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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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Aviation

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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Qatar Airways Expands Africa Network with Increase in Flight Frequencies

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Qatar Airways Aircraft (Source: YouTube)

Cape Town, Casablanca and Tunis will increase to five weekly flights, while Johannesburg will increase to 18 weekly flights, offering passengers more flexible and reliable travel options

Airline’s young mixed fleet of sustainable aircraft has enabled it to continue flying throughout the pandemic and rebuild its global network to more than 800 weekly flights to over 120 destinations via the Best Airport in the Middle East

Qatar Airways continues to be the leading global carrier connecting Africa, operating one of the largest and most reliable networks in the region. Having become the largest international carrier during the early stages of the pandemic, the airline has applied its unrivalled knowledge of global passenger flows and booking trends to rebuild its Africa network to 23 destinations and more than 100 weekly flights.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the leading international carrier connecting Africa with Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., offering more flexible travel options and a global network of flights that passengers, trade and business partners can rely on. Having launched three new destinations in Africa with Abuja, Accra and Luanda joining our network in 2020, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the region by adding new routes and steadily increasing frequencies across the continent. With the resumption of Alexandria and Cairo, we will operate over 100 weekly flights to and from Africa with connections via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport, to our global network of over 120 destinations. As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa.”

In line with the airline’s steady rebuild of its Africa network, Qatar Airways plans to increase frequencies to the following destinations:

  • Alexandria (two weekly flights resumed 25 January)
  • Cairo (up to 16 weekly flights resumed 18 January)
  • Cape Town (increasing to five weekly flights from 1 February)
  • Casablanca (increased to five weekly flights from 21 January)
  • Durban (increasing to three weekly flights from 14 February)
  • Johannesburg (increasing to 18 weekly flights from 26 January)
  • Maputo (increasing to three weekly flights from 14 February)
  • Tunis (increased to five weekly flights from 24 January)

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 120 destinations with plans to increase to over 130 by the end of March 2021.

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 airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provides 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.

Passengers can book flights with peace of mind, knowing that Qatar Airways offers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021, for travel completed by 31 December 2021. The carrier’s industry-leading flexible booking policy also provides the permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/Flexibility.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by 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. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and social distanced Business Class product in the sky. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne and New York. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Issued by Qatar Airways

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