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Nigeria Air: Airline Operators Hail suspension

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Following the suspension of Nigeria Air on Wednesday by the Federal Government, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have commended them for taking bold step to suspend the planned National Carrier Project in the interest of the nation.

 

The Chairman of AON, Capt. Nogie Meggisson, said that the move was in response to cries for reason put forward by the operators.

 

Meggisson said that the operators had continued to call for a rethink by the Federal Government regarding the project.

 

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had on Wednesday announced that the Federal Government had decided to suspend the Air Project in the interim.

 

Meggisson said that suspension of the carrier was in the light of the tough economic situation in the country today and the fact that it was a moribund idea.

 

He said: “We thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for listening to our many calls for the suspension of the idea.

 

“In our opinion, we believe the process was neither transparent, nor did it clearly define the role of private investors in the entire process.

 

“At this time of our national limited resources and struggle to recover from recession, AON will like to state that there are private Nigerian airline investors ready to invest.

 

“They are already investing heavily in the sector and only asking for a more friendly operational environment and infrastructure support.”

 

According to him, putting the issue into perspective, setting up of National Carrier will cost Nigeria at least three billion dollars because a single B777 Aircraft as of today costs about 320 million dollars.

 

“Is it wise and our priority as a nation to take three billion dollars from the Nigerian coffers today and put into a venture that will for sure go down the drain within a maximum of five years to establish a `National Carrier’?

 

“This is bearing also in mind that the National Carrier will need an additional cash injection of 500 million dollars subsidy per year on average for the next 10 years to keep the airline afloat,” he added.

 

Meggisson noted that majority of Nigerian masses today were grappling for the basic necessities of life like food, shelter, electricity, water, education and good roads.

 

He said Nigeria had overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty according to recent reports in the media.

 

The AON chairman said that the national carrier was only an idea driven by pride, because most airlines earlier owned by governments such as Lufthansa and British Airways had been privatised.

 

He said: “Just about 10 days ago, on Sept. 12, was a clear indication of what obtains in the true world.

 

“Boeing financed a private Nigerian airline, Air Peace, for purchase of 10 Boeing 737-8MAX airplanes in a deal valued at 1.5 billion dollars.

 

“This is much more than the Nigeria National Carrier and a clear indication of the future and where the world is today.”

 

Meggisson maintained that Nigeria needed strong private airlines allowed to operate in a friendly operational environment with a level playing field and policies that ensure their survival.

 

“Nigeria is a natural Hub for Africa. However, airlines don’t make a hub; but it is world-class infrastructure that makes a hub. Then, the airlines and airplanes will come in.

 

“Government should go back to the drawing board and engage the private sector with transparency on how to position Nigeria as the hub for Africa to take advantage of our God-given gift of geographical location,” he said.

 

Meggisson said that this would make aviation a major economic contributor to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (Product) and a serious replacement of the country’s dependence on oil alone.

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Nigerians Embrace Digital Solutions to Manage their Travel – Travelport Research

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Nigerian travellers are forward-thinking and ready to embrace new technologies more readily than their counterparts from Europe and other parts of the world.

This was a major finding of the 2018 Global Digital Traveller Research, an independent global travel study conducted by Travelport, the world’s leading global commerce platform.

The 2018 survey, which covered 16,200 respondents from 25 countries including Nigeria, showed that Nigerian travellers are digital-savvy, mobile native and ready to embrace new technology for a seamless travel experience.

Nigeria ranked 5th globally in the Digital Traveller Rankings, ahead of all the European and North American countries surveyed.

For instance, Nigerian travellers are heavily reliant on their mobile phones. 85% of travellers in Nigeria were shown in the study to use their smart phones when researching their trips, and 78% use their phones to make bookings.

More than half of all travellers (66%) also said they would be lost without their smart phones, and 74% worry about their technology failing, or their phones running out of battery power.

Nigerian travellers were the most likely of those surveyed to want to share their biometrics, to facilitate a better travel experience.

Flight related mobile apps have also become a critical feature for Nigerian travellers. They use multiple apps (an average of 13.6) when researching and booking a trip. These apps are used to search and book flights (82%), for flight alerts (75%) and for mobile check-ins (74%).

Almost half of all travellers (46%) would prefer to see their trip itinerary (flights, hotels, trains, etc.) in one place, while 38% report that they find it unsatisfying to book everything separately.

45% prefer to check-in to a hotel via a mobile app. This demonstrates a clear appetite to work with travel providers which can offer a consolidated digital experience.

According to the report, not only are Nigerian travellers becoming more digitally savvy, they are actually now more discerning.

76% of them think that digital boarding passes make travel much easier, while 68% avoid hotels that charge for Wi-Fi. Clearly free Wi-Fi has gone from a marketing opportunity to an expected necessity for most travellers.

When it comes to payments, a large number (72%) of travellers in Nigeria have used a digital wallet or payment app (e.g. Apple Pay, Alipay, etc.) at some point while travelling, while 31% use them all the time.

The report shows that review sites such as TripAdvisor tend to have a big influence on Nigerian travellers (81%), with 55% of respondents saying that it actually has the greatest influence over their travel choices. For travel research, 82% of the respondents rely on videos and photos posted by friends on social media.

Guido Verweij, Travelport’s Managing Director for Africa, said: “The 2018 Global Digital Traveller Research clearly shows that demand fromNigerian travellers for digital solutions that improve their travel experience is sky high.

This is only going to escalate further in the years to come, so if you work in the travel industry and don’t already have a digital engagement plan, it’s time to get one!”

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Turkish Airlines Reached 83.4% Load Factor in October

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Turkish Airlines announces its passenger and cargo traffic results for October, with the airline reaching 83.4% load factor.

On top of the strong base effect of the last year, the growth in the number of passengers, revenue per kilometer and load factor, is an important indicator of the continued growing interest in Turkey and Turkish Airlines in the last quarter of the year as well.

According to the October 2018 Traffic Results; The passenger growth trend continued in October, thus total number of passengers carried went up by 5% reaching 6.5 million passengers, and Load Factor went up to 83.4%. In October 2018, Total Load Factor improved by 2 points, while international Load Factor increased by 3 points to 83.2%, and domestic Load Factor reached to 85.1%.

International-to-international transfer passengers (transit passengers) also went up by approximately 7%, while the number of international passengers excluding international-to-international transfer passengers (transit passengers) went up by 8%.

In October, cargo/mail volume continued the double digit growth trend and increased by 24%, compared to the same period of 2017. Main contributors to the growth in cargo/mail volume, are Domestic Lines with 42% increase, Africa with 35% increase, N. America with 30% increase, and Europe with 24% increase. Africa, N. America, Europe and Far East also showed load factor growth of 7 points, 4 points, 3 points, and 3 points respectively.

According to the January-October 2018 Traffic Results; there was also an increase in demand and total number of passengers was 10% and 11%, respectively, over the same period of last year. Total number of passengers exceeded 64 million.

Total Load Factor improved by 3 points up to 82.2%, while international Load Factor increased by 3 points reaching 82% and domestic Load Factor went up by 2 points reaching 86%. Excluding international-to-international transfer passengers (transit passengers), the number of international passengers went up significantly by 13%. Cargo/mail carried during the ten months increased by 25% and exceeded 1 million tons.

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Black Friday: Asian Mobile Brands Remain Top Searched Smartphones on eCommerce Site

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Jumia, Nigeria’s number one online shopping destination has revealed that lower price point Asian smartphones remained the most searched items by Nigerians across desktop and on the Jumia mobile App one week after the launch of its Black Friday campaign.

Mrs Juliet Anammah, Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, explained that the lower price point smartphones continue to drive demand and purchase.

“We are not surprised by these trends because, in the last 3 years, we have observed an interesting trajectory of our mobile phones category.

“In 2014, the average price of smartphones was US$216. It dropped to US$117 in 2016, and dipped further to US$100 in 2017,” Anammah stated.

Earlier in 2018, Jumia had predicted in a mobile report that by the end of the year, the average price of smartphones will dip a bit further considering the fact that there are new smartphone brands entering the market.

“Asian mobile brands continue to build on their Africa-specific strategy by introducing lower price points’ smartphones adapted to the profiles of African users,” she added.

It would be recalled that Olubayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, predicted at the launch of the Jumia mobile report earlier in the year that the preponderance of low-cost smartphones and the drive towards aspirational self-enhancement, coupled with exciting mobile operator-led propositions will continue to drive smartphone penetration, with many first-timers finding a compelling reason to pick up low-priced smartphones or second-hand smartphones.

She added that on the mobile App, some of the most searched smartphone brands in chronological order includes Infinix hot 6, Tecno, iPhone, Gionee, and Samsung, while on desktop, in chronological order included: iPhone, iPhone 6, Gionee, iPhone X, Itel, Tecno, Infinix, iPhone 7, Infinix Note 4, and Samsung.

Other most searched items across desktop and the Jumia mobile App included refrigerators, washing machines, human hair, shoes, bags, sewing machines, Indomie, generators, PS4, blenders, gas cookers, wristwatches, rice, and rechargeable phones.

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