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FG Loses N100bn on Aviation Charges -Expert

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Capt. John Ojikutu (retd.), an aviation expert, says the Federal Government lost over N100 billion in Ticket Sales Charges (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charges (CSC) in the aviation sector between 2013 and 2017.

Ojikutu, a member of the Aviation Round Table (ART) and Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Securities, said this in a statement on Sunday, in Lagos.

The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had recently said that both domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets worth N502.2 billion in 2017.

Usman said the ticket sales increased by 14.2 per cent (N82.7 billion) compared to the N422.4 billion sold in 2016.

According to him, the airlines also made N400. 9 million in 2017 through cargo charges compared to the N285 million generated in 2016. However, Ojikutu faulted the figures released by the NCAA on the airlines’ earnings and passenger traffic, claiming that it was being subjected to some sort of manipulations which needed to be investigated.

He said: “One might agree with the NCAA that not all those who bought tickets could have used it within the reviewed periods and others could have changed their traveling plans and got their fares refunded.

“However, what is very clear is that the passengers recorded by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) are known as those who passed through the passengers access control and screening points into the aircraft.

“They are those recorded by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) as persons on board and they are those, I believe in, as harmonized passenger traffic figures.

“Therefore, the harmonized figures given by NCAA are deemed to have utilised or expended their purchased tickets.’’

Ojikutu argued that the approximately four million international passengers and 10 million domestic passengers were those who bought tickets and had expended their purchased tickets.

He said, for instance, if all international passengers were to pay N350, 000 per flight without considering those on First Class and Business Class, this would amount to N650 billion and not N411 billion or N502 billion provided by NCAA for 2016 and 2017, respectively.

“Similarly, if we consider that each of the 5 million outbound domestic passengers paid N18,000 again without factoring the First and Business Class passengers fares, the earnings cannot be anything less but more than N90 billion.

“The total tickets sales earnings for each of the years can therefore not be less than N740 billion and the NCAA 5 per cent tickets sales charges for each of the year cannot be less than N37 billion,’’ Ojikutu added.

He also noted that the figures released for the CSC were given without specifying on the volume of cargo that generated the charges which again subjects it to manipulations.

“Overall, the shortfalls are huge and the government through the NCAA is losing an average of about N20 billion annually on TSC and CSC and government has lost more than N100 billion between 2013 and 2017.

“The NCAA must come clean of these irregular figures that do not add up.

“If stakeholders must listen to her that the earnings figures were given only by the airlines, the NCAA should be courageous enough to ask them to show evidence for the balance of over N300bn annually on tickets sales.

“Otherwise, NCAA must take responsibility for all the shortfalls,’’ Ojikutu said.

According to him, in the alternative, the Minister of State for Aviation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the National Assembly Aviation Committees should separately set up investigation panels to look into these earnings and shortfalls.

He said the unremitted funds could help in addressing the various inadequacies of systems infrastructure and human capital development in the prime safety areas in the sector.

The General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, in responding to the statement, said that the allegation was a cheap blackmail from people seeking unavailable consultancy jobs from the authority.

Adurogboye said: “We have declared over and over that we stand by our figures, with abundant explanations.

That position still stands. “Our figure is a harmonised one with FAAN and others. Our figures have been authenticated by external auditors and the National Assembly.’’

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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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Air Peace operates first all-female flights Crew

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Air Peace has said it will commence four-sector flights on the Lagos-Abuja, Abuja-Owerri, Owerri-Abuja and Abuja-Lagos routes with an historic all female flight and cabin crew members on Thursday.

 

Mr Chris Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, announced this in a statement  on Wednesday in Lagos.

 

Iwarah said the development was coming days after Air Peace gave command to Mrs Sinmisola Ajibola, who made history as the airline’s first female captain, who was decorated with her new rank by the airline’s Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema.

 

He noted that the flight was planned in honour of Ajibola’s achievement, a testament to Air Peace’s avowed commitment to gender equality and promotion of Nigerian women in aviation.

 

“Although women occupy most of Air Peace’s top positions, Ajibola’s elevation is a great milestone in our effort to build the capacity of women in the cockpit.

 

“Ajibola, who will be in command of the four-leg flight, will be assisted in the cockpit by Senior First Officer, Quincy Owen,” Iwarah said.

 

According to him, the all-female crew flight, scheduled to take off from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 1.10 p.m. is estimated to arrive to a water salute at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 2.20 p.m.

 

Ethiopian Airlines had on Dec. 16, 2017 operated its first all female flight from Addis Ababa to Nigeria.

 

The Boeing 777 aircraft, which was piloted by Amsale Gualu, landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at 1.16 p.m. to the admiration of aviation stakeholders and other dignitaries.

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