Sunday, 8 November 2015

Nigeria Aviation at 90: experts condemn status; profer likely solution

Nigeria Aviation at 90: experts condemn status; profer likely solution

ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO

From the very first flight that landed in Kano in November 1925, Nigeria’s aviation industry has continued to witness archaic developments that have been multi-dimensional in nature.

This was the view of stakeholders that spoke at the two day conference powered by New Age Communications to celebrate 90 years anniversary of Nigeria Aviation.

Former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Roland Iyayi, affirmed that airlines operating in the country are in a destructive competition.

Mr. Iyayi  said the airlines had not been able to maximise the huge potential of the aviation sector in generating employment and contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

He said Nigeria currently boasts of 15 million travelling passengers out of a population of 170 million which accounts for only 10 per cent.

Mr Iyayi, who is currently the Managing Director of Topbrass Aviaton, said out of the 26 airports in the country, 80.2 per cent of the total traffic passes through the Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt Airports.

“I scarcely see any major airline in the country today that will survive the next three years except that there is a major injection of capital. The promoters of airlines don’t take time to study the market. So, they need to think outside the box and find new ways to make the industry grow,’’ he said.

Mr. Iyayi later advised the government to enact policies that would support the growth of the sector, including the establishment of a strong national carrier like the defunct Nigerian Airways, "we dont need  coersive regulations, human capacity should be developed, corporate policy should be looked into and on national carrier, the structure of its ownership should be looked into. Government has no reason to engage financially in it but should provide basis on how it should be run," he advised.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Muhtar Usman,  who was represented by Director of Administration, Aba Ejembi, said the authority was strengthening its regional offices to effectively perform its oversight functions.“I think in 90 years, Nigeria aviation has contributed immensely to the GDP but we can do better, so Nigerians should be dissuaded from seeing air travelling as an elitist thing,’’ Mr. Usman said.

Also speaking, Nogie Meggison, Chairman Airline Operators of Nigeria, who tasked the government on infrastructure and enabling environment for the aviation sector to grow, said the aviation sector was only contributing four per cent to the country’s GDP, while that of Ethiopia was contributing 26 per cent.

Travel expert and organiser of Akwaba African Travel Market, Ikechi Uko earlier this year said that Nigeria has benefited from air travel during this period in terms of increase in mobility, noting that air travel provided the platform for Nigerians to interact with the world and also do business with the rest of the world.He said: “In terms of participation we have not done very well. We are supposed to run the best airlines in Africa and one of the best in the world, considering the fact we have robust and the largest economy in Africa. Also in terms of airport infrastructure, we have not achieved much. Nigeria does not have up to five standard airports. So I don’t think we have done well in that area, but we have benefited from the industry.”

Organiser of the two day conference, Mr. Ariyo Akinfenwa, the Principal Strategist/chief executive officer of Media Age Communications Nigeria
also noted that from when the very first flight landed in Kano in November 1925, Nigeria’s aviation industry has continued to witness developments that have been multi-dimensional in nature.According to him, after decades of highs and lows in this critical sector described as the gateway to Nigeria’s economy, it has become expedient for stakeholders to evaluate the industry’s past, present and the future in order to chart a better course.

He said despite the challenges facing the country’s aviation industry, there is still need to celebrate the years of existence because aviation has brought so much of growth and development to Nigeria, he said

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Med-view commences flight on London - Lagos route Nov. 20

Medview Airline to commence Lagos-London route November 20
ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO

Medview Airline will on November 20 commenced flight on the Lagos-London route. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole disclosed this yesterday adding that the United Kingdom and Nigerian civil aviation authorities and their foreign affairs ministries had given the airline necessary approvals required to operate direct flight between the two countries.
Unlike the other London flights which birth at the Heathrow Airport, the airline would be landing at Gatwick Airport.

The MD said the airline deliberately chose Gatwick Airport to cater for people from up North and South in the United Kingdom, adding that the airline had secured slots at Gatwick Southern Terminal to provide train services to passengers travelling to other parts of UK.

He said limousine service has also been provided for business class people.He also noted  that London - Lagos route has remained one of the busiest routes in the world and yet the most expensive.

The CEO explained that Med-view entered the route as a Nigerian flag carrier to supply the missing link which includes capacity, reasonable fares, good customer care and excellent in-flight entertainment."I am happy to inform you that our Inaugural Flight from Lagos - London Gatwick is Friday, November 20, 2015. We are starting with four weekly flights on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays", he said.

The inaugural flight would coincide with Med-view Airline third anniversary of its commencement of domestic operation on November 8, 2012.

Welcome to ZAINAB JUNAID's Blog : Arik Air reiterates need for insurance policy … Ce...

Welcome to ZAINAB JUNAID's Blog : Arik Air reiterates need for insurance policy … Ce...: Arik Air reiterates need for insurance policy … Celebrates 9th anniversary in low key ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO Arik Air, yesterday, reiterate...

18 NAMA ENGINEERS OBTAIN ATSEP LICENSE

18 NAMA ENGINEERS OBTAIN ATSEP LICENSE
ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO
A total of 18 air traffic engineers in the Nigerian Airspace anagement Agency (NAMA) are to be issued with the Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) License by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This is just as the air traffic engineers drawn from various airports across the country successfully passed their practical and written examinations conducted recently by the regulatory authority. Prior to this examination, they had also successfully undergone a three-month ATSEP License Preparatory Course between July and October, 2015, at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria. The ATSEP course which came in Seven Modules treated topics in Meteorology, Avionics, Aircraft Systems, Air Traffic Control Operations, Aeronautical Communications, Navaids, Surveillance and Electromechanical systems. In a statement, the Managing Director of NAMA Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, congratulated the engineers for “displaying extreme commitment to the goal of improved air safety in Nigeria by taking their studies seriously’’. Engr. Abdulsalam noted “with major milestones so far recorded by the agency in digitalizing Air Traffic Management as evident in the deployment of ADS-C/ CPDLC and Safe Towers in the nation’s airspace, management has no option than to adequately enhance technical and operational capacity to man these new technologies in line with world best practices.’’

AVIATION PERM SEC ADVOCATES STRATEGIC SYNERGY BETWEEN NAMA AND NAF

AVIATION PERM SEC ADVOCATES STRATEGIC SYNERGY BETWEEN NAMA AND NAF

ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO
THE Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Bello has called for an enhanced and strategic collaboration between Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Air Force in the management of the nation’s airspace. Hajia Bello who was represented at this year’s Airspace Management Seminar which held at the Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, by the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, noted that this kind of collaboration between the civil and military is needed especially now to ensure success in the fight against insurgency, stressing that the deployment of Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) along with other Air Traffic Management technologies by NAMA has greatly enhanced the safety and security of the Nigerian airspace. Also in a statement, the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam stated that the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance –Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (ADS-C/ CPDLC) by NAMA would boost military reconnaissance activities as well as the discreet operations like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) because the data link communication provides for a unique channel of communication for the exchange of messages between each aircraft and Air Traffic Control without other aircraft being privy to the conversation. Engr. Abdulsalam therefore pledged the agency’s readiness “to support and partner with the military in the area of personnel training within the limits of available resources,’’ just as he promised to fast-track the ratification of Standard Operating Procedures for the operation of UAVs in the Nigerian airspace by the civil and military authorities. This year’s Airspace Management Seminar with the theme “Exploiting Airspace Dominance/Ubiquity in Counterterrorism/Counter-insurgency – Roles of UAVs and Radar Coverage” was attended by representatives from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian Navy.

Arik Air reiterates need for insurance policy … Celebrates 9th anniversary in low key

Arik Air reiterates need for insurance policy
… Celebrates 9th anniversary in low key
ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO
Arik Air, yesterday, reiterated the need for passengers to acquire the insurance policy that safeguards them against flight delays, cancellation, medical issues among other benefits.
Speaking at the airline’s 9th anniversary celebration held in its Lagos Headquarter, Mr. Chris Ndulue, Managing Director, affirmed that the insurance policy which was provided by Old Mutual Insurance Company in partnership with Risk Analysts Insurance Brokers, provides cover against accident resulting in damage to baggage, missing bags, flight cancellation and delays, medical expenses, permanent disablement or bodily injury, within 90 days of the occurrence of the accident.
Ndulue said, “The cover is valid for such incidents occurring while aboard Arik aircraft.
“Some of the benefits of the policy the passengers will enjoy include getting N1 million in the event of personal accident. A passenger whose flight is cancelled or delayed for more than eight hours gets N20, 000 per trip.
“Emergency medical expenses attracts up to N50, 000, while mishandled and missing baggage will attract N20, 000 per passenger. Damage to baggage will attract N20, 000 per passenger. All you need to do is buy Arik Air ticket online to any destination within Nigeria and buy an Air Travel Insurance for just N1, 000,” Ndulue added.
On the airline’s achievement so far, the Managing Director said though the airline started its commercial flights with only four aircraft (CRJ900, B737-300) on October 30, 2006, total fleet stands at 28 aircraft.
According to him, “We started with only Lagos- Abuja flight, now flies to 19 domestic and 12 regional/ international destinations. From 29, 363 passengers flown in 2006, as at September 30, 2015, we have now flown 17, 0304,741 passengers. Our staff strength has increased to 3, 000. We will be extending our Abidjan operations to Dakar from mid November. In the first quarter of 2016 we are hoping to commence operation to Libreville, Gabon, to increase our fleet with two Q400s, two units of CRJ 1000s and two units A330-200s; and to also start daily operation on our Lagos JFK-Lagos route, among others.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Dana Air Re-launches Cloud 9 In-flight magazine

Dana Air Re-launches Cloud 9 In-flight magazine

Zainab Junaid Elesho

Passengers of Dana Air are in for an exciting flying experience as the airlines’ recently re-introduce its in-flight magazine Cloud 9.

Cloud 9' according to a release signed by Kingsley Ezenwa the airlines spokesman, is a quarterly, full-color in-flight magazine with a good blend of tourism, food, health, style, music, art, celebrity interviews, and opinion page. It is also a peek inside the exciting, picturesque destinations of Dana Air’s route network

Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Mr Obi Mbanuzuo also said that, “the re-introduction of Cloud 9 is part of our determination to meet, and even exceed the flying aspirations of our guests, by contributing towards an interesting and engaging in-flight experience.’’

He said the launch was borne out of Dana Air’s philosophy of giving more to its esteemed guests and going the extra mile to advance guests’ satisfaction has always been the driving force.

‘’We have made every effort to tailor the editorial content targeting our multicultural, multi-ethnic passengers, from the brilliant articles to the enthralling images, all have been well thought out and carefully put together to intensify the flying experience of our passengers.”

In less than seven (7) years of commencing operations, Dana Air has become one of Nigeria’s leading airlines, operating over 20 daily flights to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Uyo.

The airline is reputed for its efficient customer service, world-class in-flight services, on-time departure and arrival, innovative e-airline products and high safety and quality standard.

Arik Air launches customised air travel insurance

Arik Air launches customized Air Travel Insurance

Zainab Junaid Elesho

Arik Air, West Africa’s largest carrier has launched a customized air travel insurance aimed at taking passengers flying experience to a new level.

Spokesperson for the airline, Banji Ola disclosed this in a release stating that the new air travel insurance will enable passengers to enjoy a customized domestic travel insurance on Arik Air with only N1, 000.00.

"All a passenger needs do is to buy an Arik Air ticket to any destination in Nigeria online at www.arikair.com, then buy an air travel insurance for just N1,000.00 using Verve Card, MasterCard or Visa Card.

"The insurance policy provides cover against personal accident (up to N1, 000,000.00) resulting in death, permanent disability or bodily injury within 90 days of the occurrence of the accident. The cover is from airport to airport whilst aboard Arik Air.

"The benefits also include: flight cancellation or delays of more than eight hours, N20,000.00; emergency medical expenses, up to N50,000.00; mishandled/missing baggage (inconvenience), up to N20,000.00; and damage to baggage, up to N20,000.00 per passenger.

"This insurance is not the same as the normal cover guaranteed for all passengers in case of air crash as provided for by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulation," the statement reads.

"The air travel insurance is provided by Old Mutual Insurance Company in partnership with Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers," it said.

Commenting on the air travel insurance, Arik Air’s Managing Director, Mr. Chris Ndulue said:

“We want to take the passengers’ flying experience to a new level and that informs the decision to introduce the air travel insurance. The interests covered by the policy is quite unique and totally different from the customary cover provided for all passengers in case of an air crash”v