African airlines passenger traffic rise by 4.1 per cent in August — IATA



The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday said African airlines recorded a 4.1 per cent increase in passenger traffic in August compared to the same period in 2018.

IATA’s Director-General, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, said the traffic climbed from 3.2 per cent recorded by the airlines in July.

“This solid performance comes after South Africa – the region’s second largest economy – returned to positive economic growth in Q2 2019.

“Capacity rose 6.1 per cent, however, and load factor dipped by 1.4 percentage points to 75.6 per cent,” he said in a statement.

According to him, global passenger traffic data for August 2019 showed that demand climbed 3.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

He said this was above the 3.5 per cent annual increase for July, adding that August capacity also increased by 3.5 per cent.

de Juniac said load factor climbed 0.3 per cent percentage point to 85.7 per cent, which was a new monthly record, as airlines continue to maximise asset use.

He said: “While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well-down on the roughly 8.5 per cent annual growth seen over the 2016 to Q1 2018 period.

“This reflects the impact of economic slowdowns in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the U.S. and China.

“Nonetheless, airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand. With passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7 per cent, this is good for overall efficiency and passengers’ individual carbon footprint.” (NAN)


(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)


Burna Boy becomes first Nigerian artist with certified silver album in UK



Nigerian superstar, Damini Ogulu, a.k.a Burna Boy has become the first Nigerian artist with a certified silver album, “African Giant” in the UK.

The renowned singer, who said he was so excited over the achievement, took to his Instagram page @burnaboygram to announce the news to his fans and also expressed love to everyone that supported him.


“Shouts to my brudda Stormzy and love to everyone that supports us. Go stream `REAL LIFE’ now,” he wrote.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that a silver certification in the UK means an album has sold  60, 000 copies.

NAN also reports that this came after news that ‘Own It’ by Stormzy featuring Burna Boy and Ed Sheeran, has a two-time platinum certification for selling 600,000 copies.

On June 4, it was announced that ‘Be Honest’, the 2019 single by British singer, Jorja Smith featuring Grammy nominee, Burna Boy has been certified platinum in France.

Burna Boy had accepted a gold plaque for his 2018 single “On The Low’’. The gold plaque is for selling 100,000 (or more) copies.

A gold plaque can also be handed to an artist, whose single has been streamed 15 million times in the country, thus 15 million streams of a single in France is equivalent to 100,000 pure sales.

Burna Boy is a multi-awarding Nigerian Afro-Pop singer, whose sound inspired by Nigerian legend Fela Kuti.

He got his breakthrough in 2012 with his hit single such as to Party off his debut album ‘L.I.F.E’ released in 2013.

Burna Boy in 2017, signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the U. S. and Warner Music Group internationally.

He released his first major label backed album ‘Outside’ in 2018.

The artist immense contribution in entertainment industry coupled with his numerous songs has made him outstanding.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN






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Post COVID-19: NANTA trains 250 travel agents on capacity development, professionalism



The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) on Tuesday trained about 250 travel agents on the advancement of industry in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic.

Its National President, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, said the Zoom training, which had the theme: ‘Become the Travel Expert of the Future,’ focused on capacity development and improved professionalism.

Akporiaye said that the training exposed members to strategic recovery of travel businesses and the International Air Transport Association’s significance to travel trade.

According to her, the association is operating an open door policy where innovative ideas will be welcome from members and organisations.

“I appreciate the support of the South Africa Tourism and Dubai Tourism; I also commend the efforts of the past presidents of the association.

“I have served under visionary leaders and I have no choice than to be visionary as well.

“Our target is to make basic foundation training approved by IATA and improve professionalism among our members.

“You must equip yourselves so that clients can look out for you, this will help us produce travel and tour professionals as we bring the association to an enviable height.

“We want Nigeria travel agencies to be world class,” she said.

Akporaiye urged members to prioritise neccesssary skills acquisition over financial gains.

Ibiwari Kemabonta, an official of NANTA, said that the training was organised to bridge the knowledge gap existing among members, as this had been observed to be causing lots of problems in the travel and tourism industry.

Kemabonta said the training framework targeted the beginners, start-ups and the experienced categories of members to enable them move their businesses from their localities to international standard.

She itemised some of the areas of focus during the training as: Understanding the workings of IATA vis-a-vis the travel agency, understanding the role of tour operators, strategic planning for business sustainability.

Others were understanding relationship between travel agency and industry partners, management and leadership skills, among others.

According to her, these efforts

are channeled towards meeting the dynamics of the industry at a time like this.

Stella Fubara, Director, International Operations, Dubai Tourism, commended NANTA over the training, which she  was paramount for constant development in the travel industry which kept evolving over time.

She urged the members to focus on the training to improve their knowledge in the industry

“Dubai Tourism has partnered with NANTA many years ago to be able to provide support for those who are passionate and want to grow the industry.

“I am happy with the training programme because I have been clamouring for it, without training you cannot grow and our industry is one of those that is constantly evolving.

“Dubai Tourism is here to continue to support travel agents to grow and I like people to move and invest in themselves,” she said.

Mr Yinka Folami, Vice President, NANTA Lagos Branch, urged travel agents to engage more in professional dialogue with their principals and stakeholders to restore customer confidence, considering the setback caused by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need this because the responsibility of every industry player should be to promote solidarity within and external, NANTA is professional body and we will continue to acquire the professional skills to deal with international communities.

“Every service problem like COVID-19 pandemic should not be seen as a problem but a way to engage in strategic thinking.

“We need to evaluate ourselves, allign ourselves with what we are supposed to do but not doing and what we are doing and not supposed to be doing,” he said.


Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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Interview: Global air passenger traffic to nosedive by 55 pct in 2020: IATA




by Martina Fuchs

GENEVA, July 28 (XINHUA) — Global airline body IATA released an updated global passenger forecast on Tuesday, warning that the recovery in air traffic has been slower than expected and that the storm facing the industry is far from over.

In its base case scenario, global passenger traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometers will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement.

In an interview with Xinhua, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said although there has been an improvement in short-haul travel, international markets still remain largely closed and consumer confidence is depressed.

“We have very weak passenger demand that is recovering only slowly, first in domestic markets but not in intercontinental travel due to the border closures and travel restrictions that have been imposed by governments,” he said.

De Juniac believed that new health and safety regulations such as temperature checks at security and in-flight mask rules could help restore passenger confidence.

Recovery of passenger numbers to pre-COVID-19 levels, however, will also slide by a year from 2022 to 2023, IATA data showed. For 2020, global passenger numbers are expected to decline by 55 percent compared with 2019, worsened from the April forecast of 46 percent.

In June, passenger traffic fell 86.5 percent compared with the year-ago period, according to IATA. That is only slightly improved from a 91 percent contraction in May.

De Juniac said this was driven by rising demand in domestic markets, particularly China.

“The Chinese airlines are recovering especially for domestic travel, but for international travel, as many countries have closed their borders or implemented very strict sanitary and health control measures, the international travel is very, very low,” he said.

“We expect the Chinese airlines to be in a better situation than their counterparts in other countries but still in a weaker position than they were last year,” he added.

Airlines around the world including British Airways, Air France, easyJet and Lufthansa Group have announced plans to cut thousands of jobs as they grapple with the coronavirus crisis.

“We also have concerns about employment related to the air travel industry, tourism, entertainment, all these industries which are severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, directly and indirectly, due to the air travel reduction,” de Juniac said.


In June, IATA warned that 2020 would be “the worst year in the history of aviation” and that airlines are expected to lose 84.3 billion United States dollars this year alone.

“We are still asking governments to help us. The first set of measures that had been announced by governments had been significant,” de Juniac told Xinhua.

“But things should not stop, because the crisis is not over. So we are still asking governments to put money into the industry if they want to keep strong airlines and good connectivity for their country which is absolutely key for the economic recovery.”

The head of the body representing global airlines also said he was concerned about reduced corporate travel as companies continue to be under financial pressure even as the economy improves.

“We will recover. This is an industry that has already faced many shocks and crises, so we will recover,” de Juniac stressed. “Business travel is more at risk because people are now using virtual tools, computers, tablets and web-based technologies to organize meetings.”

De Juniac also said the sector was still committed to reaching its emission-reduction goals and prioritizing investment in sustainable aviation fuels despite the pandemic.

“The goals we have committed to, which are to be carbon neutral starting 2021 and to reduce our CO2 emissions by half in 2050, we are still committed to do that, and we will do it,” he told Xinhua.

“I am not worried about our environmental commitments. The industry is committed, we will do it,” he stressed.

The aviation industry has agreed to cap carbon emissions to half the 2005 levels by 2050.


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African children remain under siege from COVID-19: UNICEF




Children in Africa remain confronted by a host of threats due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday in commemorating Day of the African Child.

The direct and secondary impacts of the virus threaten to unravel the gains made for the poorest children across Africa, UNICEF said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

While wealthier children are able to continue learning online, barely one in five households in Eastern and Southern Africa have internet access, according to UNICEF.

Eighty-four percent of the rural population – where the bulk of African learners reside – have no electricity, meaning online learning is not an option, said UNICEF.

Up to 16 million children in Africa are no longer accessing critical daily meals at school while violence is increasing, and more African children will fall into poverty, UNICEF said.

Prior to COVID-19, it was estimated that around three out of every four children in Africa are affected by multi-dimensional poverty. These children are deprived of the most basic things in life, like access to sufficient food and clean drinking water, going to school, being able to get medical help, sleeping in adequate shelter, going to the bathroom in a safe place, or living in an environment free of physical and emotional abuse.

The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic could push up to 86 million more children into household poverty by the end of 2020, two thirds of these in Africa, according to analysis released by Save the Children and UNICEF.

Only 16 percent of children in Africa are covered by social protection programs, making it impossible for families to withstand financial shocks caused by COVID-19 and furthering the cycle of intergenerational poverty, said UNICEF.

While the challenges are immense, UNICEF said it is collectively achieving significant regional results, including 71 million people reached with messaging on COVID-19 prevention and how to access services, 10.8 million children supported with distance/home-based learning, more than two million people reached with hand-wash supplies and two million children and women reached with essential healthcare services in UNICEF-supported facilities.

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