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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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NCAA Warns Airlines Against Unauthorised Charter Operations

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to wield the big stick over charter operations by unauthorised permit holders.

Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, gave the warning in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.

Adurogboye said that any operator caught engaging in such unauthorised services forthwith, would have its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) suspended or revoked.

He said: “Consequently, the general public is hereby reminded that holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with valid AOC are the only authorised operators to carry out Charter Operations.

“This is in line with the NCAA statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of the general public and that of the investors in the aviation sector.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 18.2.3.1. states thus: No person shall use any aircraft in Nigeria for hire and reward in public transport category to provide non-scheduled or charter air service unless such a person holds an ATL or AOP issued by the authority.

“For the purpose of verification and authentication, the list of current holders with appropriate authorisation to carry out charter operations can be found on the NCAA website: www.ncaa.gov.ng.

“It therefore follows that members of the public transacting business with any unauthorised operators will be doing so at a high risk as such operations may not have valid insurance cover.

“The NCAA will continue to ensure strict compliance with safety regulations as violation(s)will be viewed seriously, ‘’ Adurogboye said.

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Air Peace Launches Direct Flights to Banjul, Increases Accra Service

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West Africa’s leading carrier, Air Peace has said it will begin non-stop flights from Lagos to Banjul, The Gambia from Monday, January 7.

The airline said it would no longer route its Lagos-Banjul flights through Accra, Ghana. The carrier had earlier broken its connecting flights to Freetown, Sierra Leone. It now operates direct Lagos-Freetown-Lagos flights.

In a related development, Air Peace said it was consolidating its leadership of air services on the West Coast of Africa with scheduling of more flights on the Accra, Ghana route.

The development, the carrier said, would avail travellers an exciting opportunity to cut cost and travel time. It pledged to continue to adjust its schedules to better serve its customers on the West Coast of Africa.

“We are pleased to announce the commencement of our non-stop flights to Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia, from Monday, January 7, 2019. We had routed our flights to Banjul through Accra, Ghana.

The new schedule follows our experiment with direct flights from Lagos to Freetown. The pieces of feedback we have received from members of the flying public indicate that they prefer to take direct flights to Freetown and Banjul.

The option saves air travellers money and time. “We have also increased our offering on the Lagos-Accra with more flights. The new Banjul and Accra flight operations,we are sure, will not only deepen our West Coast operations, but also deliver a variety of smart options to our valued customers.

“We are a customer-centric airline and the strategy of our leadership of the airline business in Nigeria and West Africa is anchored on attaching great importance to the feedback of our esteemed customers,” Air Peace said.

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Air Peace Begins Inaugural Flight from MMA2

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A Nigerian Airline, Air Peace, on Wednesday said it had expanded its operations to the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2), Lagos with an inaugural flight to Kaduna.

Air Peace Reports have it that the airline’s Embracer 145 jet, with registration number, took off at 7:20 a.m. from the MMA2 enroute Kaduna Airport.

Speaking on the development, Mr Chris Iwarah, the Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, said the airline was delighted to have been able to move some part of its operations to the MMA2.

Iwarah noted that although Air Peace had its main hub at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, the expansion aimed at positioning the Airline for better services.

He said Air Peace would henceforth operate its Lagos-Akure, Lagos-Asaba, Lagos-Kaduna and Lagos-Port Harcourt as well as NAF Base flights from MMA2.

Iwarah said other new domestic routes to be will be launched soon would also be done from the terminal which would in future accommodate all flights under the airline’s subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper.

“ We are quite hopeful that the expansion of our Lagos base to MMA2 will afford us the space and convenience to deliver first-class flight experience to our loyal customers.

“As a customer-oriented carrier, it is only strategic that we seek a better operational atmosphere for seamless passenger facilitation and exceptional customer service experience.

“This exactly is what MMA2 offers with its state-of-the-art facilities and we are indeed proud of our decision to annex it to our Lagos hub,” he said.

Mr Rodger Whittle, Executive Director, MMA2 described the action of the Airlime as a fantastic thing for the operator and same for the MMA2.

He said: “I think it is very exciting for us that Air Peace has come to MMA2 and we can now happily say that all the airlines in Nigeria operate from the MMA2. “It brings the destinations of MMA2 to 24. Air Peace is bringing Akure as well as Port Harcourt NAF Base.

Mrs Eniola Ade-Solanke, Head, Corporate Communications, MMA2 said the airport terminal had the capacity for regional operations and attracting major airlines through the provision of excellent passenger experience.

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