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Govt Policy, Poor Economy Affect Airline Revenue

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L-R: Senator representing Benue South, Sen David Mark, Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and Sen Saidu Kumo during their meeting at the Akure Airport recently.

L-R: Senator representing Benue South, Sen David Mark, Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and Sen Saidu Kumo during their meeting at the Akure Airport recently.

International and local air
lines operating in Nigeria are facing a tough time as the present government policy to limit the use of first class and business class tickets by Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and some heads of parastatals reduces revenues.
This is sequel to government resolve to effect 20 per cent reduction in air travel expenditure, as the figure of N64 billion expended on travels in 2015 by government officials is considered outrageous.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adesoun who disclosed this to select journalists after a special event hosted by the Lagos Business School (LBS) recently stated that government is determined to embark on cost cutting measures that would involve direct bulk purchase of tickets from the airlines, as government plans to re-position the country’s economy through her ministry as the arrow-head.
Adeosun hinted the efficiency unit in the ministry has recorded some giant strides, including reduction of procurement opaqueness within FGN, providing cost savings guidelines to government, saying that additional innovations like online procurement system for travel, basic goods and other services employing vetted suppliers and a clear accounting as well as approval system will be applied.
However, experts in the aviation sector argue that in spite of these innovations and the ones yet to take off, they may affect airlines revenue, especially foreign airlines which charge an average sum of N2 million on their first class section for trips outside the country.
“I noticed that the first class at the Virgin Atlantic, a few days ago were empty, while the business class and the economy class were relatively full, unlike what we had before now, where the first class is usually full”, a frequent traveller on the Lagos-London routes who craved anonymity, told The Tide Aviation Correspondent.
Our source further disclosed the business class of a British Airways flight was likewise virtually empty about three weeks ago, when he travelled on the airline.
British Airways Commercial Manager, Kola Olayinka told The Tide Aviation Correspondent that though the government policy is affecting airlines, especially international airlines, they have to comply with the policy in good faith and see how best to make revenue to cushion the effect.
“Anything that changes the equilibrium of customers will affect us. But this is a government’s decision and we have no choice in the matter. We have to go back to the drawing board and see how else to re-strategise”, Olayinka said.
Chief Operations Officer, Tropical Arctic Logistics Ltd, Femi Adeniji, a helicopter logistics firm told The Tide Aviation Correspondent that government’s policy on reducing travel expenses is a good step, as it will reduce unnecessary expenditure and wastages and will enable the government to raise funds to addressing more pressing issues in the country.
Adeniji, however, explained that if the airlines involved are able to re-strategise properly the effect might just be minimal, “The first class and business class are minimal to the economy class. The business people can still travel first class if they have the money and value the advantages accrued to flying first class”, Adeniji said.
In the same vein, experts in the aviation sector say the current forex policy of government and resulting shortage have caused an unparalled increase in airfares from Nigeria to other countries and the effect may stunt the growth of the industry.

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FAAN Lauds FG For Procurement Of Fire Fighting Simulator

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The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, has commended the Federal Government over the recent procurement of a firefighting simulator for the aviation industry.
Yadudu, who made this known in a statement through the Corporate Affairs office of the agency on Wednesday, noted that the simulator was first of its kind in Africa.
He said that the multi-functional simulator was capable of delivering a realistic aircraft emergency training for different types of operational incidents involving aircraft in the aerodrome and its vicinity.
The FAAN boss emphasised that this was an indication of serious business drive for the aviation sector to become a hub for training rescue fire fighters from other countries, adding that it was a quantum leap in the country’s list of achievements.
Yadudu also commended the efforts of the fire fighters in the industry, pointing out that they deserved better working environment, support and encouragement.
According to him, the training needs of the fire fighters must be intense and realistic.
He explained that the Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) was a special category of firefighting that involved the response, harzard mitigation, education and possible rescue of passengers and aircrafts involved in an airport ground emergency.
“Airports may have regulatory oversight by an arm of their individual national government or voluntarily under standard of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Due to the mass casualty potential of an aviation emergency, the speed with which emergency response equipment and personnel arrive at scene of the emergency is of paramount importance.
“Firefighters work assiduously to ensure, in the event of an accident, that the passengers were rescued anywhere it happens”, the statement added.
Yadudu also applauded FAAN management for its support in ensuring that the firefighters excel in their duties of protecting and saving lives and property.

 

Corlins Walter

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FG Plans Agro Allied Cargo Terminal For Benin Airport

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An agro-allied cargo terminal is to be built at the Benin Airport by the Federal Government, as part of incentives to boost economic activities in Edo State.
This was contained in a statement made available to The Tide by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) last Tuesday.
According to the statement, the agro allied cargo terminal was part of the government’s plan to promote economic growth through agriculture.
FAAN said that the Federal Government was committed to develop transport and airport infrastructure in Benin, and that the commitment of the state government had encouraged the Federal Government to do more.
“The upgrade of Instrument Landing System (ILS) to Category Two in Benin Airport was to allow all aircrafts to land at the airport at night and in poor visibility.
“Agro-allied cargo terminal will be sited for Benin Airport, and civil work will commence very soon, and more will be done in the airport.
“Now, we have the ILS which can allow pilots in reduced visibility, in bad weather, to be able to approach and land just like they do in other developed airports”, FAAN said.

 

Corlins Walter

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Minister Promises To Tackle Emerging Challenges In Aviation Industry

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The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has promised to work with aviation unions to advance the sector and position it to meet emerging challenges. .
Sirika made the promise on Wednesday in Abuja when he assumed office after he was inaugurated along with 42 other ministers by President Muhmmadu Buhari.
The minister commended the unions and staff for welcoming him warmly into office, declaring their support and solidarity as “amazing”.
“I promise that there will be good understanding between you and me to drive the activities of our industry towards enhancing national development.
“I will do everything possible to make the ministry grow up.
“This task, I think, is for you as well; not for me alone. It is for all of us.
“We will continue to hold stakeholders meetings with the unions, staff and the management.
“We will make what you are doing better. The roadmap is there; we will make things better including your welfare,” Sirika said.
He thanked President Buhari for counting him worthy of a second term in his cabinet, and Nigerians for their trust in him.
According to him, Nigeria will work together with other countries to promote the aviation sector globally, pointing out that the sector contributes much to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any country.
He also said that efforts would be made to improve safety and security in the sector.
President-in-Council, Joint Consultative and Negotiating Council (JCNC), Mr Hector Naadi, had earlier affirmed that no minister had ever been so received by the union.
The president assured the minister of the full cooperation and support of the unions, saying that the workers shared his dream of a strong aviation industry that would power the nation’s economy.

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