Hilton To Open Hotel At Lagos Airport In 2023
By Dipo Olowookere
Hilton has announced the signing of a management agreement with Quality Inspection & Testing Services Limited to open a 350 guest-room and suite hotel at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The hotel, which was signed at AHIF 2016 in Rwanda, is set to open in 2023 and joins Hilton’s growing African portfolio of more than 80 properties trading or in the development pipeline, which will see Hilton more than double its presence across Africa in the next 3-5 years.
“With a population of more than 16 million, Lagos is the seventh-fastest growing city in the world and the second largest in Africa, with much of the nation’s wealth and economic activity concentrated here,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide.
“Strong growth is forecasted in both domestic and international travellers using Murtala Muhammed International Airport, so this exemplary new hotel will be well placed to meet traveller’s needs, offering an unparalleled level of design, comfort and service.”
The hotel will be situated within close proximity to Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State, as well as the passenger terminals at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, which service travellers flying to hundreds of destinations around the world.
Mr Sam Iwuajoku, Chairman and CEO of QUITS, said: “The signing of the agreement to open Hilton Lagos Airport is testament to a period of exciting growth and development for Lagos. Our plans to build an exceptional hotel at the international airport will revolutionise the traveller experience and also offer a state-of-the-art choice for conferences, meetings and events. We look forward to a very successful collaboration with Hilton Worldwide on this outstanding development.”
Hilton Lagos Airport will comprise 350 guest-rooms, of which 72 are suites, an Executive floor and multiple food and beverage outlets, including; a restaurant serving international cuisine; a speciality restaurant; a fashionable rooftop cocktail bar; and a hip night club.
An elevated pool deck, with lavish gardens and a striking horizon pool overhanging the side of the property, provides breath-taking views of the surroundings and a unique leisure experience for an airport property. The hotel will also feature a spa and fitness centre.
Business travellers and event planners will benefit from a wide choice of professional facilities across the 2,600sqm event space, including a 1,350sqm ballroom and 500sqm junior ballroom.
“Hilton Lagos Airport will further solidify our presence in Nigeria and be a great asset to our Hilton Hotels and Resorts properties trading or under development in Africa,” said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton. “We have great confidence in this growing market and are proud to be pioneering exemplary guest experiences across the continent with our range of Hilton brands.”
Hilton is set to more than double its presence in Africa in the next three to five years to more than 80 hotels and is focused on further development prospects across the continent, entering new countries while also growing in areas with an existing Hilton presence.
This signing is in addition to the recent signing of Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton, also with QUITS, with an additional 76 guest rooms to be added, bringing the room count up to 130-keys.
These properties represent the two most recent hotels signed at Lagos Airport in some time. The Curio hotel, due to open during 2017, will be the first within the airport environment giving guests and airline passengers alike unrivalled ease of access to the airport’s facilities.
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Emirates Acquires Three DA42-VI Aircraft for Flight Training Academy
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Emirates has made an order for three twin-engine DA42-VI aircraft and its corresponding flight simulator from Austria-based Diamond Aircraft Industries for the Emirates Flight Training Academy (EFTA).
This is in fulfilment of its promise of offering cutting-edge tech and state-of-the-art aircraft to train pilots of the future and help close the industry’s skills gap.
Since 2020, more than 100 cadets have successfully graduated from EFTA, creating a strong pilot recruitment pipeline for Emirates and the industry.
The AUSTRO jet-fuel-powered DA42-VI aircraft is slated to be the flagship that ushers in multi-engine piston (MEP) training at EFTA.
The delivery of the aircraft is expected to commence soon, with all three slated to be received by EFTA in the first half of 2023.
“Our new fleet from Diamond Aircraft is part of our larger strategic intent for our cadet programme. It helps us design a bridging MEP programme for cadets to gain more flying experience while progressing from a single-engine to a light jet aircraft. It strengthens our offering and makes it more unique, rounded and robust.
“Our cadets will benefit hugely as they gain experience on three different types of aircraft, even before they’re licensed. The new fleet also helps us go above and beyond in complying with the new GCAA guidelines.
“The DA42-VI is reliable, eco-friendly and a practical platform for MEP training. We’re confident we’ve made the right choice,” the Vice President of EFTA, Capt Abdulla Al Hammadi, said.
“We are thrilled that our DA42-VI is the choice for Emirates’ flight training. This, once again, solidifies the aircraft’s position as the industry-leading multi-engine piston trainer,” said Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria. “With Emirates, we are adding another premier flight academy to our long list of renowned training operators and are looking forward to supporting them with the most advanced and eco-friendly aircraft available on the market today.”
The 4-seat DA42-VI is the newest version of Diamond’s technology leading light piston twin-engine aircraft. It’s the first certified general aviation piston aircraft to combine modern technology airframe, avionics, and power plants.
With its unique combination of performance and utility, the jet fuel-powered DA42-VI is designed to make transitioning from single to twin-engine much easier. The aircraft generates fuel savings of up to 50% compared to conventional AVGAS-powered twins, and its panoramic canopy provides excellent visibility during all flight manoeuvres.
Since its introduction, well over 1,100 DA42 aircraft have been delivered, outselling all other certified piston twins combined. The all-composite DA42-VI is equipped with efficient, silent, clean and reliable 168hp jet fuel AUSTRO engines AE300, Garmin G1000 NXi with 3-axis Automatic Flight Control System and optional electrically driven air conditioning.
Emirates Forward Bookings Remain Robust on Strong Customer Demand
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Chief Commercial Officer of Emirates, Mr Adnan Kazim, has said the airline’s forward bookings have remained robust amid a strong customer demand, spurring the company to ramp up its operations across continents.
According to him, in the past months, the airline has planned and executed the rapid growth of its network operations, reintroducing services to five cities, launching flights to one new destination (Tel Aviv), and adding 251 weekly flights onto existing routes and continuing the roll-out of service enhancements in the air and on the ground.
It was disclosed that Emirates has continued to scale up its A380 operations with the reintroduction of the iconic double-decker across its network: Glasgow (from 26 March), Casablanca from (15 April), Beijing (from 01 May), Shanghai (from 04 June), Nice (from 1 June), Birmingham (from 1 July), Kuala Lumpur (from 01 August), and Taipei (from 01 August).
“Emirates is working hard on several fronts – to bring back operating capacity as quickly as the ecosystem can manage while also upgrading our fleet and product to ensure our customers always enjoy the best possible Emirates experience.
“So far, four of our A380 aircraft have been completely refurbished with our new cabin interiors and Premium Economy seats, and more will enter service as our $2 billion cabin and service enhancement program picks up pace,” Mr Kazim added.
He noted that in the coming months, established routes to Europe, Australia and Africa would be served with more Emirates flights, while in East Asia, more cities are seeing route restarts.
Emirates had upcoming route enhancements by regions, including in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, East Asia, as well as in Africa which covers Cairo: from 25 to 28 weekly flights by 29 October; Dar es Salaam: from 5 flights a week to daily flights starting 01 May and Entebbe: from 6 flights a week to daily flights starting 01 July.
Mozambique Okays Visa Exemption for 28 Countries, Snubs Nigeria
By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
A number of African countries are focusing on promoting extensively inbound tourism. They are luring potential external investors to the tourism industry.
The latest in the southern African region is Mozambique, which has approved a visa exemption for 28 countries for tourism and business.
As the Council of Ministers approved the decree in mid-March, the exemption applies to visitors holding ordinary passports and allows for a 30-day stay, renewable to an additional 60 days.
The model adopted by the Mozambican government is similar to the United States visa waiver program in the sense that it requires travellers to register on a platform for pre-screening at least 48 hours before travelling and to pay a processing fee of MZN-650 (equivalent £8.50).
In the list released, Nigeria, which prides itself as the giant of Africa and the largest economy on the continent, was missing.
The approved countries for this programme are Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The visa exemption is a follow-up to the launch of a platform last December that allowed prospective visitors to apply for an electronic pre-authorization to travel into the country. The introduction of e-visas has seen an increase of over 30 per cent in the number of travellers entering the country compared to the same period in the previous year.
The e-visa platform commits the country to respond to applications within five days, but general feedback places an average response at 24 hours, and the few issues reported are usually created by users not uploading the required documentation.
President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, since August 2022, has taken steps containing 20 reform measures aimed at delivering to visitors and potential investors a path for a more competitive and more accessible country. Mozambique, with an approximate population of 30 million, is one of the 16-member Southern African Development Community.
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