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Nigerian Passport Dropped From 62nd Position in Global Ranking



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The Nigerian passport has fallen 38 places from 62nd position in a global passport ranking done by Henley Passport Index in the last 17 years.

According to the Henley Passport Index, which ranks passports according to the number of countries their holders can access visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival programme, the Nigerian passport now ranks 100th in the world.

The report shows a steady decline in strength amongst the 199 countries and 227 travel destinations studied although the Nigerian passport gained access to 11 more destinations on visa-free or visa-on-arrival, an increase to 46 countries from the 35 countries it had in 2006

However, Nigerians cannot access over 181 travel destinations without a visa, visa-on-arrival or e-visa arrangement and as at September 2022, travelers with Nigerian passports can only traverse 25 countries visa-free.

The Henley Passport Index report is based on data from the International Air Transport Association and its rankings are based on factors like country’s efforts to strengthen its diplomatic relations with other nations and its efforts to modernise its visa processes and improve security measures at its borders.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service via its spokesperson, Amos Okpu has said it is not concerned with the ranking of the passport rather it is concerned with how the passport will meet up with international standards.

“While we appreciate the work done by Henley & Partners, we are more concerned with deepening our passport technology to meet up with the standards of the ICAO; ensuring that our passport complies with ICAO guidelines.”

“This ranking is based on passport admissibility. And that is largely a function of mutual understanding, reciprocity among countries which does not necessarily reflect the true strength of a passport. A good example is the European Union and the ECOWAS,” he concluded.

African countries like Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique , Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe offer Nigerians visa-free, visa-on-arrival and e-visa access.

Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Timor-Leste, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Fiji, Micronesia, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are countries outside Africa that do same.

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British Airways Owner IAG Prepares for Summer Surge Amid High Travel Demand




As the world gradually emerges from the grip of the pandemic, the travel industry is witnessing a resurgence in demand with British Airways owner IAG SA gearing up for a busy summer season.

Despite lingering challenges, the airline conglomerate remains optimistic about the outlook, citing strong demand for travel within Europe and across the Atlantic.

In a recent stock exchange filing, IAG disclosed an adjusted operating profit of €68 million ($73.3 million) for the three months ending March.

According to Chief Executive Officer Luis Gallego, the group’s core markets, including the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and intra-Europe routes, have shown robust performance, positioning them well for the upcoming peak travel period.

With vaccination rates increasing and travel restrictions easing in many parts of the world, consumers are eager to resume travel plans, fueling the surge in demand.

However, the road ahead is not without its challenges. While travel within Europe and across the Atlantic remains strong, other regions present a more complex operating environment.

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has dampened demand for certain destinations, while airspace restrictions resulting from geopolitical tensions, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have disrupted flight routes to East Asia.

Despite these hurdles, IAG remains resilient, banking on the strength of its core markets and the performance of its brands to weather the storm.

The company’s strategic positioning and proactive measures to adapt to changing circumstances have positioned it to capitalize on the rebound in travel demand.

As the summer season approaches, IAG is focused on ensuring operational readiness to meet the surge in passenger numbers.

With travelers eager to reconnect with loved ones, explore new destinations, and embark on long-awaited vacations, the airline group stands ready to facilitate safe and seamless travel experiences.

As vaccination campaigns progress and travel sentiment rebounds, IAG’s proactive approach and strategic investments position it as a key player in the aviation industry’s recovery journey. With optimism on the horizon, the company remains committed to delivering exceptional service and fostering a seamless travel experience for passengers worldwide.

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Paystack and Africa World Airlines Team Up to Enhance Passenger Experience



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Paystack, a leading financial technology company specializing in payment processing services, has announced a strategic partnership with Africa World Airlines (AWA), a prominent regional carrier operating in West Africa.

This collaboration unveiled through a joint statement by Jonathan Appiah, the Head of Commercial at Africa World Airlines, and Shola Akinlade, the Co-founder and CEO of Paystack, heralds a new era of convenience and efficiency for air travelers within the region.

The partnership aims to streamline the flight booking and payment process, offering passengers an array of seamless payment options tailored to their preferences.

With the integration of Paystack’s advanced payment gateway, passengers flying with Africa World Airlines can now enjoy hassle-free transactions, enhancing the overall travel experience.

Jonathan Appiah expressed excitement about the partnership, emphasizing AWA’s commitment to providing its customers with exceptional service.

He highlighted that the collaboration with Paystack allows AWA passengers in Ghana, Nigeria, and beyond to benefit from diverse payment methods, including card, mobile money, Apple Pay, bank transfers, USSD, PayAttitude, and QR codes.

“We are thrilled to partner with Paystack to offer our passengers a more convenient and streamlined booking and payment experience,” said Appiah. “At AWA, we are constantly seeking ways to enhance the overall travel experience for our customers, and we believe that this partnership with Paystack will significantly contribute to achieving that goal.”

Shola Akinlade, echoing similar sentiments, expressed Paystack’s enthusiasm for the collaboration, highlighting the company’s dedication to making the booking process accessible and inclusive for travelers across the region.

“We are excited to partner with Africa World Airlines to provide passengers with a convenient and reliable payment experience,” stated Akinlade. “By offering a variety of payment options, we aim to make the booking process more accessible and inclusive for travelers across the region.”

The joint efforts of Paystack and Africa World Airlines signify a commitment to innovation and customer-centric solutions in the aviation industry. As air travel continues to evolve, partnerships like these pave the way for enhanced passenger experiences and greater convenience in the skies of Africa.

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Air Peace Flight Makes Emergency Landing Due to False Fire Warning



Passengers aboard Air Peace Flight APK7193 experienced a tense moment as the aircraft made an emergency landing at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos following a false fire warning in the cockpit.

The incident, which occurred on Thursday during the flight from Port Harcourt, highlighted the swift response and safety protocols implemented by the flight crew amidst the alarming situation.

With 243 passengers and 12 crew members on board, the flight’s pilots noticed a fire warning indicator in the cockpit, prompting immediate action.

Acting swiftly, the pilots executed all necessary safety measures and initiated an emergency landing procedure.

At 4:45 pm, the aircraft safely touched down on Runway 18L at the Lagos airport, averting a potential crisis.

Upon landing, fire fighting personnel stationed at the airport observed smoke emanating from the engines, prompting the pilots to shut down the engines as a precautionary measure.

However, it was later confirmed that the observed smoke was unrelated to any fire event, reassuring passengers and crew of their safety.

Air Peace promptly issued a statement addressing the incident, titled “Notification of false fire alarm on Port Harcourt-Lagos flight.”

The airline clarified that the fire warning indicator noticed in the cockpit was indeed a false alarm.

The statement emphasized the airline’s commitment to safety and reassured the flying public that all necessary precautions were taken to ensure the well-being of passengers and crew.

“We want to reassure the flying public that safety remains our utmost priority, and we are unwavering in our commitment to it,” the statement read.

Despite the momentary panic caused by the false fire warning, the swift and coordinated response of the flight crew, coupled with adherence to safety protocols, ensured a safe and uneventful landing for all passengers and crew members.

The incident serves as a testament to the importance of rigorous safety procedures and the critical role played by well-trained aviation professionals in ensuring passenger safety.

As investigations into the cause of the false fire warning are likely underway, Air Peace’s response underscores the airline’s dedication to transparency and accountability in addressing safety-related incidents.

Passengers and industry stakeholders alike can take solace in the airline’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of safety and operational excellence.

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