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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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Ava Airways CEO, Amb. Olivier Arrindell set to connect Africa and the Americas

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Ava Airways CEO, Amb. Olivier Arrindell (Photo: Image Supplied)

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) has reported over $38 billion USD in airline ticket sales transacted between January and July 2022 in the Americas. Another estimated 20% of that revenue is booked outside the ARC. The best investment right now for the next fifteen years before the slowdown, would be within an airline that is based in the Americas with the right strategy and plans, said Amb. Olivier Arrindell.  

The Global Diaspora Summit a few years ago was the culmination of a worldwide dialogue process among Africans on the continent and the Diaspora on the content, programs and plan of action for the AU’s Diaspora program. The outcome of the various consultations was consolidated by three African Diaspora Ministerial Conferences between 2007 and 2012 into a Draft Declaration to be considered by the Summit.

The African Union has approved the following definition of the African Diaspora: “The African Diaspora consists of peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” With this being said our contribution is going to be in the form of consistent Air connectivity via commercial scheduled air transportation of passengers and Cargo between Africa and Central America/Caribbean.   

The Americas population of over 1.2 billion and with 54% of the population being of African descent is the largest African diaspora outside of Africa and within emerging economies and strong economies.

Amb. Olivier Arrindell goal via Ava Airways is to implement the concrete ways and means of harnessing the abundant human and material resources in Africa and beyond. And to advance the Socio-economic development of both the Continent, in close and sustainable partnership with the African Diaspora in the Americas via Air connectivity.  There are well established Air transportation agreements in place with some African nations and Caribbean countries. However, there is no adequate air transportation system between Africa and Central America/Caribbean and socio-economic development cannot take place. Therefore, Ava Airways as a company have already put in place all the necessary steps to prepare for the scheduled inaugural flight between mainland Africa and Central America/Caribbean via its hub in Santo Domingo.  

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A three-day business trip in Santo Domingo where you buy your goods followed by another four days in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay Jamaica on the beach sounds far more attractive then flying to the Middle East. However, Arrindell believes proper education must be provided about the Caribbean. He is very much positive about the near future because Ava Airways, as a company, are set fast on the course of economic connectivity.  

Arrindell have concluded with the adoption in his last board meeting to include 11 major African cities into their master plan route network to provide Africa a gateway to the Americas that also include a visa free travel to some destination which will: 

  • Take concrete measures that would promote and sustain linkages between Africa and the Diaspora in the following priority areas: trade and investment, science and technology, travel and tourism, communication and transportation infrastructure, energy, information, communication technology and cultural industries;
  • Ava Airways flights will enable the establishment of multi-stakeholder working groups of Africa, CARICOM, and Latin America citizens which will establish economic cooperation (including infrastructure of sea and air links, trade and investment, travel and tourism).

The near future of Air transportation between Africa, Central America/Caribbean is predicted to be extremely profitable to those who can properly connect Africa and the Americas with a business model that is innovative and has a clear understanding of the dynamics of our people.  

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Etihad Airways launches flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zanzibar

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Etihad Airways (Image: Etihad)

Etihad Airways today announced three new quarantine-free destinations for the coming winter season. This November, the airline will begin flying to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, and the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. The new additions to Etihad’s network mean the UAE’s national carrier will be operating to 70 destinations across 47 countries.

Etihad Airways has launched a sale on fares to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zanzibar, valid until midnight on 6 October 2021. Available on a first come, first served basis, guests can enjoy return fares starting from AED 995 in Economy and AED 3995 in Business class.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihadsaid: “We’re proud to be launching Etihad’s newest destinations in Africa this winter and we’re confident our guests will find they are all incredible places to visit.

“Johannesburg is an important route on our network and offers vital connectivity to and from the southern African region. On the southern coast, Cape Town is a breathtaking part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning traveller. Likewise, the beautiful island of Zanzibar will complement our network to the Maldives and Seychelles offering more choice for leisure travellers looking to enjoy the glorious Indian ocean.

“We are also thrilled to offer connectivity for travellers from both countries to visit our home the UAE over the winter months. With the world’s greatest show, Expo 2020, opening now there has never been a better time to visit Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

Etihad will start flights to Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, from 25 November. At the same time, Etihad will launch its operation to the stunning coastal city of Cape Town. Both destinations will operate three times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The route will be serviced by Etihad’s flagship and most-sustainable aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with 28 Business Studios, 78 Economy Space seats and 184 Economy seats.

The new service to Zanzibar will operate from 26 November giving residents in the UAE the ideal winter holiday. The route will also offer easy connectivity for guests travelling from Europe and North America and transiting through Abu Dhabi. The scheduled flights will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays on the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft offering 8 seats in Business and 150 seats in Economy.

Guests flying with Etihad can fly with complete peace of mind thanks to the Etihad Wellness programme, which includes complimentary COVID-19 insurance, valid for travel until 31 March 2022, for all passengers. The airline’s innovative Verified to Fly service also simplifies the process of authenticating travel documents before travel. With Verified to Fly travellers can validate their documents before arriving at the airport, giving them the confidence that they have met all essential government and airline travel requirements before travelling to the airport.

Etihad was the first airline in the world to fully vaccinate its crew on board. The airline also requires 100% of its passengers to show a negative PCR test before boarding which protects the inflight environment, now recognised to be one of the best in the world. Consequently, Etihad was awarded Diamond status at the inaugural APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit in January 2021.

 

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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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