NiMet DG, Prof. Mansur Matazu confers with RIMSON Fellow

By Favour Nnabugwu
Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Professor Mansur Matazu has been conferred with Fellow of Risk Managers Society of Nigeria, (RIMSON)
Matazu collaborations with various partners, government and non-governmental organizations has aided the weather forecast agency to co-produce and deliver user-defined, impact-based products and services which are accurate, reliable and timely.

The NiMet DG gave this revelation after being as well as the Distinguish Service Award by the Rotary Club of Abuja Metro (RCAM)

According to him, “Almost across all continents of the world, humanitarian crisis is on the increase, requiring cooperation and various levels of partnership to overcome”.

The decision by the Board of Trustees and the Executive Management of RIMSON to confer the Award of the Fellow of Risk Managers Society of Nigeria on Professor Matazu was done in recognition of his integrity, professionalism, commitment and contribution to Risk Management as well as the contribution of NiMet to preventing and mitigating disasters in Nigeria under his leadership.

Matazu observed that national development of any nation was in jeopardy in an atmosphere of chaos, diseases, disaster, epidemics, food insecurity, hazard and many more.

Matazu noted that Rotary Club as a non governmental organization and a non profit
humanitarian service provider was commendable especially with the many challenges being experienced in the world today

He noted that in the heart of solution was the Rotary international supporting global efforts at improving quality of lives and building international relationships.

According to Matazu the new president of the Rotary Club, Rotarian Ifeanyi Nnodu, was an effective pillar of progress in NiMet until his retirement as a worthy Director of Weather Forecasting Services.

The RCAM is the biggest Rotary Club in Africa with membership of over 200 from various professions.

NCAA suspends Dana Airlines flight operations, withdraws ATL

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced the suspension of Dana Airlines’ Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) indefinitely, with effect from midnight of Wednesday, 20th July, 2022.

According to the authority, the suspension was made pursuant to Section 35(2), 3(b) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 1.3.3.3(a)(1) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), 2015.

The suspension order, handed down by the Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, has since been communicated to the management of Dana Airlines.

Nuhu notes that, “The decision is the outcome of a financial and economic health audit carried out on the Airline by the Authority, and the findings of an investigation conducted on the Airline’s flight operations recently, which revealed that Dana Airlines is no longer in a position to meet its financial obligations and to conduct safe flight operations.

“The NCAA acknowledges the negative effect this preemptive decision will have on the Airline’s passengers and the travelling public and seeks their understanding, as the safety of flight operations takes priority over all other considerations.”

It would be recalled that Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero contractors also suspended its passenger flight operations indefinitely from today.

Vanguard had reported that the company, stated that the suspension of its operations was due to the impact of the challenging operating environment on its daily operations.

In a reaction to the development, Aviation Analyst, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, stated that, “Aero Contractors is the oldest airline in Nigeria and also the most successful in the non-scheduled operation services before they ventured into schedule operations, and since then they have been struggling to break through the bridges of operations couple the buy over by the Ibru family and then professionalism began to erode the company, coupled with mismanagement.

“The company have maintained a perfect safety record, they went into aircraft and maintenance had a succession in viable maintenance organization, they have a standard and well-equipped training school.

“As a company, they felt like rather than lose it all, they had to suspend a section of the business. It is a perfect decision, they have been with AMCON for sometimes and they are yet to come out of that problem. If they suspend flight operations to concentrate on other aspects of their operations which includes non-schedule operations which are profitable, aircraft maintenance agency and the aircraft training school which is doing well, I must commend them for being bold on this.”

143 stranded Nigerians return from Libya

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

A total number of 143 returnees arrived Lagos airport today even as male and female adults among them have medical issues

The Returnees were arrived Nigeria through the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State with Al Buraq Air Boeing 737-800 registration number 5A – DMG at about 3.18pm.

On arrival at the airport, the Returnees were received by the Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA who represented the NEMA Director General, Alh Mustapha Habib.

Giving the profiling, NEMA said they consist of 96 male adults, eight boys and a male toddler while female adults were 36, a girl and female toddler.

He said a female and male adults among them were with serious medical issues.

The Coordinator did not disclose the nature of their sickness.

Aero Contractors suspends operation temporarily

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors, has temporarily suspended operations over economic crisis and skyrocketing prices of JET A1 amid scarcity

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had recently hinted that two airlines may soon stop operation over the Jet A1 crisis and other operational challenges that have left the airlines bleeding.

In a statement announcing the development, the airline said the suspension of operation would take effect on July 20.

The statement said the temporary cessation of operations “does not in any way affect the Maintenance activities of the Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) otherwise known as AeroMRO, the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) also known as Aero Training School, the Helicopter and Charter Services operations.”

“This decision was carefully considered and taken due to the fact that most of our aircrafts are currently undergoing Maintenance, resulting in our inability to offer a seamless and efficient service to our esteemed customers.”

“We are working to bring these aircrafts back to service in the next few weeks, so we can continue to offer our passengers the safe, efficient, and reliable services that Aero Contractors is known for, which is the hallmark of Aero Contractors Company of Nig. Ltd.

“The past few months have been very challenging for the Aviation industry and the airline operators in particular. With the high cost of maintenance, skyrocketing fuel prices, inflation, and forex scarcity resulting in high foreign exchange rates. These are amongst the major components of airline operations.

“In the meantime, we are working assiduously to return to service as quickly as possible, and do assure our esteemed customers and stakeholders of our determination, that our short absence will not create any major void in the market, as we are coordinating with our business partners to ensure minimum discomfort to ticket holders.

“As members of Spring Alliance (a commercial alliance with member airlines providing mutual support in the area of operations), we are liaising with our partner airlines to minimise the impact on our esteemed customers.

“Our customer service team will be working to help affected esteemed customers reach their destinations

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our esteemed customers and promise to return to service as soon as possible. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding at this time.”

Kenyan first female Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain

By admin

 

 

Captain Irene Koki Mutungi, Africa’s first female Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain. She is Kenya Airways’ first female Pilot and Captain, she commanded first father/daughter flight and first all female flight crew in Africa.

Her father was a Pilot at Kenya Airways, flying with him from a very young age ignited her passion to became a Pilot and she never looked back.

At age 17, she attended flight school at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, where she obtained her Private Pilot’s License. She went to obtain her Commercial Pilot’s License from the Federal Aviation Administration, USA.

After obtaining her Commercial Pilot’s License, Captain Irene Koki Mutungi returned to Kenya and was hired by Kenya Airways, as their first female Pilot and she has been with the airline for more than 2 decades.

She is currently commanding a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Kenya Airways.

“My first flight was just few days before I turned 18 and it was the most amazing experience. My most memorable flight was the one I got to do with my father, it was his last flight in the airline, he chose to retire early and wind up his career with a flight he did with me and that was very memorable,” said Captain Irene Koki Mutungi.

43,008 pilgrims for airlifting to Saudi July 3 – NAHCON

*Hajj: We’ll complete airlifting of 43,008 pilgrims to Saudi July 3 – NAHCON reassures*

_By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja_

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has concluded plans to finish the airlifting of all 43,008  pilgrims to the Holy Land for this year’s pilgrimage by July 3. 2022.

This excludes the pilgrims airlifted by private tour operators across the country.

The Saudi government had allocated 43,008 slots to Nigeria, out of which licensed tour operators, under the aegis of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria, got 9,032.

NAHCON’s Executive Chairman, Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, who disclosed these while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the Commission had contracted three airlines to fly the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

He was reacting to fears in certain quarters that barely three days to the commencement of this year’s Hajj ceremony, thousands of Nigerian pilgrims may miss the exercise because they have not been airlifted to the Holy Land.

“So far, everything is smooth. We are back to full Hajj operations after two-year interregnum. We have everything in place. We expect to finish flight operations by July 3,” he assured.

“Over  22,000 pilgrims have been airlifted from 23 states and the Armed Forces with Kano and Kaduna State having the highest number of pilgrims.

The Executive Chairman further confirmed that NAHCON’s request for additional slots from Saudi Arabia had been turned down by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

He also said it was true that the request to have some officials who are above 65 years to travel because of their experience in hajj operation was also not granted.

Nonetheless, Hassan blamed the initial hiccups in the airlifting of the pilgrims on the short notice of the Saudi authorities for countries to mobilise their pilgrims for this year’s Hajj.

He, however, regretted that while the contracted airlines were ready to fly the pilgrims to the Islamic capital of the world for the religious expedition, most of the state pilgrims’ boards were not ready with their people for airlifting.

On the challenges faced by nearly 3,000 pilgrims of licensed tour operators, who made deposits to NAHCON’s Treasury Single Account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, but whose accounts in Saudi Arabia were yet to be credited to enable them process their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah and pay for other services, Hassan assured that the Commission was working with the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia to address the issue.

Nigeria regrets N1.25trn losses to MRO in 2021

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Nigeria may have regretted losing $2.5 billion (about N1.25 trillion) in Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul, MRO investments to neighbouring countries as it was notfavourable to Nigeria

Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services are essential for any industry that uses machinery to run operations. In the aviation sector, the term MRO aviation refers to all the activities that are aimed at ensuring that the aircrafts remain ready to fly at all times.

The Chief Executive, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu who said this, stressed it shows the country’s potentials and capacity are grossly underutilized

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika on this premise described the aviation sector in Nigeria as a gold mine, with lots of latent potentials waiting to be explored.

Sirika in his good will message at the ongoing FAAN National Aviation Conference with theme “Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport” where he lauded FAAN for putting together a great assembly of aviation professionals to discuss challenges militating against the efficiency of this industry, as well as proffering long lasting solutions to the challenges.

“Core variables driving air transport globally is safety and security thus stressing that the industry must continue to discuss issues that bother on these variables while ensuring the industry operates profitably, so as to be able to achieve efficiency and sustainability.

On the part of Government, our doors are open, and we are always willing and ready to discuss business, and partner with investors to bring the desired growth and development to the industry. I therefore implore well meaning Nigerians and foreign investors alike to come on board and take advantage of these business opportunities, with limitless potential for huge returns on investments.

Speaking on the capital flight funneled through a lack of an MRO in the country, the FAAN helmsman argued that with such investment as $2.5 billion in Nigeria, vast employment opportunities would have been created, as revenue generated would have spiked as well as increasing manpower as more technical personnel would be trained. 

“As we commence the process of rebounding, it is imperative to come together to identify and analyze the positives from these challenges, with a view to consolidating on them and fostering sustainable development in our industry

“Furthermore, we have assembled a crop of seasoned faculty who have distinguished themselves globally in various fields of aviation: from regulation, operation, financing, among other critical areas, to bring these issues to the fore, and also proffer lasting solutions.

Yadudu said, “At this juncture, let me state that our potentials and capacity in the global air transport industry is grossly underutilized. If we are desirous of attaining the status of a major player in the global aviation sphere, this is the time to reposition and move the industry forward.

“The focus is on Nigeria because we have the largest fleet of aircraft within the subregion. As at 2021, it was reported that Nigeria lost $2.5 billion (about N1.25 trillion) in MRO investments to neighbouring countries. Having such investments here would have created more employment opportunities for Nigerians, revenue generation and training of technical personnel for maintenance of aircraft.

He canvassed a repositioning of aviation in the world’s most populous black nation stressing that if Nigeria is desirous of attaining the status of a major player in the global aviation sphere it needs to get its acts right and such is the reason why the country stakeholders and experts need to develop a workable plan of action that will make Nigeria aviation more robust

“By the end of the conference, the conveners will come up with a working document that would be transmitted to all the stakeholders for immediate and sustained action. It will be a living document.

Air travel soars high with 116% passenger traffic

Air travel soars high with 116% passenger traffic

By Favour Nnabugwu
Passengers traffic across Airlines in Africa increase with 116.2 per cent rise in April 2022, when compared to March 2021.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on yesterday as Nigerian commercial airlines flying across Africa space include, Air Peace, Arik Air.
African airlines’ traffic increase is better than the 93.3 per cent year-over-year increase recorded in March 2022.
While month on month, April 2022 figure was up 65.7 per cent and load factor climbed 15.7 percentage points to 67.3 per cent
Commenting on the development, IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, stated that, “With the lifting of many border restrictions, we are seeing the long-expected surge in bookings as people seek to make up for two years of lost travel opportunities.
“April data is cause for optimism in almost all markets, except China, which continues to severely restrict travel.
“The experience of the rest of the world is demonstrating that increased travel is manageable with high levels of population immunity and the normal systems for disease surveillance. We hope that China can recognize this success soon and take its own steps towards normality.”
The report further noted that, European carriers’ April international traffic rose 480 percent versus April 2021, substantially up over the 434.3 per cent increase in March 2022 versus the same month in 2021. Capacity rose 233.5 per cent and load factor climbed 33.7 percentage points to 79.4 percent.
While Middle Eastern airlines had a 265.0 per cent demand rise in April compared to April 2021, bettering the 252.7 per cent increase in March 2022, versus the same month in 2021. April capacity rose 101.0 per cent versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 32.2 percentage points to 71.7 per cent.
For North American carriers’ April traffic rose 230.2 per cent versus the 2021 period, slightly above the 227.9 per cent rise in March 2022 compared to March 2021. Capacity rose 98.5 per cent, and load factor climbed 31.6 percentage points to 79.3 per cent.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their April international traffic climb 290.8 per cent compared to April 2021, significantly improved on the 197.2 per cent gain registered in March 2022 versus March 2021. Capacity rose 88.6 per cent and the load factor was up 34.6 percentage points to 66.8 per cent, still the lowest among regions.
Latin American April capacity rose 189.1 per cent and load factor increased 16.8 percentage points to 82.3 per cent, which easily was the highest load factor among the regions for the 19th consecutive month.
Latin American airlines experienced a 263.2 percent rise in April traffic, compared to the same month in 2021, exceeding the 241.2 percent rise in March 2022 over March 2021.
2022 Hajj:  FlyNas Airline, Azman Airline & Max to fly pilgrims out from today

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. has listed three airlines FlyNas Airline, Azman Airline and Max Air are to fly pilgrims out from today, Friday

This is as the agency assured pilgrims and the general public of her readiness to seamlessly conduct the 2022 hajj operations

Speaking during an inspection tour at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, FAAN, Managing Director, Rabiu Yadudu , stated that the 2022 hajj operations will kick off at Maiduguri on the 9th June, with 3 major carriers viz; FlyNas Airline, Azman Airline and Max Air already licensed to airlift pilgrims at Lagos and Abuja airports from Friday, June 10, 2022.

He said: “Pilgrims should get to the airport early to avoid missing their flights

“Every requirement aimed at ensuring the safety, security and comfortability of pilgrims have been met already.

“We are confidence that the hajj operations will be successful, as he wished all pilgrims a successful pilgrimage. FAAN remain committed to her core values of Safety, Security and Comfort.”

FG to clear shortchanging of passengers at airports

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Federal Government is making moves to clear any art of shortchanging passengers at airports, conducted a verification of measuring scales at the nation’s airports.

This is coming against the backdrop of complaints by travellers of being shortchanged following poor measuring facilities.

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, FMITI, also advised the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to recalibrate some of the weighing machines across the various airports in the country.

The exercise was undertaken by the Weights and Measures Department of the FMITI at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

Speaking at the sideline of the exercise, Director, Weights and Measures Department, FMITI, Mr Hassan Ejibunu, said that the exercise was in response to public complaints of alleged manipulation of weighing equipment at the airport.

In his words: “Travellers complain that their luggage that were weighed from home and shown to be within approved weights will weigh higher at the airport, and charged for excess luggage.

“Our department is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that all commercial transactions involving measurement are fair, accurate and legal with a view to protecting consumers.

“A memo was sent to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, to verify the weighing equipment at the airport.

“Beside complaints of being shortchanged, safety is involved.

“There’s a capacity that an airline should take because if there’s turbulence in the air, the pilot might not be able to control the aircraft.

“That’s why we are here at the airport to ensure that all the weighing instruments being used are fair and accurate and do not cause overload of aircraft.”

Ejibunu noted that the exercise was also to protect the interest of the travellers and assure them of accurate weighing.

“We have done a random sampling of the weighing equipment from number one to 62 and what we have seen so far is that they are within tolerable level. They are okay.

“So, members of the public should discontinue the notion of being shortchanged whenever they come to the airport,” he said.

He, however, advised the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to recalibrate some of the weighing machines whose edges fell short of accurate measurement.

“When we placed our dead weight of 20kg on the knife edge of some machines, they read 19.8, 19.2kg, which is not accurate. All edges should read 20kg,” he said.

The director noted that after recaliberating the machines, FAAN should invite the weights and measures department for verification and certification.

Ejibunu noted that weighing scales bearing the department’s certification sticker would instil confidence of fairness and accuracy in travellers.