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Medview sacks pilots, engineers, crew members

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No fewer than 100 workers of Medview Airlines have been sacked.

The airline served the dismissed staff their letter of disengagement yesterday.

New Telegraph learnt that those disengaged were engineers, pilots, crew members and other support staff.

The airline asked the disengaged staff to return all the company’s items in their possession while many of them were paid their allowances and salaries of over three months.

Efforts to reach the Managing Director of the airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, proved abortive as he was said to be out of the country until Saturday.

The carrier has been facing serious problems, which has led to the cut in its operations.

 

Early this year, the carrier suspended international operations while also reducing regional routes on its flight schedule to just two cities.

The airline suspended flight operations to London and Jeddah in February this year, while it had earlier in January stopped operations to Dubai.

It had, in November 2015, commenced operations to London and by December of that year, started Jeddah route.

But its operations to Dubai, which began in November 2017, lasted just two months as the airline suspended flight to the route in January 2018.

In the sub-region, the airline has suspended operations to Dakar (Senegal), Accra (Ghana) and Abidjan (Cote D’Ivoire), but still operates skeletal flights to Monrovia (Liberia) and Freetown (Sierra Leone).

Meanwhile, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Ahmed Lawan Kuru, has attributed the short lifespan of airlines in the country to corporate governance.

Kuru, who spoke in Lagos yesterday at the 3rd edition of the Nigeria TravelsMart Colloquium, blamed the incessant collapse of airlines in Nigeria on lack of corporate governance and adequate regulatory oversight in the management of aviation business in the country.

The AMCON boss also said that aviation regulatory bodies like the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) must develop the courage to insist that corporate governance is adhered to in aviation business.

He added that the industry is riddled with failed airlines due to lack of corporate governance as most board of directors are represented by family relations who have no competence to manage a business as fragile and sensitive as aviation.
Kuru listed other challenges to include lavish lifestyle of owners of airlines, which he said takes precedence over payments of pilots and engineers.

He said: “The Board of Directors is represented by father, mother, son who have no form of aviation/airline training to qualify to be on the board in the first place. Also, lifestyle of owners takes precedence over payments to pilots and engineers etc.

“Owners and staff are contractors for service, thereby compromising standards and quality, in most cases, overpricing services. Airline staff becomes flight ticket agents, in most cases creating artificial ‘full capacity’ situations where when passengers eventually board, a lot of seats are empty.”

According to Kuru, the trend is that in such airlines without structure, staff loyalty is only to the owner, not to the company.

Proper attention is not paid to suppliers of parts, lessors, line maintenance providers, while fuel suppliers are not paid as and when due, he said.

Once the airline operates this sort of structure, he said, vendors would naturally withdraw all forms of business support and the airlines tether to the point of failure.

He, therefore, called on the NCAA to step up on regulations like has been done in the banking sector.

Kuru said it is critical this happens because as he puts it: “The aviation industry is as important as the health industry because it deals with the lives of travellers. It requires more regulation than even the banking industry.

“It is only in Nigeria that an airline can abandon you at the airport for more than five hours without any recourse. Indeed, there are consequences for frequent cancellations. However, I cannot recall any airline punished in the recent past.”

In another development, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) said they would shut down operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 today.

They alleged that the operators of the terminal, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), sacked 20 employees who indicated interest to unionise.

The unions had, in a Notice of Strike yesterday, threatened to disrupt operations at the terminal operated by BASL.

Spokesperson for BASL, Mr. Steve Omolale, said contrary to the claims of the unions, these workers who were relieved of their appointment were staff, who had either attained retirement age or who were found not to be diligent in their duties.

The unions said they were compelled to issue the notice following the refusal of the BASL management to cooperate with the interventions of the NCAA and airport security agencies.

 

The unions said all services to MMA2 would be withdrawn, unless the management fully reinstates all the affected workers without loss of pay or seniority.

They also advised the management to recognise the unions and allow the unhindered processes of unionisation in BASL in compliance with extant labour laws.

-newtelegraph

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Qatar Airways to Resume Services to Khartoum in Sudan with Four Weekly Flights

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Qatar Airways Aircraft (Source: YouTube)

Qatar Airways is pleased to announce that it will resume services to Khartoum, Sudan, with four weekly flights starting 11 May 2021, increasing to daily service from 1 June 2021. The resumption of services will enable passengers flying from and to Sudan to benefit from the airline’s extensive international network in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US. The Khartoum services will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Sudan is a strategically important market for Qatar Airways. We are pleased to announce the resumption of services to Khartoum, allowing Sudanese to enjoy our extensive international network in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US via our home and hub, Hamad International Airport. We will continue leading the way in keeping our 24 African destinations connected to the world.”

Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first and only airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, is located where the White Nile meets the Blue Nile. Khartoum has more than 200 pyramids and the majority of them can be found in Meroë, the remains of an ancient trading hub. Up close, they are truly impressive to behold, with each pyramid bearing decorative elements from Pharaonic Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 130 destinations. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 40 destinations including Johannesburg, Frankfurt, New York and Singapore.

Flight Schedules starting 11th May:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

Doha (DOH) to Khartoum (KRT) QR1331 departs 19:40 arrives 22:25

Khartoum (KRT) to Doha (DOH) QR1332 departs 01:00 arrives 05:25

Daily Flights Schedules starting 1st June:

Doha (DOH) to Khartoum (KRT) QR1331 departs 19:40 arrives 22:25

Khartoum (KRT) to Doha (DOH) QR1332 departs 01:00 arrives 05:25

 

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Rolls-Royce Set To Power Vertical Aerospace’s All-Electric Aircraft

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Vertical Aerospace by Rolls-Royce (Flickr)

Rolls-Royce’s ground-breaking technology is set to power Vertical Aerospace’s flagship Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft. A Rolls-Royce electrical power system will be integrated into the piloted all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, which will carry up to four passengers for 120 miles at cruise speeds of over 200mph and is on course to certify in 2024.

Vertical Aerospace is a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks our first commercial deal in the UAM market and builds on previous agreements to work with partners on demonstrator programmes. Rolls-Royce will design the system architecture of the whole electrical propulsion system, the electric power system that includes our latest 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system that will support operations.

Rob Watson, Director – Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power their pioneering eVTOL aircraft. This exciting opportunity demonstrates our ambitions to be a leading supplier of sustainable complete power systems for the new Urban Air Mobility market which has the potential to transform the way that people and freight move from city to city.”

Michael Cervenka, CEO – Vertical Aerospace said: “We are excited to collaborate with Rolls-Royce, bringing onboard a hugely experienced team with deep expertise and cutting-edge electrical technologies to power our pioneering eVTOL aircraft. This collaboration builds on our existing partnerships and Vertical is well-positioned to develop the world’s leading eVTOL aircraft, certified to the highest CAA and EASA safety standards being set globally.”

Around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers based in countries including Hungary, Germany, US and the UK will work with the Vertical Aerospace team on developing the aircraft which is aiming to be one of the world’s first certified eVTOLs. Vertical Aerospace, based in Bristol, has already flown multiple full-scale eVTOL prototypes and the build of VA-X4 will begin shortly with assembly taking place in the UK and the first flight happening this year.

Vertical Aerospace by Rolls-Royce (Flickr)

Electrification of flight is an important part of Rolls-Royce’s sustainability strategy and supports our aim to contribute to a net zero carbon future by 2050.  Rolls-Royce Electrical is a specialist team whose focus is to develop sustainable, efficient and quieter technology for aviation, marine, land and industrial applications.

Rolls-Royce also recently announced a partnership with Tecnam and major worldwide aviation players for the development of the P-Volt: an all-electric, twin electric motor, short and medium range passenger aircraft, designed for maximum versatility and safety, powered by renewable energy. In our traditional aviation segments technology continues to be developed for more-electric aircraft solutions- with integrated electrical starter generators, auxiliary power units and more intelligent management of the electrical systems on board.

 

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Lufthansa and SWISS partner Airlink to offer convenient travel connections in Southern Africa

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Lufthansa and SWISS Aircraft (Source: Lufthansa Group website)

Lufthansa and SWISS are partnering with Airlink, to offer customers access to over 25 domestic destinations in South Africa, including Bloemfontein, George, Upington, Skukuza, Nelspruit, Hoedspruit and Port Elizabeth – as well as over 20 regional destinations in Southern Africa, such as Gaborone, Kasane, Vilanculos, Maun, Victoria Falls, Maputo, Windhoek, Harare, Lusaka, Ndola, Bulawayo and many more.

The interline agreement which came into effect in January 2021, allows customers the convenience of purchasing a single ticket to or from a multitude of destinations in Southern Africa, via Airlink’s gateways in Johannesburg and Cape Town, therefore offering a truly seamless travel experience across both airlines.

“The Lufthansa Group is pleased to offer our customers even more travel options and convenience through our partnership with Airlink. We value Airlink as an important and reliable partner in the restart of our South African operations, and look forward to exploring further opportunities to widen the scope of our joint collaboration. This
partnership represents another milestone in further enhancing our network, and expressing the Lufthansa Group’s commitment to South Africa,” says Dr. André Schulz, General Manager Sales Southern and East Africa, Lufthansa Group.

Airlink CEO, Mr. Rodger Foster added: “We are proud and excited about our commercial interline agreement with Lufthansa and SWISS. We have a deep respect for these airlines, their values and global reach. We are confident that the partnership will provide our respective customers with a wider choice of travel options through the convenient interconnectivity of our respective flights at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.

The Lufthansa and SWISS agreement with Airlink applies to tickets sold through LH.com, swiss.com and flyairlink.com – as well as through local travel agencies.

Jointly issued by Airlink and Lufthansa Group

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