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FG To Launch Online Tracking and Monitoring System For Passport Application

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The Federal Government plans to launch an online tracking and monitoring of passport application by May 2022.

This was disclosed by Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior at the opening of a two-day workshop for Passport Control Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Minsiter Rauf Aregbesola revealed that the Federal Government had concluded plans to launch a system that would lead to minimal interaction between passport applicants and immigration officers.

He said apart from the National Identity Number verification and linking, there should be no other major reason for the delay in issuing passports.

“Not later than a month from today, applicants will be able to track their application online to know precisely what stage is your application. You will not have the hassle of people coming. Just go online with your reference number to check and it will state whether you are having a NIN problem.

“It will tell you the status of your application. It will tell you whether your passport is ready and you can pick it. This will be a month from now by the Grace of God,” he added.

He said the waiting time for fresh passports should not be more than six weeks while for passport renewal, it should not exceed three weeks.

The minister added, “We have adopted a maximum processing period of six weeks. It can be less but it should not be more. If it is more, let it be rare, let it be caused by an external factor, not you. To obtain fresh passports, it should be a maximum of three weeks. It can be less for the renewal.”

Aregbesola warned immigration officers against sharp practices even as he advised them to treat passport applicants as customers. He also assured that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the full deployment of technology and before the end of the year, drastic changes would be made.

“Very soon, you will not see any passport applicants. Very soon there will be no files. Technology has provided so much succour for whoever wants to be efficient. That will be before the end of this year. Passport processing will be absolutely digitised. As it is impossible to see the air, it will be impossible for anybody to even know which passport is going where. It will just be in the system.

“We will get to a stage where no passport applicant will meet any immigration officer in the process of processing passports and there will be no manual documentation of that process,” the minister added.

Speaking on the theme ‘Effective and Efficient Service Delivery: An Imperative for Maximising the Gains of Passport Reforms Towards a Seamless Passport Issuance’, the Assistant-Comptroller-General in Charge of Passports and Other Travels Directorates, NIS, Modupe Anyalechi, said the primary purpose of the function was to bring passport officers to speed on the ongoing passport reforms.

She said the aim was to make the process of passport issuance seamless without compromising the integrity of the travel document.

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Qatar Airways Leads Top 20 Airlines For 2022

Qatar Airways emerged as the world’s best airline at the recently concluded Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022

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Qatar Airways emerged as the world’s best airline at the recently concluded Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022. 

Investors King learnt that 20 airlines across the globe were picked for their outstanding services. While Qatar Airways top the list, Singapore Airlines and Emirates Airlines were ranked in second and third place, respectively. 

It should be noted that Qatar Airways won the prestigious award for a record seventh time in a ceremony held at Langham Hotel in London, United Kingdom. 

The Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, H.E Mr Akbar Al Baker said: “To be named as the World’s Best Airline was always a goal when Qatar Airways was created, but to win it for the seventh time and pick up three additional awards is a testament to all the hard work of our incredible employees”.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Skytrax, Edward Plaisted, “Qatar Airways was the largest airline to have flown consistently throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with their network never falling below 30 destinations,”. He stated. 

The best airlines were determined from a pool of hundreds of airlines operating along different routes. 

Between September 2021 and August 2022, Skytrax conducted an online customers survey in various languages which include English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese to determine the top 20 from a list of 350 airlines that featured in the final result. 

Meanwhile, Skytrax further breakdown the award into subcategories. For instance, Singapore Airlines won the best first-class cabin award, while Qatar Airways grabbed the best business class service.  

Virgin Atlantic was awarded the best premium economy while Emirate Airlines won the best economy cabin. Singapore Airlines was also awarded the best Cabin Staff while All Nippon Airways (ANA) won the best cabin cleanliness. 

Below is a list of the top 20 airlines for the year 2022

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirate Airlines
  4. All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  5. Qantas Airways 
  6. Japan Airlines 
  7. Turkish Airlines
  8. Air France
  9. Korean Air
  10. Swiss International Airlines 
  11. British Airways
  12. Etihad Airways
  13. China Southern 
  14. Hainan Airlines 
  15. Lufthansa
  16. Cathay Pacific
  17. KLM
  18. Eva Air
  19. Virgin Atlantic
  20. Vistara

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Nigeria Air to Commence Operations Soon; Air Service to Start With Abuja-Lagos Route

Nigeria Air will soon begin operations, starting with the Abuja – Lagos route, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had stated.

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The country’s National Carrier, Nigeria Air will soon begin operations, starting with the Abuja – Lagos route, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had stated.

According to the minister, the National Carrier, “Nigeria Air” will be launched with three Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Hadi Sirika further disclosed that the aircraft are configured to adapt to the Nigerian market. 

It will be recalled that in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had promised a National Carrier as part of his campaign manifesto. While preliminary work begins, the government however suspends the plan in 2018 with no defined explanation. 

The Minister also disclosed that Ethiopian Airlines Consortium has been selected as the preferred partner for Nigeria Air with a stake of 49 percent. The Federal Government will hold a stake of five percent while a group of three investors ‘MRS, SHACO and Sovereign Wealth Fund will retain 46 percent. 

Speaking during a press conference in Abuja, Hadi Siriki noted that the bidding process was subjected to due process and due diligence. Nigeria Air has an ambitious plan to reach a size of 30 aircraft and begin International operation within the next two years. 

Meanwhile, Nigeria Air Limited has commenced recruitment of qualified crew members ahead of its launch. A memo posted on the verified Twitter handle of the Ministry of Aviation read 

“Nigeria Air is now recruiting qualified crew for the following positions: Experienced, and current B737 Captains; Experienced, and Current B737 First Officers; Experienced, and Current B737 Senior Cabin Crew and Cabin Crew Experienced, and Current B737 Engineers (B1/B2 preferred),” the memo noted.

Interested and qualified candidates are advised to forward their Curriculum Vitae (CVs) to recruitment@nigeriaair.world

Nigeria previously had a national carrier, “Nigeria Airways” which was founded in 1958 and wholly owned by the government. It ceased to operate in 2003 due to corruption and mismanagement. 

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N1.2 Billion Debt: Azman Air Signs MoU With NCAA; Begins Operations

Azman Air has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on how it will be paying the said amount.

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Following the suspension of its operating license over N1.2 billion debt which accrued from non-remittance of ticket sale charge and cargo sale charge (TSC/CSC), Azman Air has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on how it will be paying the said amount.

The local airline disclosed in a statement made available to the press on Friday.

On Thursday, NCAA had suspended the renewal of the airline license and forced management to cancel all flights scheduled for operations on Thursday and Friday over its non-remittance of over N1.2 billion TSC/CSC. Passengers already scheduled to travel on Azman were forced to return home or in some cases join other airlines to their destinations.

On Friday, Azman Air announced it has signed an MoU with NCAA and other affected parties. The NCAA, therefore, renewed the company an operating license.

“A Licence to operate scheduled and non-scheduled passenger and cargo air services within and outside Nigeria is hereby granted, pursuant to Sections 18.2.2.3 and 18.2.2.4 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2015 to:
Messrs: AZMAN AIR SERVICES LIMITED 1, Zaria Road, Kano for a period of five (5) years Date issued: 16th September, 2022 Expiry Date: 15th September, 2027. The utilisation of this Licence shall be in compliance with all relevant Civil Aviation Regulations,” the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, disclosed in the letter forwarded to the airline.

According to the details of the MoU, Azman Air agreed to be remitting N50 million monthly from the 5% of all its ticket Sales Charge and Cargo Sales Charge.

The formalities of the MoU signing was finalised on Friday at the NCAA headquarters in Abuja, but the regulatory agency had already lifted the sanction on the airline following its compliance with the various agreements reached.

The 5% TSC/CSC is shared among five aviation agencies; NCAA, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.

NCAA gets 58% from the total 5% of charges, which is the major revenue earning for the agency, while the other four agencies share the remaining 42 percent in different proportions.

Besides, it was gathered that the airline had also submitted its tax and security clearance forms to the NCAA, after its initial reluctance to do so for about 10 months without any basic reason.

Tax and security clearance forms are two of the requirements for issuance of ATL or Air Operators Licence (AOC) or their renewals by NCAA.

Since the operations of the airline were suspended on Thursday, its management had held a series of meetings with the NCAA.

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