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FG approves airport for Ebonyi

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FG approves airport for Ebonyi

Federal Government on Friday  approved  Governor Dave Umahi’s request for the construction of a new International Airport in Ebonyi State.

With the approval all is now set for the smooth take-off of the construction of the airport in Oriuzor, Ezza North Local Government Area of the state.

The new airport when completed  is expected to help in opening up the Southeast as well as neighbouring Cross River and Benue States in the South-South and North-Central zones.

Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika  conveyed the approval in a letter to Umahi.

In the  letter, signed on his behalf by the Director Safety and

Technical Policy of the Ministry, Capt T A Alkali, the Minister said the approval followed the visit of a technical team from the ministry and its agencies to the state on inspection of the proposed site for the airport.

“I am directed to convey approval of the Honourable Minister of

Aviation for the construction of a state owned/financed International Airport on the inspected site,” he wrote.

The minister, however, noted that the approval was  subject to the state government’s fulfilment of certain requirements.

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Arik Air resumes flights to Owerri

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Arik Air resumes flights to Owerri

Arik Air says it will resume flight services to the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, from October 21.

The airline made the announcement in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, on Monday in Lagos.

Ilegbodu said the airline suspended flights to Owerri early in 2019 due to operational exigencies, adding that since then passengers had been yearning for a return of the carrier.

He said re-launch of flights to Owerri was coming on the heels of resumption of services to Warri by the airline on September 6.

“We made a promise to our esteemed customers that we will be returning to the routes that were suspended earlier in the year and our resumption of flights to Warri and now Owerri are a promise kept.

“In the coming weeks, the airline will be returning to more previously suspended destinations as well as opening more routes to cope with passengers’ demands,’’ Ilegbodu added.

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Ethiopian Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Dakar, no casualties

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Ethiopian Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Dakar, no casualties

An Ethiopian Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing minutes after taking off in Senegal on Tuesday because an engine had caught fire, an airport spokesman said.

None of the 90 passengers or crew were injured, spokesman Tidiane Tamba told Reuters.

The airline confirmed on Twitter that its Boeing 767 aircraft had to land unexpectedly at Senegal’s Blaise Diagne International Airport near the capital Dakar because of “a technical problem” without providing more detail on the cause.

It said that all passengers were being rebooked on other flights.

Photos posted on the airport’s official Twitter account showed fire fighters and airport staff posing next to the plane’s charred engine with what appeared to be foam from a fire hose at their feet.

Seven months ago, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 nose-dived into farmland outside the capital Addis Ababa, killing 157 people just minutes after take off.

The incident caused a global debate into the safety of a new Boeing 737 MAX model that had also crashed months before in Indonesia.

Preliminary reports in both cases highlighted the role of an automated system that erroneously pointed the plane’s nose down as pilots struggled to override it. The two crashes killed 346 people.

 

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Boeing timetable unclear, despite first 737 MAX order since crash

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Boeing timetable unclear, despite first 737 MAX order since crash

In September, Boeing Co secured the first new order in several months for one of its grounded 737 MAX planes, the United States-based company said on Tuesday, as it reported total deliveries for the first nine months of 2019 that were just half those reported a year ago.

Regulators grounded the 737 MAX worldwide following a second fatal crash in March that killed all 157 people on board an Ethiopian Airlines plane. Boeing is fighting to get the jet back in service this year.

The company said on Tuesday that an unidentified business jet customer had ordered one 737 MAX jet, reports Reuters.

Boeing deliveries fell 47 percent to 302 aircraft in the first nine months of 2019. Deliveries totaled 26 aircraft in September, down from 87 a year earlier.

Having delivered 806 aircraft in 2018, Boeing was targeting 900 aircraft deliveries this year – prior to the MAX grounding.

Meanwhile, Boeing’s net order tally – including cancellations – was a negative 84 for the first nine months of 2019. That figure was also hit by the bankruptcy of India’s Jet Airways, which resulted in Boeing removing 210 aircraft from its order backlog.

European rival Airbus, in contrast, has 127 net orders this year and is within reach of its full-year goal of 880 to 890 deliveries, despite some factory snags.

‘Coordinated return to service’

US and European Union regulators said on Tuesday they are still reviewing Boeing’s changes to 737 MAX software, throwing into question the speed at which the grounded aircraft can realistically return to service.

Boeing has repeatedly said it hopes to resume flights in 2019’s fourth quarter, which began October 1.

The ongoing safety review means that a key 737 MAX certification test flight is unlikely to take place before November, two sources said.

Aviation regulators sought to play down talk of transatlantic divisions over safety changes to the 737 MAX, which was grounded after two crashes killed 346 people within five months.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that it has a “transparent and collaborative relationship” with other civil aviation authorities as it continues its 737 MAX safety review, while its EU counterpart said it was in “continuous contact” with both the FAA and Boeing.

“We do not at this stage have any specific concerns resulting from that assessment that would mean that we could not agree to a coordinated return to service. We are in continuous contact with both the FAA and Boeing,” a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) spokesperson said by email.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told Reuters News Agency in September that the FAA would need about a month following the yet-to-be-scheduled certification test flight before the planes could return to service.

The FAA reiterated on Tuesday that it does not have a firm date for completing its review.

Southwest Airlines Co is scheduling operations without the 737 MAX until at least early January, pending regulatory approval for commercial flight. American Airlines Group and United Airlines have canceled 737 MAX flights through part of December.

Among its changes, Boeing is addressing a flaw discovered in the software architecture of the 737 MAX flight-control system that involves using and receiving input from both flight control computers rather than one.

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Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

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Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

Airbus sold 41 jets in September and processed cancellations for nine jets including five originally sold to Norwegian Air (NWC.OL), leaving the European firm ahead of Boeing Co (BA.N) in a relatively slow year for an industry distracted by safety and trade headlines.

The European planemaker said it had won a total of 303 orders in the first nine months of the year, or 127 net new orders after cancellations, reports Reuters.

That remains well ahead of U.S. rival Boeing, whose sales have been hampered by the grounding of its fast-selling jet, the 737 MAX, in the wake of two accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing registered sales of 145 aircraft up to end-August, the latest period for which data is available, or a net total of 55 after ordinary cancellations and a negative total of 85 after adjustments to historic orders deemed unlikely to materialize.

Airbus posted new orders for 14 A220 and 10 A321neo planes to unnamed customers. Reuters reported last week it was close to a deal for around 12 A220 jets with Mexico’s Interjet.

The overall tally of Airbus orders by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air fell to 88 aircraft from 93 after the airline trimmed its A320neo order by five aircraft, a monthly Airbus table showed.

Norwegian Air could not be reached for comment out of business hours. Airbus declined comment.

Monday’s update was the first since the United States announced tariffs of 10% on Airbus aircraft, while sparing aircraft assembled in the planemaker’s Alabama plant.

New business included confirmation of 12 more orders for the A330neo – an upgraded version of the A330 wide-body that is in a fierce battle against the Boeing 787 – from Malaysia’s AirAsiaX.

The move reflects part of a fleet review that involves scaling back the airline’s earlier growth plans for the same model and switching focus to a long-range version of the A321.

The long-haul arm of Asia’s largest budget airline group, AirAsia X Bhd (AIRX.KL), had initially planned to order 34 more of the 250-300-seat A330neo jets, on top of 66 already on order.

In August, the group reduced those plans to 12 more A330neos while agreeing to buy 30 newly launched 321XLRs. The latter part of the deal has not yet appeared in the Airbus order book.

Three buyers opted to convert a total of 22 A320neo jets to the larger A321neo, which has been scoring wins in a segment of the market Boeing had hoped to address with a new design before the MAX was grounded in March, Airbus data showed. Discussion of the new Boeing jet has slowed while the MAX crisis continues.

Deliveries of new Airbus aircraft rose 13.5% from a year earlier to 571 between January and September, Airbus data showed. That means it must top last year’s record fourth-quarter handovers of 297 jets to reach its full-year goal of 880-890.

Airbus has been hit by problems in ramping up output of the A321neo at a German plant as quickly as it hoped, though nine-month deliveries of the model are still up more than 50%.

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Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

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Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

Airbus sold 41 jets in September and processed cancellations for nine jets including five originally sold to Norwegian Air (NWC.OL), leaving the European firm ahead of Boeing Co (BA.N) in a relatively slow year for an industry distracted by safety and trade headlines.

The European planemaker said it had won a total of 303 orders in the first nine months of the year, or 127 net new orders after cancellations, reports Reuters.

That remains well ahead of U.S. rival Boeing, whose sales have been hampered by the grounding of its fast-selling jet, the 737 MAX, in the wake of two accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing registered sales of 145 aircraft up to end-August, the latest period for which data is available, or a net total of 55 after ordinary cancellations and a negative total of 85 after adjustments to historic orders deemed unlikely to materialize.

Airbus posted new orders for 14 A220 and 10 A321neo planes to unnamed customers. Reuters reported last week it was close to a deal for around 12 A220 jets with Mexico’s Interjet.

The overall tally of Airbus orders by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air fell to 88 aircraft from 93 after the airline trimmed its A320neo order by five aircraft, a monthly Airbus table showed.

Norwegian Air could not be reached for comment out of business hours. Airbus declined comment.

Monday’s update was the first since the United States announced tariffs of 10% on Airbus aircraft, while sparing aircraft assembled in the planemaker’s Alabama plant.

New business included confirmation of 12 more orders for the A330neo – an upgraded version of the A330 wide-body that is in a fierce battle against the Boeing 787 – from Malaysia’s AirAsiaX.

The move reflects part of a fleet review that involves scaling back the airline’s earlier growth plans for the same model and switching focus to a long-range version of the A321.

The long-haul arm of Asia’s largest budget airline group, AirAsia X Bhd (AIRX.KL), had initially planned to order 34 more of the 250-300-seat A330neo jets, on top of 66 already on order.

In August, the group reduced those plans to 12 more A330neos while agreeing to buy 30 newly launched 321XLRs. The latter part of the deal has not yet appeared in the Airbus order book.

Three buyers opted to convert a total of 22 A320neo jets to the larger A321neo, which has been scoring wins in a segment of the market Boeing had hoped to address with a new design before the MAX was grounded in March, Airbus data showed. Discussion of the new Boeing jet has slowed while the MAX crisis continues.

Deliveries of new Airbus aircraft rose 13.5% from a year earlier to 571 between January and September, Airbus data showed. That means it must top last year’s record fourth-quarter handovers of 297 jets to reach its full-year goal of 880-890.

Airbus has been hit by problems in ramping up output of the A321neo at a German plant as quickly as it hoped, though nine-month deliveries of the model are still up more than 50%.

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Aviation

Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

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Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

Airbus sold 41 jets in September and processed cancellations for nine jets including five originally sold to Norwegian Air (NWC.OL), leaving the European firm ahead of Boeing Co (BA.N) in a relatively slow year for an industry distracted by safety and trade headlines.

The European planemaker said it had won a total of 303 orders in the first nine months of the year, or 127 net new orders after cancellations, reports Reuters.

That remains well ahead of U.S. rival Boeing, whose sales have been hampered by the grounding of its fast-selling jet, the 737 MAX, in the wake of two accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing registered sales of 145 aircraft up to end-August, the latest period for which data is available, or a net total of 55 after ordinary cancellations and a negative total of 85 after adjustments to historic orders deemed unlikely to materialize.

Airbus posted new orders for 14 A220 and 10 A321neo planes to unnamed customers. Reuters reported last week it was close to a deal for around 12 A220 jets with Mexico’s Interjet.

The overall tally of Airbus orders by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air fell to 88 aircraft from 93 after the airline trimmed its A320neo order by five aircraft, a monthly Airbus table showed.

Norwegian Air could not be reached for comment out of business hours. Airbus declined comment.

Monday’s update was the first since the United States announced tariffs of 10% on Airbus aircraft, while sparing aircraft assembled in the planemaker’s Alabama plant.

New business included confirmation of 12 more orders for the A330neo – an upgraded version of the A330 wide-body that is in a fierce battle against the Boeing 787 – from Malaysia’s AirAsiaX.

The move reflects part of a fleet review that involves scaling back the airline’s earlier growth plans for the same model and switching focus to a long-range version of the A321.

The long-haul arm of Asia’s largest budget airline group, AirAsia X Bhd (AIRX.KL), had initially planned to order 34 more of the 250-300-seat A330neo jets, on top of 66 already on order.

In August, the group reduced those plans to 12 more A330neos while agreeing to buy 30 newly launched 321XLRs. The latter part of the deal has not yet appeared in the Airbus order book.

Three buyers opted to convert a total of 22 A320neo jets to the larger A321neo, which has been scoring wins in a segment of the market Boeing had hoped to address with a new design before the MAX was grounded in March, Airbus data showed. Discussion of the new Boeing jet has slowed while the MAX crisis continues.

Deliveries of new Airbus aircraft rose 13.5% from a year earlier to 571 between January and September, Airbus data showed. That means it must top last year’s record fourth-quarter handovers of 297 jets to reach its full-year goal of 880-890.

Airbus has been hit by problems in ramping up output of the A321neo at a German plant as quickly as it hoped, though nine-month deliveries of the model are still up more than 50%.

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Aviation

Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

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Airbus sold 41 jets in Sept, targets record fourth-quarter deliveries

Airbus sold 41 jets in September and processed cancellations for nine jets including five originally sold to Norwegian Air (NWC.OL), leaving the European firm ahead of Boeing Co (BA.N) in a relatively slow year for an industry distracted by safety and trade headlines.

The European planemaker said it had won a total of 303 orders in the first nine months of the year, or 127 net new orders after cancellations, reports Reuters.

That remains well ahead of U.S. rival Boeing, whose sales have been hampered by the grounding of its fast-selling jet, the 737 MAX, in the wake of two accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing registered sales of 145 aircraft up to end-August, the latest period for which data is available, or a net total of 55 after ordinary cancellations and a negative total of 85 after adjustments to historic orders deemed unlikely to materialize.

Airbus posted new orders for 14 A220 and 10 A321neo planes to unnamed customers. Reuters reported last week it was close to a deal for around 12 A220 jets with Mexico’s Interjet.

The overall tally of Airbus orders by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air fell to 88 aircraft from 93 after the airline trimmed its A320neo order by five aircraft, a monthly Airbus table showed.

Norwegian Air could not be reached for comment out of business hours. Airbus declined comment.

Monday’s update was the first since the United States announced tariffs of 10% on Airbus aircraft, while sparing aircraft assembled in the planemaker’s Alabama plant.

New business included confirmation of 12 more orders for the A330neo – an upgraded version of the A330 wide-body that is in a fierce battle against the Boeing 787 – from Malaysia’s AirAsiaX.

The move reflects part of a fleet review that involves scaling back the airline’s earlier growth plans for the same model and switching focus to a long-range version of the A321.

The long-haul arm of Asia’s largest budget airline group, AirAsia X Bhd (AIRX.KL), had initially planned to order 34 more of the 250-300-seat A330neo jets, on top of 66 already on order.

In August, the group reduced those plans to 12 more A330neos while agreeing to buy 30 newly launched 321XLRs. The latter part of the deal has not yet appeared in the Airbus order book.

Three buyers opted to convert a total of 22 A320neo jets to the larger A321neo, which has been scoring wins in a segment of the market Boeing had hoped to address with a new design before the MAX was grounded in March, Airbus data showed. Discussion of the new Boeing jet has slowed while the MAX crisis continues.

Deliveries of new Airbus aircraft rose 13.5% from a year earlier to 571 between January and September, Airbus data showed. That means it must top last year’s record fourth-quarter handovers of 297 jets to reach its full-year goal of 880-890.

Airbus has been hit by problems in ramping up output of the A321neo at a German plant as quickly as it hoped, though nine-month deliveries of the model are still up more than 50%.

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Aviation

How airports can meet future needs

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How airports can meet future needs

With more people taking to flying than before, cities around the world are building new airports and upgrading old terminals to create facilities capable of handling tens of millions of passengers. WOLE SHADARE writes

 

Managing growth

There is no question that in a world of open borders and global connections, mobility is a mega-trend. Air travel and transport generally are benefiting from this rapid development like no other mode of transportation. The challenge, then, is to manage this growth efficiently, securely, and safely and in a way that is compatible with the environment. It is also to bring airports’ entire infrastructure up to world-class standard and keep it there – from take-off and landing through ticketing.

Airport expansion is a key part of improving urban America’s infrastructure. The ability of major metros to attract corporations, workers and tourists depends at least in part on whether their airports can provide cheap, frequent flights around the world.

This has caused many municipalities to publicly subsidise mass expansions. Prominent among nations that are investing billions of dollars are Singapore, Istanbul, Dubai, United States, United Kingdom and China.

With more people than ever flying, cities around the world are building new airports and upgrading old terminals to create facilities capable of handling tens of millions of passengers.

The results are modern, stylish architectural statements that banish the dark, crowded travel spaces of the past.

Istanbul New Airport

Turkey has great ambitions to become a new meeting point between east and west. Its national carrier, Turkish Airlines, already flies to more countries than any other airline globally, and with the prosaically named Istanbul New Airport opening soon, the country now has a gateway to be proud of.

Replacing the older Atatürk Airport, it is a mega hub that will eventually be capable of handling 150 million passengers per year, perhaps even rivaling Dubai in terms of connecting travelers.

The airport’s official opening is scheduled for October 29, but the latest reports say it won’t be fully operational until the end of 2018.

Already open and handling cargo plus a small selection of passenger flights, Al Maktoum International Airport southwest of downtown Dubai is likely to one day be the largest and busiest in the world if the plans are to be believed.

Al Maktoum — commonly known as Dubai World Central — will one day have five runways, three terminals and be home to the huge fleets of superjumbos operated by Emirates. It will boast shorter walking distances for passengers, and a high-speed rail link to the center of Dubai.

The world’s favourite airport and Asian mega-hub, Singapore Changi, is eagerly working towards opening its new Jewel and Terminal 5.

The Jewel is an impressive glass multi-use area connecting the existing terminals and introducing shopping, eating and entertainment facilities for passengers and visitors to use. It will feature the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, and is set to open in 2019.

Terminal 5 will open to the east of the current terminals in the mid-2020s, with a capacity of 50 million annual passengers.

LaGuardia Airport (New York)

Coming not a minute too soon is the complete revamp and rebuild of the terminals and taxiways at New York’s crowded LaGuardia airport to create one unified terminal structure with more gates and more space, capable of handling the thousands of daily passengers.

The old low ceilings and cramped corridors in a confusing mix of different terminals will make way for light, airy spaces with plenty of windows and new amenities.

Other improvements include new parking facilities, taxiways, and a vital link to the New York City Metro.

Beijing Daxing International Airport

Another new airport for 2019 is Daxing International, which also has ambitions to become the largest and busiest in the world.

It will feature one of the largest passenger terminals in the world, which simultaneously reduces the amount of walk-time passengers need to undertake compared to similar hubs.

It will soon become home to China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, which will move from the existing Beijing Capital Airport.

With a high-speed rail connection to the city and new motorway network, it has been built with the future in mind, with an eventual space for 100 million passengers per year and seven runways as China’s aviation industry continues to grow.

Africa takes back seat

While countries in Asia and the United States are building bigger airport terminals to make for growth in passenger capacity, African countries are trying their best to plan for the future to take more capacity.

While they spend several billions of dollars for infrastructure at the airports, many of the aerodromes are not viable.

Despite the huge sum of money spent to develop Nigerian airports, many of them are very unviable. For instance, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, regarded as Nigeria’s busiest airport, only records between 10 and 11 million passengers annually both for international and domestic passengers.

Wasted resources

Many of the airport terminals embarked upon between 2012 and 2014 to many amounted to waste of resources. Perhaps, Nigeria would have built world class terminal at least in Lagos or Abuja had the over $1 billion spent on airport remodeling project spent on one modern aerodrome like what is obtained in Accra or Dakar.

Statistics for 2018 passenger traffic across the African continent shows that OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, ranked as the busiest airport with 21,231,510. Cairo International Airport ranked second with 15,010,501; Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa recorded 12,143,938 traffic; Cape Town International Airport came fourth with 10,752,246 passengers.

Others were Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca ranked fifth with 9,748,567; Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers came sixth on the ranking with 7,900,000; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi recorded 7,039,175; Hurghada International Airport, Egypt had 6,600,000 and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos came in 11th position with 6,500,000.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja recorded 3,600,000 coming behind Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, Egypt with 3,700,000 traffic.

Ghana, with its brand new terminal, processed 4.3 million passengers in 2018. No doubt, the country is building for the future and planning for massive passenger boost for the future.

Huge population, low traffic

Africa is home to about 1.2 billion people and considered the second largest continent. The total traffic for the 15 international airports in Africa for 2018 is approximately 115 million, little over the total 85,907,423 traffic for Atlanta Hartfield reputed to be the busiest airport in the world.

The new Istanbul Airport, which is capable of processing about 150 million passengers annually, is more than the entire traffic of over 15 major airports in the continent of Africa.

Director, Government, Legal and Industry, African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Aaron Munetsi, disclosed that only 19 per cent capacities of 419 African airports were utilised, while the other 81 per cent remain grossly under utilised. 

In order to effectively use the airports to their full capacities, Munetsi called for cooperation among African governments, saying that it was necessary for them to open up their airspace in order to increase traffic to them.

Expert’s view

According to Munetsi, “the fact remains that airports on the continent are so under-utilised. The statistics that was shared recently by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that all the airports in Africa only utilise 19 per cent of their capacities, which means over 80 per cent are abandoned.

“Even, the busiest airports, 80 per cent of their facilities are abandoned. The idea is to make sure that the ones we have are utilised to the maximum. It is only when we exceed their utilisation capacity that we can think of building new airports.”

Last line

This conundrum is at the heart of the challenge facing airport operators as they plan for the future. Unless an airport’s facilities drive the local economy forward and provide benefits back to the community, local politics can hamper or even stop progress in its tracks.

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AFRAA to govts: Develop policy for airline ownership

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AFRAA to govts: Develop policy for airline ownership

African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has called on African governments to develop a policy that will enable their airlines own airports in their countries or vice versa in order to reduce losses.

Director of Government, Legal and Industry Affairs, AFRAA, Mr. Aaron Munetsi, canvassed this position on the sideline of a recently concluded African Travel Market held in Lagos.

Munetsi pointed out that airlines on the continent, unlike their counterparts in Europe, America or Middle East, were operating at a huge loss.

He attributed the loss to payment of landing and parking charges, en route charges, aviation fuel and payment on aircraft lease to lessors.

Ethiopian Airlines is the only carrier on the continent, which owns an airport at the moment, while Kenya Airways is also pushing for same position through its government.

While calling on players in the sector to develop interest in airport construction, Munetsi declared that two most important components of aviation were airline and airport, noting that unlike airlines, airports hardly close shop.

He said: “Several airlines have collapsed in Africa in the past 10 years, but I want you to point to one airport that has collapsed within the same period of time. I still don’t know why people are not looking at setting up an airport rather than an airline.

“Airlines and airports are the most important components of aviation industry; everything else is peripheral to these two.”

He also agitated for implementation of Single African Air Transport Market by African governments, saying that this would lead to growth in the aviation industry on the continent.

The liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda led to the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

The Open Sky agreement, originally signed by 23 out of 55 member states, aim to create a single unified air transport market in Africa.

Africa is considered a growing aviation market with IATA forecasting a 5.9 per cent year-on-year growth in African aviation over the next 20 years, with passenger numbers expected to increase from 100 million to more than 300 million by 2026 and SAATM is a way to tap into this market.

The benefits of SAATM to African countries include job creation, growth in trade resulting to growth in GDP and lower travel costs resulting to high numbers of passengers. However, not a few wondered if Africa is ready for a Single African Air Transport market.

Africa has an estimated 76.6 million annual air travellers. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), by 2035, it will see an extra 192 million passengers a year for a total market of 303 million passengers.

The top 10 fastest-growing markets in percentage terms will be in Africa: Sierra Leone, Guinea, Central African Republic, Benin, Mali, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Madagascar. Each of these markets is expected to grow by more than 8 per cent each year on average over the next 20 years, doubling in size each decade.

The potential growth of the African air transport is further showcased by the fact that Africa is home to 16 per cent of the world’s population and yet only has a share of 2.2 per cent of global air passenger traffic.

Munetsi lamented that only 19 per cent of air passengers were airlifted by African carriers from the continent, while airlines outside the continent transport the other 81 per cent, stressing that Africa could not continue to allow foreign carriers to dominate its airports.

He explained further that as at 2016, only Morocco and South Africa received more than 10 million passengers and tourists on the continent, while Atlanta Airport alone in United States, welcomed at least 184 million passengers and tourists within the period.

He insisted that there was level playing field for all airlines on the continent to thrive but declared that without cooperation, alliance and team work, airlines on the continent would continue to remain unprofitable.

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Dana Air forced to disembark passengers, blocks runway due to technical hitch

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Dana Air forced to disembark passengers, blocks runway due to technical hitch

…Airport closed for an hour

A possible air mishap was averted on Monday when a Dana Air flight going to Lagos from Owerri could not take off after taxiing, due to safety concerns.
The incident, which happened at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, left some of the passengers shaken.
The 3pm Lagos-bound craft had fully loaded it’s passengers and was about take to the air when a technical malfunction was noticed in the aircraft.
An airport source, who witnessed the evacuation of passengers, told our correspondent in confidence that the aircraft had taxied through the runway and had approached the runway threshold where planes lift into the air, but could not as one of the wheels was stiff and unresponsive.
Our source noted that the pilot of the plane had tried to manoeuvre the plane into full functionality but the plane could still could not lift into the air due to the unresponsive wheels and as such had to be grounded.
Consequently, the Dana Air plane blocked off the runway such that no plane could land or take-off for nearly an hour.
It took the intervention of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) which mobilized buses and other vehicle to go to the grounded plane and ferry passengers back to the departure lounge.
Reacting to the incident, the management of Dana Air said it was not quite a very serious issue but had been taken care of by the airline.

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