Monthly Archives: May 2017

NCAA, Ethiopian Airlines Heading For Showdown Over Unauthorised Charges On South Africa Route

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA has ordered Ethiopian Airlines [ET] to stop forthwith the illegal collection of unauthorised charges.

A statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority [NCAA], stated that these unauthorised charges referred to as Refundable Deportation Fee is put at between $75 [Seventy five dollars] and $150 [One Hundred and Fifty US dollars].

Adurogboye said in the statement that All South Africa bound passengers on Ethiopian Airlines are compelled to pay this amount before boarding.

“The Authority has been inundated with several complaints from many passengers that have suffered this fate.

According to investigation by NCAA, all outbound passengers to South Africa from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, [MMIA], Lagos and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, transiting through Addis Ababa, are liable to pay $75 dollars.

However, if your transiting time is 24 hours or beyond, the passenger will pay $150 dollars.

While passengers are not given prior notice concerning these charges before arriving at the airports, some were made to sign undertaken to be responsible for all expenses incurred if deported,” Adurogboye explained.

He noted that the Ethiopian Airlines’ Country management were summoned by NCAA, where they claimed the fees were always refunded when a passenger was not deported.

He said the Regulatory Authority has found this unacceptable and viewed it as a violation of the Authority’s extant regulations.

He concluded in the statement that: “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations [NCARs] Part 18.4.1[iii] stipulates that “all air carriers should obtain approval from the Authority to introduce or increase add-on charges or surcharges prior to implementation”.

Till date, the Authority has not received any request for fare increase, tariff or add-ons from the airline.

On this strength, Ethiopan Airlines has been ordered to stop with immediate effect these illegal charges. The Airline could take advantage of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CAR) and obtain necessary approvals from the Authority if it has genuine grounds to increase fares or obtain tariffs.

NCAA hereby warns all operating airlines to endeavour to adhere to the Regulations in all facets of their operations. It is part of our statutory responsibilities to protect the rights of passengers and this we shall continue to do in accordance to the law”.

In a media publication, Ethiopian Airlines noted that Ethiopian Airlines doesn’t charge any unauthorized fees on this route, but stated that since many passengers have been denied entry in to South Africa by the immigration authorities for various reasons, and these passengers have been inconvenienced during their stay at Johannesburg airport before they were returned back to their airport of departure, they were asked to deposit the mentioned amount to cover their incidental expenses in case they are denied entry.

This amount the airline noted is refunded to the passengers when they have been allowed entry in to South Africa and that it has served the people of Nigeria for the past 57 years and have proved to be a partner in progress and pointed to its recent

However, investigation also revealed that some passengers that were recently denied boarding by Ethiopian Airlines that eventually settled for South Africa Airways were royally welcome into South Africa, a situation industry analysts says pointed to be a strategy devised by South African Government to favour its airline on the lucrative Lagos-Johannesburg route.

UNWTO Announces Training On Tourism And Biodiversity In West and Central Africa

The Convention on Biological Diversity of the United Nations has chosen ‘Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism’ as the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated today 22 May 2017. On this occasion, UNWTO is launching a capacity building program on sustainable tourism and biodiversity protection, to be implemented in West and Central Africa.

The program will build on previous tourism and biodiversity seminars that UNWTO successfully delivered in The Gambia, Ghana, and Tanzania and will address biodiversity conservation and environmental protection, taking into account the importance of this topic to safeguard future opportunities for local people to generate income from sustainable tourism development.

The seminars to be held staring June 2017 will focus on building capacities of tourism stakeholders and on maintaining and improving the quality of the tourism product to enhance client satisfaction in the following countries: Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea [Conakry], and Niger.

Primary beneficiaries of the capacity building program are tourism employees and small entrepreneurs at the grass root level who will be encouraged to act as champions for biodiversity conversation and environmental protection in their enterprises and communities.

The contribution of tourism to conservation is increasingly recognized by the international community. The Cancun Declaration on Mainstreaming the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity for Wellbeing was released on the occasion of COP 13, (the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity) held in Mexico last December.

The Declaration recalls that “tourism is an excellent vehicle to use in spreading environmental awareness worldwide, not to mention the livelihood support it provides for communities living in and around reserves and natural areas” and recognises that tourism can be an enabling agent of change.

Through these training seminars, UNWTO continues its long-standing work in strengthening capacities of tourism stakeholders in gaining a better understanding of the relationship between tourism and environmental protection, developing tourism products based on the unique biodiversity in a destination and using tourism development as an incentive to invest in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.

UNWTO: South African Tourism Minister Blames St. Ange Of Seychelles For Mzembi’s Defeat

South African Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa on Wednesday expressed dismay at African countries not supporting each other and failing to vote Zimbabwe Tourism minister Walter Mzembi secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

Xasa told journalists at the Tourism Indaba in Durban that she was exasperated by the lack of unity on the continent, which saw some African countries vote for European candidates.

Mzembi lost narrowly last week in Spain to Georgia’s Zurab Polilakashvilli in a tightly contested UNWTO elections for Secretary General.

The Zimbabwe Tourism minister, whom Xasa described as the most senior and most experienced minister in the world, led the first round 11 to Georgia’s eight, but eventually lost in the second round after getting 15 votes, three short of his rival’s 18.

There are 33 member states in the UNWTO executive council, which constitute the electoral college, of which 10 are from Africa, Europe 10, Middle East three, South Asia two, Americas five and East Asia three.

Xasa accused Seychelles, which withdrew its candidate, Alain St. Ange just before the race for causing the confusion which contributed to Mzembi’s loss.

“But the unfortunate part is that of the five candidates, there was a second candidate from Africa. Which means the vote from Africa was divided into two,” she said.

In addition, Xasa said other Africa countries supported European candidates when the two already split the votes.
“I am trying to demonstrate something here. We won first round with flying colours. We got 11 and I can tell you that 11 was not constituted by the African countries,” she said.

“That I can tell you straight up, Minister Mzembi was number one with 11 votes and second candidate had eight, third seven and fourth three. I am not counting the fifth because just a day before the election, the second candidate had to be withdrawn by his country, Seychelles, as it had at first supported him. The damage had already been done.

Xasa added that: “The third aspect was technically when a person is given a space to withdraw in an executive council and yet he is not an executive member of the council. It hit so hard on Africa and the African Union. Do you think people will take us seriously? After that they didn’t.

“We won round one. The only black person was him and the rest were white. I am not trying to be racist but that is how the industry is transformed. And how Africa is perceived, it is either through us or through what we do or on colour lines. He was the only one. He had beaten all of them first round.

Xasa said if Africa had been united Mzembi would have won the elections.

“I am convinced that had we been more united we would have taken it. Sitting here I am convinced that we could have taken that because he is the longest serving minister of tourism that we have in the world. He has been serving in the executive council of the UNWTO. He has accumulated a lot of experience hence he is chairing the commission for Africa, which is the continental arm of that world tourism body,” she said.

Xasa alluded to racism playing a part at the elections at the United Nations organ.

Since its inception in 1975, it has not been run by an Africa and the continent had hoped to make history through Mzembi.

“What is being picked is just the country he comes from and gets supported for that,” Xasa said.

“Come second round we had just lumped all of them against us. We lost by three votes only. I think we tested them big time. So the current person who succeeded comes from a very small country called Georgia. He is only an ambassador of Georgia in Spain. He has not even been at the realm of tourism.”

By Faith Zaba in Durban

Safety Concerns: EU Bars Medview, Other From Flying Into Europe

Barely few weeks that Medview Airlines announced its readiness to commence flight operations to West and Central Africa, as well as to Dubai, the European Commission has barred Nigeria’s flag carrier airline, from operating into European airspace for safety reasons.

A total of 181 airlines were barred from flying into Europe. 174 airlines were barred due to safety oversight by aviation authorities in their home countries.

All carriers from Mozambique and Republic of Benin have been removed from the list of airlines banned.

Medview was one of seven airlines barred due to safety conditions with the airlines and its yet to issue an official statement concerning the ban, but a Director in the airline, Alhaji Ishaq Na’ Allah said that the UK Civil Aviation requested the airline stop flying its B767 and has advised it to lease another aircraft.

He said they are working to resolve the issue while the UK authorities are due in Nigeria to carry out safety audit on the airline.

He did not however disclose when the airline would be back in service to London.

The airline, being one of the two flag carriers of Nigeria, was “Listed by Introduction” on the Nigerian Stock Exchange [NSE] on January 31, 2017, and was the first airline to list its shares on the stock exchange in the last 10 years.

This development is a pointer to the fact that all the private operators in Nigeria lack the capacity to serve 180 million Nigerians; hence the call for a national carrier.

Garbage On Streets Of Calabar Ruins The Experience Of Visitors – Netherland Diplomat

…no development aide to Nigeria from Netherlands

The first secretary of the kingdom of Netherlands to Nigeria, Tessel Kuijten visiting Calabar, Cross River’s capital for the first time from Lagos said the garbage on the street was capable of ruining the experience of every visitor to Nigeria.

The first secretary of the kingdom Netherlands’ economic affairs to Nigeria stated this in an interview with newsmen while attending Cuso International Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development [YouLead] programme in Calabar on Wednesday.