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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. 

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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.   

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[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. 

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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. 

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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

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.  

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

 

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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Lagos State Government orders building owners to conduct structural stability tests

There will also be stricter enforcement of regulations and safety precautions to ensure that building owners and developers across Lagos metropolis comply with it, she reiterated.

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Lagos state govt orders building owners to conduct a structural stability test

In response to the partial collapse of a 3-storey building at Alagomegi-Yaba on Monday, the Lagos State Government has ordered owners of buildings in the state to immediately carry out structural stability tests on their properties. This is expedient, given the onset of the rainy seasons, and the presence of statistics to show that many buildings collapse during the season.

In a series of tweets that were posted last night on the Lagos State Government’s official Twitter handle, the state’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA), disclosed that the affected building at 6, Olonode Street, Alagomeji-Yaba, Lagos, collapsed in the early hours of Monday due to the heavy rainfall in the area over the night.

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The General Manager of the agency, Engr. Biola Kosegbe, noted that the collapsed building had earlier been marked for demolition. In other words, all occupants of the building were evacuated by the Agency before the incident, thereby averting a disaster.

(READ MORE:Lagos increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks)

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Kosegbe went on to explain that statistics from previous years show that there is a higher incidence of building collapse during the rainy season, hence the need for building owners to ascertain the level of structural stability of their properties to avert collapse. She added that the Lagos State Government would not hesitate to remove illegal or distressed buildings, or any other structure that is not in conformity with the State’s building laws and standards.

There will also be stricter enforcement of regulations and safety precautions to ensure that building owners and developers across Lagos metropolis comply with it, she reiterated.

Why it matters

This type of pro-active government regulation will help prevent future catastrophes that could occur in the events of building collapse. Incidents of building collapses are not alien to Lagos, a city-state with more than 20 million estimated population, a significant number of whom live in squalid conditions due to extreme poverty and housing deficits.

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Just In: Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital inflows in Q1 2020 –NBS

Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital importation (inflows) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, compared to $8.51 billion in Q1 2019.

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Foreign Reserves Rise by $295m in One month

Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital importation (inflows) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, as against $8.51 billion in Q1 2019. This is according to the latest capital importation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the NBS, the $5.85 billion worth of capital importation in Q1 2020 represents an increase of 53.97% when compared to how much was received in Q4 2019.

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However, when compared to the corresponding first quarter period of 2019, the figure indicates a 31.19% decline.

Capital Inflow by type

Portfolio investment ($4.31 billion) accounted for 73.61% of the total capital importation, followed by other investments ($1.33 billion), which accounted for 22.73%, and Foreign Direct Investment ($214.3 million), which accounted for 3.66% of total capital importation.

More details shortly…

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Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members on forex sales resumption

It is obvious that the CBN has come to realize that BDC operators can be the difference between naira recovery and depreciation during volatile times.

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COVID-19 could save naira from depreciating further, Many odds against the naira, Naira forwards and parallel market crash puts pressure on official exchange rate, Naira appreciates to N386.94 to $1 at investor and exporters window. , Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members for forex sales resumption

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) have finalized arrangements for the resumption of forex sales to Bureau De Change operators (BDCs).

Following this finalisation, the more than 5,000 BDCs spread across the country are now expected to help curb the downward spiral of the naira, thereby checking the activities of foreign currency speculators.

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Recall that the naira has recently been facing major challenges, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, currency speculators took advantage of the situation by making spurious demand for dollars with the hopes of making good returns from the rising gaps between official and parallel market rates.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Emefiele of the CBN and ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, have repeatedly spoken against the illicit business of currency speculators and the dangers they pose to the economy and naira’s stability. They have also warned the speculators about the looming danger for their trade if they refuse to retrace their steps; they Could incur losses estimated at over N10 billion in the next few months, especially now that the CBN is enabling BDCs’ full return to the forex market after nearly six weeks of inactivity.

(READ MORE: Devaluation’s drum beats louder)

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Governor Emefiele had also appealed to industrialists who patronize the parallel market to stop such practices in the interest of the economy and for the sustainability of their businesses. Failure to do this might result in them incurring the same huge losses as currency speculators.

Naira hits N570 to $1 at forwards market, pressure on the naira climbs up, Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members for forex sales resumption   

Both Emefiele and Gwadabe have extensive experience in the market, enough to predict what follows after every major crisis. During the 2016 currency crisis, the market got a major relief after the BDCs began getting dollar allocations from the CBN. That same scenario will soon play out as the BDCs countdown to resumption.

In the meantime, it is obvious that the CBN has come to realize that BDC operators can be the difference between naira recovery and depreciation during volatile times. This is especially true now that the local currency has come under intense pressure, driven mainly by speculative demand for the dollar.

READ ALSO: CBN ends forex for fertilizer importation, raises concern over banks sharp practice

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Note that the BDCs are essentially operators who help to get dollars across to the end-users, no matter where they are. The BDC operators have, for decades, proven their relevance in stabilizing the naira. While commenting on the recent moves by the apex bank to resume dollar sales to the BDCs, Gwadabe said:

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The CBN’s planned lifting of moratorium on dollar sales to BDCs, reopening of the airports for air travels as well as global ease on restriction of movement are positive indications that dollar flows to the economy will soon improve.

The naira has been exchanging at N461 to a dollar at the parallel market but will be upbeat once dollar sales to BDCs commence. The return of over 5,000 BDCs to the forex market will add great strength to the Naira and lead to major capital losses for forex speculators. It happened in 2016 and it will happen again in 2020. The return of the BDCs will immediately boost naira’s recovery and put the enemies of the economy to shame. We are committed to the CBN’s exchange rate stability and will take all necessary steps within set rules and regulations to keep the naira stable.”

(READ MORE: Naira depreciates at I&E window, forex turnover up by over 117%)

Naira crashes further at the parallel market due to dollar scarcity, lowest since 2017, Naira drops to N454, foreign investors and importers struggle for dollars, Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members for forex sales resumption

Moving on, the CBN said it has taken steps to address the risks facing the naira. Asides other positive developments in the global economy (including oil price recovery thanks to OPEC+ output cuts and IMF’s $3.4 billion emergency funding to Nigeria), the CBN believes its measures will enable a rapid recovery for the local currency. Emefiele explained:

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CBN has also officially reviewed the naira exchange rate to N380 to a dollar. Aside devaluing the naira, the apex bank also adopted a unified exchange rate, and pushed the official rate of the naira to N376 to dollar for International Money Transfer Operators rate to banks; N377 to dollar for banks’ dollar sale to CBN and pegged CBN’s dollar sales to banks at N378, all aimed at attracting Foreign Portfolio Investment and strengthening the local currency. The BDC operators are expected to buy dollar from the CBN at N378 per dollar.”

For Gwadabe, the naira rate review and the CBN’s assurance to foreign investors on the easy repatriation of their funds from Nigeria, are positive indicators for naira’s continued recovery.

(READ MORE: Why the naira is falling)

He also noted that ABCON is reopening guidelines to all its members nationwide included on-boarding of the queuing crowd ticketing management application, known as ABCON 360°QSM portal, by all members. So far, over 80 percent of members registered nationwide.

He also disclosed that they updated all regulatory obligations during the lockdown, such as fumigation of members’ offices/markets, and distribution of second phase of face mask nationwide to our members. They also made provision for wash hand basins and sanitizers at distributions centres, even as members will explore school fees, mortgage, and subscription payments as part of their allowable scope post-COVID-19.

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