Norwegian Air, which is attempting to secure a second round of financial restructuring, saw a 91 per cent decline in August passenger volume from a year earlier.
This is as most of its fleet remained grounded by the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Friday.
The budget carrier said it will fly 25-30 of its aircraft in the months ahead, while more than 100 remain parked.
Creditors and lessors took control of Norwegian in May with a financial rescue that allowed it to access state-guaranteed loans of three billion Norwegian crowns ($336 million) and thus prevent a collapse.
The company said last week it hopes to complete a second refinancing by year-end to avoid running out of funds by April of 2021.
It is also in talks with Norway’s government over additional support.
“The prolonged crisis that has impacted every part of the aviation industry continues to create uncertainty in all markets.
“This is making the need for a long-term liquidity support package even more critical to protect tourism, jobs and international trade,’’ CEO Jacob Schram said.
Funding could come from the sale of aircraft, conversion of more debt to equity or from owners and the Norwegian government, the company said on Aug 28, while declining to specify the amount it might seek. The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) has scheduled a meeting with the Norwegian government next week to discuss the needs of airlines such as Norwegian and local rivals, SAS and Wideroe.
Norwegian flew 313,316 passengers in August compared to 3.5 million in August 2019.
Only 62.1 per cent of its seats were filled on average, down from 90 per cent a year earlier, Norwegian said.
With its transatlantic business on hold and European routes limited, much of Norwegian’s business is currently concentrated on Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/norwegian-air-reports-91-traffic-fall-amid-search-for-more-cash/
Schools Resumption: Some private schools record high turnout in Lagos
Some private schools in Lagos State recorded large turnout of students following the Lagos State Government’s directive on resumption on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on Aug. 29, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed primary and secondary schools to reopen.
Sanwo-Olu gave the directed during the 17th Update on the management of the coronavirus pandemic in Lagos.
A correspondent of NAN, who visited some schools in the state, reports that water, soaps, hand-sanitisers and infrared thermometer were provided by the schools’ management.
At Honeyland Schools, Ipaja, parents were seen trooping in to drop their children while observing social distancing in registering them.
Also, compulsory wearing of nose masks and social distancing in classrooms were observed by students and teachers.
A big banner displaying the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines was seen at the entrance of the school.
The school principal, Mr Oluyemi Faleke, said that academic activities would start immediately.
Faleke said that the school had concluded the second term examination before the lockdown while the third term examination was conducted during the lockdown.
“Before the resumption, we conducted three online entrance examinations for the new students.
“In all classrooms, we are maintaining social distance by displaying a sticker of “Do Not Sit Here”.
“Teaching starts from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and virtual learning is still available for students who do not want to resume yet,’’ he said.
NAN,however, observed that some schools at Iyana-Ipaja and Egbeda areas were still locked and there was no sign of resumption.
At Victoria Island and Lekki, some private schools continued to teach their students through virtual learning.
At the Senior High School, Alimosho, only Junior Secondary Three (JS 3) and Senior Secondary Two (SS 2) students were allowed to enter the school premise with face masks or shields.
Security officials at the Faith Academy, Gowon Estate, Ipaja said that only SS three students have resumed while others will be resuming on Thursday.
Mr Abdul Ademola, Principal, Homat Group of Schools, Odogunyan, Ikorodu said that the school would keep guiding the students on COVID-19 protocols.
Ademola said that management had reduced number of students in a class from 20 students before the lockdown to 12 students as part of effort to prevent infection.
“We are all happy to resume back to school after staying home for too long.
“There is no automatic promotion in our school, we are going to engage all classes with lectures, continuous assessment and examination,’’ he said.
Mrs Olanike Ayoola, a parent at Honeyland schools expressed confidence that her children were safe with the school because of the guidelines been maintained.
“I am so confident of my children’s school; they are ready for the students’ resumption.
“During the lockdown, they educated us on the safety protocols against COVID-19,’’ Ayoola said.
Another parent, Mrs Kehinde Ojewoye, corroborated Ayoola’s confidence, saying that she was not scared of COVID-19.
According to Ojewoye, the school is fully prepared for the students’ resumption.
She said that teachers should just maintain social distancing with their students to avoid any issue.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Man City’s Gundogan tests positive for COVID-19
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday.
Gundogan is the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks.
City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.
“Gundogan is now observing a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine,” the club said in a statement.
Gundogan is likely to miss three matches for City while he self-isolates, including Monday’s league clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Thursday’s League Cup tie against Bournemouth and Sunday’s league game against Leicester City.
Both Mahrez and Laporte returned to training last week but City boss Pep Guardiola said only the Algerian winger would be available against Wolves — City’s opening game of the season.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edited By: Joseph Edeh
Tokyo 2020 consulting firm paid around $370,000 to Diack’s son – report
A consulting firm for Tokyo’s Olympic bid committee paid around $370,000 to the son of Lamine Diack, once one of the world’s most powerful sports officials, around the time Japan was picked to host the 2020 Games, Kyodo News reported on Monday.
The report comes amid French investigations into the former head of Tokyo’s bid committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, for approving around $2 million in payments to Black Tidings, a now-defunct consulting firm in Singapore.
The report said the findings, based on a review of financial documents as well as reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several media organisations including Kyodo, may shed light on what happened to the $2 million.
Black Tidings made multiple transfers to Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, including some paid into a personal account and others transferred to his company, the report said.
The combined total was around $370,000, it said.
Papa Massata Diack told Kyodo that the payments were not related to the Tokyo Olympics. He declined further comment in an e-mail to Reuters.
French prosecutors had been looking into whether Black Tidings paid the younger Diack to influence the father, who was a member of the International Olympic Committee and believed to control votes among African members.
Takeda resigned last year due to the scandal, admitting to the payments while denying wrongdoing.
The Kyodo report said he denied any knowledge of money transfers from Black Tidings.
“At the time, I did not know anything that happened after (making the payment to the consulting firm),” he said.
Reuters could not immediately contact Takeda for comment.
The older Diack, former head of world athletics’ governing body, was convicted in France on Wednesday for corruption in relation to a Russian doping scandal.
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the government planning to host the games next year instead.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
‘Watchmen,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ rule at virtual Emmys with pandemic and political twists
Media family saga “Succession,” dystopian drama “Watchmen” and feel-good comedy “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political jibes and appeals for racial justice.
“Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!,” said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.
“It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic,” Kimmel said as he opened the live show from Los Angeles.
“What’s happening tonight is not important. It’s not going to stop COVID. It’s not going to put out the fires, but it’s fun.
“And right now we need fun. … This has been a miserable year. It’s been a year of division, injustice (and) disease,” he added.
HBO’s “Succession,” the wickedly juicy tale of a fractious media family, was named best drama series, while Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son. “Succession’s seven-Emmy haul included writing and directing.
In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he called “un-thank yous.”
“Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response.
“Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country.
“Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now,” said Armstrong.
HBO’s alternative-reality show “Watchmen,” infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her lead performance as the show’s kick-ass police detective.
“Watchmen” was the night’s biggest winner with a total of 11 Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix with 21.
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.
Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K. Brown, and “Mrs. America” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba, wore Black Lives Matter-themed tee-shirts or urged viewers to vote in the Nov. 3 United States elections.
“Schitt’s Creek,” a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, won a total of nine Emmys.
“It also won best comedy series as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.
The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen.
The “Schitt’s Creek” winners got their trophies delivered to them in a restaurant-style setup in Ontario, Canada, by a person dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.
The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for playing a teen drug addict in HBO’s “Euphoria,” beating presumed favourites Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show.”)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was named best variety talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honour of his favourite British team.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)