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Business News

British Airways: Again, Pilots suspend strike 

British Airways Pilots have suspended their third strike planned for the September 27th.

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alex cruz british airways, British Airways Strike: Pilots suspend third strike, Unauthorised flight diversion causes rift between British Airways, FAAN, British Airways to compensate passengers of diverted flights

British Airways’ Pilots have suspended their industrial action, which was to commence on September 27th, the third time.

This is after carrying out an earlier threat of a two-day strike action that cost the airline a total of £80 million over the lingering issue of pay disputes. 

The decision of the Pilots to cancel the strike was communicated by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) General Secretary Brian Strutton in a statement. 

“Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this (pay) dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course,” Strutton said. 

What this means: The Pilots are now open for negotiation over the preferred increase in their pay as they have sobered up for the moment in a period of reflection. Knowing fully well the damage strike caused the brand.   

[READ MORE: British Airways Pilots strike over pay disputes

Finally, a sigh of relief: The previous strike caused more than 1,700 flight cancellations as well as air-ticket refunds. A spokesman for the Airline who reacted to the new development promised to respond soonest while taking their time to weigh the whole situation. 

“We have just received this news. We are considering the implications and we will give updates in due course,” the spokesperson said. 

Prior to this, the Airline had begun cancelling flights scheduled for 27th September since last Thursday (due to fear of another strike); they promised to revoke that line of action and reinstate as many of the cancelled flights as possible, even though flight options for 27 September are still in doubt. They, however, promised to circulate the news to their customers before the date. 

What you should know: The airline was forced to cancel 1,700 flights last week during the pilots’ walkout over pay. Some 200,000 passengers had to change their travel plans because of the strikes. 

A glimmer of Hope: BALPA eagerly anticipates the round table discussion as it expects the Airline to change its approach and negotiate seriously with Pilots in order to dissolve the issue for good. 

BALPA General secretary Brian Strutton stated that the Pilots lifted the strike for common sense to prevail. Although he maintained that they have the right to announce further strike dates if the decision is not favourable with them. 

[ALSO READ: NSE lifts R.T. Briscoe’s shares suspension

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The backstory: British Airways Pilots announced a three-day strike action over failure to settle a pay dispute that has persisted for a long time. The strike was expected to take place for three days – 9th, 10th and 27th of September.  

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The two-day mass action on September 9th and 10th cost the airline an estimated £40 million a day which took place for the first time in 100 years of its existence. The strike caused a cancellation of 1,700 flights and a disruption for 195,000 passengers. 

In their defence, the Airline offered a pay rise of 11.5% to the aggrieved pilots for three years and promised a raise of £200,000 for captains, however, these offers were met with dissatisfaction as the Pilots felt they deserved better, asking for an even bigger chunk of the company’s profits.  

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British Airways acknowledged the pilots’ past sacrifice of taking pay cuts for the good of the company including salary cuts, pension cuts and total forfeiture of leave allowance. Notwithstanding, the Airline believes the strike action was BALPA’s way of forcing its hand to grant an astronomical salary increase, alongside juicy welfare packages since the company is now recording profits of £2 billion a year. 

[READ FURTHER: Pilots may ground British Airways in another new strike set to last 10 days

 

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Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Tech News

Spotify podcast listeners set to surpass Apple podcast for the first time in 2021

Spotify’s investments have empowered podcast creators and advertisers through its proprietary hosting, creation, and monetization tools.

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The number of Spotify’s podcast listeners will surpass Apple’s listeners this year. According to a report by eMarketer, 28.2 million U.S. users will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, compared with 28.0 million via Apple Podcasts. This shift will come on the heels of the expected 41.3% in 2021.

Apple was the de facto destination for podcasts for a long time, but in recent years, it has not kept up with Spotify’s pace of investment and innovation in podcast content and technology.

By putting podcasts and music in one app, Spotify became the convenient one-stop-shop for everything digital audio. Unlike Apple that has a different app for podcasts instead of offering a well-integrated experience with music and podcasts in one app.

This shift made more people stick to Spotify for the sheer experience of streaming music and also listening to a podcast on the same platform. Other music streaming services like Amazon, Pandora, etc. also have the seamless experience of enjoying podcasts and music on the same App.

According to the report, Spotify’s investments have empowered podcast creators and advertisers through its proprietary hosting, creation, and monetization tools.

Overall, there will be 117.8 million overall monthly podcast listeners in 2021, a 10.1% year-over-year (YoY) increase. This year, podcast listeners will represent 53.9% of monthly digital audio listeners, surpassing 50% for the first time.

We anticipate that more audio listeners will start listening to podcasts monthly, leading to a 60.9% share by 2024.

This year, $1.28 billion will be spent on podcast advertising, surpassing $1 billion for the first time, representing a 41.0% YoY increase. Podcast advertising is continuing to gain a share of total digital audio ad spending, representing 24.0% in 2021.

What you should know

  • Last week, Spotify announced that it will be expanding its service to 85 new markets including Nigeria.
  • This new expansion came with other upcoming features and products like the paid podcast subscriptions that will allow creators to publish paid podcast content aimed at their most dedicated fans.
  • Spotify is also partnering with WordPress to add a new integration to its platform similar to Clubhouse. This integration will make it easier for bloggers to turn their posts into podcasts, either by reading the blog posts themselves or leveraging third-party text-to-speech technology

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Coronavirus

Peter Obi urges FG to beg manufacturers, rich nations for COVID-19 vaccines

Obi urged the FG to consider appealing to rich nations, drug manufacturers for vaccines instead of spending billions of nairas to procure them.

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Katsina Abduction, Recession: Economy should be redirected from wasteful-consumption to productivity — Peter Obi

Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has appealed to the Federal Government to take a second look at their stipulated Covid-19 budget and rather, consider begging drug manufacturers and rich nations for the vaccines.

The former Vice Presidential candidate while speaking in an interview on Channels Television, lamented on what he felt was an over-the-top and ludicrous budget for the Covid-19 vaccines and advised that the FG should instead, appeal to manufacturers for the vaccine.

Obi, speaking on the FG Procurement Budget for the Covid-19 vaccine explained that it makes little sense for Nigeria to apportion 80% of its health budget for the procurement of Covid-19 only. He also stated that sufficient Covid-19 vaccine for the country can be purchased for a price way below the figure being put forward by the FG.

They said they need N400bn. Our Budget for health this year is N547bn and you are saying that you need 80% of that for vaccine procurement. Assuming that’s what we are going to use the money for. I have checked the vaccine we need to have 70% which WHO has stipulated that if they receive it is okay. The quantity we need cannot cost us more than N150bn. It might be less because there are people who are willing to give vaccines for free,” Obi said.

Mr. Obi took it a step further by advising the FG on how to go about the quest to get Covid-19 vaccines at a much cheaper rate. He believes the country should own up to its poor status and demand for help unashamedly. This, he said, will reduce the amount the FG will pay for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Why don’t we beg manufacturers to donate, saying to them that we don’t have anything. We can go kneel and beg them saying please give us the vaccines. We are from a poor country. Give us a discount. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are poor. It is not a crime. Because you are poor,” Obi added.

Since pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers began discovering and manufacturing vaccines against the novel Covid-19, there have been concerns that the poorer nations might be left far behind in the race to acquire the vaccines.

In case you missed it

  • Nigeria received its first batch of Covid 19 vaccines from India today. The first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India landed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.
  • About 3.94 million doses of the vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via an Emirates flight.

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