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Emirates Airlines banned from operating in Nigeria

UAE’s Emirate Airline has been banned from operating in Nigeria.

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Emirates Airline has been added to the list of airlines which have been banned from operating in  Nigeria. The ban will take effect from the 21stof September.

This was announced by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in a social media statement on Friday.

“The PTF subcommittee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept 2020.” Sirika stated.

This comes as the UAE government has been accused of not renewing visas of Nigerians in Dubai and also rumours of a VISA ban for Nigerians applying for visas.

Last month, the UAE embassy in Nigeria deniedthere is a VISA ban on Nigerians entering the Middle Eastern country. They said: “At the onset of the COVlD-19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as of March 17, 2020.

After entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on July 7, permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures, including by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE. This includes those visiting from Nigeria.”

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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

FG approves reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri for daylight operations

Osubi Airport will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions and observe COVID-19 protocols.

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The Federal Government approved the reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri, Delta State for daylight operations on Monday.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, via his Twitter handle on Monday.

According to him, the facility will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions, while observing COVID-19 protocols.

He tweeted, “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in Visual Flight rules (VFR) conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”

VFR are a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.

What you should know

  • The Airport, which was commissioned on 17th April 1999 by the former Minister of Aviation, Captain Briggs, is managed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
  • In 2020, the Federal Government, in a letter to all the aviation parastatals, had allegedly terminated the contract of Shoreline Oil Services Limited, the operator of the airport, with immediate effect, citing incompetence.
  • The facility has been a subject of controversy since it changed hands from the original owner, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to Shoreline in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2015.
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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

London’s Heathrow airport slides into £2 billion annual loss

Following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, London’s Heathrow airport has recorded a net annual loss of £2 billion in 2020.

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London’s Heathrow airport has recorded a net annual loss of £2 billion in 2020, underlining the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation sector.

This is as 2020, which has been identified as one of Heathrow’s most challenging years has record passengers’ level not seen since the 1970s.

This disclosure is contained in a public statement seen on the company’s website and seen by Themoneymetrics.

The company said that the number of passengers dropped to 22.1m, more than half of the numbers that travelled in January and February.  It pointed out that the overall revenue fell 62% to £1.2bn and adjusted earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to £270m.

The company said in order to weather the storm, realizing that airports have very high fixed costs, it acted quickly to cut gross operating costs by nearly £400m, reduced capital expenditure by £700m and raised £2.5bn in funding including a £600m capital injection. The firm ended the year with £3.9bn of liquidity, enough to see us through until 2023.

The airport which is one of the busiest in the world reported a 28% decline in cargo volumes, showing the cost to the economy of shutting down aviation.

Passenger planes from Heathrow are the UK’s global trading network, carrying British exports and inbound supply chain. Economic recovery will be held back until long haul passenger flights are restarted, especially to key markets such as the US

The Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye said, “We can be hopeful for 2021, with Britain on the cusp of becoming the first country in the world to safely resume international travel and trade at scale. Getting aviation moving again will save thousands of jobs and reinvigorate the economy.”

He also said, “2020 has been one of our most challenging years – but despite £2bn of losses and shrinking to passenger levels we haven’t seen since the 70s, I am hugely proud of the way that our colleagues have kept our passengers safe and the UK’s hub airport open for vital supplies throughout. We can be hopeful for 2021, with Britain on the cusp of becoming the first country in the world to safely resume international travel and trade at scale.

’Getting aviation moving again will save thousands of jobs and reinvigorate the economy, and Heathrow will be working with the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a robust plan underpinned by science and backed by industry. The Prime Minister will then have the unique opportunity to secure a global agreement on a common international standard for travel when he hosts the G7 in June. In the meantime, we need next week’s Budget to support aviation’s recovery by extending furlough and providing 100% business rates relief.”

What you should know

  • The United Kingdom is one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the aviation sector one of the most affected due to the lockdown.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had called for urgent government assistance and warned that airlines would lose $252bn (£215bn) in revenues in 2020, more than double its earlier worst-case forecast.
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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

NCAA lifts ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, approves operation in its airspace

The NCAA has approved the lifting of the ban earlier placed on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft in the Nigerian Airspace.

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has approved the lifting of the ban it had earlier placed on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft in the Nigerian Airspace with effect from February 12, 2021.

This follows a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system by International Aviation Authorities, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

This disclosure is contained in a press statement issued by the NCAA and signed by its Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Musa Nuhu.

The statement from NCAA partly reads, “On the 18th November 2020, the Authority received a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24 advising it of the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) ongoing continued operational safety activities related to returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) aircraft service.

‘’This, however, made the FAA issue a final rule/Airworthiness Directive (AD) that mandated the following actions for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which includes:

  • Install new flight control computer software and new 737 MAX display system software;
  • Incorporate certain Airplane Flight Manual flight crew operating procedures, Modify horizontal stabiliser trim wire routing installations;
  • Conduct an angle of attack sensor system test; and
  • Conduct an operation readiness flight.

“NCAA recognizes that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) that comprised of International Aviation Authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada (TC) and the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority amongst others carried out a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system alongside FAA and NASA.

“In the light of the above, the FAA has released documents on Boeing 737 Flight Standardization Board Report, revision 17, identifying special pilot training for the 737 MAX and Safety Alert for Operators.’

The statement also says NCAA came up with some actions required of all foreign and domestic operators as a result of its recognition of the joint review of the Boeing 737 Max Safety System. Some of the actions include:

  • All intending domestic operators are required to work with the Boeing Company and NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Programme in order to have the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft registered in Nigeria and issued with a Standard Certificate of Airworthiness.
  • All foreign air operators that intend to operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into Nigeria must submit evidence of compliance with the FAA AD 2020-24-02

The NCAA stated that it would continue to ensure strict compliance to Safety Regulations as violation[s] would be viewed seriously.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had about 2 years ago announced the ban on the operations of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the Nigerian airspace, following two accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max Aircraft.
  • The accidents involved Lion Air Flight 610, an Indonesia flight which crashed into the Java Sea, 13 mins after takeoff, and Ethiopian Airlines flight 320, which crashed 6 minutes after takeoff.
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