Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Qatar Airways wrote another page of history as its – and the world’s – first Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) and its fourth A380 arrived in Doha simultaneously yesterday, allowing the airline to further capitalise on its rapid expansion plans.
The delivery of the newest members of Qatar Airways’ fleet of 146 aircraft are the first of 80 A350s and the fourth of 13 A380s on order and mark yet another major 2014 milestone for the five-star airline. The A350 aircraft, for which Qatar Airways is the global launch customer, is set to commence service on the Doha–Frankfurt route starting in January 2015.
The world’s first A350 XWB aircraft to be delivered flew to Doha from France, following the handover ceremony and press conference which were attended by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, senior Airbus and Rolls Royce officials, and more than 150 international media in Toulouse.
With the delivery of the A350 XWB aircraft, Qatar Airways becomes the first airline in the world to operate every family of Airbus’ modern airliner portfolio, comprising the A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380.
After acquiring the A380 earlier this year, the addition of the A350 XWB aircraft is the second significant fleet milestone for Qatar Airways in 2014. The A350 XWB features the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies and will set new standards in passenger experience, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Welcoming the arrival of Qatar Airways’ first A350 XWB aircraft and its latest A380 in Doha, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We take immense pride in taking delivery of two aircraft at the same time joining our modern and dynamic fleet that is connecting the world. As 2015 commences, we are looking forward to a new period of enhanced growth with our fleet setting fresh benchmarks for the aviation industry.
“The A350 XWB, in combination with the recently-introduced A380, will offer unprecedented levels of interoperability and a highly efficient solution to meet long-haul passenger demand on the rapidly expanding Qatar Airways’ network. This will further strengthen our leadership position as a world-class airline providing customers with a premium five-star travel experience, exceptional hospitality and seamless connectivity around the globe.”

Qatar Airways’ first A350 XWB alongside the airline’s fourth A380 as they both take-off, bound for Doha.
Qatar Airways’ first A350 XWB alongside the airline’s fourth A380 as they both take-off, bound for Doha. 

Qatar Airways A350 XWB powered by two new-generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines is a perfect combination of innovative airline product design, environmental advances and the intrinsic comfort of an entirely new cabin set-up which are the hallmarks of this aircraft.
Passengers will benefit from a new boarding experience achieved by a unique dome-design entrance with welcome light distribution. The aircraft also offers wide seats with generous room in all classes of service thanks to a number of design developments offering greater comfort to all passengers.
The Business Class cabin has 36 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration featuring an 80” full flat bed and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen and a spacious inflight bar. The Economy Class features 247 18-inch wide seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, each with a 10.6” in-flight entertainment screen, and more space at shoulder level for passengers in window seats due to the vertical side wall panel design.
Qatar Airways A350 XWB features the-state-of-the art Oryx entertainment system, with more than 1,000 entertainment options on individual screens in all classes. The jet also offers advanced air conditioning technology and LED mood lighting to enhance the comfort of passengers while reducing fatigue after a long flight. In addition, the jet will also offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity for all passengers allowing them to surf the web on the go.
Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 146 aircraft flying to 146 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NTDC partners Aviantion ministry on APS

Right-Left:  Director General ,  Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC) Chief . Dr. ( Mrs.) Sally Mbanefo; Manager, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Arik , Akintoye Obafemi and  Senior Manager, Customer Loyality & CRM, Arik, Kaushalya De Alwis during the official launch of the Aviation Passenger  Service (APS)  Portal which aligns  with the domestic tourism initiative of the NTDC Boss held at the Transcorp Hilton ,  Abuja  recently.



The On going 32 days of non-stop entertainment, anchored by Africa's biggest street party, Calabar Carnival comes alive on twitter.  This year biggest and longest multi-dimensional, multi-faceted tourism leisure and entertainment programme in West Africa will be through the eyes of twitter.

This Cross River State Festive Season Carnival is undisputedly the most colorful in Africa where close to a million participants from all over the world exhibit their talents and share the lovely moments on twitter.  The Carnival Calabar takes place on the 26th and 27th December each year and is the highlight of the 32-day Calabar Festival which runs from 30th November to 1st January

The 2014 event is  Hash-tagged “#Calabarfestival2014 #CelebrationTime #1stDryRun According to the Chairman, this year’s Calabar Festival, promises to be best in terms of packaging, organization and security, despite He proceeded that “This year’s festival promises to be another 32 days of non-stop entertainment, anchored by Africa's biggest street party, Carnival Calabar”. “Adequate security has been put in place to ensure a hitch-free celebration and we guarantee that the 'green, clean & serene' ambience of the city will be maintained”.

 The First choice Carnival in Nigeria and the biggest self-sustaining socio-cultural event in Africa came alive at the Streets of Calabar on November 30th, 2014, as the annual tree lighting ceremony of #CalabarFestival2014 was declared open with theme #CelebrationTime by deputy governor Efio Cobham @EfiokCobham  on twitter.It is Africa world-class street party compared to likes of Notting Hill carnival and Rio De Janeiro Carnival in Brazil .

The programme of this annual event was drafted by the committee in charge of tourism and cultural activities these, include Carnival Calabar football competition(The Carni-Cal Cup), Passion 4, Masta Blasta, Carnival Calabar Queen Pageant grand finale incorporating the Mary Slessor Golf ,Bayside and Freedom),Traditional drumming, arts, crafts and food festival, Music performances from both local and international artists, fashion shows, Senior and Junior Kings and Queens Competion ,Christmas village, traditional dances, Boat regatta, Ekpe Festival festival (which is a yearly events that bring in thousands of tourists at the time of the year).
According to the work plan by the committee, other activities include the second edition of Essay Writing Competition, which will involve both secondary school and tertiary students. (This is designed to resuscitate the reading culture amongst the youths of the state), contemporary issues of global concerns, children Christmas Camp, Theatre performances, vocational trainings for youth, Fashion and Food Fairs, a weekend at the Obudu Ranch Resort to celebrate Africa, and so many other side attractions.

Over the years, this musical concert has featured our own National Stars from the likes of Koko Master D’banj, TuFace Idibia (TuBaba), Asa, @PeterPsquare and @PaulPsquare, @Flavour, @Timaya, Banky W, KC, Sound Sultan Waje, Sunny Nneji, Sasha, Blackky, and @Jmartins. Fun was understatement when international artiste such as Chevelle Franklin, Ron Kenoly, Mary Mary Dube (of blessed memory), Oliver Mtukudzi, Akon, Kirk Franklin, Fat Joe, Neyo, were included as guest performers. it was simply tremendous mood for the fans  seat back and watch Shaggy perform hit songs like, "It Wasn’t Me", "Mr. Lover", "Mr. Boombastic",etc have all
at one time or another graced the Festival with their rhythms and lyrics just to mention but few.

AY, Basket Mouth, @KlintdaDrunk, @JuliusAgwu, @IGoDye, Gordons, made the crowd rumble while cracking there ribs during performances

The heat is one for the most entising carnival of the year kick start in a grand style but you have not missed much . For more updates and be able to download the schedule of the event , follow 
#CalabarFestival2014 , #SightsAndSounds#CalabarFestival,#BestCarnivalPic
Oc KabaKaba@Ghenedinho tweeted that he is on his way to #CalabarCarnival2014 . What are you waiting for ? but don’t forget that  Effiong Ekpenyong @doubleeforreal will be happy to hear from you by posting live #BestCarnivalPic and happenings . He  tweeted that “missing your tweets already because my radio show is going on #PARADISEsUNRISEsATURDAYmORNIN
What was your #BestCarnivalPic #CalabarFestival2014 ? Notting Hill carnival, In United Kingdom and Rio De Janeiro Carnival in Brazil are millions of kilometers away but #CalabarFestival2014 is just a mile stone away from you. Your tweets and follow-up will go a long way in showcasing our heritage   to the global world.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Poor turnout mars 2014 Abuja carnival

Poor turnout mars 2014 Abuja carnival FG urges joint participation in cultural development

Jimoh babatunde & CALEB AYANSINA

ABUJA - When President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration in 204 conceived the ideal of having a carnival in Abuja yearly, it was meant to promote domestic tourism and attract foreign tourists alike to the nation's capital city.
It was envisage that the carnival which later became known as Abuja carnival was to become self sustaining after five years, but ten years later the carnival has not met the aspiration for which it was set up.
In the last five years, the carnival has continued to witnessed dwindling interests from the states that take part in the events and this inveriably has led to the low turn out of Abuja residents not to talk of domestic and foreign tourists.
This year's edition with the theme 'Building An Enduring Creative Nation' was marred with poor participation of state contingents, as about 30 States out of the 36 States of the Federation shunned the event.
The state contingents which took part in the opening of the carnival are those from Kogi, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Niger, Akwa Ibom, Kano State and the FCT. There was also in attendance the Ijaw Cultural Troupe.
The absence of many participating states affected t he glamour associated with the street procession of the opening and closing ceremonies of the event.
As a major departure from previous events, carnival floats at the event were mounted on rick-shaws, popularly known as “Keke NAPEP’’.
Participants from past edition of Abuja carnival

The opening ceremony slated for 10am on Tuesday could not start, as it was outlined in the programme of the event, until 5pm in the evening as many participants, who could not wait for the kick-off left in annoyance.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, who was visibly disturbed by the situation of things, came around 11;30am and immediately left the Eagle Square, the venue of the carnival, this signaled the departure of some Director Generals of agencies under the ministry, who had been loitering around.
In his return to the venue around 3pm, Duke was sighted by the members of the press, who were dominantly visible at the carnival, seated angrily by the pavement and he was interviewed.
He described the 2014 Carnival as imitation, a photo copy of real carnival that was inaugurated by the Obasanjo administration.
Duke noted that Nigeria was not really expecting any international participation due the mood of the nation, thereby the ministry decided to celebrate it in low-key.
He said: “This is low key celebration, this year, we have representation from six geo-political zones and for us this particular carnival is not celebratory carnival, but it is been done because it’s in our calendar of our activities. We are conscious of what is going on around us in the country, we ourselves decided to moderate this particular carnival.
“We have twelve state register to participate and not all twelve states may necessarily be in parade because the carnival has different segments of participation.”
Talking about delay of the opening ceremony, the Minister explained, “We want to air this programme lives that is the reason why we have a slight delay, we want  NTA live broadcast  that is going Birin-in Kebbi, kebbi state  to finish so, as to join Vice president here in Abuja that is why we have little delay.”
Declaring the event open,  President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan  praised the Creative and Tourism sectors for contributing immensely to the country's rebased Gross Domestic Product.
Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the President said that mainstreaming the sector into the economic was not a mistake to transformation agenda of the government.
“My joy is heightened to realise that in spite of our national challenges, the legacies of Abuja carnival continue to linger for showcasing our unity in diversity. It has indeed made invaluable contribution to national cohesion; inter cultural understanding and display of our creative potential as a people.
“The creative impetus has placed the nation as the leading economy in Africa in the recent rebased world economic report of Nigeria. Our music industry, Nollywood and fashion has broken all boundaries and are today to toast and bride of entertainment and creative industry”, the President added.
He said that the desire of government was to make the carnival a private sector drive venture, while government role would be directed at provision of favourable investment climate and incentive, to attract both local and international investors.
Jonathan called on the private sector to contribute it quota in the realization of this project.
Also speaking, the FCT Minister of State, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide promised participant at the carnival safety throughout their stay in Abuja.
She pledged the administration continuous support to better the carnival which was a major boost to the hospitality industry.
NAN report that the carnival, which has the theme ``Building an Enduring Creative Nation’’ was almost cancelled some weeks ago due to the concerns of insecurity.
Some of the participants at the opening, who asked for anonymity while speaking with NAN, attributed the poor turnout to the security challenges facing the country.
Other patrons of the event said inadequate publicity was robbing the event of the glamour and expected gains.
Mr  Bala Shuaib, an Abuja resident, said the carnival should be generating a lot of money if handled properly.
``Since the inception of the carnival, we usually just wake up to see the street blocked without prior information. This has always been the problem. It is time things are done properly.’’
Mr Olu-Martin Abe, another resident, said the carnival would have grown by now to a level where corporate bodies would be struggling to sponsor it if handled properly.
Malam Hasssan Mohammed, a civil servant, said the carnival could provide Nigerians the opportunity to show that the country was not all about Boko Haram, bombings, kidnappings and other social vices.
Mohammed said it was an opportunity for the country to erase the wrong impression the activities of the Boko Haram sect had created about Nigeria in the international community.
He, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the low turnout of participating states at the carnival.
Another resident noted that the ministry apparatus sees the annual carnival as a cash cow, wondering why they can not cancel the event to save the nation of the embarrassment the carnival has become.
Every year they complain of paucity of funds, but they still continue to host the carnival when they know that many states and corporate bodies are not willing to identify with the carnival again. The Minister of Tourism holds the nation explanation.” the visibly disturbed man said .
Visibly disturbed Tourism minister, Edem Duke , with his aides tuesday in Abuja as Abuja residents failed to turn out en-mass for the opening ceremony of the Abuja carnival.

participant wants FG's intervention fund

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Investment, Commerce and Cooperative in Niger, Mr Kabir Dan’ababe, has urged the Federal Government to provide intervention fund for the promotion of the country’s culture.
Dan’ababe made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the ongoing 2014 Abuja carnival.
He said that the low turnout of participants at the carnival was as a result of lack of funding by the Federal Government.
`` The participation at this year’s carnival is not encouraging at all. Any state you see at this year’s carnival is sponsored by the state government.
``The states represented here is a reflection of passion of some state governor's for culture. But for this show of love of culture, many states would not have participated in the 2014 carnival.
``The Federal Government should think of what to do to motivate the state governments to ensure that they sustain their participation at the festival in the drive to showcase their various cultures at the next Abuja carnival.
``If the Federal Government can provide two million naira to each state, it will go a long way in supporting the carnival and also the nation,’’ he said.
Dan’ababe also said that the 2014 carnival was low keyed, attributing this to the activities of insurgents in the north eastern part of the country.
He noted that the low participation had been a major challenge to stakeholders in the industry, and urged the organisers to keep the carnival running and thriving.
He commended Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger for his continuous support in promoting the culture of the people through the involvement of the state in the carnival since 2007.
He, however, enjoined the Federal Government, non-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders not to relent in their support for the culture and tourism sector.
`` The cultural sector should be developed to make it one of the best sectors in the effort to make Nigeria one of the biggest economy in the world by 2020.
``This vision will only be actualised with the support from all tier of the government with Federal Government in the driver’s seat,’’ he said.
He further encouraged Nigerians to believe in and be proud of their culture, tradition and heritage, and strive to showcase these to the outside world.
Mr Emmanuel Ameh, a civil servant, said that the carnival should provide an opportunity for the country to erase the wrong impression created by the security challenge in the country as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.
Ameh said that Nigeria culture and tourism sector had the potential of attracting foreign tourists if given the necessary focus and priority.
Also, Miss Foluke Aransiola, said inadequate publicity about the event would rob potential tourists and residents of the opportunity of fun and fanfare at the carnival.