Don't Miss

BA unveils on-business programme for SMEs

By on October 17, 2015

Europe’s mega carrier, British Airways has introduced online business prgramme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) known as On-Business and aimed at providing extra travel services at affordable fares for such line of enterprises in order to encourage them to grow.

The airline initiated the programme to enable its corporate clients in growing businesses to book tickets at the most affordable fares. The will then earn travel points at significant discounts and safe a lot of money from their travel expenditure and invariably safe cost in their operations.

BA Commercial Manager, West Africa, Kola Olayinka explained that the programme was aimed ay encouraging SMEs to grow and ensure they continue to patronize the airline that aided them in their growth.

“The whole idea is to look out for people; you know an economy runs on so many things, it runs on people who can employ. So this is British Airways efforts to focus on some of those companies, that we believe are not yet big, but they are big in their own way, and they will be big going forward. And why are we focusing on them? We are focusing on them because if you are running such company, two things will be important to you: cost and revenue. You want the cost to go down and the revenue to go up. In terms of cost, which is where we come in, we can help these businesses manage their travels in such a way that they save money; they earn miles so that they can grow quicker.

And many of them have asked me, what is the catch? I will say there is no catch, but there is one catch, when you eventually grow big, do not forget the airline that helped you to grow. So we are creating the future here, if you like. We are helping the economy and creating the future. Both in travels and in the economy because the person employing 25 staff if the cost is well managed will probably by next year employ 30 or 35 and it continues to grow bigger and bigger and bigger,” he said.

Olayinka explained that BA launched this programme five years ago all over the world, including Nigeria. But British Airways Nigeria decided to re-launch it in order to help growing businesses, adding that the programme is an on-going drive to help small, medium enterprises and others who are employing in that range to make sure they can grow and when they grow they continue to fly British Airways.

Olayinka said in terms of air travel Nigeria continues to be a big attraction in Africa because of its huge population and prospects.

“In Nigeria, no matter what you think is not working and what you think is not perfect, we are a very great nation. There is power in numbers. You know, when you look at the whole Africa, Nigeria remains the powerhouse of Africa. Don’t let us focus on what is yet to work out perfectly; let us focus on what is our strength and in terms of aviation, what is our biggest strength? Numbers. We have people and if we enable these SMEs and all people flying, it means that as an airline we will have growing number of loyal customers”, BA’s Marketing Manager, West Africa said.

On the future of British Airways in Nigeria, Olayinka said the British mega carrier would record its 80th year operating in Nigeria in 2016.

“Next year it will be 80 years that British Airways has been flying to Nigeria. We are going to celebrate it big. We are here for the long haul and what that means is that our projection for this market can only be positive. For example, I will like to see British Airways fly Airbus A380 into Nigeria. My question is, why not; we are already flying it into South Africa, and if South Africa is coming behind us in terms of economic status; why can’t Nigeria be the hub in Africa?”
Overland Dismisses Alleged Technical Problem with Its Aircraft
Chinedu Eze

One of Nigeria’s well-known schedule flight operator, Overland Airways, has dismissed the allegation that water dripped in one of its aircraft on arrival from a flight, which occurred about a month ago.

The airline said that after the allegation the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) carried out investigation and discovered the allegation was false and issued a statement to that effect.

NCAA said the Overland Airways’ ATR 42 aircraft was not faulty, adding that that the water dripping from aircraft during a recent flight was normal.

Spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye said the water came out from the aircraft’s compressor as a result of the plane flying low in the early hours of the rainy day.

“It is not anything abnormal because it happens when the aircraft is being flown at a low level. It is as a result of the defrosting of the cooling system just like when you switch off your refrigerator. So the aircraft was not leaking water, if there was a leakage, it would come down and crash absolutely.”
Adurogboye also noted that experienced travellers would testify that occasional water dripping from the cooling system is not an uncommon occurrence in airliners flying all over the world, and would also affirm that it is not in any way a safety issue.

In a statement signed by the management, Overland Airways confirmed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had diligently inspected the aircraft, certified its airworthiness and educated the general public via various mass media on the cosmetic nature of the occurrence.

“We are therefore shocked at the malicious defamation, de-marketing and cheap publicity that has followed the incident. Overland Airways has earned its quality and status in Nigeria, and cannot be put down by sponsored baseless, ignorant and malicious videos and comments in the media. Our consistency and safety record speak for the airline over these 12 years of our operation to
Develop Nigeria’s economies,” the airline said.

Overland Airways said it operates to the strict international safety standards and regulations of the NCAA.

“Overland Airways is one of Nigeria’s most viable airlines today and it is managed by aviation professionals and business experts. Overland Airways maintains one of the largest aircraft fleet in Nigeria today and operates aircraft types that are globally recognised for their outstanding safety and economic performance. Overland Airways is one of the few scheduled commercial passenger airlines in Nigeria that has successfully operated for over 10 years despite the difficult operating environment in Nigeria,” the statement said.
Etihad Records Double Digit on Stopover Programme
Etihad Airways, has recorded double-digit growth on its Abu Dhabi’s Stopover Programme.

The programme welcomes guests from across the globe with Australia, Germany and the UK providing the largest visitor numbers.

To meet the increasing demand, Hala Abu Dhabi Stopover Programme and staff continue to offer competitive rates and multiple packages, working closely with travel agents to provide business, tourism and cultural services.

Etihad Airways is the only airline in the region which offers two stays for the price of one and excursions as part of their stopover programme.
Etihad Airways’ Vice President UAE Commercial, Mohammed Al Bulooki, said: “One of Hala Abu Dhabi’s strategic mandates is to promote Abu Dhabi as a destination and contribute to its growth in the tourism sector.”

“As a leading world airline, Etihad Airways focus is to connect people and places, and we are delighted to offer guests from all over the world the opportunity to explore the dynamic city of Abu Dhabi and enjoy the Arabian hospitality.”

More than 30 per cent of the stopover travellers have used the tours and excursions offered in the emirate.

The programme includes a range of experiences from visits to the Arabian desert, a trip to one of the world’s largest mosques, a tour to Yas Island and sampling world class hotels and restaurants.

The most popular tours booked are the Hala sunset drive and BBQ, the Hala story of Abu Dhabi city tour which includes Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld.

Hala Abu Dhabi’s Stopover Programme offers 53 hotels ranging from three to five star properties in the emirate, with the most popular choice being Jumeirah Etihad Towers.

General Manager, Jumeirah , Stefan Fuchs at Etihad Towers said, “We are pleased with our partnership with Hala Abu Dhabi’s Stopover Programme and have witnessed significant growth in stopover guests year on year.

“This proves the success of the programme in promoting Abu Dhabi as a holiday destination and continues to generate awareness about the emirate globally.”

As part of the programme, the hotel prices starts from $36 for 3 star, $53 for 4 star, $55 for $5 star per person, per night and the number of Abu Dhabi hotels have increased from $47 to $53.

In addition, the programme increased the 24 hours check-in from 28 hotels to 38 hotels in the emirate and have included 2 Deluxe Hotel Apartments in Abu Dhabi, which are Danat Residence Hotel Apartments and Majlis Grand Mercure Residence. The Park Hyatt hotel on Saadiyat Island was also added to the list of hotel offerings.

Hala Abu Dhabi Stopover Programme was launched in 2013, offering guests airport Meet & Assist service, transportation, accommodation, tours, visa processing services and corporate hospitalities.

Airbus Launches New Ultra-Long Range Version of the A350-900
Enables Singapore Airlines to resume non-stop flights to the US

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has selected Airbus’ newly launched Ultra-Long Range version of the A350-900 for non-stop flights to the US. Under an amendment to the carrier’s existing order for 63 A350-900s, seven of the aircraft will now be delivered with an Ultra-Long Range capability for flights of up to 19 hours. In addition, the carrier has placed an additional order for four A350-900s, taking its total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 67.

Optimised for non-stop flights to the US, the aircraft, designated A350-900ULR (Ultra-Long Range), will ‎include a modified fuel system to increase the fuel carrying capacity, an increase in Maximum Take-Off Weight, plus aerodynamic improvements, enabling service to the US West Coast, as well as to New York.

Representing a distance of some 8,700 nautical miles, the New York service will be the world’s longest commercial passenger route, with an expected flight time of up to 19 hours. Moreover, the unique flexibility offered by the A350 XWB allows operators to reconfigure their A350-900ULR to the standard long-haul A350-900 specification should they require it.

“Our customers have been asking us to re-start non-stop Singapore-US flights and we are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “This is another example of how we strive to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations by remaining at the forefront of product and service innovation in our industry. It will also further strengthen the Singapore hub by providing the fastest and most convenient air connectivity between North America and Southeast Asia.”

“We are excited to be working with Singapore Airlines to re-launch its premium non-stop service to the US,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “The A350 is the perfect, flexible platform for such operations, offering unrivalled operating economics for the very longest routes. And the wider and quieter cabin will provide the perfect environment for passengers to enjoy the world-famous Singapore Airlines in-flight product.”

The all-new A350 XWB entered commercial service earlier this year and features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 783 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. Singapore Airlines is the largest customer for the A350 XWB in East Asia, with deliveries of its 67 aircraft now on order starting in the first quarter of 2016. Deliveries of the carrier’s A350-900ULR aircraft are scheduled to take place in 2018.