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Aviation Minister Festus Keyamo Promises to Tackle Challenges Facing Nigerian Airlines on International Routes

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Festus Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has pledged the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges hindering their operations.

Speaking at the inaugural event for the Air Peace Lagos-London flight over the weekend, Minister Keyamo emphasized the need for proactive measures to support domestic carriers in accessing long-term aircraft leases at competitive rates, aligning with global industry standards.

Keyamo highlighted the significance of enabling Nigerian airlines to easily secure long-term leasing agreements and reducing the cost of aircraft insurance, considering these as critical performance measures for his ministry.

He expressed concern over the difficulties faced by local operators in servicing international routes and leveraging Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) to their advantage.

The minister underscored the importance of BASAs, which are mutual agreements allowing airlines from one country to operate flights to another country while reciprocally permitting airlines from the latter country to do the same.

However, he noted the challenges Nigerian airlines encounter in fully capitalizing on these agreements due to political factors and disparities in aircraft leasing terms.

Keyamo explained the need to empower Nigerian carriers by providing access to aircraft leases on terms similar to those enjoyed by international airlines.

He pointed out that a significant portion of the global aircraft fleet operates under leasing arrangements, highlighting the potential for Nigerian airlines to benefit from such agreements.

“We cannot compete effectively on international routes if our airlines do not have access to aircraft on favorable terms,” Keyamo remarked. “By leveraging leasing arrangements, we can empower our local operators and enhance their competitiveness in the global aviation market.”

The minister’s commitment to addressing the challenges facing Nigerian airlines on international routes signals a proactive approach by the government to support the aviation sector’s growth and development.

With measures aimed at facilitating access to aircraft leases and reducing operational costs, Nigerian carriers stand to gain greater traction in the fiercely competitive international aviation landscape.

 

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Ethiopian Airlines Group Celebrates 78 Years of Excellence and Innovation

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Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s leading airline organization, commemorated its 78th anniversary with a tribute to its rich history of resilience and innovation since its inception in 1946.

Led by its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mesfin Tassew, and Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Lemma Yadecha, the airline marked this significant milestone with a special flight to Cairo, retracing its inaugural international service route.

Reflecting on the occasion, CEO Mesfin Tasew emphasized the airline’s enduring commitment to passenger service and servant leadership.

He highlighted Ethiopian’s journey from modest beginnings to becoming a pioneering force in African aviation, introducing numerous innovations along the way. Tasew’s sentiment encapsulated the airline’s ethos of prioritizing passenger satisfaction and continuous improvement.

In keeping with its tradition of community engagement, Ethiopian Airlines distributed Seasons Greeting Packages and Happy Fasting Messages to passengers, embracing the diverse cultural backgrounds of its travelers.

This gesture underscored the airline’s dedication to fostering unity and inclusivity among its passengers, transcending geographical boundaries.

Chief Commercial Officer, Lemma Yadecha, emphasized the airline’s mission to go beyond transportation, aiming to create a sense of belonging for all passengers.

By assuming roles typically held by ground and flight crew members, Ethiopian Airlines honored its dedicated staff and the countless individuals who contributed to its success over the past 78 years.

As Ethiopian Airlines celebrates this historic milestone, it reaffirms its commitment to service excellence and innovation in the aviation industry, promising to continue leading Africa’s skies with distinction and pride.

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Global Air Travel Surges by 21.5% in February, IATA Reports

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Global air travel increased by 21.5% in February, according to the latest report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This surge represents a significant improvement from January’s 16.6% growth and reflects increasing confidence in air travel despite ongoing challenges.

The latest report from IATA revealed that the surge in demand was accompanied by a notable rise in capacity, which grew by 18.7% compared to the same period in 2023.

This surge in capacity underscores airlines’ efforts to meet the growing demand for air travel worldwide.

One of the most encouraging aspects of the report is the notable increase in the February load factor, which soared to 80.6%.

This represents a substantial increase of 1.9 percentage points compared to the previous year, indicating a higher utilization of available capacity.

International demand for air travel saw a particularly robust growth, surging by 26.3% compared to February 2023.

This surge was matched by an increase in capacity, up by 25.5% year-on-year, leading to an improved load factor of 79.3% for international flights.

Willie Walsh, the Director-General of IATA, expressed optimism about the industry’s prospects in 2024, citing airlines’ accelerated investments in decarbonization and the resilience of passenger demand in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

However, he cautioned against new taxes that could destabilize the positive trajectory and make travel more expensive, particularly in Europe.

Industry experts have lauded the aviation sector’s resilience in attracting more passengers and expanding its capacity amidst challenges. Despite currency devaluation and soaring aviation fuel prices in countries like Nigeria, air travel demand remains robust.

Susan Akporiaye, President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, emphasized the sustained high traffic levels despite the challenges faced by travelers.

The global aviation industry is still on the path to recovery from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Aviation, the industry lost about N21 billion monthly during the COVID-19 lockdown. Analysts project that it may take until the end of 2024 for the industry to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.

As air travel continues to rebound, stakeholders remain cautiously optimistic about the industry’s future trajectory. The surge in demand observed in February underscores the resilience of air travel and its importance in facilitating global connectivity and economic growth.

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Emirates Airlines Set to Resume Nigeria Operations by June 2024, Confirms Aviation Minister

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Emirates Airlines is on track to resume its operations in Nigeria by June 2024.

The news was confirmed by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, during an interview on Arise Television on Monday.

Keyamo revealed that the Emirates’ return to Nigeria follows extensive negotiations and resolution of longstanding issues between the Nigerian government and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He highlighted the pivotal role played by President Bola Tinubu in facilitating diplomatic efforts to mend relations between the two countries.

“The resumption of Emirates flights is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates confirming their readiness to come back,” stated Keyamo during the interview.

He further explained that Emirates Airlines had completed all necessary processes and was now awaiting the finalization of operational details before announcing the exact date for its first flight back to Nigeria.

The minister expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts that led to this breakthrough, emphasizing President Tinubu’s proactive engagement in resolving the bilateral issues.

“Mr. President was the showman here. He made my job easy because he went there and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues,” Keyamo noted.

The suspension of Emirates’ flight operations to Nigeria in October 2022 had left travelers and businesses grappling with limited connectivity options.

The airline attributed the halt to challenges in repatriating funds held in Nigeria, amounting to $85 billion.

However, following sustained diplomatic engagements and concerted efforts by both nations, the impasse has been successfully resolved, paving the way for Emirates’ return.

Keyamo’s announcement comes after a series of discussions with Emirates representatives, indicating significant progress toward the airline’s comeback.

 

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