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AfDB, Stakeholders Chart New Course for Aviation in Africa

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The African Development Bank assembled top representatives from African airlines, aviation industry organizations, civil aviation and regulatory authorities, airplane manufacturers, financiers and development partners to discuss the future of aviation in Africa.

The Bank initiated the consultation to obtain the views of stakeholders as it prepares its action plan on aviation on the heels of the launch by the African Union of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative in January.

Alongside the main conference, two events took place, which were led by African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid and Symerre Grey Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The meetings captured the conference outcomes in a coordinated roadmap for SAATM implementation in Africa.

“We are keen to support practical efforts by countries, regional organizations and companies from the aviation sector to increase connectivity and reduce and open up the African skies,” Pierre Guislain, the Bank’s Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, said in his opening remarks.

The central aspect of SAATM is to allow member airlines to fly to airports in other member countries to achieve ‘open skies’ in Africa, thereby boosting traffic and trade and achieving double-digit growth in the industry by 2023 in line with the SAATM initiative.

Much of the discussion at the conference revolved around the practical measures needed to achieve these goals and remove persistent challenges facing the industry, including high fares, fees and charges, poor infrastructure and expensive access to finance. Air fares in Africa are two or three times those in other parts of the world for comparable distances.

Numerous suggestions on policy and solutions emerged at the two-day event including a strong recommendation for a regional approach to accelerate aviation safety and security plans, and the extension of capacity building training to all aviation technical and executive staff.

Delegates called for a greater focus on fleet size, prioritizing narrow body and regional aircrafts in aviation financing. They also called for increased government commitment, and an alignment of national frameworks to international conventions.

The meeting urged governments to adopt a more collaborative decision-making approach, with consultations at regional levels, for construction of both airport and air navigation services infrastructure.

Delegates frequently referred to a 2014 InterVISTAS study, commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which modeled the impact of an open skies agreement among 12 African countries.

Passenger traffic in those countries was projected to increase by more than 80% to 11 million passenger movements from 6.1 million. The economic effect of open skies was even more impressive. The study estimated that GDP would grow by US $1.3 billion with the creation of 155,000 jobs.

Amadou Oumarou, Director of the African Development Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, said, “We are going to prepare an action plan, not just for the Bank but for all stakeholders. When that has been done, we shall devise the Bank’s aviation strategy framework.”

The African Development Bank has invested close to US $1 billion over the past decade in the construction and expansion of airport terminals, as well as aviation safety and aircraft financing.

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Arik Air, Police Pledge Enhanced Cooperation to Boost Aviation Security

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(L-R) – Arik Air’s Chief Pilot, Captain Abdullahi Mahmud; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Airport Command, Danjuma Ibrahim; Arik Air Senior Vice President Operations, Captain Adetokunbo Adekunbi; Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Bolaji Fafowora and Arik Air Chief Finance Officer, Ayodeji Ilesanmi durin the visit of the new AIG to Arik Air head office in Ikeja, Lagos.

The management of Arik Air has pledged to enhance its cooperation with the Nigerian Police in a bid to further boost security at the nation’s airports.

The airline said information sharing was necessary in order to curb criminal acts in the sector, stressing that without the collaboration of all security agencies, it would be difficult for the government to achieve security of lives and equipment in the industry.

Captain Adetokunbo Adekunbi, Senior Vice President Operations, Arik Air, stated this on Monday when the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Airport Police Command, Mr Danjuma Ibrahim paid the airline a courtesy visit at its headquarters at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Adekunbi who represented the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airline, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu said the airline had always taken security as a top-notch since its establishment and pledged to continue with the tradition.

He assured the AIG that the airline would continue to cooperate with the airport command and would not hesitate to share security information when the need arises.

Earlier, AIG Ibrahim lauded the management of the airline for its continuous collaboration with the command.

He noted that the report he received when he assumed office indicated that the airline had over the years supported the command and appealed to the management to continue with the collaboration.

Ibrahim also recalled that the Airport Command was previously headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and later to Commissioner of Police before the current improvement to Assistant Inspector General of Police.

He explained that his primary responsibility at the airport was to improve on the existing security network, a task he promised to fulfil.

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Nigeria to Earn N3.63B From Domestic Tourism By End of 2018, Hospitality Report Says

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L-R: Christian Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager - Air Peace; Muda Yusuf, DG, LCCI; Ikechi Uko, Founder & Publisher - Akwaaba Travel Market; Omolara Adagunodo, MD - Jumia Travel Nigeria; Chris Odor, GM - Westwood Hotel; Olukayode Kolawole, Head of PR - Jumia Nigeria at the launch of the 3rd edition of the Nigeria Hospitality Report in Lagos.

Nigerian domestic tourism sector is expected to contribute N3.63 billion to the country’s GDP by the end of 2018.

 

This was contained in a 2018 Nigeria hospitality report released on Tuesday by Jumia Travel.

 

 

According to the report number of international arrivals in the country and employments generated by the sector are expected to grow by 1.5% and 3.4% respectively by end of year, that is 1.8 million international arrivals and 3.4 million jobs.

 

Omolara Adagunodo, managing director, Jumia Travel Nigeria, stated this while overviewing the content of the 2018 Nigeria hospitality report at a press conference in Lagos.

 

The report also provided insight on the two main components of domestic travel: leisure and business travel, and both grew at 2.7% and 2.8%, that is 1.98 billion and 1.92 billion contributions respectively to domestic earnings in 2017.

 

Ikechi Uko, Founder Akwaaba Travel Market and Tourism expert, commended Jumia Travel effort in compiling the report, said “the data and figures featured in the report can massively expand the footprint of the Nigeria travel industry and take it to the next level.”

 

While announcing that Nigeria will soon subscribe to the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is the internationally recognized standard statistical framework for the economic measurement of tourism, Uko urged stakeholders within the sector to support and rely on the data in reports such as Jumia Travel’s.

 

 

Uko also decried the challenges plaguing the sector, as identified in the report, such as insufficient flights.

 

He said: “the number of flight pairs in Nigeria is very low. Lagos and Abuja are already saturated because almost all airlines want to fly there.

 

“As such, we need more flights to cut across the country because the travel industry cannot grow without a functional air transport network.”

 

 

The Nigeria Hospitality Report from the stables of Jumia Travel is fast becoming a primary source of data for the experts and stakeholders in the travel industry as it offers a profound and holistic insight into the industry that accounted for 1.9% of total GDP as a direct contribution, and 5.1% as a total contribution to GDP.

 

 

In monetary terms, the sector contributed approximately N2.3 billion to the GDP as a direct contribution, and N6.2 billion as a total contribution to the GDP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkish Airlines Signs Global Agreement with American Express Global Business Travel

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Turkish Airlines signed a significant deal with American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), one of the world’s leading agencies for corporate travel.

This agreement which was signed by Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı, and Amex GBT’s Board Chairman, Greg O’Hara, highlights the expansion of Turkish Airlines’ existing collaboration with AMEX to a global partnership.

The global carrier in addition to other regions has added the South American region, to the new joint service area with Amex GBT.

Turkish Airlines will become one of the airlines to be supported by Amex GBT at the top level, within the scope of this expanded agreement.

The agreement is aimed at determining a common strategy on a global level and increasing the cooperation between the managements of both parts at all levels.

Another goal at this point is to increase the cooperation in product development and sales for “Marine & Offshore”, “Travel and Lifestyle Services” (TLS), and “Meeting & Events” segments.

Other objectives include: promotion of Turkish Airlines’ brand awareness and perception within Amex GBT organization, as well as top level participation in all global events organized by Amex GBT, increasing the visibility of Turkish Airlines in Amex GBT’s communication channels, acquiring new corporate customers through the joint data analysis studies, and also the promotion of sales activities are all the other subjects to be improved within this new business partnership.

Commenting on the agreement M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee said; “As Turkish Airlines, we are very pleased to enter such an important business partnership with Amex GBT.

With this new agreement, which was existed on a regional scale and now expanded to global, we aim to increase our market share also in the corporate travel segment and to be the most preferred airline for all business travellers worldwide.”

Amex GBT, considered as one of the largest global agencies in the sector, has more than 100 years of experience in corporate travel.

The global agency, which aims to make the business travels much easier, productive and less stressful, both in terms of suppliers and travelers, serves in nearly 140 countries around the world, with 12,000 employees, to 8,000 customers.

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