Nigeria ‘Holding Back’ $450m Belonging To Foreign Airlines – IATA

In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP
In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says Nigeria is holding back about $450 million in revenue earned by foreign airlines operating in the country.

Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, IATA, Kamil Al Awadhi, made the remark on Sunday at the opening of its 78th annual general meeting and world air transport summit in Doha, Qatar.

“A financially viable air transport sector supports jobs and must be a driving force for Africa and the Middle East economic recovery from COVID-19,” Al Awadhi said.

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“A priority is releasing blocked funds.

“As of April, globally, there is a total $1.6 billion in funds blocked by 20 countries worldwide.

“Of this,67% is blocked in Africa for a total of $1 billion, tied up in 12 African countries.

“Zooming in a little more, Nigeria alone is holding back $450 million. It is the most amount blocked by any single African country, and the amount is rising every week.

“Cash flow is key for airlines’ business sustainability – when airlines are unable to repatriate their funds, it severely impedes their operations and limits the number of markets they can serve.

“The consequences of reduced air connectivity include the erosion of that country’s competitiveness, diminished investor confidence and reputational harm caused by a perception that it is a high-risk place to do business.

“Strong connectivity is an economic enabler and generates considerable economic and social benefits.

“We call on governments to prioritise aviation in the access to foreign exchange on the basis that air connectivity is a vital key economic catalyst for the country.”

Zero Net Emissions By 2050: A Huge Challenge For Airline Industry

The international departures area is seen at Ngurah Rai airport in Tuban near Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 5, 2021, ahead of the airport’s reopening on October 14 to some international travellers. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP)

 

How can passengers take 10 billion flights a year without contributing to global warming? The question of “greening” the international aviation sector by 2050 constitutes a colossal task whose stakes — and sheer numbers — can make the head spin, according to the airlines themselves.

At its general assembly in Boston Monday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it is now aiming for “net zero carbon emissions” by the middle of the century, a bold but necessary goal in the face of global warming, according to its CEO Willie Walsh.

But by signing up to the goals of the Paris climate accord, and those of the European Union, IATA, which represents the airlines, does not envisage that a massive reduction in emissions will also involve a massive reduction in its operations. Quite the opposite.

“For us the main target is to continue growing, because it’s not the traffic that is the enemy, it’s the emissions,” said Sebastian Mikosz, IATA vice president in charge of environmental affairs and sustainable development.

Even though air transport has suffered a huge downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a drop from 4.5 billion travelers in 2019 to 1.8 billion in 2020, IATA estimates that by 2050 more than 10 billion trips per year will be made by plane.

As it stands, the aviation sector produces 900 million tons of CO2 per year, according to IATA. By 2050, if nothing is done to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, that will rise to 1.8 billion tons.

That would mean that over 30 years, 21.2 billion tons of CO2 would be released into the atmosphere. Reducing this level to gradually achieve net zero emissions in 2050 poses an enormous technological challenge that the IATA estimates will cost companies around $1.55 trillion between 2020 and 2050.

 

10,000% Increase In Production

IATA says that the main solution lies in the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), which would allow the industry to get 65 percent of the way toward its goal.

These fuels — made from biomass, waste oils and could even be made from carbon capture in the future — have the advantage that they can be used directly in existing aircraft, which are designed to run on 50-percent blends of kerosene. And such fuel sources can reduce CO2 emissions by 80 percent compared to kerosene over their entire life cycle, according to IATA.

Airbus and Boeing have pledged that their fleets will be able to fly 100 percent on SAF by 2030, but SAF accounts for less than 0.1 percent of aviation fuel currently used.

Encouraged by governments, the infrastructure to produce SAFs is being set up in the United States and Europe, but is still embryonic — and the cheapest fuel that comes out costs four times more than kerosene, a fossil fuel.

“The problem is the capacity and the supply,” said Mikosz, who said the goal was “basically to grow to 450 billion liters of SAF compared to 100 million liters.”

“We need to multiply our supply by 10,000 percent,” he said.

Still, IATA believes that the technological advances promised by the aerospace industry, in particular new electric or hydrogen planes such as those that Airbus is preparing for 2035, are not yet a, sure enough, bet for the sector to rely on in order to “decarbonize” beyond 13 percent by 2050.

“If those technologies do not deliver what we need by 2050… we can compensate it through SAF,” said Mikosz.

The European aviation sector, in publishing its own roadmap towards carbon neutrality for 2050 last February, said it was counting on technological advances to cut 37 percent of its emissions by 2050 and on SAF to cut 34 percent.

IATA’s strategy, like that of the European aviation sector, also relies on a system of carbon capture and emissions trading to start the transition, amounting to 19 percent of the total reduction.

But environmental NGOs have criticized the use of carbon capture and offsetting mechanisms, asking that they be used only after all other mitigation options have been implemented.

Airlines Need Up To $200 bn In Emergency Aid – IATA

 

 

Up to $200 billion is needed to rescue the world’s airlines during the coronavirus crisis, the global aviation association said Thursday, appealing especially to African and Middle Eastern countries to provide emergency assistance.

“Support measures are urgently needed,” the International Air Transport Association said in a statement, adding that “on a global basis, IATA estimates that emergency aid of up to $200 billion is required”.

Airlines worldwide face an unprecedented existential threat as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 9,000 people around the world, shuts down global travel.

“Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the top priority of governments,” IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac said in the statement.

“But they must be aware that the public health emergency has now become a catastrophe for economies and for aviation,” he said, pointing out that “the scale of the current industry crisis is much worse and far more widespread than 9/11, SARS or the 2008 global financial crisis.”

“Airlines are fighting for survival,” he said, warning that “millions of jobs are at stake.”

IATA expressed particular concern for the situation in Africa and the Middle East, where many routes have been suspended, and where demand has fallen by as much of 60 percent on the remaining routes.

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It pointed out that the air transport industry’s economic contribution in Africa alone is estimated at $55.8 billion, supporting 6.2 million jobs and contributing 2.6 percent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In the Middle East, the contribution stands at $130 billion, some 4.4 percent of GDP, supporting 2.4 million jobs, it said.

“Airlines need urgent government action if they are to emerge from this in a fit state to help the world recover, once COVID-19 is beaten,” Juniac said.

Carriers across Africa and the Middle East had begun implementing extensive cost-cutting measures to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic, IATA said, but warned that airlines in the regions on average held enough cash reserves for approximately two months.

“Due to flight bans as well as international and regional travel restrictions, airlines’ revenues are plummeting (and) outstripping the scope of even the most drastic cost containment measures,” it said.

IATA called on governments to provide support in various ways, including through direct financial aid to passenger and cargo carriers, loans and loan guarantees and tax relief.

AFP

Boko Haram: Turkish Airlines Denies Carrying Weapons To Nigeria

Boko Terror Turkish AirlinesTurkish Airlines have denied carrying weapons and military equipment to Nigeria after a Twitter account behind a string of leaks in a Turkish corruption scandal released a voice recording suggesting it had done so.

The recording, whose authenticity has not been verified, is purportedly of a conversation between a senior Turkish Airlines employee and one of the advisers of Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan.

Part of the voice recording of an alleged Turkish Airlines official, goes, “Lots of material is on its way to Nigeria right now. Is it going to kill Muslims or Christians? I am sinning right now, you should know.”

The airline said in an e-mailed statement that it only carried weapons and military equipment in line with international law and International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations and that no weapons were carried to Nigeria.

Arik Air owes us over N7 billion – FAAN

The Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),  George Uriesi on Friday said that Arik Air owes the authority over N7 billion.

Mr Uriesi, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said Arik Air’s debt resulted from the company’s refusal to the mandatory parking and landing charges.

“I have come to the conclusion that the business module of Arik is to operate and get by without paying its bills,” the FAAN boss said.

The airline company, while announcing the suspension of flight operations in Lagos on Thursday had said that said operations would not resume until FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation resolve the issue and reconcile the accounts, to settle the crisis arising from the debt issue.

Chris Ndulue, Arik Air’s Vice President had said the allegation that the airline was indebted to FAAN was fictitious and malicious, adding that the airline only had about N1.6 billion debts outstanding before the authority introduced the pay- as –you- go system of payment.

According to him, the airline did not owe N7.2 billion as claimed by FAAN.

Mr Uriesi however debunked the claims by the company saying that Arik Air’s statement was meant to deceive Nigerians.

“To my shock yesterday, they actually deceived Nigerians by saying that for the past 18 months they’ve been ‘paying as you go’, which is not true

“What happened 18 months ago was another way of rescuing ourselves from not getting paid because the passengers, if you fly you pay us a thousand naira for passenger service charge. The law says that money is on the ticket.

“But the airlines, particularly Arik were never remitting this money to FAAN. So we decided about 18 months ago to going back to what airports use to do in the 60s, printing special tickets for the passenger service charge to force the airline to buy upfront. If we allow it to be on the tickets, they will never remit the money to us. It is our money,” he said.

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