By Ime Akpan
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema has assured that the airline would continue to insist on safe and exceptional flight services.
Onyema who made the pledge during official presentation of the membership certificate of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to the airline said Air Peace had distinguished itself in the Nigerian aviation industry on account of its managerial integrity and uncompromising adherence to the global requirements for safe flight operations.
He said the airline’s membership of IATA would greatly boost its drive to further expand to the West Coast and connect international routes, including Dubai, Houston, London, Mumbai, Guangzhou-China and Johannesburg.
He announced that the airline had increased its fleet to 24 aircraft to cater for its plan to begin flight operations to nine West African countries and six international destinations.
Commenting on the rigorous process Air Peace went through before getting its IATA Operation Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate and IATA membership, Onyema urged other countries to stop frustrating Nigerian airlines from operating into their domains on the basis of aero politics.
He wondered why some countries would impose impossible conditions for Nigerian airlines to operate into their domains when the carriers had passed all global assessments for international flight operations.
“Air Peace has not been stopped (from flying outside Nigeria) yet, but I have seen others. A lot of foreign airlines do not want Nigerian airlines to succeed. It has to stop. If it continues I will go to court because they cannot be coming into our country and prevent us from flying into theirs,” he said.
He said Nigerian airlines deserve to also benefit from the open skies arrangement foreign airlines had capitalised on to expand their operations to the country.
Onyema said Air Peace and other Nigerian airlines that had been certified by IATA after passing the required safety and security audits should be accorded respect like their counterparts across the globe.
He commended the staff of the airline for working relentlessly to “position Air Peace as Nigeria’s preferred airline and deliver exceptional flight services to the public.”
Thereafter, Onyema expressed appreciation to the to the airline’s customers for accepting and supporting it to become a leader in the airline sub-sector.
For his part, IATA’s area manager, South-West Africa, Dr Samson Fatokun, who presented the IATA membership certificate to Onyema, commended Air Peace for making the list of airlines in the IATA membership registry.
Only about 300 carriers of the thousands of airlines operating globally were listed in the association’s registry because of the stringent admission process.
Nigeria first country to host IWAF
Nigeria will play host to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (IWAF), from 20-22 November 2017.
Although this is the third edition, this is the first held by any country as ICAO has held the first two editions at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada in 2015 and 2016.
This year’s edition is a special forum because the global aviation communities will congregate in Abuja to deliberate on the theme: ‘Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure.’
In his reaction, the minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in his comment said Nigeria “is more than delighted to play host to this all-important forum as the first country in the world to do this.”
“This is a rare opportunity for Nigeria being the first time the forum is being held outside Montreal and we are more than delighted to host it,” he stressed.
“The third ICAO World Aviation Forum will explore how development of aviation infrastructure plays a key role in the achievement of the visionary United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and African Union Agenda 2063 prosperity objectives, with a special focus on funding and financing of airport, air navigation, and other aviation infrastructure projects.”
“Stressing the importance of aligning policies and planning for air transport with the national development planning, this high-level event directly supports the ICAO No Country Left Behind initiative and will be of key interest to Ministers and other senior government officials responsible for civil aviation, transport, infrastructure, finance, and tourism, as well as key industry and financial partners,” said ICAO in its publication announcing the event.
During the event, a day will be dedicated fully to Africa aviation development financing.
“The second day of the Forum will focus specifically on financing challenges facing aviation infrastructure and capacity development in Africa,” ICAO added.
ICAO, university launch e-learning course for professionals
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the University of Waterloo have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) supporting a new joint educational programme.
The secretary general of ICAO, Dr. Fang Liu and the president of the university, Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur signed the MoU.
The first initiative under the new agreement will be the launch of an e-learning course at the upcoming ICAO Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Global Summit, on the Fundamentals of the Air Transport System.
Stressing the importance of making more young people aware of the diverse career opportunities in air transport globally, especially in light of forecast sectoral growth, Liu emphasized that the new partnership represents an important additional step toward addressing future shortages of highly-skilled aviation personnel.
“Providing greater access to affordable quality training is key to attracting, educating and retaining the next generation of skilled aviation professionals.
“ICAO is undertaking an extensive range of activities in aid of raising awareness on these issues, and to improve aviation training access and quality under our NGAP and Global Aviation Training/TRAINAIR PLUS Programmes. I am encouraged this new partnership is coinciding with our inaugural NGAP Summit this November and we will look forward to reviewing its results,” said Liu
Geared for aspiring aviation professionals as well as professionals transitioning into aviation, the new ICAO/Waterloo course will contain 9 modules covering air law, aircraft, operations, navigation, airports, security, environment, accidents, and safety. Trainees will have the option to complete the course (with no exam) free of charge, or to pay the exam fee and complete the exam to earn the course certificate.
September passenger demand shows year-on-year increase
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said global passenger traffic results for September showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 5.7 per cent compared to the same month in 2016.
The director general and chief executive officer of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac said the figure was the slowest year-on-year increase since February and attributed the development to hurricanes Irma and Maria that devastated Florida and Puerto Rico respectively.
“September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy, notwithstanding the heavy impacts of extreme weather events on the Americas.
“Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth,” said de Juniac
The figures show that Asia-Pacific airlines’ traffic rose 8.7 per cent in September compared to the year-ago period, the strongest growth among regions.
European carriers saw September demand rise 7.1 per cent over September 2016, in line with August growth of 7.0 per cent.
Middle East carriers had a 3.7 per cent rise in demand, the slowest rate of increase since February 2009 while North American airlines experienced a 3.0 per cent rise in demand in September.
Latin American airlines’ performance also was affected by hurricane activity but strong underlying demand meant that traffic rose 8.5 per cent compared to September 2016.
African airlines posted a 3.6 per cent rise in traffic in September, down from 6.5 per cent in August.
Domestic demand climbed 4.2 per cent in September compared to September 2016, heavily affected by weather disruptions in the US market, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of all domestic RPKs.
India and China continued to lead all markets with double-digit annual traffic increases while elsewhere, results were mixed.