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British Airways Picks SAHCO as Ground Handling Services Provider

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Skyway Aviation Handling Company SAHCOL

By Dipo Olowookere

One of the leading airline operators in the world, British Airways, has chosen Nigeria’s Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc as its ground handling services provider.

A statement from SAHCO, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), disclosed that its selection was based on the professional way it handled of the evacuation flight of the airline on May 8, 2020.

Business Post reports that last Friday, British Airways brought some Nigerians from the United Kingdom to the country via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos in a deal with the federal government of Nigeria.

Impressed by the smooth operation, British Airways picked SAHCO to provide passenger and ramp handling services at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Also, Air France has signed another warehousing contract with SAHCO at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

This contract will enable SAHCO to provide cargo warehousing services for Air France throughout the country.

SAHCO has been handling Air France’s Cargo Warehousing in Lagos and Port Harcourt which has influenced decision to include the Abuja operations due to their satisfactory first-hand experience.

In recent times, many foreign airlines have moved their aviation ground handling operations to SAHCO so as to enjoy services of SAHCO’s loyal, dedicated and well-trained workforce delivering their activities in line with global best practices.

The firm treats its clients as partners especially with constant investment in modern aviation ground support equipment fitted with the latest technology; a team of engineers that can build ground support equipment from locally sourced materials which is the first of its kind in Nigeria; a team that is versed in the best of departure control systems in the aviation industry, world tracer and BRS; world class warehousing services; unrivalled customer friendly service delivery in a safe, speedy and efficient culture.

Some of the airline operators with SAHCO include Aero Contractors, African World Airways, Air Cote D’Ivoire, Air Peace, Arik Air, Allied Air, Badr Airlines, Bristol Helicopters, Camair-Co, Caverton Helicopters, Dana Air, DHL Aviation, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, Execujets, Ibom Air, Inter Air, Max Air, Middle East Airlines, Overland Airways, South African Airways, TAAG Angola, Tarco Airlines, Value Jet, Virgin Atlantic Cargo.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Travel/Tourism

FG Permits Nigeria Air to Lease Aircraft to Start Operations

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Nigeria Air National Carrier

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given approval to Nigeria Air to lease aircraft to start operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, made this announcement while briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Minister, who didn’t disclose when the national carrier would start its operations, said the company would begin with three aircraft, adding that Nigeria Air is open to investment from any of the country’s airline companies.

This is coming after it got the Air Transport License (ATL) which certifies the kinds of operations a carrier will embark on scheduled, non-scheduled, cargo air services within and outside Nigeria, from the Nigerian Civil Airport Authority (NCAA), for a period of five (5)years from June 3rd, 2022 to June 2nd, 2027.

The new national airline is expected to provide scheduled and non-scheduled services after four years since the federal government on July 18, 2018, announced the name of the national carrier and unveiled the logo and provided the blueprint for operations in the United Kingdom.

However, much dispute has delayed the full launching of the carrier but with the recent developments, Nigerians will be awaiting the operation of the airline service.

In March, the federal government opened a bid for private investors to join the national air carrier to promote economic growth and develop public-private partnerships.

The private sector partners were expected to comprise – Nigerian Financial and Institutional Investors (minimum of 46 per cent shares) so that the total Nigerien shareholding will hold a minimum of 51 per cent of the shares of Nigeria Air (including the 5 per cent non-interactive FGN share), as required by international laws for a national carrier.

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Interswitch Sponsors Hotel Expo Nigeria 2022

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Interswitch Hotel Expo Nigeria 2022

Stakeholders in the Nigerian hospitality and tourism industry convened at the Hotel Expo Nigeria 2022, with Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch, as one of its sponsors, to discuss the way forward for the sector that faced unprecedented challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, which was held recently at the Landmark Centre, drew players from the various corners of the sector, including manufacturers, hoteliers, tourism and booking agents, and top executives, among others, to give insights into the hospitality business.

With the disruption caused by the pandemic in hindsight, the two-day event focused on conversations around developing innovative solutions that will boost the recovery and growth of business operations. The expo also served as a common ground where ideas were shared and a community formed.

As a leader in Nigeria’s technology and innovation ecosystem, Interswitch is poised to provide bespoke robust business solutions to players in the hospitality industry to support their business growth aspirations.

Representatives of Interswitch who spoke at the event as members of the panellists were the Group Head, Engineering, Interswitch, Abdul-Hafiz Ibrahim and Business Manager, Interswitch, Olatunji Lasisi, delivering insights into the role technology can play in boosting the hospitality business. Also on the panel at the event was the Head of DSTV Business, Abayomi Famakinwa.

During the panel session, Ibrahim noted that as the hospitality business emerges from the economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to leverage efficient technological solutions that aligned with the changing market trends. He also added that it was important for businesses to take note of the dynamic consumer needs, as this will help them stay ahead of the competition.

He said, “The hospitality sector has undergone unprecedented challenges in recent times, and there is a need to have conversations around business solutions that will revitalize the sector and improve efficiency. The Hotel Expo Nigeria 2022 is a relevant platform in this regard as it brings together critical stakeholders to drive the conversation.

“As a cross-sector player, Interswitch’s cutting-edge products such as the Quickteller Business Smart PoS and the Payment Gateway help organisations drive efficiency and boost service delivery.”

Lasisi, on his part, identified the Quickteller Business Smart PoS and Payment Gateway as innovations from Interswitch that have helped businesses make quick recoveries from the harsh economic realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lasisi said that the Quickteller Business Smart PoS, by design, was developed to aid businesses in accepting and processing payments from all major local and international cards, availing customers with multiple payment options such as transfers that provide immediate payment confirmation right on the PoS terminals to USSD, QR and Verve Paycode, pre-authorization, completion and refund features, providing real-time business performance reporting, among other features. At the same time, the Payment Gateway service will enable businesses to Accept payments easily on their websites from international and local customers alongside other multiple payment options. Integration of the Payment Gateway is 100 per cent free and easy.

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Inflation, FX Scarcity Force Aero Contractors to Suspend Operations

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Aero Contractors

By Dipo Olowookere

One of the leading airline operators in Nigeria, Aero Contractors, has announced the indefinite suspension of its operations, citing the rising cost of maintenance, inflation and foreign exchange (FX) scarcity, amongst others as the reason for its action.

In a statement issued on Monday, the company, which is the oldest airline in the country, said the suspension of its flight operations will become effective Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

The firm said in the past months, it has been struggling to remain in business despite “the high cost of maintenance, skyrocketing fuel prices, inflation, and forex scarcity” and that after a careful analysis of the situation, it felt it was in the interest of its customers and others to halt its operations pending when it would be fully ready to “offer a seamless and efficient service to our esteemed customers.”

Aero Contractors said during this period of the suspension, it would make efforts to put its aeroplanes in good shape with a view to bringing them “back to service in the next few weeks so we can continue to offer our passengers the safe, efficient, and reliable services that Aero Contractors is known for, which is the hallmark of Aero Contractors Company of Nig. Ltd.”

However, it emphasised that this suspension “does not in any way affect the maintenance activities of the Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) otherwise known as AeroMRO, the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) also known as Aero Training School, the Helicopter and Charter Services operations.”

“As members of Spring Alliance (a commercial alliance with member airlines providing mutual support in the area of operations), we are liaising with our partner airlines to minimise the impact on our esteemed customers.

“Our customer service team will be working to help affected esteemed customers reach their destinations,” the company assured and apologised “for any inconvenience caused to our esteemed customers.”

“In the meantime, we are working assiduously to return to service as quickly as possible, and do assure our esteemed customers and stakeholders of our determination, that our short absence will not create any major void in the market, as we are coordinating with our business partners to ensure minimum discomfort to ticket holders,” the statement said.

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