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Foreign Airlines Sell N231bn Tickets

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority NCAA has disclosed that foreign airlines sold N231 billion tickets, while  domestic carriers sold  N73 billion in 2013.
This was disclosed by the Director General  of the regulatory body, Captain Usman  Mukhtar, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, Thursday while delivering a key note  address ast the 20th annual League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC).
Captain  Mukhtar who was represented by the Director of Consumer Protection Directorate  Mr. Adamu Abdullahi, further  disclosed that during the period, domestic airlines airlifted five million passengers across the country and 277,000 passengers were airlifted at various  destinations in the  West Africa coast.
Also passenger movement  on international  routes  was put at 14 million and 437,000 were also airlifted to African destinations.
In 2013, the total amount of ticket sold by domestic airlines was N73 billion naira on the other hand, the foreign airlines sold  tickets worth N231 billion in the same year. The domestic  airlines  were able to ferry 5 million passengers across Nigeria in 2013. On the West  Coast route  277,000 passengers were moved, in intra-African routes, 437,000 passengers and on the international route 14 million passengers were are lifted.
Mukhtar said all these were achieved with the domestic airline operating a total of 63,000 frequencies across the country  and on the West Coast there were  4,000 frequencies,   also 4,000 intra-Africa and 7,300 intercontinental  frequencies.
He said in recognition of the increase  in the  volume of passengers, the  Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP) has intensified efforts to process  complaints and ensure comfort of air travellers.
The Director General also said that the country had become an attractive destination for foreign airlines, adding that Nigeria presently has Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with 78 countries.
“Nigeria has therefore become an attractive destination for foreign  airlines and ceaseless  application  for additional frequencies. At present Nigeria has BASA with 78 countries.
“Nigeria has  therefore become an attractive destination for foreign airlines and ceaselss applications for additional frequencies. At present, Nigeria has BASA  with 78  countries. However, some  of these are not being utilized. In order to  strengthen and widen  our BASA with existing and new  countries, Nigerian delegates  will be attending an International Civil Aviation Organisation  (ICAO 2014) from 17th -21st  November 2014 at Bali, Indonesia” he said.
Speaking on the impending ICAO audit, he said “In the ICAO audit conducted a few years back, Nigeria scored  very high marks. But there is an impending  ICAO audit again and I am  sure no one is losing sleep over that as the authority  has proven to be.

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Aviation

COVID-19: Arik Airline Sacks 300 Staff

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At least 300 staff of Arik Air have been relieved of their appointments by the airline’s management.

This was announced in a statement by the airline on Friday.
It blamed the sacking on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The press statement was titled, “Arik Air management declares 300 staff redundant”.
The company explained that a redundancy package would be provided for the affected workers with the help of the aviation unions.
The statement read in part, “Arising from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs, the management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations.
“The leadership of the impacted unions has been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.”
The airline added that over 50 per cent of its workforce of over 1,600 staff have been on furlough in the past six months.
In a separate statement also forwarded to our correspondent by its Public Relations and Communications Manager, Banji Ola, the airline apologised to passengers whose travel plans were disrupted by the protest carried out by the National Union of Air Transport Employees on December 3, 2020.
The picketing disrupted operations in Lagos and prevented the airline from processing passengers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Domestic Terminal 1 and 2.

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S’East Leaders Laud FG Over EndSARS

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South-East leaders on Saturday, lauded the Federal Government on the matured and responsive manner it handled all issues relating to the EndSARS protest and agitation.
The leaders of the zone, which included Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members as well as traditional, religious and youth leaders, gave the commendation in a communiqué issued after their meeting with a Presidential delegation in Enugu.
The presidential delegation was led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who is the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We thank President Buhari for the speed and restraint with which he handled the EndSARS protest, which has engendered peace throughout the country, especially the South-East.
“We, therefore, request the President to look into demands of various groups and youths with a view to resolving them,’’ the statement, which was read by the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor Dave Umehi, said.
It also called for joint operation by security agencies and local vigilant groups into all forests in the zone to flush out criminals and killer herdsmen with AK47 rifles.
“But we pledge our commitment to continuous coexistence with peaceful herdsmen who have been living peacefully with us.
“We stand for an indivisible and united Nigeria, built on love, fairness, equity and justice. We believe that under this platform – NIGERIA; we are bigger and stronger,’’ it said.
It also called on the Federal Government to continue its support and diplomatic push for the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to be elected as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The statement thanked the Federal Government for the timely interventions in Akanu Ibiam International Airport rehabilitation as well as intervention in road infrastructures in the zone.
“We are grateful for the attention given to the second Niger Bridge and completion and inauguration of the Zik’s mausoleum.
“However, we urge the Federal Government to give attention to the completion of the current road projects within the zone,’’ it said.
The statement said that the states in the zone will provide money for the compensation for those affected by the EndSARS protest, help to rebuild police stations and their logistics; while engaging the youths constantly to forestall any violent development in the zone.
“We have plans to set up various empowerment programmes to gainfully engage the youths. The governors also plan to mainstream the youths in their governance to give them a sense of belonging.

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Minister Hails Meeting With S’East Leaders

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as “extremely fruitful” the meeting which a presidential team had with leaders and stakeholders of the South-East.
“The meeting of the presidential delegation with South-East leaders was very useful,’’ Mohammed told journalists on Sunday in Enugu.
The delegation, led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, met for more than eight hours in Enugu with selected South-East leaders.
Mohammed said that it was quite instructive that all the groups which took part in the meeting believed in the unity and oneness of the country, pointing out that they clearly spelt out this in their presentations.
“We listened clearly and carefully to all the positions and demands and we are going back to report directly to President Buhari,’’ the minister said.
He noted that the Federal Government had been spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country, simultaneously and equitably.
“We want the South-East people to be confident that the Federal Government is spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country equitably and will never marginalise any zone in the ongoing development and infrastructure agenda.
“This is what I want to assure Nigerians living in the South-East,’’ Mohammed noted.
According to the minister, when the team gets back to Abuja it will see what can be done immediately concerning some of the positions and demands made by the South-East leaders.
The presidential delegation met with South-East governors, statesmen, elders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as market women and youth leaders.

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