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Business News

British Airways, FAAN narrate what led to flight diversion

British Airways’ unauthorised flight diversion to Ghana for a plane bound for Lagos has caused a rift between the company and FAAN.

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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

The British Airways’ (BA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria have given their accounts over the flight diversion of the former (carrier from Lagos,  to Acrra, Ghana.

Why British Airways diverted plane? The Lagos bound flight was diverted to Kotoko International Airport in Accra. According to BA, the decision was prompted by a temporary closure of the runway at Lagos airport.

“We apologised to our customers for the overnight delay to their travel plans after a diversion, caused by a temporary closure of the runway at Lagos airport.

“We looked after our customers and provided them with accommodation and refreshments until their flight departed the next day. The safety and welfare of our customers and crew is always our priority,” BA said.

British Airways resumes flight operations to Nigeria after a two-day strike 

FAAN denies BA’s claim? The excuse given by British Airways was countered by FAAN. The aviation authority insisted that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport wasn’t closed at any time, as other planes landed as scheduled.

It was also reported that British Airways failed to follow protocol for such diversion.

General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, said that before taking such action, airline companies are issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).

[READ MORE: British Airways: Again, Pilots suspend strike)

But British Airways reportedly didn’t follow the standard practice as FAAN didn’t issue NOTAM to any airways.

“Apart from the Port Harcourt International Airport, which was recently closed briefly due to an incident, no other airport has been closed.

“There is no way we can just close the runway of an airport without notice to anyone.”

Weather wasn’t a problem either: It was reported that the prevailing weather conditions in Lagos of 1,500 metres was within the approved minimum state weather conditions for Performance-Based Navigation approach and landing on Runway 18 Right as well as Instrument Landing System approach and landing on Runway 18 Left at 400 metres, this is according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

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NAMA said the British Airways landing requirement was higher than the requirement, so such diversion shouldn’t have been taken, as a requirement for approach and landing on runway 18 Right using PBN is 1800m as against the prevailing visibility of 1500m.

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“It should also be noted that the BA, despite the diversion, has been operating into Lagos daily using the ILS CATII on Runway 18 Left with the same prevailing weather conditions. Therefore, these diversions are avoidable based on existing facilities,” NAMA said.

The grey area: So why did British Airways divert its Lagos-bound plane if other planes like Emirates, Delta, KLM, and Lufthansa landed on the same runway under the same weather condition? That question is what aviation experts are asking, as they demand to know the truth. Nairametrics would not also relent until it gets to the root of the reason behind the diversion.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Mr Stephens

    January 11, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Your article is ill informed and is perhaps making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Weather is only one reason why aircraft divert.

    Perhaps the aircraft diverted because the commander decided that for whatever reason landing in Lagos was not the safest option.

    This could have occurred for a number of reasons such as aircraft unserviceability, ie. Regardless of what BA aircraft are usually able to achieve, perhaps on the day this aircraft was unable to land to the same limits.

    The line “There is no way we can just close the runway of an airport without notice to anyone.” is factually incorrect. Any airport can close its runway at any time for any number of reasons.

    For example; If the runway was temporarily blocked or a defect is discovered during a routine runway inspection. The list of reasons for unexpected closures is not exhaustive.

    For an unexpected closure the issuance of a a NOTAM would not have been a required protocol for a diversion.

    The protocol for a diversion for the flight crew are; 1.consider options, based on weather, fuel endurance and suitable airports.
    2.if time permits advise company of decision
    3.advise air traffic of intentions and request a routing to the desired airfield.

    There is NO requirement to ask anyone’s permission and should anyone object, they may lodge that objection but not interfere with the decision of the aircraft commander.

    “NAMA said the British Airways landing requirement was higher than the requirement, so such diversion shouldn’t have been taken, as requirement for approach and landing on runway 18 Right using PBN is 1800m as against the prevailing visibility of 1500m.”

    This is nonsense. If 1800m visibility is required for
    Runway 18 and the prevailing visibility was only 1500m, this is 300m less than was required. So no, they couldn’t land if these had been the conditions on the day.

    As for THE GREY AREA, the people asking this question are not aviation experts. Aviation experts will discount your article as alot of uninformed noise about nothing, on a quiet news day.

  2. Remi aderinkomi

    January 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Be rest assured that the regulatory Authority NCAA and by extension the Hon. Minister of Aviation will get to the root of this incident, and react as appropriate. While economic regulation is one of the focal point of the current Aviation Minister, He never compromise on matters of national integrity and Nigeria consumer satisfaction

  3. Remi aderinkomi

    January 12, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Be rest assured that the regulatory Authority NCAA and by extension the Hon. Minister of Aviation will get to the root of this incident, and react as appropriate. While economic regulation is one of the focal point of the current Aviation Minister, He never compromise on matters of national integrity and Nigeria consumer satisfaction

  4. Simon Andrews

    January 12, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I’m very much of the view of Mr Stephens, the author has produced a speculative and sensationalist piece. If it is requirement is 1800m, and the visibility is 1500m, you will not be landing, no argument about it.

    Maybe someone at MMIA should fix the taxiways on the other side of the airfield so that biggest and heaviest plane that visits can actually use them. If they are all closed or are too weak to support the weight then it doesn’t matter if the instrument landing system on the east runway works, the plane can’t move anywhere after it lands. Just what would happen if it got stuck? No wonder Emirates can’t use the A380 to get in here, we are lucky a jumbo comes here at all. Alternatively maybe the best solution is to get the landing system fixed on the main runway for a start.

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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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