Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cargo Rise to the Top Amid Pandemic
Although the aviation industry took a hard hit in 2020 and suffered its heaviest losses to date, Turkish Airlines distinguished itself with relatively good business performance. According to CAPA (Centre for Aviation, part of the Aviation Week Network) Turkish Airlines established itself as the busiest aircraft carrier in Europe during the pandemic, and one of the top five airlines in the world. This was achieved by a series of agile steps to maintain liquidity, keep costs at a manageable level and adapt to the “new normal”.
Turkish Airlines successfully ended the fiscal year 2020 with 6.7 billion USD revenue, which accounts for 50% of the preceding year’s level, with a net loss of only 836 million USD. During these uncertain times, the airline was also able to maintain its robust route network. According to Eurocontrol, in April 2021 Turkish Airlines operated an average of 685 flights per day – almost double the number of the closest competitor in Europe, Lufthansa. In 2020, Turkish Airlines flew 28 million passengers, with an impressive load factor of 71%. Currently, the airline serves 179 international destinations with 16 intercountry and 58 intercontinental flights. The new Istanbul Airport also stayed on top: even with a 68% loss of traffic, it was still Europe’s most successful airport as of March 2021, with 616 departing and arriving flights.
This success is based on cost cutting activities, capex reduction and active capacity management. In fact, Turkish Airlines achieved such performance without relying on any governmental cash injections. Furthermore, agreements with Boeing and Airbus on fleet growth will further decrease the aircraft financing needs of Turkish Airlines by around 7 billion USD in the coming years.
“Our success as the best performing flag-carrier airline in Europe is not coincidental. Apart from the multiple measures we took, we owe this success to our dedicated staff. While other airlines faced layoffs, we did not part ways with any of our colleagues during this process. Instead everyone within Turkish Airlines accepted salary cuts from up to 50% depending on the role and responsibilities. The exceptional sense of unity within our staff is what sets Turkish Airlines apart: together as a family, we decided that no member of the Turkish Airlines family would be left behind during this crisis.”, says Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı.
Turkish Airlines also turned the pandemic into an opportunity to increase its cargo operations, with 50 of its passenger aircrafts being reconfigured to increase its cargo fleet capacity. Turkish Cargo managed to become one of the top five air cargo companies in the world and the 6th largest cargo company. The company increased its market share in total global cargo revenue from 0.6% in 2009 to 4.7% in 2020. As of February 2021, one in 20 cargo flights around the world were handled by Turkish Cargo.
This allowed Turkish Cargo to deliver 50,000 tons of medical supplies, including more than 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, to destinations all over the world. In addition, new technologies and innovative solutions have been developed. One example is SmartIST, one of the largest air cargo facilities in the world, which is scheduled to open this year. Located at Istanbul Airport, the facility uses modern technology such as drones and automated robots to process and deliver goods even faster.
Increased Cost of Customs Duty, Forex Crisis Affects Used Vehicles Imports Volume in Nigeria
Used Vehicles auto dealers in Nigeria have expressed concern over the decline of Tokunbo car imports volume in 2022.
According to the dealers, Tokunbo car imports dropped by 47% as a result of the increased cost of customs duty and the forex crisis.
These auto dealers disclosed that the increased cost of duty on used vehicles by Nigerian customs has affected their car sales. They lamented that the import duties have also affected the number of cars they import into the country which has drastically reduced.
It would be recalled that in April 2022, the Nigerian customs announced that it would update the importation of car edition from 2017 to 2021 in compliance with the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) to the 2022-2026 version in which used cars coming into Nigeria are expected to pay a 20% tariff rate and a NAC levy of 15 percent.
The NAC levy, coupled with the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5 percent, results in an almost 50 percent levy that is now paid on the importation of used vehicles in Nigeria.
Speaking on the decline of the importation of used vehicles in Nigeria, regional manager of Auto Auction Mall Oluwafemi Amisu said that the increase in import duties has 100 percent played an important role in the reduction of importation of used cars into Nigeria.
He also attributed the benchmark of car models to an increase in shipping cost leading to an increase in the price of the vehicles.
Shipping companies that formerly used 2,300 vehicle capacity vessels to ship into the country have visibly downsized to 1,000 or 1,500 capacity vessels.
“Majority of transactions made by Nigerians importing vehicles are within the 08-010 model range, which typically cost N400, 000 –N600, 000 to clear. However, since 2014 has been chosen as the benchmark, clearing costs have increased to between N1 million and N1.7 million,” he added.
Also, another challenge that has been attributed to the decline of importation of used vehicles in Nigeria is the Forex crisis which auto dealers lament has affected the purchasing power of customers. They added that people now prefer to buy Nigerian used cars instead of foreign used cars, even so, Nigerian used cars have also become very expensive.
Findings by Investors King reveal that the duty rate is majorly the reason for the drop in the importation of used vehicles, as most of the vehicles coming into Nigeria are below 2013, which mandates that any auto dealer bringing any car lower than that into Nigeria will pay a duty of 2013. Due to this, most of the vehicles are reportedly passing through Cotonou Port.
Ajay Banga Nominated as Sole Candidate for World Bank Presidency
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced that Ajay Banga, a United States national, is the only nominee for the position of the next president of the bank.
This news follows US President Joe Biden’s nomination of Banga to lead the World Bank in February, citing his suitability for the role at “this critical moment in history.”
Banga, who was born in India and is a naturalized US citizen, is currently serving as vice chairman at General Atlantic and previously worked as the chief executive of Mastercard Inc. If confirmed, he would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions: the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors will now conduct a formal interview with Banga in Washington D.C., with the expectation of concluding the presidential selection in due course. The current president of the World Bank, David Malpass, is set to step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire, and Banga is expected to replace him.
Banga’s nomination comes at a time of increasing global economic uncertainty, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and challenging the resilience of many countries’ financial systems. As such, the incoming World Bank president will face significant pressure to navigate the institution through these difficult times, while also addressing concerns around climate action and the role of the World Bank in promoting sustainable development.
While Banga’s nomination as the sole candidate for the position of World Bank president may come as a surprise to some, it also reflects the United States’ historical dominance in the governance of international financial institutions. However, it remains to be seen how Banga will use his position to shape the future direction of the World Bank and address the complex challenges facing the global economy.
Unilever Nigeria to Focus on Higher Growth Opportunities by Exiting Home Care and Skin Cleansing Markets
Unilever Nigeria Plc, one of the leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, has announced its decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets.
The company disclosed that the decision would only affect three of its brands – OMO, Sunlight, and Lux. According to Unilever Nigeria, the move is aimed at accelerating the growth of the organisation and sustaining profitability.
The restructuring of Unilever Nigeria’s business model is in response to the tough business environment in Nigeria, where many organisations and individuals have found it difficult to access cash due to the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Unilever Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mr Carl Cruz, noted that the offloading of the home care and skin cleansing portfolios would enable the company to “concentrate on higher growth opportunities.”
Unilever Nigeria has a strong competition in the business categories it is exiting. However, the company’s products are also market leaders in the sector. Mr Cruz added that the company was repurposing its portfolio by gradually exiting two categories, home care and skin cleansing, affecting only three brands (OMO, Sunlight, and Lux).
This would allow Unilever Nigeria to drive the rest of its brand portfolio for growth into the future and strengthen business operations with measures to digitize and simplify processes.
Unilever Nigeria is a truly Nigerian business and the oldest serving manufacturer in the country. The company’s decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets is in line with its commitment to adapt to changing market circumstances and reposition itself to better meet the needs of its consumers, shareholders, and employees.
Mr Cruz said, “By making these changes, we will unleash the sustained and profitable growth we need to be here for the next 100 years as well.”
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