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How airline operators can survive recession


As Nigeria’s economic recession bites harder on the local airline industry, experts have cautioned airline owners to take some drastic measures to cut down  operational cost to survive the recession.
Nigeria’s recession has seen the local airline industry battling with the scarcity and high cost of foreign exchange to undertake the maintenances of aircraft at foreign hangers. It has also culminated in the scarcity of aviation fuel usually dependent on forex for its importation.
Some airlines have already announced that they will have to scale down operations in the weeks ahead, meaning fewer aircraft in the sky with more flight cancellations and delays on some routes. Such measures obviously will also imply less revenue for the airlines and also regulatory agencies like the Nigerian Civil aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Manegement Agency (NAMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). These establishments depend on taxes and levies paid by airlines operating in the country.

Use fuel economy aircraft
Aviation analyst, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, who is also General Secretary of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), said the tough operating climate created by the recession demands that airline should deploy more fuel efficient aircraft on some routes.
Tukur identified the use of ‘jumbo’ aircraft ideally meant for flights lasting six to 12 hours by most domestic carriers on less than an hour flight on Nigeria’s domestic route noting that such trend if allowed or practiced in the past, was uneconomical in a recession period. “There is need for airlines to change their aircraft types,” said Tukur.
“They should get light aircraft not these Boeing 737s. If they have these less fuel consumption aircraft, it will reduce their burdens,” he added. Tukur, a former director of operations at Chanchangi Airline, said the B737 aircraft were costly to maintain and gulping so much fuel adding that there was no way an airline operator could survive under the present economic situation with such aircraft constituting the bulk of aircraft in its fleet.

More accountability
Most airlines in Nigeria are private owned (one man businesses) and this creates a lot of room for unethical practices especially the misapplication and mismanagement of funds.
Analysts have often criticized the one man ownership structure of Nigeria’s local carriers as inimical to corporate governance practice and they have demanded that airlines get listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as part of measures to enthrone accountability in their management. Tukur who linked the poor culture of accountability and management by some airlines said it was part of the reasons why some domestic airlines collapsed within first ten years of their existence.
He said there is an indiscriminate pulling out of finances from operations accounts by airline owners which he described as the worst practice in the airline business saying any money taken out of the airline’s daily operations for other purposes was capable of crumbling the entire system of that airline.
“Most airline operators take money out of the system and put it in another business,” Tukur said on the poor management of airline finances by owners.
“In aviation, the moment you move money out of operation then you are killing the operation completely. In Nigeria this happens because the airlines are individually owned and somebody will just take the money without accountability,” he noted. The recipe therefore is strict adherence to all rules of accountability.

Staff management
Staff salaries and other remuneration constitute a huge chunk of the overhead that airlines bear. While pilots and aeronautical engineers naturally earn what is perceived as fat salaries, the top management and executives of airlines also earn more than the rest of the workers. “The management of various airlines live expensive lives with monies meant for operations of airlines and management staff of some airlines received too much as salaries,” noted Tukur.
With recession comes a reduction in passenger traffic which means airlines earn less than they usually do. And in Nigeria, aside low passenger patronage, there has also been a reduction in aircraft fleet plying some routes.
The high cost or the scarcity of forex has made it rather difficult to carry out routine maintenances of some aircraft abroad, with stories being circulated about of how some airlines are postponing or not able to do C-checks and D-checks on some aircraft.
The outcome has been a great reduction in the earnings of airlines. Airlines should therefore consider cutting down on staff salaries , especially those considered to be the “highest income earners” under a recession if they must survive it. The affected staff must be made to realise that such pay cut is a better alternative to an outright loss of job.

Expatriate quota
A recession period is not also the best time to continue to keep expatriate workers whose salaries are paid in foreign currencies which obviously become scarce. Aviation expert, Captain Dele Ore, says “it is unwise to employ expatriates for jobs that can be done by Nigerians and still retained them during a recession.”
“It is clever to reduce expenses in order to remain in business as recession persists because they can never survive with the presence of expatriates in the sector. What you need to maintain an expatriate is enough to maintain about six Nigerians,” he added.

Flight combination
One way airlines can beat the problem associated with low passenger traffic which is very noticeable during a recession is for them to deploy a particular aircraft on two or three routes. Such a “combined flight” especially for airlines with jumbo jets would assist them maximise cost and manage fuel effectively. For instance, a particular airline taking off from Lagos can merge Owerri and Port Harcourt passengers on the same flight, rather than fly an half filled or empty aircraft on each particular route – like Lagos to Port Harcourt or Lagos to Owerri. Airline can also either merge or interline their operations during this recession as part of measures to remain alive and profitable.

ART demands time lines for aviation projects  

The Federal Government should set down timelines that would guide the take off and completion of projects in the aviation sector, President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Mr. Gabriel Olowo has said.
Olowo, spoke with Daily Sun at the launch of Nigeria’s first electronic car park built by a Chinene firm at the Golfview Hotel in Lagos recently. He faulted the the slow pace of the implementation of the government’s programmes for the sector noting that the absence of a clear cut timetable would not in anyway help the government realise it’s goals and aspirations for the sector.
“The government cannot continue to be talking about what it wants to do in the aviation sector and this has been going on for the past one year and we don’t have any timeline,” he said. “We are not satisfied with the state of the airports and neither are we happy with the state of the airlines. Now for example, if the government says it wants to concession the airports, we need to set the timeline.
“What do we want to achieve in the next one year? What do we want to do in the next two years? By 2019 where do we want to be as an industry? So if we have to achieve anything, we need to work on specific targets with set times. We can’t be working on speeches and speeches without action and time is running out,” he added.
The electronic car park is cable driven and was installed under 15days to create space for more than 25 cars to be parked from an initial seven.   The hotel is used by a lot of guests, with the bulk coming from the aviation sector.


Emirates slashes airfares by 50% for Nigerian passengers

Emirates Airline is offering its Nigerian customers return airfares of up to 50 per cent off to Dubai, one of the world’s most iconic cities.
The airline in a statement over the weekend said the special offer, which is available for both Economy Class and Business Class travel, must be purchased between November 30, 2016 for travels until May 31, 2017.
Known as a city of contrasts, from futuristic architecture to vibrant traditional culture and diversity, Dubai is a place that caters to all types of travellers. The city offers everything a visitor could want, from shopping at some of the largest malls in the region to dining options which will spoil anyone for choice, a trip to Dubai is a must for families, friends and individuals.
The city also offers visitors several new and exciting experiences, such as the recently-opened IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor themed entertainment destination, and the soon-to-be-opened Dubai Parks and Resorts, which will offer a range of attractions and experiences. Other attractions in the city include the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, traditional souks and the clear water beaches of the Arabian Gulf.On all Emirates’ flights, customers can look forward to hours of entertainment on the airline’s ice system, which offers over 2500 channels of on demand audio and visual entertainment, from the latest movies, music, audio books and games, as well as family friendly products and services for children, including complimentary toys, kids’ meals and movies, priority boarding for families and the use of free strollers at Dubai International Airport.
In addition to the on-board comforts and products, customers will also experience the world famous hospitality from Emirates’ multinational cabin crew while enjoying chef prepared regional and international cuisine, using the freshest ingredients, accompanied by a wide range of complimentary wines and beverages.

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12-year-old boy kills landlady as condition to be initiated into a cult

Ethiope East Local

A 12-year-old boy, who allegedly robbed and killed his landlady at Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, was among those paraded for various offences by the state Police Command, yesterday.


The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Mohammed, who briefed reporters on the arrest of over 60 kidnappers, robbers, murderers, cultists and ritualists in the last three weeks, said the teenager confessed that he committed the act because a cult group told him that one of the conditions for initiation was that he must have been involved in a criminal act.

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Super Falcons striker, Asisat Oshoala, comes to Falz defence with regards to statement about glorifying fraudsters

Asisat Oshoala

Nigerian professional footballer, Asisat Oshoala, who plays as a forward in the Chinese Women’s Super league for Dalian Quanjian F.C., took to her Instagram to express deep concern about how people are now proud to be fraudsters.



In Falz’ defense, she insisted fraudsters shouldn’t be glorified.

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Zimbabwean Church leader in s*x scandal as photos naked photos and sex acts with 33 girls is exposed

Church leader
A Zimbabwean church leader, Nyasha Light Nyatsungo is enmeshed in a sex scandal and might also be facing legal action, after his ex-girlfriend flooded social media with his nude photo.
It was gathered that the Nyatsungo allegedly sent a nude picture of his Cape Town based ex–side chick, Shingi Mavenge, to his other girlfriend only identified as Beula who later broadcasted it on social media.
According to H-Metro, in an apparent fit of rage, Mavenge posted a WhatsApp chat she had with Nyatsungo’s wife identified as Nyasha Nhahumbi as well as a group chat with some of her former lover’s concubines.
According to Mavenge, she has gotten information that Nyatsungo has at least 33 girlfriends and has ditched his wife of eight years.
She adds that Nyatsungo bedded a girl who was their neighbour as well.
Mavenge said that the church leader’s wife revealed that they even consulted their local pastor in Mutare who failed in his attempts to mend Nyatsungo’s ways.
According to H-Metro, Nyatsungo, a married father of two, has denied ever circulating the picture, labelling Mavenge as a bitter woman whom he just flirted with on Facebook and nothing more.
“This Nyasha guy must be stopped in his tracks. He is going to pay for all the damage that he has done to me. He was the only one who had that leaked picture and I am shocked why he would forward it to some other girl,” fumed Mavhenge who is working on taking legal action.
“I started dating this guy in 2015 and never knew he was married. He lied.”  fumed Mavenge yesterday.
“That guy is full of lies and at some point, we opened a group chat with his wife and some of his girlfriends. He normally targets single mothers” added Mavenge.
H-Metro was furnished with six other cellphone numbers of his girlfriend that include Fadzai, Mutsa, Essy, Juliana, Barbra among others. Mutsa confirmed she once had a relationship with Nyatsungo have since terminated it since she discovered he was married.
Mavenge confirmed they met once in Johannesburg when she had to fly from Cape Town to meet her man sometime in April.
“That night he didn’t even have money. I had to pay the R800 for the accommodation as he had no money. He wanted to have sex with me but I flatly refused. He even wanted it without protection and I said No. he looked terrible with clothes in a plastic shopping bag. I want to write a letter to Pastor Rex who is the head of (the church) in Harare so that this guy be stopped with his tricks and lies,” added Mavenge.
When contacted over the phone in Mutare Nyatsungo confirmed he knew Mavenge but never had a relationship with her.
“I know her and we once flirted on Facebook. We never had a relationship as she is alleging. I don’t know why she is bitter. I haven’t seen the nude pictures she is talking about but I heard about it from Beula. We live in a democratic country. She can go ahead and sue me if she feels her rights have been infringed upon. All the allegations she is making are false and I don’t know her motive in trying to tarnish my image,” said Nyatsungo.
He said he was still with his wife whose phone rang without response yesterday afternoon. Despite his denials, H-metro was furnished with pictures of Nyatsungo and Mavenge, the time they met in April.

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