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Turkish Airlines to resume flight operations to Nigeria May 25

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The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), has fired back at Turkish Airlines over the claim that it sacked seven of its Nigerian

Turkish Airlines says it will resume flight operations to Nigeria on May 25 following the disruption of the company’s operations.

In a report by NAN on Friday, the airline said the decision came after discussions with officials from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) during which they assessed its request.

“Due to actions at our counter at the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport that jeopardised our flight safety and continued for four days, we had to cancel our scheduled flights to Lagos as of Tuesday, May 21,” Turkish Airlines said.

“Turkish Airlines, prioritising the safety and security of its passengers and crew, will resume flights to Nigeria on Saturday, May 25, as it has done since 2006.

“As long as the NCAA and FAAN authorities take the necessary precautions and maintain safety of flights, crew, Turkish Airlines Lagos personnel, and passengers at the airport, we will continue to operate with the same sensitivity.”

Turkish Airlines said the decision was also influenced by a joint press release from the NCAA and FAAN, which announced that additional security measures would be implemented to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

The airline said Olubunmi Kuku, FAAN general manager, provided a written statement, promising to implement unprecedented measures to ensure the safety of its operations.

“We want to thank the authorities for the assurance they provided, and we will like to emphasise that Turkish Airlines is the airline flying to more countries than any other in the world,” the airline said.

“We adhere fully to the laws and regulations of the countries we operate in and act in accordance with international business ethics principles.

“We have informed the relevant authorities that we will not be able to carry out the scheduled flights until our flight safety is guaranteed and requested assurances from them.”

On May 22, NCAA said it would not hesitate to impose severe penalties on Turkish Airlines for its alleged mistreatment of Nigerian passengers.

NCAA said over 300 passengers were affected by the discord involving the Turkish Airlines and aviation unions, as the carrier has cancelled flights in and out of Nigeria from May 21 until May 23.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on May 21, picketed Turkish Airlines in Lagos over the dismissal of some of its members.

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Aviation

Why we rejected $300 Helicopter landing levy – Airline operators

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Why We Rejected $300 Helicopter Landing Levy – Airline Operators

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has explained why it rejected the $300 helicopter landing and take-off fee slammed on operators in the aviation sector.

Giving reasons for the rejection, the AON spokesperson, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, in a statement on Thursday, pointed out that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) does not provide any additional service to helicopter operators to justify the imposition of the fee at all helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs, etc. in Nigeria.

“The approval and imposition of the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee at private helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs etc. when no service is provided at those locations to the helicopter operators by NAMA is contrary to the provision of section 7 (1) (r) of the then applicable NAMA Act as well as to section 1, paragraph 2 (1) of ICAO Document 9082.

“NAMA did not adhere to the policies, principles and guidelines contained in ICAO Documents 9082 (ICAO’s Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Services) and 9161 (Manual on Air Navigation Services Economics) before imposing the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee. Part 18, section 18.8.1.1 (e) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations requires NAMA to adhere to the policies, principles and guidelines contained in those documents.

“NAMA did not obtain the approval of the NCAA before imposing the new fee/charge/levy. Part 18, section 18.8.1.1 (b) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations requires NAMA to obtain the approval of the NCAA before imposing any new charges and fees for its services. NCAA has the statutory power to regulate the charges that may be made with respect to air traffic control and for the use of aerodromes and services provided at such aerodromes.

“NAMA did not consult the helicopter operators and other stakeholders before imposing the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee. Part 18, section 18.8.1.1 (d) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations require NAMA to adhere to the principles and procedures of consultation with users, cost-relatedness, non-discrimination and transparency in the application of charges and fees.

“Contrary to the Ministry’s Press Release of 13th May 2024, neither NCAA nor FAAN is a party to the MoU between NAMA and Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited for the collection of the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee at private helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs etc., as those Agencies had made it clear that they have no legal framework or justification to impose such fee.

“The fee is charged and demanded in US Dollars contrary to the provision of section 15 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, which is clear that the unit of currency in Nigeria shall be the Naira.

“There is nowhere in the world where the Air Navigation Service Provider does not provide any service to helicopter operators but charges landing and take-off fee for landings and take-off on and from private helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs, etc. The examples given by the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development in the Press Release of 13th May 2024, of where landing and take-off fee is paid are all of airports.

“The engagement of Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited did not follow due process as it did not comply with the requirements of the Public Procurement Act for the procurement of the services of consultants,” Prof. Obiora said.

The AON spokesperson informed that the operators had at a meeting held recently with the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, made their position on the helicopter landing and take-off fee known.

According to him, the meeting led to the temporary suspension of the collection of the fee and the setting up of a committee to look into the issues raised by the AON and other stakeholders.

He, however, commended the Aviation Minister for “giving a listening ear to our position on the matter and for his great leadership of the aviation industry and support for the growth and sustainability of Nigerian air operators”.

Source: The Will

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Aviation

Inside Air Peace: How phone, laptops allegedly missing on Lagos-Abuja flight

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Air Peace clarifies leaving passenger at Gatwick Airport

A smartphone, three laptops, and other valuable items belonging to three air passengers allegedly went missing on an Abuja-bound Air Peace flight on Friday.

An affected passenger, who was on the flight, confirmed the incident to PUNCH correspondent on Saturday, adding that items belonging to a Briton and an Indian also got stolen.

The incident, occurring on the last flight around 7:00 pm, reportedly left the passengers stranded upon arrival with no concrete explanation from the airline.

One of the affected passengers, Lere Adams, said the theft was discovered upon arrival at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja, prompting immediate complaints to the airline.

In a telephone chat with The PUNCH, he expressed dismay, stating that it occurred on the airline’s last flight for the day.

He accused the airline of mishandling their personal belongings and displaying a lack of concern, despite promptly reporting the theft of valuable items from their luggage upon arrival.

He recounted, “I had my luggage with me; it was light hand luggage. As soon as I boarded, I put the luggage in the overhead cabinet. My phone battery was low, so I plugged it into a power bank in my bag and switched off the phone. When we landed in Abuja, I realised I could not locate my phone.”

He explained that he was not the only affected passenger; adding that an Indian and an American passenger were also affected, as they discovered when retrieving their bags from the overhead lockers.

“Then, I saw an Indian that was complaining about the same thing: that he could not find his wallet and his laptop that was in his bag, and suddenly there was also a White man who had a backpack that was on top of him with two laptops and as soon as he got to Abuja, he looked for laptops but could not find them.

“While we were talking about the incident, one of the officers came and asked who owned a bag. Lo and behold, it was his bag, but it was without his laptops. He was asking how he got the bag. The officer replied that the air hostess said they found it in the cabin and the foreigner said it was impossible and asked where the laptops that were inside were.”

Lere listed the items stolen from him, including, “My phone plugged into a diary that has a power bank, three laptops, and a wallet”.

He added, “The American had two laptops, one official and one private laptop, while the Indian had an official laptop and a wallet. We informed the airline staff and statements were taken from the affected passengers.”

According to Lere, the airline has contacted their Lagos headquarters and is currently investigating the incident.

“I was told this morning that they have reached out to their Lagos headquarters. And they said they were currently working on it. But so far, they have not given a direction as to what the way is,” he stated.

He lamented, “I am truly upset because all of our personal and banking information is on that phone.”

Responding, The Director of Consumer Protection & Public Affairs of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Michael Achimugu, said no official complaints had been made to the agency but promised to contact the local public protection officer in charge for further explanation.

“I am hearing this for the first time. The right process is to complain to the airline first, as they handle the baggage. If the airline does not take appropriate action, then the affected passengers can report to the NCAA.

“Airlines have policies against carrying valuables in overhead cabinets; these items should be declared,” he noted.

Achimugu also mentioned that he would contact the local public protection officer to gather more details about the case.

“I will find out if such a thing happened and get the details,” he promised.

As of the time of filing this report, the Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Toyin Olajide, did not respond to several phone calls and text messages sent to him on the issue.

-Punch

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Three Nigerian airlines that suffered suspension

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday wielded its regulatory big stick by suspending three private jet operators declaring

Some Nigerian airlines have faced a range of legal and regulatory challenges over the years, resulting in lawsuits and suspensions due to various reasons such as safety violations, financial troubles, and regulatory non-compliance.
Here are some three airlines that have been suspended:

1. Dana Air

Dana Air, which commenced flight operations on 10 November 2008, has experienced multiple suspensions of its operating license. One of the most significant incidents occurred in June 2012 when one of its aircraft crashed in Lagos, killing all 153 passengers on board. This tragedy led to the temporary suspension of its license by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to allow for comprehensive safety audits and investigations.

The airline’s operations were resumed in January 2013 after it met the necessary safety requirements.

However, in 2024, Dana Air was suspended due to a runway overshoot incident.

Aero Contractors, one of Nigeria’s oldest airlines, has faced numerous suspensions. In September 2016, the airline suspended its scheduled services due to financial difficulties and an inability to pay for aircraft maintenance.

This led to a significant operational halt and restructuring under the supervision of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Aero Contractors has since resumed operations but continues to navigate financial and operational challenges.

In 2022, the management of Aero Contractors temporarily suspended its scheduled passenger services operations.

3. First Nation Airways
First Nation Airways, which began operations in April 2011, has faced its fair share of suspensions.

In 2017, the airline’s operations were suspended by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) due to its failure to meet the minimum requirement of three aircraft as stipulated by Nigerian aviation regulations.

This suspension followed an earlier one in 2016, when the airline temporarily ceased operations for maintenance purposes.

In 2018, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of First Nation Airways indefinitely for illegally operating scheduled flights.

In August 2017, NCAA downgraded the airline during its license renewal; giving it license to only operate chartered flights because it had only one aircraft.

Source: The Nation

 

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Keyamo suspends enforcement of helicopter landing levy

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Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, has unveiled plans for free Wi-Fi across the nation’s airports, along with

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has temporarily suspended the enforcement rights granted to NAEBI Dynamic Concept Ltd by the Federal Government as consultants to collect Helicopter Landing Levies at all aerodromes in the country.

This follows a meeting of the Minister with the Executives of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on the issue bordering on Helicopter landing levies collection at Aerodromes, Helipads, Air Strips among others.

According to a statement signed by the Head of Press in the Ministry, Odutayo Oluseyi, on Friday in Abuja, the suspension took effect from May 30, 2024.

Industry stakeholders had expressed reservation after Messers NAEBI Dynamic Concept Ltd was granted the exclusive right by the Federal Government to collect the levy.

However, the statement noted that Keyamo has constituted a Committee with members drawn up from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development and its relevant Agencies, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Messers NAEBI Dynamic Concept Ltd who are charged to look into the issues raised by concerned Stakeholders and submit a Report on or before end of June,2024.

The recommendation(s) of the Committee would proffer a way forward.

 

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Keyamo fumes over Turkish Airlines’ maltreatment of Nigerian passengers

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The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), has fired back at Turkish Airlines over the claim that it sacked seven of its Nigerian

The minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has knocked the management of Turkish Airlines over disrespect for Nigerian passengers.

Keyamo, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP by his spokesman, Tunde Moshood, expressed his concerns when the airline led by its vice president, Africa, Hilemet Mesut Turkseven; general manager, Lagos, Lokman Balkan; general manager, Abuja, Akin Carleal, and the Turkish embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Imdat Karakoc, paid the minister a visit following the impasse between members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the airline over sack of seven employees of the airline.

Keyamo, however, charged the airline management to upgrade aircraft flying the Nigeria airspace.

The minister further rued reported instances of disrespect during flight operations, underscoring the importance of maintaining high standards of customer service and dignity for all passengers.

“The airline must consistently respect Nigerian passengers. Turkish airlines must understand the importance of maintaining high standards of customer service and dignity for all passengers,” Keyamo stated.

The minister requested an upgrade of aircraft coming into the country, as well as addressing the problem of transit visas causing Nigerians to be stranded in Istanbul while seeking a resolution. The minister also demanded support for local caterers by calling on the airline to support local caterers by serving Nigerian cuisine on return journeys to Nigeria.

Responding, the deputy chief of Mission, Turkish Embassy, Imdat Karakoc, assured the minister that he would discuss the issues raised with the Turkish authorities.

He, however, promised necessary adjustments, saying the airline is committed to improving the quality of aircrafts flying into the nation’s airspace, though he stated that the current aircrafts are not specifically directed against Nigeria.

The Turkish Airlines delegation also conveyed the regards of their CEO, Bilal Eksi, to the minister, expressing gratitude for his intervention during the recent union actions that disrupted their operations.

Vice president, Turkish airlines even appreciated Nigerians for their unwavering support and emphasised Turkish Airlines’ dedication to cooperating with the Nigerian government and its agencies to foster further growth in the country.

Source: Leadership.ng

 

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$20M fraud: Is Air Peace boss Onyema wanted in U.S? 36-page document reveals

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The current narrative surrounding Nigeria's top airline boss Allen Onyema is not particularly positive at the moment, despite its recent

The current narrative surrounding Nigeria’s top airline boss Allen Onyema is not particularly positive at the moment, despite its recent prominence in the global aviation industry.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were welcomed to Nigeria few weeks by Air Peace boss Dr. Allen Onyema, but DailyMail.com described the Nigerian airline boss as a fugitive who has been federally indicted in the United States for allegedly orchestrating a $20million money laundering and bank fraud scheme.

Onyema, whose airline the royals took for their flight from the nation’s capital Abuja into its largest city Lagos on May 12 was a key member of the welcoming committee that met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they touched down on the tarmac as part of their three-day-tour of Nigeria.

Dressed in navy and wearing shades and a red kufi hat, Onyema was one of a small group of dignitaries, which included senior military and government officials, photographed alongside the Sussexes as they deboarded their Air Peace aircraft.

Founded by Onyema just over a decade ago, Air Peace flies internationally and is the largest airline in West Africa.

DailyMail.com has exclusively learned that the 59-year-old businessman is a wanted man in the United States, facing multiple charges linked to millions of dollars’ worth of alleged fraud set down in a federal indictment filed in November 2019

The indictment, obtained by DailyMail.com, accuses Onyema of allegedly ‘using his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive to launder more than $20million from Nigeria through US bank accounts’

There is no suggestion that either Harry or Meghan were aware of Onyema’s history before they met him.

DailyMail.com also understands that the couple had planned to use a different airline but plans were changed at the last minute.

The charges were filed by former US Attorney Byung J ‘BJay’ Pak who has since left office. The case is now being pursued by US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Ryan Buchanan who took over the role in 2022.

Speaking at the time of filing Pak said of the man who gladhanded the Sussex’s during their ‘private’ tour of his country, ‘Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud.’

Robert Murphy, the agent in charge of the DEA Atlanta field division added: ‘Allan Onyema’s status as a wealthy businessman turned out to be a fraud. He corrupted the US banking system, but his trail of deceit and trickery came to a skidding halt.’

The indictment goes on to allege that Onyema set up various ‘innocent sounding multi-million-dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam’.

It states that Onyema is the founder and chairman of several organizations across Nigeria, including the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development and All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited.

Beginning in 2010 he began traveling frequently to Atlanta where he opened several personal and business bank accounts.

Between 2010 and 2018 over $44.9million was allegedly transferred into his Atlanta-based accounts from foreign sources.

Onyema founded Air Peace in 2013 and, according to the indictment, traveled to the United States in following years and purchased multiple airplanes.

Onyema is accused of using his status as a prominent business leader to launder more than $20million from Nigeria through US bank accounts

However, the Department of Justice alleges, over $3million of the funds used to purchase the aircraft, ‘allegedly came from bank accounts for the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Every Child Limited.’

Air Peace’s Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, has also been charged along with Onyema.

Both men were charged on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit credit application fraud and three counts of credit application fraud.

In addition, Onyema was charged with 27 separate counts of money laundering while Eghagha was charged with committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.

Investigators allege that, beginning in approximately May 2016, the two men used a series of export letters of credit to cause banks to transfer more than $20million into Atlanta-based bank accounts controlled by Onyema. The letters of credit were purportedly to fund the purchase of five Boeing 737 passenger planes by Air Peace.

The letters were supported by documents such as purchase agreements, bills of sale, and appraisals proving that Air Peace was purchasing the aircraft from Springfield Aviation Company LLC, a business registered in Georgia. But, according to investigators, the supporting documents were fake.

Springfield Aviation Company LLC, which is owned by Onyema and managed by a person with no connection to the aviation business, never owned the aircraft in the first place and the company that allegedly drafted the appraisals did not exist.

In October 2022 American citizen Ebony Mayfield, a former staff member of Springfield Aviation Company was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $4,000 for her role in the alleged scheme after charges were filed against her by the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

The charges against Onyema and Eghagha remain pending with both men maintaining their innocence.

Neither man responded to calls and emails to Air Peace’s offices in Nigeria and the UK.

-CULLED: DailyMail

 

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