International Flights to Resume Operations on 29 of August
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation on Monday announced that the nation’s airspace would be opened to international flights on August 29.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced the resumption on Twitter and also during Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
In the tweet, Sirika said, “I am pleased to announce the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020.
“It will begin with Lagos and Abuja airports as we did with the domestic flight resumption. Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course. We thank you for your patience.”
According to the minister, the international flights would commence in two airports, the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
He explained that emphasis would be placed on safety and technical guidelines to ensure the safety of both the passengers and staff of airlines.
Sirika added that air passengers must take the COVID-19 test from their departing nations, saying it must be close to their departure dates.
He said, “A portal will also be opened for passengers to pay for another COVID-19 test to be done eight days after arrival in Nigeria.
“They will also fill in health questionnaires online and hand them in at the point of entry, instead of filling the forms on the aircraft or on arrival.”
The Federal Government shut Nigeria’s airspace to both local and international flights in March to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. However, with the world gradually adjusting to living with the deadly virus, the Federal Government has finally decided to open up the nation’s airspace to international flights, especially after local airlines threatened massive lay-offs without palliatives or operations.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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