Dana Air and Arik airlines are set to resume flight operations from Lagos airport on Saturday, as the Lagos State government relaxed the 72-hour curfew imposed on the state.
The curfew was imposed by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday to forestall further breakdown of law and order, following series of EndSARS protests.
Communications Manager, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, in a statement issued on Friday, explained that flights across the country would operate as scheduled, and passengers were advised to arrive at the airport early to have ample time to complete boarding formalities.
He said, “Customers who could not use their tickets during the period of the curfew can modify such tickets at no extra cost.
“The management of Arik Air thanks customers for their understanding while the cancellation of flights lasted.”
Also, spokesperson for Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa announced that the airline was pleased to inform its passengers that the company would resume full flight operations from Saturday, the 24th of October 2020.
He said, “The tickets purchased for flights within the period of the curfew remains valid and can be rescheduled for free by sending an email to us.”
Back story: Nairametrics reported earlier on Friday that the Lagos State Government had eased the 72-hour curfew which was earlier imposed on Tuesday, October 2020, to run from 6 pm to 8 am.
This was disclosed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, October 23, during a press briefing at State House Marina, after a tour of the state to inspect the level of destruction of public and private infrastructure during the #EndSARS protests that later turned violent.
This means residents can go out between 8 am and 6 pm, with effect from Saturday, October 24, 2020).
Nigeria owes foreign airlines $53 million as proceeds from ticket sales – IATA
Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria are having difficulties repatriating funds back to their operational base.
The sum of $53 million, which is the proceeds from sales of foreign airlines’ ticket, are trapped in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East (AME), Mr. Muhammed Albakri, at its 76th Annual General Meeting.
Albakri explained that foreign airlines operating into Nigeria are having difficulties repatriating the fund back to their operational base.
He stated that Nigeria and other African countries have blocked funds that amounted to $516 million.
He said, “IATA has been at the forefront of the campaign, soliciting governments’ support for the aviation industry in order to salvage the situation.”
Nigeria is not the only country with trapped funds but fourth among 12 others with similar issues.
Others African states are Zimbabwe $160 million; Eritrea $79 million; Algeria $54 million; Ethiopia $52 million; Sudan $45 million; Libya $27 million; XAF Zone $27 million; Angola $9 million; Mozambique $6 million; Burundi $3 million and Zambia $1 million.
What it means: The IATA’s disclosure is an indication that the airlines could not access foreign exchange (forex) by operators due to COVID-19 pandemic, as most countries are struggling economically with its attendant effect on global airline industry.
What you need to know: International airlines are owed $824 million globally and $516 million out of $824 million in blocked funds is in Africa. With the IATA revelation, it means the rest of the world has $308 million of the blocked funds.
UK Government opens point-based immigration system
The UK Government has announced the commencement of its point-based immigration system to attract skilled workers from across the world.
In a bid to attract “the brightest and the best from around the world,” the UK Government has announced that applications for skilled workers visas can commence.
This was announced by the UK’s Secretary of State, Priti Patel, in a statement on Tuesday evening.
What you should know
The UK Government had hinted earlier this year that it planned on exiting the European Union, and thereafter, it would introduce a point-based immigration system widely used by both Canada and Australia.
“We are ending free movement and will introduce an Immigration Bill to bring in a firm and fair points-based system that will attract the high-skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities, and our public services. We intend to create a high wage, high-skill, high productivity economy,” the government stated in February 2020.
The UK disclosed on Tuesday that points would be given to applicants “awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, knowledge of English, and being paid a minimum salary. Skilled worker visas will be awarded to those who gain enough points.”
It stated that the new immigration scheme would ensure that businesses could hire skilled applicants from across the globe to boost their economy,
“It will also encourage employers to focus on training and investing in the UK workforce, driving productivity and improving opportunities for individuals, especially those impacted by a coronavirus.”
Home Secretary, Rishi Sunak, disclosed that:
- This government promised to end free movement, to take back control of our borders, and to introduce a new points-based immigration system. Today, we have delivered on that promise.
- This simple, effective, and flexible system will ensure employers can recruit the skilled workers they need, whilst also encouraging employers to train and invest in the UK’s workforce.
- We are also opening routes for those who have an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech, or culture.
The skilled worker’s visa lasts for 5 years and can be renewed when expired. It requires applicants to have jobs paying at least £25,600 per year unless the ‘going rate’ for that job is higher.
Applicants will need to prove their identities and provide documents, Also, the process will require 3 weeks for a decision to be made after all necessary documents are provided.
“They will need to have enough money to pay the application fee (ranging from £610 to £1,408), the healthcare surcharge (usually £624 per year) and be able to support themselves (usually by having at least £1,270 available),” the UK government said.
34.5% decline in aviation jet fuel daily sufficiency, a worry for airline companies
Decline in daily aviation fuel sufficiency worries airlines as air passengers are expected to increase in the festive season.
The 34.5% decline in the daily sufficiency of aviation jet fuel may constitute a worry for airline companies in the country.
Considering that there is usually more people traveling due to the traditional Christmas and New Year festivities, resulting in increased flight patronage, the current total stock level appears to be low.
The observation is according to the daily petroleum products days sufficiency (total stock level data) compiled by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
In line with the data available on the PPPRA website,
- The current total stock level of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), also known as aviation jet fuel or Jet-A1, stands at 89.04 million litres.
- Eleven days earlier, the total stock level was 135.83 million litres – indicating a 34.5% decline.
- Before now and since the start of the 2020, total stock level has been relatively unstable, with the recent highest total stock level of 187.40 million litres recorded on the 2nd of October 2020 – indicating about 60 days sufficiency; and the lowest 54.96 million litres was recorded on the 17th of July – about 18 days sufficiency.
- As at the time the latest report was released, 27th November 2020, the total ATK stock was land-based stock.
- Checks indicate there has been no receipt of ATK from the 19th of November, after the last receipt of 5.56 million litres on the 18th of November.
What they are saying
Speaking to Nairametrics regarding the decline, the MD/CEO of Jushad Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr. Bosun Paseda, submitted that the decline is due to the continuous increase in the exchange rate.
He said, “The exchange rate is very high and unstable. You will discover that importers do not have access to the CBN rate and have to make recourse to the parallel market. The landing cost is currently higher than the rate we sell at the airport. That’s why marketers do not want to bring the product.
“Scarcity is likely to set in, but the reason there is no scarcity yet is because people are not really flying. If it stays the same, then scarcity may set in, when travel increases.”
Responding to the question on whether the decline in stock has affected the price of the product, Mr Paseda noted that it has not really affected the price of the product as consumption is currently low.
What you should know
Nairametrics recently reported that oil markets yearned for airlines to resume operations following several months of not operating due to the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions.
- Aside from the loss of revenues to airline companies, the call was necessary considering that Jet fuel demand averages about 8 million barrels per day worldwide – indicating that oil companies were also not recording enough revenues.
- As a result of the pandemic, the International Energy Agency expects demand for Jet fuel and Kerosene to fall by 2.1 million bpd on average in 2020. This has, however, improved following lifting of travel restrictions in many countries.
Now that flights have resumed operations, it appears airline companies in the country may be in line to face another hurdle before the year runs out. The likelihood of facing this hurdle is highly contingent on receipt of ATK used in powering flights and increased travels. If things remain the same in terms of daily sufficiency of ATK needed to power their flights, scarcity may set in.
- Remember that the lowest ATK of 54.96 million litres – about 18 days sufficiency, recorded on the 17th of July, was during travel restrictions. The decline in that period didn’t create concerns and it picked up days later.
What this means
- With the national average daily consumption of ATK three million litres, this depicts that current total stock level of 89.04 million litres will only sustain for about 30 days, all things being equal.
- Even though it appears this stock level is good, the steady decline in the stock level as illustrated in the graph above raises immediate concerns.
- Also, one may conclude that receipt of ATK has stalled in recent days, having received only a total of 12.68 million litres in the last two weeks, since 12th November. This observation appears to denote that should the product receipt trend continue, scarcity may occur in the near future.