By Dipo Olowookere
Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, has said his company was planning to commence commercial flights from Ibadan, Oyo State to key cities across the country before the end of the year.
Mr Onyema dropped this hint on Tuesday when his airline made an inaugural flight to the Ibadan Airport, with some top government officials, including Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, in attendance.
Speaking at the event, the aviation stakeholder promised that before November 2021, Air Peace will start flying Ibadan-Kano and Kano-Ibadan, Ibadan to Enugu and Enugu to Ibadan, as well as Ibadan-Port-Harcourt and Port-Harcourt-Ibadan routes.
He described the inaugural flight to Ibadan yesterday as a dream come true for him, commending the Governor for moving the state forward and doing everything possible to woo investors that would bring their resources to expand the economy of the state.
“Today is one of my happiest moments. This is like a homecoming for me. When I say homecoming, I mean it in every sense of that statement. Without Ibadanland, there may not have been an Allen Onyema – that may have been able to achieve certain things today.
“I made a promise some time ago that we are going to start gradual operation to this place and I meant it. The Governor has been very interested in moving this state forward. He is very interested in attracting investments to this place, hence what you are seeing today.
“In fact, beyond this, the Governor and I have also muted the idea of not just doing Abuja flights or Lagos flights to Ibadan. Air Peace, in due course, with the support of this Governor, who wants to see it happen in the immediate, Air Peace will, before November, start flying Ibadan-Kano and Kano-Ibadan; connecting the South-East from Enugu to Ibadan and Ibadan to Enugu; connecting the South-South, Port-Harcourt-Ibadan, Ibadan-Port-Harcourt.
“Hold me to my words, it will come to happen this year by God’s grace because when you meet the man at the helm of affairs who is interested in moving his people forward, you have no other option as a nationalist than to support whatever he is doing and to help my own brothers and sisters in the state,” Mr Onyema said.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Mr Makinde thanked the airline operator for agreeing to begin flights to the state, saying that the flights will uplift the airport and boost the economy of the state.
“This day has finally come and it is exciting for us. We are opening the lounge and also receiving the inaugural flight of Air Peace to Ibadan Airport,” the Governor was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa.
“Well, it is a fulfilment of a long-held dream. Let me also appreciate Overland because they were here and kept the Airport open but we have been here and have seen situations where people missed the Overland flight because they have one flight in a day. And then, you have to go to Lagos for the next flight.
“So, we are excited today because part of what we said we are going to do as a government is to expand the economy of the state.
“Now, if you miss the Overland flight, you can always get on the Air Peace flight and I am also certain that other airlines will start coming to this airport shortly.
“I believe Air Peace airline also will be operating one flight in a day for now but I look forward to huge passenger traffic and a review of that frequency as soon as possible,” he further said.
The Governor also said his administration has awarded the contract for a 500,000 litres capacity aviation fuel storage and dispensing facility to an indigenous company operating in Ibadan in order to make airlines stay overnight and take off as early as 7 a.m. to other places around the country.
“There are few things we are still doing and we have awarded the contract to have at this airport an aviation fuel storage and dispensing facility. People may ask why we are doing this.
“I have had discussions with some of the airlines and they will love to stay here overnight and take off as early as 7 a.m. to other places around the country but they are not able to do that because they cannot refuel in Ibadan.
“Within the next 12 months, this will become a thing of the past. We awarded the contract to an indigenous company operating in Ibadan.
“We are also fixing the road coming to the airport. The main road from Gate through Onipepeye up to here is at over 50 per cent completion.
“Also, we are fixing the Airport/Ajia/Ife Road with a spur to Amuloko. We are also fixing the Akanran/Dagbolu up to the border with Ogun State. So, with those roads in place, people should not just fly into the airport but come into the town and see what is going on. They can see things, buy things and leave Ibadan.
“But if they don’t want to leave, we can also accommodate them in Ibadan because so many estates are springing up and this is going to serve as a true alternative airport to Lagos.
“Our road networks will ensure that you get to anywhere within a very reasonable time. With the rail link in Ibadan, you can even stay here and work in Lagos.
“So, these are a few of the many reasons that the Ibadan Airport project is a viable one for us,” Mr Makinde stated.
“What this has done for us is that it has crashed the price of flights from Ibadan to Abuja. Now, with close to N30,000, you can fly in a brand new aircraft to Abuja. We will continue to provide the necessary support and collaboration with Air Peace and the FAAN (Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria),” he further stated.
Bill Gates Becomes Highest Shareholder of Four Seasons Hotel
By Adedapo Adesanya
The fourth richest man in the world, Mr Bill Gates, will take control of the Four Seasons Hotel chain after his investment firm agreed to acquire a stake from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co, in a bet that luxury travel will rebound from a pandemic-induced slump.
Mr Gates’s Cascade Investment LLC will pay $2.2 billion in cash to boost its stake in Four Seasons Holdings to 71.25 per cent from 47.5 per cent, according to a statement last week.
Kingdom Holding, which will retain 23.75 per cent of the hotel chain, plans to use proceeds from the transaction for investments and to repay debt.
Four Seasons founder and chairman, Mr Isadore Sharp, through Triples Holdings Limited, will retain his 5 per cent stake.
Mr Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960 and set the company on its path toward global expansion. Four Seasons now manages 121 hotels and resorts, and 46 residential properties in 47 countries complemented by a strong pipeline of more than 50 projects at various stages of development.
Four Seasons shareholders took the company private in 2007, when it managed 74 hotels, with Mr Gates and Mr Alwaleed leading the deal. The new owners expanded the company’s footprint to more markets in a bid to capitalise on what was then a booming market for luxury travel.
It has also expanded efforts to attach its brand to luxury homes, as real estate developers realised that affluent buyers would pay more to live in a condominium or residential community associated with the hotel brand.
The sale is expected to close in January 2022, pending regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Speaking, Four Seasons CEO, Mr John Davison, stated that, “As we mark our 60th anniversary and look back on the profound impact that Four Seasons has had on luxury hospitality we also look forward with tremendous excitement and confidence in the future of the industry.
“The unwavering support and partnership of our shareholders has and continues to be critical as we capitalise on growing opportunities to serve luxury consumers worldwide.
“Our company is at yet another key moment in its storied history and the confidence of our shareholders in Four Seasons and our strategic vision help position the iconic Four Seasons brand for continued success.”
Real Reason We Rebranded Plentywaka to Treepz—CEO
By Ashemriogwa Emmanuel
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Treepz Incorporated, formerly known as Plentywaka, Mr Onyeka Akumah, has said that the rebranding of the Toronto-headquartered shared mobility startup presented an opportunity to align with its Pan-African expansion plan.
He revealed that the company had been looking for a globally acceptable name for the last six months to use in creating the right kind of positive emotions around bus trips on the African continent.
According to him, the decision to change the name of the 2-year-old ride-hailing company was after a thorough deliberation from its stakeholders, partners, and staff members.
“This name change is a result of in-depth discussions with our stakeholders, partners, and staff. After we discovered that the term WAKA can mean different things across Africa, which may be completely different from travel or movement, we decided to change the name from Plentywaka to Treepz which is pronounced as Trips.
“The new name boldly states our mission to provide safe, convenient, and comfortable trips across Africa with plans for our expansion to 6 countries in 2 years on the continent,” Mr Akumah explained.
Adding that the new change better represents the vision of the company which is to establish the largest shared mobility platform across the continent, he said the name Treepz resonates with the experience on road, travelling across cities, within cities, and it gives a cool vibe.
In addition to its new company name, Treepz also released a new company logo which has the inscription of “Treepz” but retained its existing mission statement and “black & yellow” brand colours.
Also, the new brand identity reformation will retain the core service offerings but will be identified with new names which are; Daily Treepz, Travel Treepz, and Corporate Treepz.
According to Mr Akumah, already existing users won’t have to take any action as the new app will be automatically updated to the new Treepz experience in Africa.
Chevron, Gevo Eye Sustainable Aviation Fuel Investment
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Chevron USA Incorporated, an energy company under the umbrella of the second-largest oil company in America, Chevron Corporation, together with Biofuel company, Gevo, have today announced intent to pursue sustainable aviation fuel investment.
In a press release obtained by Business Post from the official website of Chevron, it was gathered that both companies want to jointly invest in building and operating one or more new facilities that would process inedible corn to produce sustainable aviation fuel.
Hence, this can lower the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in the aviation industry as the new facilities would also produce proteins and corn oil.
The proposed collaboration will see that Gevo operates its proprietary technology to produce sustainable aviation fuel and renewable blending components for motor gasoline to lower its lifecycle carbon intensity.
Chevron, while co-investing with Gevo in one or more projects, would have the right to offtake about 150 million gallons per year to market to customers.
In his comment on the proposed investment, the Executive Vice President of Downstream & Chemicals for Chevron, Mr Mark Nelson, stated that, “Chevron is providing our customers with next-generation renewable fuels that can help them lower their overall carbon footprint.
“This potential investment leverages Gevo’s innovative approach to producing sustainable aviation fuel, complementing other renewable fuels investments we are making as part of our higher returns, lower carbon strategy.”
Highlighting Gevo’s excitement on Chevron’s willingness to co-invest in the project, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Patrick Gruber, was quoted as saying that, “Chevron’s advantaged market position would allow it to offtake production from this venture, helping to place sustainable aviation fuel with airline customers.”
The proposed investment is subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements with customary closing conditions.
This also includes regulatory approval, as updates regarding the letter of intent can be found in the Current Report on Form 8-K which was filed by Gevo with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on September 9, 2021.
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