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.
Congo Airways Orders Two Embraer E195-E2 Jets
Congo Airways Embraer Aircraft (Source: Embraer)
Just six months after their first E2 order, Congo Airways has placed a firm order for two E195-E2 jets. This is in addition to their existing two aircraft order for the smaller E190-E2. The four aircraft deal has a total value of USD 272 million at current list prices. This new firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2020 fourth quarter backlog.
Desire Bantu, CEO of Congo Airways said, “We see an opportunity in our market and the crisis we are all facing for Congo Airways to emerge stronger – which is why we are not waiting to place this further order. These new jets will allow us to extend our passenger and cargo operations regionally to high demand destinations such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Abidjan.
As we prepare for future success, we will have the flexibility, and the right sized, most efficient aircraft, to serve our customers as the market returns.”
“Africa has for too long been thought of as a market of mostly low frequencies and long thin routes. As airlines start ramp up their operations, the E2 family of aircraft is perfectly positioned to right size routes previously operated by narrowbodies, while keeping frequencies and adjusting capacity to new levels,” said Cesar Pereira, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Congo Airways will benefit from the flexibility provided by the common cockpit on the E2 jet family meaning their flight crews can transition seamlessly between variants.”
The E195-E2 will be configured in a dual class 120 seat layout, 12 in business, 108 in economy. An additional 25% capacity when compared to the 96-seat configuration chosen by Congo Airways for their E190-E2s. The E2 deliveries are expected to begin in 2022 with Embraer and Congo Airways continuing to review the potential to anticipate the beginning of the deliveries. There are currently 206 Embraer aircraft operating in Africa with 56 airlines in 29 countries.
Ozow partners FlySafair to improve air travel access for millions of South Africans
Thomas Pays, Co-Founder and CEO of Ozow
A new partnership between digital payments company Ozow and leading local airline FlySafair is making it easier than ever for South Africans to purchase flight tickets.
According to Ozow co-founder and CEO Thomas Pays, the vast majority of South Africans have no credit cards and require alternative means of purchasing goods and services online. “There are more than 49 million bank accounts but only eight million active credit cards in South Africa. This poses the threat of locking millions out of digital and financial services. As an impact-driven and market-led company, Ozow is at the forefront of developing products, services and partnerships that enable greater digital and financial inclusion for all consumers and businesses. The partnership with South Africa’s most innovative and consumer-friendly airline is one more step toward this goal.”
Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, says: “We’ve always respected the need to offer customers without credit cards various options to make payments both online and offline. We’re pleased to have partnered with Ozow who offer a safe, reliable and easy-to-use option for our customers.”
While airlines have been grounded and air travel limited since lockdown was first implemented in March 2020, South Africans generally love to fly. In 2017 alone, the Airports Company of South Africa tracked more than 40 million passengers traveling through the country’s nine largest airports.
Pays adds that the two companies share a commitment to ensure their services are accessible to all South Africans. “As a business, we work to break down barriers that keep more consumers from enjoying the benefits of digital payments. Cash remains the most expensive and least secure method of payment, but most South Africans still rely on cash payments for most of their purchases. By partnering with likeminded, consumer-led businesses such as FlySafair, we can accelerate the decashing of the South African economy and bring digital and financial empowerment to all South Africans.”
iFly Aviation Takes Young Aviators And STEM Program To Uganda
Kampala, Uganda: iFly is an aviation enterprise which is dedicated to bridging the gap between industry and community through inclusive youth empowerment programs. Our core focus is social innovation in Aviation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and driving our initiatives alongside key stakeholders in order to facilitate and enable the next generation.
Our purpose is to elevate learners by empowering them, motivating and giving insight into opportunities that exist within the aviation industry and educating them along the way. As part of our efforts to drive our initiatives across Africa as to create a pan African movement, we have recently launched our programs in Uganda, this being the second country after South Africa.
We hosted our first event at Nakasero secondary school in Uganda, to the delight of over 200 students. They were exposed to motivational talks including insights into aviation and its various opportunities. We had a flight simulator session where the students got exposed to a computer based flight simulator in order to see and learn first hand what happens in the cockpit during flight.
The event was also complimented by a first of its kind engine building project, an initiative of the Rolls Royce STEM program. Through this workshop, students got to build a 3D model Trent engine, the likes of which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, 2 of the most popular wide body airliners in the world.
Our goal a to have such programs running across the continent and we would Like to invite any like minded and passionate people across Africa to join us as ambassadors and adopt iFly STEM under our blue print in their respective countries. We sincerely appreciate our ambassadors in Uganda for pulling off a successful first event. David Ssenkungu, Derrick Talemwa, Peter Mwesigwa and Hosea Datari.
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