- Over 17,000 Luggage Delayed, Missing on International Flights
Over 17,893 baggage have been declared either missing or delayed on international flights operated by 33 carriers into and out of the country in the last six months, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Director-General, Captain Muktar Usman, has said.
Usman said the regulatory body was getting worried over the ugly trend, urging airlines to evolve ways of addressing the development.
Speaking with The Nation, he said the Consumer Protection Directorate of the regulatory body would address issues affecting passenger baggage.
Besides, delayed or missing baggage, Usman said the regulatory body has warned both domestic and foreign carriers over delayed and canceled flights.
Meanwhile, a new study has revealed Europe as the most popular destination for lost baggage. According to the SITA 2018 Baggage Report, the baggage mishandling rate in Europe is the highest in the world.
For every thousand passengers, 6.94 bags were lost as a result of mishandling last year, well above the global average of 5.57 bags per thousand fliers.
In the United States and Asia Pacific, by comparison, baggage mishandling rates were markedly below the global average at 2.4 and 1.94 per cent respectively.
In one year, the mishandling rate in Europe improved by 13 per cent down from 8.06 lost bags per 1000 passengers in 2016. Over the past decade, mishandled luggage in the continent has dropped by 58 per cent.
Fortunately, this is indicative of a worldwide trend. Baggage handling globally has improved significantly over the past decade. Since 2007, the rate of lost luggage has dropped by a whopping 70 per cent the report found, even with a 64 per cent increase in passenger numbers.
In fact, the global average of 5.57 lost bags per thousand passengers is the lowest rate of mishandled bags ever recorded by SITA.
SITA CEO Barbara Dalibard said smart innovations in technology have been the major driver behind the drop in lost luggage. “Over the last decade, we have seen significant improvements in bag management as airlines have taken advantage of technology,” she said.
These innovations, such as real-time tracking of luggage using RFID technology, have cut the industry’s mishandled baggage costs by nearly 50 per cent from $4.22 to $2.1 billion in just a decade. So as airlines reap the cost benefits, allowing them to invest in tracking technology on a wider scale, the most frustrating thing about travel could become a thing of the past.
US carrier Delta Air Lines said RFID technology has given it a 99.9 per cent accuracy rate in the US. The airline is now planning on rolling out RFID baggage tagging at Heathrow airport in the UK together with airports in France and the Netherlands.
And if those sorts of results don’t sway other airlines into following suit, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Resolution 753 will. The resolution, which came into effect from June this year, set new minimum requirements for baggage tracking.
It stipulates that all IATA member airlines — which represent 83 per cent of global air traffic — will be expected to set up four tracking points for the bag (check-in, loading, transfer and arrival) and share that data with all those involved in a bag’s transportation from beginning to end.
“Now with IATA’s drive for 100 per cent bag tracking, technology adoption will rise further,” Ms Dalibard said.
“End-to-end tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in operational processes. While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry.”
Oil Prices Drop on Stronger U.S Dollar
The strong U.S Dollar pressured global crude oil prices on Thursday despite the big drop in U.S crude oil inventories.
The Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 74 cents or 1 percent to settle at $73.65 a barrel at 4.03 am Nigerian time on Thursday.
The U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil depreciated by 69 cents or 1 percent to $71.46 a barrel after reaching its highest since October 2018 on Wednesday.
“Energy markets became so fixated over a robust summer travel season and Iran nuclear deal talks that they somewhat got blindsided by the Fed’s hawkish surprise,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“The Fed was expected to be on hold and punt this meeting, but they sent a clear message they are ready to start talking about tapering and that means the dollar is ripe for a rebound which should be a headwind for all commodities.”
The U.S. dollar boasted its strongest single day gain in 15 months after the Federal Reserve signaled it might raise interest rates at a much faster pace than assumed.
A firmer greenback makes oil priced in dollars more expensive in other currencies, potentially weighing on demand.
Still, oil price losses were limited as data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped sharply last week as refineries boosted operations to their highest since January 2020, signaling continued improvement in demand.
Also boosting prices, refinery throughput in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, rose 4.4% in May from the same month a year ago to a record high.
“This pullback in oil prices should be temporary as the fundamentals on both the supply and demand side should easily be able to compensate for a rebounding dollar,” Moya said.
Oil Rises as Threat of Immediate Iran Supply Recedes
Oil prices rose on Tuesday, with Brent gaining for a fourth consecutive session, as the prospect of extra supply coming to the market soon from Iran faded with talks dragging on over the United States rejoining a nuclear agreement with Tehran.
Indirect discussions between the United States and Iran, along with other parties to the 2015 deal on Tehran’s nuclear program, resumed on Saturday in Vienna and were described as “intense” by the European Union.
A U.S. return to the deal would pave the way for the lifting of sanctions on Iran that would allow the OPEC member to resume exports of crude.
It is “looking increasingly unlikely that we will see the U.S. rejoin the Iranian nuclear deal before the Iranian Presidential Elections later this week,” ING Economics said in a note.
Other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) along with major producers including Russia — a group known as OPEC+ — have been withholding output to support prices amid the pandemic.
“Additional supply from OPEC+ will be needed over the second half of this year, with demand expected to continue its recovery,” ING said.
To meet rising demand, U.S. drillers are also increasing output.
U.S. crude production from seven major shale formations is forecast to rise by about 38,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July to around 7.8 million bpd, the highest since November, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly outlook.
Oil Prices Rise as Demand Improves, Supplies Tighten
Oil prices rose on Monday, hitting their highest levels in more than two years supported by economic recovery and the prospect of fuel demand growth as vaccination campaigns in developed countries accelerate.
Brent was up 53 cents, or 0.7%, at $73.22 a barrel by 1050 GMT, its highest since May 2019.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate gained 44 cents, or 0.6%, to $71.35 a barrel, its highest since October 2018.
“The two leading crude markers are trading at (almost) two-and-a-half-year highs amid a potent bullish cocktail of demand optimism and OPEC+ supply cuts,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
“This backdrop of strengthening oil fundamentals have helped underpin heightened levels of trading activity.”
Motor vehicle traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels in North America and much of Europe, and more planes are in the air as anti-coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictions are being eased, driving three weeks of increases for the oil benchmarks.
The mood was also buoyed by the G7 summit where the world’s wealthiest Western countries sought to project an image of cooperation on key issues such as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the donation of 1 billion vaccine doses to poor nations.
“If the inoculation of the global population accelerates further, that could mean an even faster return of the demand that is still missing to meet pre-Covid levels,” said Rystad Energy analyst Louise Dickson.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that it expected global demand to return to pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2022, more quickly than previously anticipated.
IEA urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, known as OPEC+, to increase output to meet the rising demand.
The OPEC+ group has been restraining production to support prices after the pandemic wiped out demand in 2020, maintaining strong compliance with agreed targets in May.
On the supply side, heavy maintenance seasons in Canada and the North Sea also helped prices stay high, Dickson said.
U.S. oil rigs in operation rose by six to 365, the highest since April 2020, energy services company Baker Hughes Co said in its weekly report.
It was the biggest weekly increase of oil rigs in a month, as drilling companies sought to benefit from rising demand.
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