game.
On Thursday, the company unveiled its new e320 train at London's St. Pancras Station. The new train will go into commercial service at the end of 2015. The e320 is named for its max speed -- 320 kilometers per hour (200 mph).
"Over the last twenty years, we have led the way in cross-Channel high speed rail travel, cementing the link between the UK and mainland Europe," said Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, in a statement to the press.

While airplane passengers increasingly have to endure shrinking legroom, the new Eurostar trains have been built to be roomy. The ergonomically-designed reclining seats are wider, and each comes with its own USB socket and touch sensitive light controls.
“The combination of bold design, chic interiors and wi-fi connectivity will raise the bar, providing an unprecedented level of style and comfort for our customers," added Petrovic.
Other on-board perks include a 20% increase in capacity per train (seven trains will join the fleet next year), free wi-fi, and increased luggage areas. The design comes courtesy of Pininfarina, the Italian design studio that has worked with the likes of Ferrari and Maserati.
The new design was unveiled to coincide with Eurostar's 20-year anniversary. During that time, the company has served over 150 million customers, though Petrovic believes that's just the tip of the iceberg. Next year, Eurostar also plans to expand its network to include direct service to Provence, with stops in Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, followed by the launch of a direct route to Amsterdam in 2016.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

PHIA Manager tasks Workers over laziness and isolation of duties

The regional general manager, South South and South East of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN, Mrs Ebere Okoye has advised the Portharcourt International Airport PHIA, staffs to be dedicated to their duty and also carry out their duth in team as this will help enhance efficiency and success at the airport.

Mrs Okoye gave this advise at the unveiling of the reconstructed class room blocks located at the airport, reminding the workers that success can never be achieved in an isolation.

She cautioned them against sharp practices and insubordination for they were vices that always bring down a carrier civil servant and advised them to desist from it.

Mrs Okoye, who clocked two years as the regional general manager, reiterated that all hands must be on deck to achieve any set goal and further cited the way Ebola was contained in the country. To her this was done with collective responsibilties of every Nigerian.

She noted that the airport will soon be given a face-lift as soon as its terminal was completed and appealed to airport users to bear with the management as the tough times they are going through will soon be over.

Mrs Okoye later appealed to all stakeholders in the sector and the Rivers state government to contribute their quota to the development of the airport adding that government can not do it alone.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pilot Strike affects Airfrance profits

Air France-KLM has said last month's pilots' strike cost it €416m (£328m) in lost revenues as it reported third-quarter operating profit fell by more than half.

The airline said this on its website adding that operating profit fell to €247m from €641m a year ago.

It also affirmed that the combined effect of the strike and seasonal dip in fourth-quarter demand would remove €500m from its €2.3bn earnings target for 2014.

The airline said it will also adjust investments and cut costs in 2015.

"Over and above the effects of the strike, we also predict that the market will remain sluggish in the fourth quarter," Air France finance director Pierre-Francois Riolacci said n the airline's website

The European economy was still lacklustre, he added, but the effect on activity from concerns over Ebola remained limited.

But he denied Dutch news reports that the airline was looking at major job cuts at KLM, saying there were "no drastic or emergency measures which need to be declared".

"The airline shares stood at 1.38% lower to €6.55 in morning trade," the website says

Air France said it could also look at selling its remaining 4.4 % stake in reservation systems Amadeus as a way of boosting its finances. The airline has already reduced its shareholding in the last month.

"Our Amadeus stake immediately springs to mind but the formula is a little wider than that, and we have to look at all the possibilities for action in the current environment," Mr Riolacci said, adding that fleet plans would also be up for discussion.

Air-France has yet to take delivery of a final two Airbus 380 aircraft from an original order for 12.

Mr Riolacci said the airline had the option to swap those aircraft for two smaller A350s, which could help reduce costs, but added no decision had been made yet.

Zambian President Michael Sata dies at 77

Zambian President Michael Sata, who according to the country's national radio was nicknamed "King Cobra" for his fiery tongue and larger-than-life personality, has die.

Officials did not disclose a cause of death. But Sata had traveled to London for unspecified medical treatment last week.

He died in a hospital there Tuesday evening, the government-owned Zambia Daily Mail said.

Sata took office in September 2011 after the incumbent President tearfully conceded in a televised speech, a rare moment in a continent known for volatile elections and leaders fighting their defeat tooth-and-nail

Work Commences on Multi-storey Car Park at MMIA

Work has officially commenced on the multi-storey car park at the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.
Spokesperson for the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)disclosed this recently adding that the car park which occupies a 9,000 square meter land area, located close to the international terminal building, is expected to accommodate 5,000 cars on completion.

"The construction of this new multi-story car park was necessitated by the need to minimise the inconvenience experienced by airport users as a result of inadequate parking space at the airport. It is also expected that the proximity of the new car park to the international terminal will make transportation easier for passengers," he said.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

SAHCOL acquires additional equipment for efficient service delivery

In a bid to improve the face of ground handling in Nigeria, in line with International best practices, the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) has again taken delivery of additional Ground Support Equipment (GSE).

The equipment, manufactured by TUG, United States; Denge, United Kingdom and TBD, United Kingdom, includes Conveyor Belt Loaders and Baggage Tractors; Baggage Carts; Pallet & Container Dollies, respectively, which are already being deployed to further improve services to clients across the network. Also as part of the growing profile of the Company, SAHCOL was awarded the contracts to provide ground handling services to Max Air, Kabo Air, West Link Air, Medview Airline and Skypower Airline for the outbound and inbound of the on-going Hajj Operations.

The company currently handled seventy-five outbound flights, from Nigeria to the Saudi Arabia operated by these airlines, from Lagos, Ilorin, Kano, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Dustse/Yola and Portharcourt.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Delta Air Lines forecasts high revenue by end of 2014

Delta Air Lines forecasts high pre-tax revenue in excess of $4 Billion by the end of year 2014 with the announcement of $1.6 billion pre-tax income for the month of September quarter.

It's September 2014 income according to a release is an increase of $431 million over the September 2013 quarter on a similar basis. The net income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, or $1.20 per diluted share with operating margin at 15.8 percent.

According to Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive officer, "While we have more work ahead of us to achieve our long-term financial goals, we expect a record fourth quarter of 2014 with an operating margin of 10-12%.

“For the full year (2014), we expect a pre-tax profit in excess of $4 billion. We have the right foundation in place for an even stronger 2015, proven strategies for Delta, and 80,000 Delta employees who are the very best in the industry. With another record profit, solid margin expansion and nearly $1 billion of free cash flow, Delta's results are consistent with high-quality S&P 500 industrials," Anderson stated.

Ed Bastian, Delta’s President captures the Delta performance succinctly, “For the December quarter, the overall revenue environment remains solid, with unit revenues expected to increase by 0-2%, and we are on track to produce another quarter of good top line growth, margin expansion and free cash flow. Looking further ahead, our international network provides the largest opportunity for additional margin improvement, as we accelerate our Pacific network restructuring, recalibrate our transatlantic capacity levels, and reap the benefits of our investment in our Latin network."

These results conclude to a staggering $823 million profit so far.

Delta Air Lines have been generating a $910 million free cash flow in this September quarter, surpassing its 2013 record.

This translated into an adjustment of net debt to $7.4 billion and a return in dividends and share repurchases of $325 million to its shareholders.

Friday, 5 September 2014



Transportation between the local and international terminal of Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos, recently received a boost with the deployment of four shuttle bus to ply the route.

The 30-seater shuttle buses were deployed by FAAN in partnership with Skyplus Contracts and Logistic Limited. FAAN’s General Manager Commercial, Mr. Tayo Adewakun, who unveiled the buses on September 1, 2014, at the car park of MMA’s Domestic Terminal 1, said the deployment of the vehicles was not to compete with regular car hire operators but to ease the movement of transit passengers from domestic to international terminals and vice versa.

Accompanied by other commercial staff of the Authority, Mr. Adewakun disclosed that the buses would pick passengers from DT1 and drop them at MM2 and international wing without stopping on the road. He added that the shuttle bus would not pick any passenger on the road but at DT1 and MMIA. The buses would only drop passengers at MM2.

Speaking during the launching of the shuttle bus, the Managing Director of Skyplus Contract and Logistics, Mrs Shobayo said she was motivated into partnering with FAAN because of her experience as a frequent flyer.

Shobayo noted that the deployment of the shuttle buses would bridge the gap between the local and international airport terminals, adding that getting a drop for passengers on transit was always risky. She commended FAAN’s management for the accelerated approval given to her company for the shuttle service.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

25 passengers injured after South African Airways plane hits turbulence

At least 25 passengers were injured when a passenger jet travelling from South Africa to Hong Kong hit severe turbulence on Wednesday, South African Airways Spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, has confirmed.Mr. Tlali said that flight SA286, which took off from Johannesburg, encountered severe turbulence while in the Kuala Lumpur airspace.He said the crew of the flight immediately requested medical assistance for the passengers, which was arranged and ready on arrival of the aircraft in Hong Kong.Mr. Tlali said there were 165 passengers on board in addition to the 25 passengers who were injured; three crew members also needed treatment.Local Hong Kong television channels have reported that several ambulances were on the tarmac when the four-engine Airbus A340-300 touched down and several were transferred to city hospitals.There were unconfirmed reports that two of the injured were in a serious condition.Report says it is unclear at this stage whether the aircraft was damaged.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Plane Crashes into Shops in Kenya, kill four

cargo plane crashed into a commercial building in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, shortly after taking off from the city’s main airport on Wednesday and the four crew members on board were feared dead, the Kenyan Airports Authority said.KAA said on its Twitter feed that all the crew members were “feared to have perished” after the plane crashed into shops in Nairobi’s Embekasi neighborhood.Television footage showed the tail and wings of a white plane ripped in half outside a smoldering two-story building left mangled by the force of the impact. 

ripped in half outside a smoldering two-story building left mangled by the force of the impact. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Explosion at Abuja plaza

The explosion occurred at about 4pm.——————————–An explosion has occurred at a major shopping mall, Emab Plaza, in Wuse 2, Abuja.A witness said the explosion occurred at about 4p.m.Emab Plaza is a busy shopping mall in the highbrow area of Nigeria’s capital city, on Aminu Kano Crescent.The explosion apparently occurred at the gate of the busy plaza.This is the third deadly explosion in the Nigerian capital in two months. The extremist Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the two explosions in April and May in Nyanya, a suburb of the capital.

At the scene of the blast in Wuse 2, more senior police officials arrive. Frank Mba, Nigeria Police spokesperson, arrives scene, promises to brief journalists in next few minutes. Asks journalists to leave cordon area.17.07At the Maitama General Hospital, officials have confirmed at least 30 bodies with three completely dismembered. The hospital is full, our reporter said. Some victims are receiving treatment outside. Our reporter counted seven victims receiving treatments outside the hospital premises.17.03Our reporter counted 11 cars completely burnt in the explosion while some others suffered various damages. Emergency officials say more ambulances are needed at Maitama District hospital "to transfer victims to other hospitals."16.54Emergency workers are still evacuating the injured and bodies to Maitama District Hospital and other hospitals.A police officer laments that the plaza made no security provisions."Nothing, they don't search cars, booths, anybody can just drive in," he said.16.50The fire service officials put out the fire at about 4:40 pm. They arrived about 23 minutes before then. Fire service and emergency officials are still searching shops to see if anyone is trapped within. Injured are still being evacuated.16.47National Emergency Management Agency say they are unable to confirm the casualty rate just yet. Sani Batti, the agency's information officer said emergency workers are still conducting search and rescue.16.44The fire has been put out. Rescue workers are now searching the shops. Witnesses say some traders are trapped in their shops.16.4016.38Soldiers block off the area. More fire service officials arrive. More ambulances too. Traders say the explosion was a car bomb at the gate of the plaza. Bodies of injured are being taken to hospitals.16.34Emergency officials are evacuating victims to the nearby Maitama District Hospital.Our reporter at the Maitama general hospital said at least six victims have been confirmed dead and taken to the morgue. She has also counted about 17 injured victims that have so far been brought in, including a white man with a broken leg.16.30Emergency officials arrived without adequate material. "Tell Joseph to come with enough dead body bags," an emergency official tells colleagues. Soldiers arrived in large numbers. Clearing the place. Traders in tears.16.25Fire Service have arrived the scene of the blast. There are frantic attempts to extinguish the burning cars. Traders in the plaza said the blast apparently went off in a car that was driving into the mall.16.23Details later

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

four-seater plane flying from Nigeria to Gabon via Cameroon has disappeared- NAN says

  A four-seater plane flying from Nigeria to Gabon via Cameroon has disappeared, according to Cameroon aviation sources on Tuesday.The plane, owned by the U.S. company Global Aviation, took off from Kano in northern Nigeria at 1800 hours on Monday en route Libreville in Gabon, where it was scheduled to arrive at 2300 hours, after a stopover in Douala, Cameroon.However, the station said that the plane, with only the American pilot on board, did not make it to Douala.It said the last contact the plane had with the control tower took place in Mongo, which is two hours flight from the Cameroonian economic capital.Report says that search and rescue operations led by Cameroon’s civil aviation authorities have not yielded any positive results. More details later

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Montgomery West Africa sets for the second edition of Nigeria’s leading entrepreneurial event 'Women of West Africa Entrepreneurship Conference / WOWe 2014

The second edition of Nigeria’s leading entrepreneurial event 'Women of West Africa Entrepreneurship Conference / WOWe 2014' will take place on 26 - 27 June 2014 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria – organized by Montgomery West Africa.

Tori Abiola, Managing Director of Montgomery disclosed this adding that,“As women continue to play the most significant role in economic development, they need their own economic independence and the skills to grow their businesses to be sustainable and result in growth opportunities. The success of 2013 has been positive, fulfilling and encouraging, and the reach of the conference has made it clear that women entrepreneurs are still facing challenges that need to be addressed with the right information, proactive development and through networks of determined business leaders and mentors.

She said, ‘Chapel Hill Denham, through its Women’s Investment Fund, is proud to be a sponsor of and participant in the Women of West Africa Entrepreneurship Conference (WOWe). We believe WoWe is a great platform for young women entrepreneurs to meet and share experiences while receiving first-hand knowledge from Nigeria’s most successful female entrepreneurs’, says Mrs. Ononuju Irukwu, Director Investment Management Group. Other major sponsor are Nestlé and First Bank.

Speaking at a press briefing held at german Chamber of Commerce, Lagos, Managing Director, Management Transformation Ltd Wuraola Abiola, also opines that
WOWe 2014 Conference is basically focusing on women and it will provides high level networking platform that connects the most influential women entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and dialogue on issues related to entrepreneurship and leadership.

"Pominent personalities in their fields like Ms Genevieve Nnaji (actress, model, singer, designer), Mrs Onari Duke (Country Director EMPRETEC Nigeria Foundation), Mrs Folake Akindele (Managing Director, Tiffany Amber) and Mrs Bukky George (CEO HealthPlus Pharmacy), to mention a few will be speakers at the conference," she says.

She gave an insight to what the participants will benefit for participating:
· Insight from our high level speakers on their entrepreneurial journey of success

· Create powerful networks to drive results

· Position your business as a competitive powerhouse

· Access new tends accelerating women across industries

· Exchange critical solutions raising capital - debt vs capital

· Gain insights on capacity building initiatives, skills development and mentorship

· Receive first hand training from our highly interactive Master-classes and workshops

WOWe was created as a platform for women entrepreneurs in West Africa to be able to tap into a wealth of resources, contacts, knowledge and opportunities irrespective of their background, connections and vision.

However, not just the business owners will be participating at the forthcoming conference alone, the investment and security tribunal established to act as a watchdog over investors and their clients in the capital market will also be participating.

Speaking at the briefing, Mr. Wale Ojo, Head, Lagos Zonal office, Investment and Securities Tribunal said the tribunal was established in 2002 to handle cases involving investment and security cases, it also deals with pension cases.
According to him, the Headquarter of the tribunal is in Abuja, with its zonal offices across the states in the country. He also disclosed that the tribunal has so far handled 40 investment cases in Lagos and across board has handled N351.9bn worth of investment.

The tribunal was established as part of transformation process to boost the economy. He further advised that investors that have been having issues monetarily in their business should bring their cases to the tribunal for judgment to be carried out on such issue.
Mr. Wale claimed that the tribunal has never in any form compromise any investmenmt case due to short of funds.

His words,"We live up to expectation, besides those involved are well to do so we have never fo once compromise any case. Also section 245 of the tribunal constitution gives us opportubnity to also deal with pension cases."

SAHCOL Sets For Ethiopian And Azman Air Ground Handling Services

The skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL has achieved yet another success, as it set for full handling contracts with Ethiopian Airlines and AZMAN Air, to offer them ground handling services.
General Manager, Corporate Communications for the company, BASIL AGBOARUMI, disclosed this in a statement adding that its company will perform full handling services (Ramp, Passenger and Cargo/Warehousing) to Ethiopian Airlines' four(4) times a week passenger flights, and three (3) times weekly cargo flights, to/from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano.

He explained that the company will also handle all AZMAN Air passenger, baggage and ramp handling services.
“SAHCOL, an ISAGO certified Ground Handling Company, and a 100% subsidiary of the Sifax Group continues to expand and gain credibility of airlines operating within/into Nigeria since the company became privatized in December, 2009.
“The new face of SAHCOL is witnessing massive deployment of modern State-of-the-art Ground Support Equipment (GSE), Training/Retraining of all categories of staff, Infrastructural development, Management repositioning, re-fleeting of vehicles, boosting of clients' confidence/ patronage, and massive Infrastructural Development, which includes an almost completed First-of-its-kind (West African Sub Region) Custom Bonded Cargo Warehouse, among others, all geared towards its goal of exceeding customers expectations.
“SAHCOL, an Aviation Ground Handling Provider, offers services in Cargo Handling/Warehousing, Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Aviation Security, Baggage Reconciliation, Executive Lounge Services, and other related Ground Handling Services; while ensuring that Ground Handling assignment is carried out in an efficient, speedy and safe manner, by deploying the right tools.
“Owing to the current boost in confidence, SAHCOL list of growing clientele includes the world best airlines, amongst which are Arik Air, The United Airlines, Air France, Egypt Air, Middle East Airlines (MEA), Allied Air, Aero Contractors Airline, Dana Air, Sudan Air, African Open Sky Airlines, Med-view Airlines, Camair-Co, South African Airways, Etihad Airways, Atlas Jet Airlines, Max Air, Kabo Air, African Word Airways (AWA), Gambia Bird Airlines, and other ad-hoc operators,” he maintained.

Ukraine: 30 killed in airport clashes

Punch Newspaper published earlier today that at least 30 pro-Russia separatists have been killed so far in fighting at the airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, insurgents say.

Armed separatists tried to take over the airport on Monday.

Kiev responded with air attacks and a stand-off developed.

Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko on Monday vowed to continue “anti-terrorist operations” in the east, saying the situation should “last hours not months”.

A representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic told the BBC that reports of at least 30 dead in Monday’s fighting were accurate.

One insurgent told Associated Press the bodies had been brought to a hospital in the city.

Monday’s clashes started after separatist militants stormed the Sergei Prokofiev Donetsk airport in the early hours of the morning.

The Ukrainian military responded quickly with air strikes and an assault by heavily armed troops.

It is not clear who is in control of the airport. It was closed early on Monday.

Reporters said there was heavy gunfire throughout the day and night, with black smoke rising into the air.

The attempt to seize the airport may have been intended to prevent Mr Poroshenko from travelling there after he said his first trip in office would be to visit the restive east.

However, Mr Poroshenko has also said he wants to talk to Russia to end the crisis.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was “open to dialogue” with Poroshenko but insisted that military action against separatists must end.

Ukraine’s military is engaged in an offensive in the east to tackle armed separatists who declared independence in the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.

The insurgency developed after pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev amid bloody street protests and calls for closer ties with the EU.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Union suspends warning strike over merger of aviation agencies

Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria ATSSSAN have shelved its planned two days warning strike to protest the proposed merger of aviation parastatals.

In a communique jointly signed by Comrade Benjamin Okewu and Captain Tarnongu, the national president and deputy general Secretary of the union respectively, the members explained that they have decided to suspend the strike due to a positive signal that the Federal government is likely to stop the proposed merging of the aviation parastatals.

The union said its only awaiting the final pronouncement of Jonathan's discontinuation in merging the agencies before it will know the next line of action to take. "But presently we have suspended the strike," the union said in the release. Affected agencies includes; NAMA, NIMET and NCAA.

It would be recalled that major aviation players and the union had earlier faulted FG merger of aviation agencies.

The unions had earlier this month in Lagos said they would be going on a two-day national warning strike over the recent merger plan by the Federal Government of some agencies in the industry.

The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
ATSSSAN has concluded plans to get the endorsement of the strike from all its organs as its National Administrative Council Meeting and the National Executive Council meeting are scheduled for May before this development.
The union also use the communiqué as a medium to pass warnings to some management of the aviation industry that have been trampling on the rights of workers to join and belong to a union and, for collective bargaining.
They said sister unions particularly in the aviation, transport and oil and gas sectors were ready to partner ATSSSAN to picket anti- labour dispositions of management and put pressure on their clients.
ATSSSAN called on the ministry of labour and productivity, ministry of aviation, stakeholders in the industry and well meaning Nigerians to call hardened hearts of management that were hostile to labour rights before they will be forced to deploy tools of engagement of their last resorts that may disrupt production process.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

BREAKING: Presidency convoy ‘shoots at’ protesting OAU students-premiumtimesng reported noe

“The security details shot at us. We have held them hostage. We will not let him go.”Hundreds of protesting students of the Obafemi Awolowo University have held a presidential convoy hostage in Ile-Ife, Osun State.The convoy led by a Toyota bullet proof SUV with ‘Presidency’ inscription and registration number, FG902-B02, tried to drive through the students who were protesting an increase in fees by the university management.Security details attached to the convoy then shot, perhaps to scare the protesters, with two of the students reportedly sustaining injuries.“The security details shot at us. We have held them hostage. We will not let him go.” one of the leaders of the protest told PREMIUM TIMES on phone.The students were protesting, on the Ife Expressroad, the increase in their school fees by the university management when the 6-vehicle convoy arrived.The university management increased the fees from about N17,000 to over N100,000.“We demand a total reversal to statusquo,” the student leader said.It is not yet clear who the occupants of the presidential convoy are as some students said the main occupant is a relative to President Goodluck Jonathan.Details later...

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

IRS plane crash: Investigation to be handled by Niger Republic Pre

A Fokker 100 with registration number 5NSIK, belonging to the IRS airline, lost contact with the control tower at Ganla, Niger Republic, and crashed.The Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Benedict Adeyileka, said on Monday that investigation into the crashed IRS aircraft was being handled by Niger Republic.He disclosed this while briefing aviation correspondents at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.A Fokker 100 with registration number 5NSIK, belonging to the IRS airline, lost contact with the control tower at Ganla, Niger Republic, and crashed.He noted that the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) and the NCAA would provide assistance in the course of the investigation.“As soon as we have an update on the pilot, we will let you know. The investigation is being handled by the Niger Republic because it is within their territory.“The NCAA and the AIPB are offering assistance, so we have a team together and we are trying to contact them so that we can work together,” he said.The director-general, however, said that the important thing was that the crash did not occur within the Nigeria airspace. reported.

Easyjet enjoys boost from business passengers

]Easyjet has reported a narrowing of half-year losses, helped by a rise in the number of business passengers and tight control on costs.

The carrier recorded a pre-tax loss of £53m for the six months to 31 March, against a £61m loss a year earlier.

The firm traditionally runs at a loss in the period because fewer customers fly in winter.

However, an 8.5% growth in business passengers, ahead of overall passenger growth of 4%, helped it to cut losses.

Over the past four years, Easyjet has increased the number of business travelers
by 44%.

Easyjet chief executive Carolyn McCall told BBC's Radio 4 that the airline had taken business travellers from "legacy carriers" such as Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways.

"I think allocated seating has been the single most popular thing we've ever done with our passengers and it's definitely taken a barrier away from people who would never have tried us before, particularly business travellers," she said.

Easyjet said a "ruthless focus on cost" had also helped it to narrow losses.

It said it had made annual savings worth £14m in the period, thanks in part to the benign winter weather, which meant lower de-icing costs and fewer disruptions to flights.

The airline said it was "well placed" for the second half of the financial year.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


The Management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) wishes to inform the general public, especially air passengers and other airport users, that Government's directive closing all schools and public offices in Abuja between May 7th and 9th, 2014 for the World Economic Forum does not affect  operations at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and all other airports in the country.Normal flight operations will continue to take place at all airports, as scheduled, throughout the period of the forum.We are constrained to issue this release in view of possible misconception in some quarters that the Abuja Airport, being a public utility, is affected by the closure order.We also wish to assure all passengers and other airport users that adequate security and operational arrangements have been put in place at all our airports to ensure hitch-free passenger facilitation during and after the World Economic Forum.


The award for the Middle East’s Leading Airport Hotel has been won by the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai for the second year running at the World Travel Awards 2014.

Presented at a gala ceremony at the JW Marriott Marquis prior to the opening of Arabian Travel Market, the award marks the third time the hotel has beaten off regional competition to win the public vote – having originally captured the title of best airport hotel in 2008.

According to general manager Simon Moore, the ranking as preferred accommodation for travellers transiting the region is an acknowledgement of the professionalism of the hotel staff and their ability to cater instantly to demanding guests with little time to spare.

“We often run at 100 per cent occupancy and have to cope with large numbers of passengers at times when weather or other circumstances might delay their departure,” he said. “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of my team.”


The award for the Middle East’s Leading Airport Hotel has been won by the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai for the second year running at the World Travel Awards 2014.

Presented at a gala ceremony at the JW Marriott Marquis prior to the opening of Arabian Travel Market, the award marks the third time the hotel has beaten off regional competition to win the public vote – having originally captured the title of best airport hotel in 2008.

According to general manager Simon Moore, the ranking as preferred accommodation for travellers transiting the region is an acknowledgement of the professionalism of the hotel staff and their ability to cater instantly to demanding guests with little time to spare.

“We often run at 100 per cent occupancy and have to cope with large numbers of passengers at times when weather or other circumstances might delay their departure,” he said. “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of my team.”


CEO and board member of Gulf Hotels, Aqeel Raees, today announced at Arabian Travel Market that the Bahrain-based hospitality group has acquired land for the construction of a five-star, 230-room hotel in Business Bay, Dubai, that will open in 2017.

“We are also sourcing a second site in Dubai and currently considering a number of prime locations,” he added.

In addition, Raees said plans were in hand for a new serviced apartment facility in Juffair, Bahrain, the third addition to the Gulf Residence chain of luxury serviced apartments operated by Gulf Hotels.

In other news, he said work had begun on a 3,100 sq metre spa facility at the flagship Gulf Hotel in Bahrain, as well as a new commercial laundry.

The group manages the Ocean Paradise Resort in Zanzibar and the four-star K Hotel in Juffair as well as the Gulf Residence Amwaj, the latter including two fully-serviced apartment buildings opening later this year.


CEO of Saudi Arabia-based flynas, Raja Azmi, has predicted its enhanced low cost model (LCC+) will reap rewards by offering non-stop routes in to the Kingdom from international markets as an alternative to one-stop services on other regional carriers.

The Jeddah-based airline launched a three-times weekly A330 direct service from Jeddah to London Gatwick last month – its first European route - as part of an expansion strategy that aims to connect Saudi Arabia to Manchester, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Karachi and Casablanca.

Speaking at Arabian Travel Market, Azmi said flynas had amended its business model from that of a traditional LCC to accommodate demand from the regional market: “We had added a dedicated business class as the market in the Middle East is different to that in Asia or Europe, for example.”

While high fuel costs and a cap on domestic airfares handicap competition in the Saudi market, Azmi said the airline was tapping in to a variety of markets through a strategy that combined hub/spoke and point to point operations, low cost operations with a value proposition.

“Saudi Arabia has the biggest domestic market in the region but other GCC carriers are carrying (religious) tourists in to the country – we need our share of that market and can offer short haul connectivity with our new long haul routes.”


Expanding on its presence in Saudi Arabia - where it currently has nine properties - Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts revealed plans at Arabian Travel Market for a new hotel in Jeddah - the 230-room Mövenpick Hotel Heraa Jeddah will be the group’s third property in the city.

Mövenpick currently operates 27 hotels in the Middle East, out of a global portfolio of 80, and according to president and ceo Jean Gabriel Pérès, is looking at the potential for additional properties in the UAE to augment its portfolio of six hotels in Dubai.

“During the course of the next 12 months, Mövenpick will launch seven new additions spread between Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” he said.

As well as opening the 137-room Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul Golden Horn this summer, a 184-room hotel will be launched in Casablanca and a 380-room hotel in Marrakech early next year.

In addition, the group will open a 167-room hotel in Kochi, India, plus a new resort in Pattaya, Thailand, early in 2015.

Meanwhile, summer promotions being circulated to the trade at ATM include offers of discounts of up to 30 per cent on room rates between June and end September.

Congestion in the skies affect Headlong growth by regional carriers of Middle East-Azmi

The CEO of Flynas, Raja Azmi has yesterday, said that despite Middle East being potentially the fastest-growing and most important global aviation market, congestion has been a major concern for regional carriers as it affect their headlong growth.

Speaking at an aviation seminar at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, he said congestion was already an issue at hubs such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as availability of slots at Jeddah.

“This has to be tackled when airlines here have orders for 200 aircraft or more each,” he said.

A reassuring note was given by Bashar Jawhari, VP corporate strategy & communications at Abu Dhabi Airports, who said there were ongoing talks at government level within the GCC and a breakthrough was expected to tackle potential congestion: “We expect to resolve this issue in the near future,” he said.

Despite these concerns, the outlook for the GCC aviation market remains bullish, with Boeing predicting a demand for at least 2,600 new aircraft over the next 20 years, according to Michael L Warner, Boeing customer leader for airplane development, who cited three key reasons for continued growth.

“The geographical location with 80 per cent of the world’s population within eight hours’ flying time, plus close co-ordination between players such as airlines, airport and governments and strong brands such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are sustainable drivers for growth and an advantage over competition in regions such as Asia and Europe,” he said.



Abu Dhabi will host a three-month season of summer entertainments running from June 5 to August 31 that includes top international shows, film and theatre premieres, ballet, music concerts, comedy nights, illusionists, contemporary circus spectaculars, live shows for children and special arrangements to screen FIFA World Cup football matches, as well as a host of locally-produced activities in hotels, malls and attractions.

Announcing the programme at ATM in Dubai yesterday, Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director at Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said that by linking with leading event producers and stakeholders in the emirate, the programme of events was designed to deliver an unforgettable season for residents and visitors, particularly those we are hoping to attract from throughout the GCC and India.
“We are moving towards becoming a year-round destination with this programme designed to appeal to all nationalities and ages to extend our seasonal appeal – and we want to persuade travellers that any time is a good time to have a great time in Abu Dhabi,” he added.

FLASH Entertainment will stage six headline events from July 28 until August 29. The du Forum, Yas Island, will be transformed into Abu Dhabi’s largest FIFA World Cup viewing venue seating 800 fans and the hub of Ramadan festivities from June 12 - while FLASH will also run family events in Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, and the emirate’s heritage heartland of Al Ain during August.

Other highlights include the inaugural event with the Royal Moscow Ballet performance of Cinderella from June 6 to 16 at ADNEC, plus shadow theatre performances and the contemporary circus theatrical La Verità – which features a gigantic, original backdrop created in New York in 1944 by the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali.

Meanwhile, Yas Island’s hotels and attractions are offering 2 for 1 deals which will run until September 30. This includes offers at restaurants, spas and the key leisure attractions of Yas Marina Circuit, the Yas Links golf course, Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

TCA Abu Dhabi will promote the summer season with a GCC roadshow from May 18-27 and through a partnership marketing deal with DNATA which includes mall activations in the UAE and India

SHAZA HOTELS sets for regional expansion

The 203-room Shaza Amman Hotels will open on December 6 this year, according to the group’s hotel operations manager, Jamal Wick, who said it marked an important step in expansion plans that will take in four additional properties in three Middle East countries.

Speaking at the on going Arabian Travel Market, Jamal said that the Amman hotel would be the second Shaza hotel to open after the Shaza Al Madina in Saudi Arabia.

“In 2015 we will open at The Wave development in Muscat, and then the following year we will launch hotels in Salalah and in central Doha,” he said. “This will be followed in 2017 by a landmark property in Jeddah that will be connected on three floors to the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce building.”

The Shaza Amman will be part of a mixed use complex in the Jordanian capital, the nearest five-star hotel to the international airport, and will feature the city’s largest hammam and spa, two specialty restaurants and a ballroom with panoramic view.

It will have 45 suites, three Silk Floor executive floors, a rooftop garden cinema lounge, a theatre-style restaurant and another destination restaurant and a kids’ club.

Shaza Hotels is an independent five star hotel operator, supported by an affiliation with Kempinski and Guidance Hotel Investment Company - Shaza’s regional financial partner. It is also a member of the Global Hotel Alliance.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Aviation workers to begin strike over planned

The date of the strike will be decided later.Nigeria’s aviation workers have warned of a two-day warning strike in protest of the federal government’s plan to merge all aviation regulatory bodies in the country, their unions said Sunday.The unions have yet to decide on the timing of the industrial action.The government had approved the recommendations of a presidential committee headed by former head of service, Stephen Oronsaye, for the merger of three aviation agencies: Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA; the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA; and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NIMET.The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, have kicked against the decision.The National President of ATSSSAN, Benjamin Okewu, said the unions were currently meeting to take a stand. He said the National Executive Council meeting of the unions would be scheduled for some time in May.“ATSSSAN has concluded plans to get the endorsement of the strike from all its organs as its National Administrative Council Meeting and the National Executive Council meeting are scheduled for May.“We have put our members on red alert, in preparation for the two-day warning strike aimed at paralysing the country’s aviation sector,” he said.Mr. Okewu said that the unions vowed to close down airports across the country as the warning strike would be the first of its kind in the country.He said that the unions have written to the National Assembly, the presidency and the National Security Adviser over the planned strike.He added that the unions have also itemised reasons why government should not go ahead with its plan on the merger.(NAN)

Thursday, 1 May 2014


Dear Colleagues, The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL has received tripartite awards, as the 'most improved Aviation Handling Company of the year 2013', 'Aviation/Cargo Handling Company of the year 2013', and the 'United Airlines Outstanding Baggage Performance for entire year 2013.'The award as "Most Improved Aviation Handling Company of the year 2013" was presented to SAHCOL by the 'Transport Day Newspaper (Supported by the Nigerian Television Authority, Nigerian Transport Round Table, as well as Transport Editors of some reputable Nigerian Newspapers)' at the Second Nigeria Transport Awards & Lecture, held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. While the award, as the "Aviation/Cargo Handling Company of the year 2013" was administered to SAHCOL by the Nigerian Communications Week, at its Fifth Beacon of Information & Communication Technology (BoICT) Awards, held amidst lade crème of the public and private sectors, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Nigerian Communication Week at the award ceremony, stated that SAHCOL emerged winner of the award after "over 250,000 Nigerians voted in the different categories with the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited emerging as clear winner in the Aviation/Cargo Handling Company of the Year category, with 96,703 votes cast from December 1, 2013 to March 29, 2014". They said, the award is a "testament to your talents, innovations, contributions and commitments to the growth of the ICT industry and we are happy that Nigerians have recognized your hard work, sincerity and dedication towards the development of the sector." Furthermore, SAHCOL came out best in Baggage Performance, as it won for the second time (2012 & 2013) the "United Airlines Outstanding Baggage Performance for the entire year 2013". This is an annual assessment of baggage performance done for all Stations providing handling services to the United Airlines' flights across its network of operations.

FG bars securitive operatives from restricted areas at airports

Starting from May 1st, 2014Beginnin, unauthorised security personnel, both in uniform and mufti, will no longer have access to restricted areas within the nation’s international airports. The Chairman, Presidential Committee on Airport Security, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Prof. Sylvester Monye, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos at a media briefing. Monye, who disclosed that the new directive was fromBeginning from Thursday, unauthorised security personnel, both in uniform and mufti, will no longer have access to restricted areas within the nation’s international airport. The Chairman, Presidential Committee on Airport Security, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Prof. Sylvester Monye, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos at a media briefing. Monye, who disclosed that the new directive was from the presidency, insisted that it would be followed to the letter by the authorities. Monye noted that over the years, security officers, aides of dignitaries, protocol officers of private companies, as well as unauthorised uniformed and un-uniformed military men and others had been abusing the restriction order and continually having unhindered access to the nation’s airports. He stated that the idea was to stop the impunity of government officials, military officers and personnel who are not supposed to be at airports from using their position to operate in such facilities. Monye said that, henceforth, no protocol officer or aides would be allowed into the arrival and baggage halls at international terminals. He, however, stated that only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ protocol officers might be allowed into the restricted areas. He also said that the new security measure is to also stop those that are not supposed to be within the vicinity of airports from using such facilities for loitering. According to Monye, “This unwholesome milling around in the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, and Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, areas is a threat to national security. A stop will be put to the practice forthwith. “The composition of this committee should make it clear that we are also taking certain informed measures bordering on national security at our international airports. “For obvious reasons, I may not need to spell out the details of the message at this press conference.” He said the new directive is in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. On the gridlock at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Road, Monye said that the committee would soon find a lasting solution to it, maintaining that the situation could no longer be tolerated by the government. Members of the Presidential Committee are drawn from the Police, National Security Adviser, NSA, the Nigeria Army, Nigeria Air Force, NAF, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and the State Security Service, SSS.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

NCAA Approves Security Programmes For 22 Airports. Audits 18 Foreign Airlines

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCCA), has approved Security Programmes for 22 Airports in Nigeria in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation Part 17 requirements and the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP). A statement by the general manager public affairs NCAA, Fan Ndubuoke, said the Airport Security Programme (ASP) was reviewed intermittently and subject to International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO’s) amendment of Annex 17 in response to the global threat to civil aviation. According to Ndubuoke, In addition, Security Programme was similarly reviewed taking cognizance of the prevailing local threats and this will lead to further examination of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP) or security directives to the industry. The statement reads .”Suffice it to inform, that Security Programmes are written by Airports and Aircraft Operators, Caterers, Ground Handling companies and other stakeholders. Thereafter, this is submitted to the regulatory authority, NCAA, which is the appropriate authority responsible for aviation security in the country”. He explained that Aviation Security Programme (ASP) provide measures and procedures on safeguarding the airport, aircraft, crew and properties against acts of unlawful interference. “NCAA provides guidelines for the development of the Airport Security Programme (ASP) which is a requirement of ICAO Annex 17 standard 3.2.1 states that each contracting state shall require an airport serving civil aviation to establish, implement and maintain a written airport security programme appropriate to meet the requirements of NCASP”. Meanwhile, wholesale security audit has been conducted on 18 foreuign and local airlines operating in the country. The audit was based on emerging threats, previous findings and incidents to forestall reoccurrences. It can be annual or bi – annual. The NCAA said all holders of an Approved Security Programme (ASP) were periodically audited to ascertain the level of compliance of airlines adding that It was carried out with the guidelines from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation part 17. Other parameters were the Nigerian Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP), security directives and other benchmarks. The authority stated that at the conclusion of the audit, all airlines were mandated to submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) outlining measures that will be taken within a specific time frame to address the findings. To ensure all operators and stakeholders are in tune with adequate security measures, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),Aviation Security Unit of the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airport Standards[DAAS] conducts aviation security awareness training for them on regular basis.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Virgin Austria plane forced to land in Bali

Virgin Australia plane forced to land in Bali over fears of a hijack

A Virgin Australia plane (pictured above after it landed in Bali) was forced to land on the island of  Bali over fears of a possible hijack. Initially reports said the plane, which was flying from Australia and carrying 150 passengers, was being hijacked, but it was later found to be an aggressive drunk passenger who was trying to force his way into the cockpit. The pilot sent a distress signal to airport authorities and the plane was cleared to land in Bali so the situation could be dealt with. BBC reports that immediately the plane landed, the drunk passenger, who had been overpowered by the crew and handcuffed him, was arrested at the airport.Virgin Australia told ABC News that there has been a medical emergency aboard the plane but everything had been settled though the aircraft still remains on the tarmac at Bali’s Denpasar airport.G

Virgin Australia plane forced to land in Bali over fears of a hijack

Virgin Australia plane forced to land in Bali over fears of a hijack

A Virgin Australia plane (pictured above after it landed in Bali) was forced to land on the island of  Bali over fears of a possible hijack. Initially reports said the plane, which was flying from Australia and carrying 150 passengers, was being hijacked, but it was later found to be an aggressive drunk passenger who was trying to force his way into the cockpit. The pilot sent a distress signal to airport authorities and the plane was cleared to land in Bali so the situation could be dealt with. BBC reports that immediately the plane landed, the drunk passenger, who had been overpowered by the crew and handcuffed him, was arrested at the airport.Virgin Australia told ABC News that there has been a medical emergency aboard the plane but everything had been settled though the aircraft still remains on the tarmac at Bali’s Denpasar airport.G

Delta flight attendants to switch to phablet for in-flight customer service

Delta Air Lines this fall will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which will serve as their on-board manual and in-flight sales device as well as a platform for future, more personalized in-flight customer service.The Lumia 1520 features a larger format, 6-inch screen and will replace the smaller Lumia 820 already in the hands of Delta on-board professionals. "Delta continues to invest in the latest tools and resources for our flight attendants to provide exceptional service to our 165 million annual customers," said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service. "These state-of-the-art devices represent yet another example of the many technology innovations we're developing, and will be essential as Delta continues to further personalize the on board experience." Providing electronic access to the more than 500 page, five pound On-Board Manual carried by every flight attendant is expected to save more than $1 million annually in reduced fuel and printing costs while providing on board professionals a more intuitive way to access essential information. In addition to its functionality as an in-flight sales device and replacement for the on-board manual, the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet, running Windows Phone 8.1, will, as it develops, enable flight attendants to take customer meal orders, receive detailed information about their flight and provide information for personalized service, including customers' frequent flyer status and potential need for special services during flight."The phablet is a great foundation for future software applications that, in time, will allow our flight attendants to readily access customer preferences, previous travel experiences with Delta and worldwide connectivity to the company, enabling them to provide the more tailored experience many customers have come to expect," said Theresa Wise,

Dana Air emerges domestic airline operator of 2013

Dana Air, has added yet another feather to its cap as the airline has been adjudged as the “Domestic Airline Operator of the Year 2013” by the Transport & Logistics Nigeria Limited, organizers of the Transport Stakeholders’ Excellence Awards. Dana Airline emerged after a thorough rigorous screening by a team of assessors and the result was subsequently confirmed by a public opinion survey.

The transport and logistics award is an initiative designed to reward, celebrate, encourage, and project transport stakeholders who have contributed significantly towards the advancement and development of logistics and transport in all ramifications.

Dana Air was presented with the coveted plaque at the Awards ceremony which held at the Lagos Sheraton Hotels & Towers and was attended by numerous high profile guests including Honorable Kayode Opeifa, the Lagos state commissioner for transport as special guest of honor as well as representatives of the Osun State Governor and the permanent secretary federal ministry of transport.

Commenting on the award, the Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Mr. Yvan Drewinsky said: “It’s gratifying that the airline has continued to attract positive attention and has again been voted as the airline of the year by stakeholders in the transport and logistics sector. More importantly, Dana Air takes this award as a vote of confidence from our discerning customers and we want to re-assure them that we will intensify our efforts at building a world class airline in Nigeria”.

Mr. Drewinsky noted that the vision of Dana Air is to become Nigeria’s most reliable and customer-friendly airline, and also stated that the airline will not rest on its oars but rather strive to continually look at new and exciting ways of exceeding the aspirations of its guests.

Speaking in same vein, the chairman of the awards organizing committee, Engineer Emeka Ogwara said that Dana Air merits the award as it has shown commitment to very rigorous certification tests which ascertains the premium that the airline places on safety of the flying public in general and its passengers in particular. Mr. Ogwara further stated that Dana Air was able to recommence air services in record time after the successful conduct of its operational audit

Arik air to extends flight to India

Arik Air explores opportunities for direct flights to India, as High Commissioner inspects airline facility

Arik Air, Nigeria and West Africa’s largest carrier, has begun exploring the possibility of introducing a direct service to India, following a recent visit from the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Ajjampur Rangalah Ghanashyam to the airline’s headquarters in Lagos.

The High Commissioner was at the Arik Air Aviation Centre to explore opportunities on how to facilitate direct flights between Nigeria and India. Presently, there are no direct flights between the two countries, with travelers currently forced to board connecting flights through Addis Ababa, South Africa or Dubai.

According to the High Commissioner, direct flights between Nigeria and India would boost business, tourism, save passengers flight time and reduce the stress of the journey. “Direct flights are also important during medical emergencies, because direct movement of patients during emergencies would save a lot of lives.”

Speaking after inspecting the facilities at Arik Air headquarters, Ghanashyam said he was impressed with the profile of the airline, which appears to him a professionally run carrier. He stressed Arik Air’s fleet size, route network and staff strength meant it was an airline that would serve as a strong partner in providing direct flights between India and Nigeria.

He explained: “With over 120 daily flights, 26 aircraft and over 2000 direct employees, Arik Air qualifies as a serious player for any Indian airline to partner with in order to facilitate seamless flights between the two countries.

“This visit to Arik Air is the first stage in building an initial bridge of understanding. The airlines will decide the potential and viability of a partnership. I am confident that Arik Air has done well, given the facilities I have seen,” Ghanashyam concluded.

The High Commissioner was received on the visit by the Chairman of Arik Air, Sir J.I.A. Arumemi-Ikhide, President/Group Chief Executive, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and Deputy Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

AIC locked down Diplomatic Park at MMA-Dati

AIC locked down Diplomatic Park at MMA-Yakubu Dati

Aviation group spokesman, Yakubu Dati today reported that the promoters of AIC Ltd, Chief Harry Akande have again taken the law into their hands by locking down the Diplomatic Car Park of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos today, Wednesday, April 9 2014.

In a press statement signed by Dati, he claimed that Akande, who came in a convoy of cars with several men to personally take possession of the land in dispute between his company and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, arrived at about mid-day. Dati said Akande used his personal car to block the entrance to the car park which led to a traffic gridlock at the entrance of the Arrival Hall of the airport for a long period.

"It took the intervention of Aviation Security officials to bring the ugly situation under control. Meanwhile, the thugs Chief Akande brought along were still loitering inside the park, as at the time of this report thereby constituting a security risk at the airport. They also parked a bus loaded with barbed wire within the premises of the disputed land.

"Promoters of Chief Akande had on April 7 sent an sms to some journalists inviting them to cover the take-over of the disputed land, stating that “our Chairman, Chief (Dr) Harry Akande intends to physically reclaim our land on Wednesday, 9 th April @ 9am. We will appreciate your presence to record the event…”

"This is not the first time Chief Harry Akande of AIC Ltd and his men have tried to take the law into their own hands over the disputed land, using unsubstantiated court orders as excuse.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, as a responsible entity, will continue to protect the interest of the Nigerian people within the ambits of the law, no matter the level of provocation, Dati argued.


Mr. Agboarumi Basil Udukhokhe has been elevated to the position of General Manager, Corporate Communications of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), as part of the company ongoing restructuring. Basil made this known in a press statement yesterday.

He said until his recent appointment, he was the Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communications. Agboarumi, who holds a National Diploma (OND) in Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, and a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, started his career as a student at Auchi Polytechnic where he doubled as the Editor-in-Chief of the “Think-Right Magazine,” and the “Auchi Express,” the Official Newspaper of the institution.

His experience took another turn during his National Youth Service with the Kanji Lake National Parks, New-Bussa, Niger State in 1997, he authored a book titled; “Borgu: Past, Present and Future,” which chronicled the potentials of the Borgu tribe, in Niger State, Nigeria. His flair for writing was further given a boost when in 1999 he was mandated by the Nigerian National Parks Headquarters, Abuja to compile a book on the “Attributes and Potentials of the National Parks in Nigeria.” Basil then joined the aviation industry with Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) in 2000, then a subsidiary of Nigeria Airways Limited, as the Pioneer Staff/Head of the Public Affairs Unit. Following the subsequent privatization and takeover of the company by the SIFAX Group in 2009, however, he was later appointed as Head of Corporate Communications, with a mandate to spearhead the re-branding of the new company having the same acronym but now known as Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), a member of the SIFAX Group. Mr. Agboarumi has a Masters in Communications Studies (Mcs) from the Lagos State University, and a Certificate in Creative Design & Digital Communication from the School of Media & Communications of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (MNIPR) and an Associate Member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (arpa).  An Aluminous of the School of Media and Communications of the Pan-Atlantic University, as well as a member of the Course 13 of the School of Media & Communications Strategies for Optimizing Corporate Communication Skills (SOCCS), he has attended various trainings, seminars and conferences in Nigeria, across Africa, Europe as well as Asia.  An astute professional, B
asil is result-oriented, a team player, motivator, and possesses an excellent people’s skill. He also has a successful track record in Leadership, Public Relations and Communications which has contributed in no small way to affording him this recent appointment. SAHCOL is an Aviation Ground Handling Company (100 percent owned by the SIFAX Group), which has brought its experience to bear in the day to day performance of its duties, which includes Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Cargo Handling/Warehousing, Aviation Security, Baggage Reconciliation, Crew Bus and Executive Lounge Services, and other related Ground Handling Services; ensuring that Ground Handling Services to all clientele is executed in an efficient, speedy and safe manner, in line with international best practices, while also ensuring that the right tools are deployed. SAHCOL became a subsidiary company of the Sifax Group in December 2009, after its successful privatization by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Within this period, SAHCOL has invested in personnel development, purchase of modern equipment, infrastructural development and good customer services, which has helped in repositioning the company to meet the expectations and needs of its growing list of clientele.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

New international airport in Enugu is viable- Ortom

The Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom has assured Nigerians that the new international terminal being constructed at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be commercially viable when it becomes operational. Dr. Ortom gave this assurance yesterday April 7, 2014 when he was responding to questions by journalists during his inspection tour of new projects at the airport. He said sufficient economic survey was made before the project was initiated by the Federal Government apart from the fact that Nigerians from the South East geo-political zone of the country, who are well known for their business enterprise would be of capable of generating sufficient passenger and cargo traffic on that international route.The Supervising Minister undertook an inspection tour of the airport to assess the stages of completion of some major projects there, including a General Aviation Terminal, Pilots Lounge, Pilgrims Terminal and the new International Terminal, one of the five being constructed in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Enugu, under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda in the Aviation Industry.Dr. Ortom who expressed satisfaction with the rate of work on the projects will also visit other airports in the country, in continuation of the inspection tour of airport projects. He was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Jamila Shuára, Directors in the Ministry and heads of parastatals under the Ministry.It will be recalled that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu officially commenced international flight operations late last year with Ethiopian Airlines, the first from the South East geo-political zone since the county’s independence.

Overland aircraft makes air return due to cracked windshield – NAMA Pr

There were 48 persons onboard the aircraft that had the cracked windshield.A domestic flight 1170, operated by Overland Airline with ATR-42 aircraft enroute Abuja from Ibadan, diverted to Lagos on Sunday following a reported cracked windshield.This is contained in a statement signed by the General Manager and Public Relations Officer of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Supo Atobatele, on Monday in Abuja.The statement said that the pilot, while airborne, noticed some cracks on the windshield and subsequently requested to divert the aircraft to Lagos to allow for change of plane for the passengers.“Forty two passengers and six crew members were onboard the aircraft as at the time of the incident.“There is no cause for alarm as the diversion was precautionary and this conforms with the basic safety norms of the industry,” the statement said.

Orosanye Report: Nigeria scraps NAPEP, FRC, merges aviation agencies

The government also rejected the merger of the EFCC and ICPC.The Federal Government has accepted the recommendation for the scrapping the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC.This is contained in a Government White Paper on the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies in Abuja on Monday.The committee headed by the former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Orosanye, had in its report submitted on April 16, 2012, recommended the reduction of federal statutory agencies from 263 to 161.The Federal Government accepted the scrapping of FRC and directed the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate necessary action for the abolition.The White Paper directed the merger of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and Nigerian Meteorological Agency into a body called Federal Civil Aviation Authority.It said their respective enabling laws should be amended accordingly to reflect the merger. It directed that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMFAC, should perform the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and their enabling law repealed.It stated that the enabling laws of RMFAC be amended to accommodate the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, with the latter to also be scrapped.The Federal Government also accepted that the enabling law of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology be amended and the college restructured,It accepted the stoppage of the practise of certain categories of retirees opting out of contributory pension scheme and directed that only the military may withdraw from the scheme.The Federal Government accepted the stoppage of the bill for the establishment of NEPAD as an agency of government, contending that there were already laws relating to activities of NEPAD.The Federal Government accepted the abolition and repealing of the enabling law of the Utilities Charges Commission and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should initiate the process.It further accepted that the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation be fully commercialised and the passed bill on the Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service should not be assented to by the president.It accepted that the Veterinary Research Council of Nigeria should as a professional body be self-funding and that further budgetary allocation of the council should cease.The white paper accepted the partial commercialisation of NIPOST and the sell off its major shares in NIGCOMSAT as well as retention of minority shares in the agency.It directed that the functions of NIGCOMSAT that relates to space development be reverted to the National Space Development Agency.The Federal Government accepted that JAMB should continue to exist as the central examination body for admissions into Nigerian universities.It directed that JAMB must play its regulatory role to ensure that all students for undergraduate admissions into Nigerian universities must pass through JAMB including direct entries.The white paper accepted the merger of the function of the Nigerian institute for Education Planners and Administrators with those of the National Teachers Institute.It however rejected the merger of WAEC with NECO and NABTEB.The Federal Government further accepted that the Nigerian Film Corporation be commercialised from 2013 fiscal year but with government seed funding.It accepted that all offices of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies outside Lagos and Abuja be closed to ensure judicious use of available resources in line with government policy.The Federal Government accepted the merger of National Council of Arts and Culture with the National Troupe and the National Theatre into one agency called National Council of Arts and Culture.It accepted that the Nigerian Financial Reporting Council ceases to be funded by government from 2015 and that the Industrial Training Fund be self-funding from 2014.It accepted that the allegation made by the National Boundaries Commission against the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation over the funding of two non-existent boundary demarcation be investigated.