P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Aviation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Tue, 18 Nov 2014 07:27:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Dana Air highlights achievements at 6 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/dana-air-highlights-achievements-at-6/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/dana-air-highlights-achievements-at-6/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 12:49:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219774 Simon Ateba/Lagos

dana air

After six years in business and a major plane crash that killed more than 160 people, Dana Air on Friday tried to move away from its darkest past by highlighting some of the achievements it has recorded since 10 November 2008.

The airline said it is now stronger and better positioned to further expand and consolidate across the domestic routes even as plans are underway to commence regional flight operations by the second quarter of 2015.

Samuel Ogbogoro, Dana Air Head of Corporate Communications, mentioned challenges only in passing and quickly moved to say that despite “the peculiar operational challenges inherent in the aviation sector, Dana Air has been able to surmount the challenges and has made giants strides.”

He said Dana Air is the first and only Nigerian airline to have successfully undergone an operational audit conducted by the Flight Safety Group (FSG) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in conjunction with their foreign partners and has in the course of the last years airlifted over 2.3 million guests.

“Dana Air is a trailblazer and has consistently demonstrated a commitment to get passengers to their destinations in a timely manner. The airline’s consistent on-time performance as well as its unique customer service is second to none in the industry and this has attracted commendations from industry analysts,” Ogbogoro said in a statement in Lagos, western Nigeria.

He mentioned the numerous awards that Dana has received in the last few years, including airline of the year award by the Transport and Logistics Company of Nigeria; Most Efficient Airline by Accolade magazine; Most Consistent Airline in Hospitality and Customer Service by the Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa; Best Customer Service Company in Airline services at the Nigerian customer service awards as well as Best IT-driven Airline by Technology Africa and Computer Society amongst others.

Dana ground staff at Abuja Airport

Dana ground staff at Abuja Airport

But even as Dana celebrates achievements and tries to move away from the plane crash on 3 June 2012, one of the worst incidents in the Nigerian aviation industry in many decades, the memories of that Sunday incident two years ago and the intrigues that followed remain fresh on many minds.

The plane crashed in Lagos only minutes to the runway, having left Abuja about 50 minutes earlier. Investigations by the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, was not conducive.

The agency only said that the plane lost both engines but was unable to explain why. The Data Flight Recorder, DFR, known as the black box, was so badly burnt that analyses proved futile, AIB said in its preliminary report.

Like all other plane crashes, Nigerians, including families of the victims were left in the dark. Some are yet to be paid compensation till date.

But Ogbogoro said that the airline is not resting on its oars as it is constantly reviewing its operations in line with current trends to meet the expectations of its guests and the flying public through the introduction of innovative products and more robust safety standards.

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Emirates slashes fare to reward Nigerian customers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/emirates-slashes-fare-prices-to-reward-nigerian-customers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/emirates-slashes-fare-prices-to-reward-nigerian-customers/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:27:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219384 Emirates

As the holidays kick in, Emirates Airline, one of the world leading carriers and a global connector of people and places is offering its customers in Nigeria the opportunity to see more of the world at reduced fares for a limited period only.

Available on selected return Economy Class and Business Class tickets to numerous destinations across the GCC, Far East, Europe, Canada and the Indian Sub-Continent, the sale is valid for booking until November 18th. To avail of this offer, outbound travel must commence on or before 15th December 2014.

Fares start from as low as N134,800 in Economy Class to (Dubai); N167,152 to Munbai and from N182,991 to Guangzhou. Business Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from N671,810 to Hong Kong and N557,567 to London.

Some other exciting destinations covered in this offer include Delhi, New York, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Johannesburg, Chicago, Kolkata among others. All fares are inclusive of taxes and fuel surcharge.

On-board, customers will enjoy specially created regional menus and a wide range of movies, TV programmes, games and music through ice, Emirates’ multi-award winning in-flight entertainment system, while being served by Emirates’ multi-lingual cabin crew from over 160 countries around the world.

Emirates’ Travelers can enjoy a raft of rewards by joining the award-winning frequent flyer programme, Skywards. The programme offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – with each tier providing exclusive privileges.

Members earn Skywards miles whenever they fly on Emirates and partner airlines, or when they use the programme’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an amazing range of flight, leisure and lifestyle rewards.

Launched in 2000, Emirates Skywards continues to attract new members extending its membership base to over 10 million members worldwide. For more information visit: www.emirates.com

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FAAN Boss’ Facebook Account Hacked http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/30/faan-boss-facebook-account-hacked/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/30/faan-boss-facebook-account-hacked/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:55:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217945 Simon Ateba

Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma

Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma

The Facebook account of ‎the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Saleh Dunoma, has been hacked, and the hackers are using the account to solicit for money, the ‎agency said in a statement on Thursday.

“It has come to the notice of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria that some unscrupulous persons have hacked into the Facebook account of our Managing Director, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, and are now using the channel to solicit for funds.

“This clearly violates Engr. Dunoma’s privacy and must be stopped henceforth as the laws of the land frown at it,” said Yakubu Dati FAAN spokesman.

FAAN warned the perpetrators of “this unscrupulous act to desist from it”.

“We hereby call on the general public to disregard such financial pleas from the hackers on this platform.”

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Dana Air rewards guests with iPhones http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/dana-air-rewards-guests-with-iphones/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/dana-air-rewards-guests-with-iphones/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:57:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217211 By Simon Ateba


Three loyal passengers of Dana Air have won iPhone 5s, the airline said in a statement on Thursday.

Dana said the reward is part of initiatives by the airline to consistently reward its guests. “The emergence of the winners is sequel to the recent introduction of the flydana mobile app that offers the convenience of searching, booking and paying for preferred flights while using mobile devices on the go,” said Samuel Ogbogoro, the airline spokesperson.

The winners were picked during a reward event monitored by the Consumer Protection Unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and anchored by Dana Ambassador, Mr. Bright Okpocha (alias Basket Mouth).

The winners are Nma Adamu, Stephen Ighomuaye and Abdulrahman Idris. Ogbogoro said Dana Air has always stimulated the market with innovative products.

“Each of our guests is a beneficiary of our simplified business solutions and our commitment is to constantly align our products to suit the demands of the flying public as well as offer periodic incentives to reward their loyalty”, said Ogbogoro.

The FlyDana App is an enhanced and innovative distribution channel that allows passengers to view flight information and availability in real-time whilst giving them the option to book and pay for flights from the comfort of their homes or on the move.

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Electrical fault responsible for fire at MMIA http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/electrical-fault-responsible-for-fire-at-mmia/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/electrical-fault-responsible-for-fire-at-mmia/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:34:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217197 FAAN MMIA

A fire incident that occurred at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos on Thursday has been traced to an electrical fault.

NAN reports that the fire started at about 11:45 a.m. on one of the floors of the terminal where the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has its offices.

The smoke from the scene caused panic in the departure hall and passengers and workers ran out of the hall for safety.

NAN correspondent at the airport reports that a FAAN fire truck with registration number P6-03 and a pick-up van with Lagos registration number FKJ-407-AS were seen at the terminal battling to put out the fire.

The situation was eventually brought under control after about an hour.

Mr Yakubu Dati, General Manager, Corporate Communication of FAAN, said in a statement that it was a “minor smoke incident”.

“There was a minor smoke incident at the departures hall of the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 11:45am today.

“The smoke was quickly traced to the electric panel room on the second floor of the terminal by a combined team of FAAN’s electrical engineers and fire officers.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the incident was caused by a short circuit at the panel room which was quickly arrested by the engineers on duty.

“The Authority wishes to assure the traveling public and other airport users that there was no immediate danger to anyone as a result of the incident neither did it affect flight operations at the terminal.

“The Authority has directed the Directorate of Engineering and Maintenance to commence immediate investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the said short-circuiting of the cables”.

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Smokes at Lagos International Airport http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/smokes-at-lagos-international-airport/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/smokes-at-lagos-international-airport/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:46:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217176 By Simon Ateba


Smoke was sighted at Lagos International Airport on Thursday, triggering fears of a fire incident.

“There was a minor smoke incident at the departures hall of the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 11:45am today, Thursday, November 23, 2014,” said Yakubu Dati, spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

Dati said that the smoke was quickly traced to the electric panel room on the second floor of the terminal by a combined team of FAAN’s electrical engineers and fire officers.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the incident was caused by a short circuit at the panel room which was quickly arrested by the engineers on duty,” he said.‎

He added ; “The Authority wishes to assure the traveling public and other airport users that there was no immediate danger to anyone as a result of the incident neither did it affect flight operations at the terminal.

“The Authority has directed the Directorate of Engineering and Maintenance to commence immediate investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the said short-circuiting of the cables.”

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New Kano airport terminal will boost commerce, says FAAN http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/new-kano-airport-terminal-will-boost-commerce-says-faan/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/23/new-kano-airport-terminal-will-boost-commerce-says-faan/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:03:17 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217149 By Simon Ateba

Saleh Dunoma

Saleh Dunoma

The construction of a new terminal at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport will boost commercial activities in Kano when completed, an official has said.

The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, was quoted as making the statement while inspecting work at the Kano airport.

A statement released by FAAN quoted the Chinese contractors as saying that the terninal is 35 percent completed.

He added that work is going on as scheduled.

The terminal is being constructed by CCECC.

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Arik Air joins forces with Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/21/arik-air-joins-forces-with-sickle-cell-foundation-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/21/arik-air-joins-forces-with-sickle-cell-foundation-nigeria/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:18:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216934 By Simon Ateba

Arik Air

Arik Air said on Tuesday it has joined forces with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria to combat the condition.

“The initiative is in the form of in-flight donation whereby Arik Air will support the Sickle Cell Foundation to raise monies by way of charity donations to be made by passengers on board Arik Air flights,” said Banji Ola, Arik spokesperson.

Ola said specially designed envelopes will be distributed on Arik Air’s planes to passengers to make voluntary donations.

“The monies so collected are to be turned in to the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria and utilised for the aims and objectives of the Foundation – particularly for the treatment, care and support of children with sickle cell disorder in Nigeria,” he said in a statement.

Arik Air’s Managing Director/Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue was quoted as saying, “Arik Air is a caring airline and this explains the partnership with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria. This is in line with our Corporate Social Responsibility and our humble way of giving back to the Nigerian society”.

The Chairman of Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, Professor Olu Akinyanju said sickle Cell is essentially an African problem and Nigeria is the country with the highest number of people with the condition in the world.

“150,000 Nigerian babies are born every year with the disorder, three quarters of whom die before their 5th birthday. We are motivated by our belief that this partnership with Arik Air would go a long way in improving the quality and duration of lives of persons affected by sickle cell disorder in Nigeria,” he said.

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Air Peace is Nigeria’s latest airline http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/21/air-peace-is-nigerias-latest-airline/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/21/air-peace-is-nigerias-latest-airline/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:26:54 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216929 By Simon Ateba

Allen Onyema, Air Peace giving a speech at the launch of the airline

Allen Onyema, Air Peace giving a speech at the launch of the airline

Air Peace, Nigeria’s latest airline, was launched on Tuesday with seven aircraft and a promise to provide comfortable and safe flights to Nigerians.

The airline would also lay the foundation for the entrenchment of peace, the development of the aviation sector and would end the level of animosity amongst operators, Barrister Allen Onyema, Air Peace Chairman and CEO said.

“The era of devilish competition and devilish envy in the aviation industry in Nigeria should remain in the past,” he said at the launch ceremony at the Lagos local airport.

He said with seven aircraft all named after his family members, the airline has gone a step further in ensuring safety by contracting one of the world’s best maintenance organisations, BT Aviation Maintenance Company in the United Kingdom.

“To ensure that nothing is left to chance, we have also equally signed a Powered By Hour (PHB) contract with the world’s biggest PHB vendors, AJ Walter of United Kingdom for supply of aircraft spares,” Onyema said.


He said Air Peace has also signed a five year contract with Canada’s Flyth Solutions incorporated for the installation of Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS) on all his aircraft for flight tracking and engine trend monitoring.

“This system has already been installed to all our aircraft,” Onyema said.

In addition, he said, the airline has also contracted Flight Scape Inc of Canada in partnership with IATA for effective flight data analysis.

His main objective is to create many jobs for Nigerians and not just to make money for himself.

For now, Air Peace would fly to Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Owerri. The flight takes off from Lagos on Friday 24 October.

Onyema also announced that because of the fight against Boko Haram in the North, any Nigerian soldier who flies his airline will not pay more than 10, 000.

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Ilorin Aviation College will meet global standard http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/19/ilorin-aviation-college-will-meet-global-standard/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/19/ilorin-aviation-college-will-meet-global-standard/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:48:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216628 Captain AbdulMumini AbdulKareem, the Rector of llorin lnternational Aviation College, on Saturday reaffirmed the resolve of the institution to meet up with global aviation standards.

AbdulKareem gave this assurance in llorin while speaking with newsmen. He said the college was embarking on measures to meet global aviation standards in collaboration with formidable international aviation colleges across the world.

The rector said that having been adjudged as one of the leading aviation colleges in Africa, it would continue to follow the laid down standards in the industry to sustain its pedigree.

Abdulkareem said that its second stream of graduates were in the process of getting their operational licences.

He said that the first set of graduates, who have all been gainfully employed, have been a great asset to the country’s aviation industry.

L-R: Captain AbdulMumini AbdulKareem takes Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara on a tour of the College's jet

L-R: Captain AbdulMumini AbdulKareem takes Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara on a tour of the College’s jet

The rector said that the Aviation College is the only institution that boasts of an effective postgraduate course evaluation, which helped in improving on its quality of service.

Abdulkarim said that with its level of infrastructure development and availability of modern training aircraft, the college would continue to raise its rating internationally.

He said that the aviation sector was a relatively risky one, but pointed out that there were viable mitigating measures to ensure the safety of the Nigerian airspace.

The Chief Executive of the college commended the Kwara Government for its level of investment in the institution.

He called for private-public partnership to help build the capacity of Nigerian youth who had enthusiasm in the industry.

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Virgin takes full control of Tigerair Australia for $1 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/virgin-takes-full-control-of-tigerair-australia-for-1/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/virgin-takes-full-control-of-tigerair-australia-for-1/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:01:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216369 Tigerair Photo: James Morgan

Photo: James Morgan

Virgin on Friday took full control of budget carrier Tigerair Australia, buying the remaining 40 percent it did not already own for Aus$1 (88 US cents) from its Singapore-listed parent.

The deal was revealed as it was announced that Singapore Airlines (SIA) would take majority control of Tiger Airways — of which Tigerair Australia was a subsidiary — as part of a turnaround plan for the loss-making budget firm.

Virgin Australia purchased a 60 percent stake in Tigerair in mid-2013 for Aus$35 million and said agreement had been reached to buy the rest of the carrier, which has struggled to reach profitability, for the tiny sum.

Tiger will continue to license its brand to Virgin.

Virgin Australia chief John Borghetti said the acquisition would allow it to fly to a number of new short-haul international destinations, providing growth opportunities for the business, while accelerating Tigerair’s drive for profitability.

“Given the ongoing subdued consumer demand in the Australian domestic market, the growth of the Tigerair Australia domestic fleet is likely to be reduced,” he said.

“Under this proposed transaction, we will benefit from the economies of scale and achieve profitability ahead of schedule by the end of 2016, by leveraging the resources of the wider Virgin Australia Group.”

In Singapore, Tiger Airways said SIA would convert its “perpetual convertible capital securities holdings” in the carrier into shares, raising its stake to 55 percent from 40 percent.

It said the move would effectively make Tiger Airways a subsidiary of SIA, which also operates a long-haul budget unit called Scoot.

Tiger Airways also said it will separately raise Sg$234 million (US$184 million) in a rights issue that will be mostly subscribed by SIA. The rights issue will be carried out after SIA increases its stake.

Tiger has been struggling to make money owing to tough competition in the booming Southeast Asian budget carrier market, which is dominated by Malaysia’s AirAsia and Singapore-based Jetstar Asia.

Earlier this year, it sold its entire 40 percent stake in Tigerair Philippines to rival Cebu Pacific, and in July, its joint venture in Indonesia’s PT Mandala Airlines ceased operations owing to losses.

The Tigerair Australia move, which is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval, comes after a difficult 12 months for Australian airlines as intense battle for market share saw both Virgin and Qantas suffer heavy losses.

Virgin posted a full-year net loss of Aus$355 million, while Qantas suffered a record loss of Aus$2.8 billion.

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Etihad Airways sees 29% revenue surge in Q3 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/14/etihad-airways-sees-29-revenue-surge-in-q3/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/14/etihad-airways-sees-29-revenue-surge-in-q3/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:11:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215924 Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said Tuesday it posted a 29 percent surge in revenue to $1.8 billion in the third quarter, thanks to rising numbers of passengers and cargo volume.

The fast-growing carrier said 3.9 million passengers flew with Etihad between July and September, a 30 percent increase on the same period in 2013.

Etihad cargo also transported 144,498 tonnes of freight and mail, a nine percent rise on last year’s third quarter last year.

The government-owned carrier did not say whether it registered any profits or losses.

“We are confident about sustaining our profitability in 2014,” Etihad chief James Hogan said in a statement.

Etihad Airline: 29% jump in Q3 income

Etihad Airline: 29% jump in Q3 income

He said the carrier’s codeshare partnerships and minority investments in other airlines have continued to produce strong results despite “industry challenges such as volatile oil prices, economic and political instability, overcapacity in the market, and access constraints”.

The company is turning Abu Dhabi into a major travel hub between the West and Asia and Australasia.

Etihad carried 11.5 million passengers last year, earning $6.1 billion in revenue, of which it kept $62 million as profit.

The company agreed in June to acquire 49 percent of Italy’s debt-laden Alitalia, widening its reach into the European market.

Launched in 2003, Etihad is expanding rapidly and has bought minor shares in several smaller carriers around the world as it competes with larger Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad owns 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 percent of Virgin Australia and three percent of Irish carrier Aer Lingus.

It also has a 24-percent stake in India’s Jet Airways.

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Associated Airline crash survivor cries out for compensation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/03/associated-airline-crash-survivor-cries-out-for-compensation/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/03/associated-airline-crash-survivor-cries-out-for-compensation/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 05:33:45 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214404 Associated Airlines crashed plane Photo Simon Ateba

Associated Airlines crashed plane
Photo Simon Ateba

Ms. Oluwatoyin Samson, cabin crew with Associated Airlines, who survived the 3 October, 2013 crash of one of the planes operated by company, has decried the treatment meted to her by the management.

NAN recalls that the Embracer 120 aircraft operated by the airline took-off from Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja at 9:32 a.m. and crashed less than a minute after take-off.

The plane was conveying the remains the former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu to Akure, Ondo state for burial.

Sixteen persons lost their lives in the incident while four other survived with injuries.

Samson told NAN on Thursday in Lagos in a telephone interview that she fractured her pelvic during the crash. She alleged that the management of the airline abandoned her after she returned from treatment in South Africa.

“I was discharged from surgery unit, Folatend Physiotherapy Practice Hospital in South Africa and moved to orthopedic unit where I spent two weeks.

“The airline management paid me one and half months’ salary arrears and claimed that I was not their staff,” she said.

Reacting to the allegation, Mr Alex Emode, the airline’s spokesperson, who quoted the Geneva Convention, said compensation are only paid to families of the dead or survivors who suffer permanent body injuries.

He said that Samson had been sacked before the incident, adding that she pleaded with the airline’s Chief Operation Officer to be on board the ill-fated flight.

Emode also alleged that Samson left behind some medical devices given to her by the hospital in South Africa.

NAN recalled that the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) earlier this year released the preliminary report of the crash; the full report was yet to be released.

The preliminary report attributed the cause of the crash to human and technical error.

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FG to privatise airports http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/02/fg-to-privatise-airports/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/02/fg-to-privatise-airports/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:40:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214354 Director General BPE, Benjamin Dikki

Director General BPE, Benjamin Dikki

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprise, Mr Benjamin Dikki, on Thursday in Abuja said the privatization of federal airports in the country would commence soon.

Dikki made this known in his presentation on “Reforms and Privatisation Opportunities in Nigeria” at the ongoing 9th Abuja International Trade Fair.

He said that although the Federal Government had made substantial investment in the aviation sector, a lot still remained to be done, adding that it was the reason why the government was considering privatising the airports.

“We are planning to commence the privatisation of airports; the airports will be more efficient if the private sector is running them.

“Very soon, we will engage the Minister of Aviation and we will start a new process of privatising or concession of airports just like we have done with the seaports.

“We are likely to grant concession of maybe 15 to 20 years, according to the business model agreed on, so that investors can make a reasonable return on the investment during the concession period,” he said.

Dikki also disclosed that BPE was working on the process of privatising some coal blocs and sale of non-core assets of Nigeria Coal Corporation (NCC) and Nigeria Mining Corporation.

He said that the National Council on Privatisation had already approved the sale of residential houses and lands of NCC, Naraguta and Maiduguri Bricks, non-core assets of Makeri, and the Ogwashi-Azagba Coal Bloc.

He said that the bureau was currently working to hasten the passage of some bills, including the Railway Bill, Inland Waterways Bill, Federal Road Authority Bill, Ports and Harbour Reform Bill and Postal Reform Bill.

He explained that the bills, when passed, would eliminate monopoly in all key sectors of the economy, create more jobs and deepen economic growth.

In his speech, the President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), Mr Solomon Nyagba, said that the association was ready to partner BPE to make the Abuja Trade Fair Centre better.

“ABUCCIMA wants to make this trade fair ground the most organised in Africa.

“We want to partner BPE to get investors to help us in building the largest shopping centre in Africa and bigger exhibition facilities and a five-star hotel.

“We want to create conducive place for investors and consumers to mingle,” he said.

Nyagba urged BPE to resume the process of privatizing the oil and gas sector to improve the power supply situation in the country.

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Lufthansa pilots’ strike grounds around 20,000 passengers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/lufthansa-pilots-strike-grounds-around-20000-passengers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/lufthansa-pilots-strike-grounds-around-20000-passengers/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:51:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214008 Passengers walk in front of counters of German airline Lufthansa at the airport in Frankfurt am Main

Passengers walk in front of counters of German airline Lufthansa at the airport in Frankfurt am Main

A new walkout by Lufthansa pilots on Tuesday forced the cancellation of 50 flights in Frankfurt, Germany’s busiest airport, affecting roughly 20,000 passengers, the airline said.

Flights in and out of the hub were being affected but a company spokesman said the situation was calm and that Lufthansa was confident it would operate all 32 flights it had promised would take off.

In its fourth labour action in recent weeks, the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit called on its members to strike on long-haul flights departing from the airport between 8:00 am and 11:00 pm (0600-2100 GMT).

Affected were flights operated on Airbus A380, A330 and A340 aircraft, as well as Boeing 747 jets.

“The situation in Frankfurt is calm. It seems like a normal day,” the spokesman told AFP.

Lufthansa’s pilots are striking over changes to their retirement benefits being introdcued as part of deep restructuring in recent years to bring down the German carrier’s costs.

Pilots can currently take paid early retirement from the age of 55. They are fighting a plan by the airline to raise the minimum age and to involve pilots in the financing of their pensions.

Tuesday’s work stoppage was the fourth by the pilots’ union in recent series of bottom-line-hitting operations.

The first strike at the end of August hit Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary Germanwings. The second walkout hit from Frankfurt and the third stoppage targeted Munich airport, Germany’s second-busiest air hub.

Vereinigung Cockpit already grounded thousands of Lufthansa flights during three days of strikes in March and April, costing the airline around 60 million euros ($76 million).

Many of Europe’s older airlines are running into opposition from powerful unions as they try to cut costs to compete with budget rivals.

On Sunday, Air France’s main pilots’ union ended the longest strike in the carrier’s history to allow “calmer” talks to go ahead over the contentious issue of the airline’s low-cost subsidiary Transavia.

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Bi-Courtney floors AMCON in court http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/bi-courtney-floors-amcon-in-court/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/bi-courtney-floors-amcon-in-court/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:12:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213919 By Simon Ateba

Dr Wale Babalakin: Bi-Courtney wins court verdict

Dr Wale Babalakin: Bi-Courtney wins court verdict

A Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out an order obtained ‎by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over the assets of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, managers of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 because of debts to creditors.

Bi-Courtney had asked the court to strike out the order, alleging that it was obtained fraudulently.

The order was obtained by AMCON counsel, Olisa Agbakoba.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Muhammed Buba struck out the ‎order on the ground that it was an abuse of court processes. He declared it null and void.

Reacting to the judgment at a press conference in Lagos, ‎Bi-Courtney described it as victory to the rule of law.

The company said the ruling had strengthened its confidence in the rule of law.

“We are happy to report that consistent with our position all along, the court today decided that Mr. Olisa Agbakoba is not a receiver of MMA2 nor Bi-Courtney or any other company related to Bi-Courtney,” the company said in a statement read by its Chief Operations Officer, Adebisi Awoniyi.

“The court categorically confirmed that the order obtained by Mr. Olisa Agbakoba on behalf of AMCON constitutes a gross abuse of the process of court and was designed to ridicule the legal system,” she said.

The company said it is not indebted to AMCON or any other person.

“On the contrary it is AMCON and the Federal Government of Nigeria that owe Bi-Courtney N132 billion which has remained unpaid till date,” the company said.

Bi-Courtney said it will continue to provide “exceptional services to Nigerians as demonstrated by its airport terminal‎ which has been acclaimed by the best run in the country”.

As how much does Bi-Courtney owe the banks or other ‎creditors, Bi- Courtney Lawyer said “nothing”.

Bi-Courtney had collected loans from banks ‎to build the modern MMA2 and five star hotel at the airport but could not pay back as agreed in various agreements.

The bad loans were then transfered to AMCON as a way of bailing out the banks following the financial meltdown of 2008 – 2009.

Bi-Courtney was meant to pay back AMCON but began losing revenues following the Federal government’s failure to abide by the terms of the concession agreement.

In the agreement, all Nigerian airlines were meant to operate from MMA2, but Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest airline kicked against it and continued to operate from the old domestic terminal in Lagos.

Bi-Courtney Approached the courts to compel Arik to relocate to MMA2 ‎but despite several victories, Arik has refused to relocate and the Federal Government has been unable to intervene.

It is because of such failures that Bi-Courtney lawyer, Oshobi and the company’s Chief Executive officer, Christophe Penninck have continued to claim ‎that Bi-Courtney is not indebted to the government.

Bi-Courtney is owned by Barrister Wale Babalakin.

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Arik Air Resumes Flights To Banjul After Ebola http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/arik-air-resumes-flights-to-banjul-after-ebola/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/29/arik-air-resumes-flights-to-banjul-after-ebola/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:48:35 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213847 Simon Ateba/Lagos

Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest commercial carrier is resuming flight services to Banjul, Gambia, the airline said in a statement on Monday, following annoucement last week that Ebola has been contained in Nigeria.

Arik Air will be operating three weekly flights from both Lagos and Abuja to Banjul via Accra (Ghana) on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, said Banji Ola, Arik Air spokesman.

Ola said Arik is resuming flights to Banjul on Wednesday 1 October.‎

“We are pleased to resume flight operations into Banjul after the brief period of suspension due to the Ebola Virus Disease episode,” said Arik Air’s Managing Director, Mr Chris Ndulue.

Ndulue said the safety and security of Arik passengers and crew are always the airline’s top priority.

“As such, we are working with local and international health authorities to safeguard the health and well-being of our guests and staff as we resume operations into The Gambia”.

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Nigeria passes test to continue ‎US flights http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/26/nigeria-passes-test-to-continue-%e2%80%8eus-flights/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/26/nigeria-passes-test-to-continue-%e2%80%8eus-flights/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 06:07:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213453 By Simon Ateba

Arik Air

Nigerian planes are safe and will continue ‎to fly directly to the United States, the American Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, has said.

FAA said Nigeria has retained its Category 1 Safety rating which has allowed Nigerian airlines to operate direct flights to America with Nigerian crew.

The certificate has been handed over to Chidoka Osita, the Minister of Aviation.

Reports quoted Osita as saying that he would reform the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, and continue to improve the safety of the Nigerian skies.

Following the Dana and Associated airlines plane crashes in 2012 and 2013 that killed almost 200 people, many people expressed fears that Nigeria might lose its highest safety rating.

Without that rating, Nigeria’s largest airline, Arik Air, would be unable to fly from Lagos to New York with Nigerian owned planes and Nigerian crew.

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FirstNation Airline confirms lease pact with Skypower Catering http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/20/firstnation-airline-confirms-lease-pact-with-skypower-catering/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/20/firstnation-airline-confirms-lease-pact-with-skypower-catering/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:12:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212575 FirstNation Airline

The FirstNation Airline on Friday confirmed it had subsisting and valid lease with the Skypower Catering Ltd. located at the Muritala Muhammed International Airports (MMA), Lagos.

This was contained in a press release by the airline’s Head, Public Affairs, Mr Luke Terver-Uzer in Ikeja.

NAN reports that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Friday sealed off the premises over unauthorised leasing of its facility to one of the domestic airlines.

The closure took place barely 24 hours after the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Mr Yemi Adelakun, queried the company for leasing out the facility to some airlines without the ministry’s approval.

The statement said that following the closure of the premises, the airline had made representation to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the FAAN to find resolution on the issue.

“We are confident of the Federal Ministry of Aviation have good intention and will not pursue policies that is detrimental to growth and development of the industry,” it said.

The statement said that the airline would continue to work with the ministry and FAAN in good faith.

It added that this was to ensure the maintenance of the support services provided at the premises, which was vital to the airline.

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IIorin Aviation College produces 18 pilots http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/iiorin-aviation-college-produces-18-pilots/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/iiorin-aviation-college-produces-18-pilots/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 05:52:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211273 Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State

The International Aviation College, Ilorin, on Thursday, said it had achieved another milestone in the aviation industry in Nigeria by producing a new set of 18 pilots.

The Rector of the institution, Capt. AbdulMumeen AbdulRahim, made the disclosure in llorin at a news conference.

He said the 18 new pilots had undergone intensive training for 18 months.

He added that the new pilots comprised of five commercial pilot holders with instrument and multi-engine rating and 13 private pilot licenced holders.

AbdulRahim said that the college recently completed a foundation course training for nine cadet helicopter pilots for Bristow Helicopter.

NAN recalls that the college graduated its first set of nine pilots in December 2013.

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