- Ethiopian Introduces Latest Airbus A350 to Abuja Route
Ethiopian Airlines newly acquired Airbus A350 landed at the newly reconstructed runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Tuesday, a day before its official reopening of the nation’s busiest airport.
The airline said the newly acquired Airbus A350 would be dedicated to the Abuja destination.
The airline said it decided to start its flight to Abuja Airport with its latest technology and the most modern Airplane in the world, the Airbus A350-900 because of its close relationship with its passengers in Nigeria.
It said the state of the art airplane would start the scheduled service on the Addis Ababa Abuja route. Following this move, Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked: “As a veteran Pan African airline, it has always been our source of pride to connect our beloved continent Africa together and beyond. Our presence in Nigeria dates back to the 1960’s, same time the Federal Republic of Nigeria got independence from foreign colonisation. We have always given our best to Nigeria at all times, both at good and challenging times, and we have been part of Nigeria’s historic growth and always consider ourselves as vital partners in the history and growth of Nigeria as a country.
“The A350 is yet one of the landmarks in our 70 years proud history; providing exceptional levels of luxury and reliability for a totally unique passenger experience. Hence, with the reopening of Abuja Airport, the extra features of our game changing fleet, Airbus A350, will be awaiting for our esteemed Nigerian travellers. We shall continue to avail critical air connectivity options and connect African countries together and far beyond.”
Ethiopian currently operates 20 weekly flights to four Nigerian cities; Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano; offering hassle free connectivity to its worldwide network spread in five continents.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopian has been the first in Africa to own and operate the A350 in African skies. Among a total of 14 orders, Ethiopian currently has three of them in operation.
Libyan Oil Field and Gas Link to Italy Reopen After Protesters Withdraw
Following a brief interruption, operations at an oil field in western Libya and a natural gas link to Italy have resumed as protesters retreated from the facilities.
The demonstrators withdrew after receiving assurances from the government regarding their demands.
The Wafa oil field, which typically produces between 40,000 to 45,000 barrels per day, recommenced shipments after a temporary halt prompted by guards’ demands for improved compensation.
Similarly, the gas pipeline connection to Italy is once again operational, according to sources familiar with the situation who preferred anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Protests disrupting energy infrastructure and output are not uncommon in Libya.
In recent times, demonstrations have frequently disrupted operations, with the significant Sharara oil field experiencing prolonged suspension last month due to similar protests, invoking a force majeure clause in contracts.
The resumption of activities marks a relief for both the Libyan energy sector and Italy, which heavily relies on the natural gas link for its energy needs.
However, the incidents underscore the ongoing challenges faced by Libya in maintaining stability within its vital energy infrastructure amidst socio-political unrest.
Efforts to address the grievances of protesters and ensure sustained operations remain pivotal for the country’s economic well-being and regional energy dynamics.
Oil Prices Dip on Monday as Dollar Gains
Oil prices experienced a downturn, extending losses from the previous session as the U.S. dollar surged against global counterparts to impact market sentiment.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, slipped by 0.2% to $81.48 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) declined by 0.3% to $76.27 a barrel.
The upward trajectory of the dollar renders oil more costly for holders of other currencies, contributing to the decline in oil prices.
This downward trend follows a week of losses, with Brent declining approximately 2% and WTI falling over 3%.
Market participants attribute these fluctuations to concerns about inflation potentially delaying anticipated cuts to high U.S. interest rates. Such expectations have been suppressing global fuel demand growth.
Analysts observe a retreat in the risk-on sentiment, coinciding with heightened expectations of prolonged interest rates.
Tina Teng, an independent analyst based in Auckland, notes that the recent market rally led by Nvidia has stalled, as elevated rate expectations bolster the U.S. dollar, thereby pressuring commodity prices, including oil.
Despite geopolitical tensions such as the Israel-Hamas conflict and attacks on ships in the Red Sea, which could have traditionally boosted oil prices, the impact remains modest.
Moreover, investors are monitoring developments surrounding Russian oil supply following recent U.S. sanctions on Moscow’s leading tanker group.
Amidst these uncertainties, Qatar’s decision to increase liquefied natural gas production further adds to global energy supplies.
Crude Oil Dips Slightly on Friday Amid Demand Concerns
On Friday, global crude oil prices experienced a slight dip, primarily attributed to mounting concerns surrounding demand despite signs of a tightening market.
Brent crude prices edged lower, nearing $83 per barrel, following a recent uptick of 1.6% over two consecutive sessions.
Similarly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovered around $78 per barrel. Despite the dip, market indicators suggest a relatively robust market, with US crude inventories expanding less than anticipated in the previous week.
The oil market finds itself amidst a complex dynamic, balancing optimistic signals such as reduced OPEC+ output and heightened tensions in the Middle East against persistent worries about Chinese demand, particularly as the nation grapples with economic challenges.
This delicate equilibrium has led oil futures to mirror the oscillations of broader stock markets, underscoring the interconnectedness of global economic factors.
Analysts, including Michael Tran from RBC Capital Markets LLC, highlight the recurring theme of robust oil demand juxtaposed with concerning Chinese macroeconomic data, contributing to market volatility.
Also, recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants have added a risk premium to oil futures, reflecting geopolitical uncertainties beyond immediate demand-supply dynamics.
While US crude inventories saw a slight rise, they remain below seasonal averages, indicating some resilience in the market despite prevailing uncertainties.
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