Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Speakers, stakeholders push for viable sector at NHTIC 2015

Speakers, stakeholders push for viable sector at NHTIC 2015
… as Jonel prepares for another edition
An array of high profile speakers and stakeholder who participated at the 2015 edition of the Nigeria Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference have charged both government and private sector on more concerted efforts at making the tourism and hospitality sector count in the Nigerian economy.
At the conference, which held from November 25-27, 2015 at Intercontinental Hotel Lagos, the speakers noted that now is the right time to show more commitment and action at diversifying the Nigerian economy and using tourism as a sure alternative to oil, especially now that the global oil price is falling.
As expected three-day conference went beyond paper presentation to offering veritable platforms for networking, interaction and exchanges among participants who were eager to learn new, discover new trends and also implement resolutions arrived at the conference for the growth of their businesses.
From the first paper entitled: Macro-Economic Overview, Sam Ohuabunwa, founder, SOFEE, thoroughly explore the country’s economic outlook, giving insight to would-be investors on how to go about their investments across the country and also meeting their expected investment objectives.
Placing the country against the rest of the world, Ohuabunwa noted that despite the challenges of doing business in the country, Nigeria is still an investment heaven because of the high return on investment.
However, the picture became clearer when Trevor Ward, managing director, W Hospitality Group, exposed the growth and investment potential of the Nigerian hotel and tourism market. Ward gave detailed study on the hospitality hot spots, supply gaps and key segments with potential growth which would-be investors should look out for among others.
Moreover, Ward’s figure-based presentation was more convincing and enlightening as questions that followed later reflected the gray areas that bother must investors.
Also Laura Alakija, managing associate, Sterling Partnership, assured the participants and would-be investors the safety of the investment with her presentation on the Regulatory Framework in Nigeria: How can this be made easier for investors.
From the government perspective, Cross River State Carnival Commission led by Gab Onah, the chairman, unveiled the efforts at making the state the foremost tourism destination in West Africa. Onah noted that over time, the state has grown its craft, skills and even passion that have sustained the carnival, and other related businesses. also speaking, Justina Ovat, principal consultant, Calabar Hospitality House Limited, noted that the increasing traffic to the state, especially during festive season, offers limitless opportunities for more investments hotels, resorts, tours and related businesses. Moderated by Obinna Emelike, tourism, editor of BusinessDay, the Cross River State session at the conference ended with a formal invitation by Onah to the audience to participate in this year’s carnival.
There were other sessions featuring paper presentations on topical issues affecting the industry. The likes of Andrew McLachlan, vice president, Carlson Rezidor, Mark Martinovic, CEO, Hotel Partners Africa, Samuel Alabi, legal adviser, Eko Hotel and Suites, Rosana Forsuelo, provost, Wavecrest College of Hospitality among others enlightened the audience with their various paper presentations that truly made the conference worth participating.
Earlier at his welcome remarks, Brian Efa, managing partner, Jonel Hospitality Consulting, organisers of the conference, noted that the theme this year; ‘Nigeria’s Tourism Industry-Catalyst for Economy Diversification’, was purposely meant to highlight the challenges of operating in Nigeria, opportunities and prospects of the industry and plans to in place to secure increased investment in the sector the three-five years.
Efa commended the quality speakers and their insightful presentations, the participants that made the conference well-attended, and promised a more impacting edition in 2016.
Organised in partnership with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and with the endorsement of defunct Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, NHTIC, is an annual event of the international level aimed at promoting the hotel and tourism business in Nigeria, and the West African 

Holiday travel: airline advises passengers on packing

Emirates is reminding all passengers to check the permitted list of carry-on and checked-in items for safe and undisrupted travel this holiday season.

To ensure the safety of passengers and crew, spare lithium batteries used for electronic devices such as cameras, mobiles phones and laptops are restricted from checked-in baggage. A popular item containing lithium batteries is the smart balance wheels also known as ‘hover boards’. Emirates restricts all smart balance wheels – with or without lithium batteries removed - from checked-in or carry-on luggage.

“With the upcoming holiday season, we expect many passengers to be carrying gifts for their loved ones including the popular smart balance wheels. We prioritise the safety of our passengers and crew, and regret we will not accept these as part of checked-in baggage or as hand luggage. We urge all our customers to check the full list of restricted items before travelling for safe and undisrupted travels,” said Mohammed Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President – Airport Services.

All liquids, gels and aerosols, pastes, lotions, creams, drinks and other items of similar consistency must be in containers with a capacity no greater than 100ml. Those carried in containers larger than 100ml will not be accepted, even if the container is only partially filled.

As with any busy travel period, Emirates is advising customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before flight departure, and plan extra time to get to the airport. Early check-in is available at the normal counters from six hours before departure and from car park check-in counters from six to 24 hours before departure.

Customers are also encouraged to check-in online or use the convenient Self Service Kiosks and then the baggage drop facilities to expedite their airport experience. Those checking in online are required to check in their luggage no later than 90 minutes prior to departure. Customers holding an e-boarding pass and travelling with carry-on bags only, can proceed directly to passport control and security clearance.

Customers who check-in less than 60 minutes to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted. Boarding on all flights begins 45 minutes prior to departure, and gates close 20 minutes before take-off. These time checks will ensure the minimisation of delays and missed connections.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Media, tourism stakeholders gather in Tunisia

More than 300 participants convened in Tunis for the 4th UNWTO International Conference on ‘Tourism and the Media’. The event, held in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia, counted with the support of CNN International.

Over twenty countries were represented at the 4th UNWTO International Conference ‘Tourism and the Media’ that took place in Tunis under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia.

«The creation of new partnerships between tourism and media is an excellent opportunity for dialogue. Tourism, as does the media, has the noble mission of making people travel around the world, bringing cultures closer together and promoting the values of tolerance and solidarity ” said the Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia, Salma Elloumi Rekik.

“Media constitute major stakeholders for the tourism sector, not only in terms of disseminating information, but also with regard to connecting with the public to promote a better understanding of the sector and the principles of sustainable tourism development.” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the Conference.

Talking about Tunisia he added “Tunisia is an example to the world in the way it is consolidating its democracy, as recognized by the recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the National Dialogue Quartet. Tunisia is also a destination of excellence and a long-term leader in the region and the world. We at UNWTO are fully confident in the ability of Tunisia’s tourism sector to overcome the current challenges and regain momentum”.

“Accuracy, responsibility and transparency are the framework in which we, the journalists, should operate,” said Jim Bittermann, CNN anchor and key note speaker at the Conference.

Bridging the gap

Sanam Shantyaei, from France 24, emphasized that “journalists need to be approached by those working in the tourism sector in an appropriate manner and with adequate resources as media constitutes the main channel to the general public.”

In that sense, the impact of media was underlined by most of the speakers, like Taieb Zahar, Director of the Tunisian magazine ‘Réalités’ who stated that “the work of journalists currently has a great impact in the image and positioning of countries.”

Communicating in times of crisis was also addressed during the Conference with participants stressing the need for professional coverage but also access to information and facilitation of resources from tourism authorities in a timely manner.

In that regard, Mr Richard Barnes, Editor-in-Chief at Cleverdis gave some recommendations to parties involved in the tourism sector. “Tourism authorities should look to the different channels to reach media, not only through press releases, for instance. If they communicate with the tourism agencies, they will reach also the general public and this will be a great plus for the country,” he said.

As the Conference aimed at fostering a new framework of interaction with the media, a number of recommendations were emphasized through the different debates and exchanges. Among those, “be credible, close, on target, available, transparent, realistic, a facilitator, useful to and respectful of the media angle” were underlined.

“Media is the best partner that you can have, so do not be afraid of the media as journalists are the best catalyzer of your work”, concluded Mr Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General closing the event.

US big five offer something for everyone

Africa’s favourite big five cities in the United States, according to British Airways’ customers, are New York, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami.
“These are the US cities that most of our African customers either visit or would like to visit,” explains Paolo Derenzis, British Airways commercial manager, Middle East and Africa.
New York is the archetypal fast-paced, globally influential centre of finance, fashion, art and culture and one of the most popular points of entry for business and holiday travellers alike.
Getting there has become even easier since British Airways’ joint business with American Airlines and US Airways, with a choice of flights nearly every hour. Frequent flyers can earn and redeem Avios across all three carriers. Members of the On Business programme are able to use their reward points or earn more on both British Airways and American Airlines’ services.
The seat of government, Washington DC, is a compact city, which even for first-time visitors can seem familiar. This is because its imposing neoclassical monuments and buildings feature so prominently in news reports, television shows and movies. Its iconic buildings include the ones that house the three branches of the federal government: The White House, the Capitol and Supreme Court.
Further north, Boston is characterised by its history and old-world charm. The Freedom Trail is a must-do for any visitor. This 2.5 mile walk takes in the historic sites where some of the significant events took place that led to the American War of Independence and ultimately the founding of the United States.
Across the country, sprawling, vibrant Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city remains a favourite destination for holidaymakers, movie aficionados and deal-hungry executives, particularly those in the entertainment and technology industries. It was one of the first cities to which British Airways began operating its A380, a flight dubbed the ‘red carpet service’.

Miami is holiday central. Its sub-tropical climate makes for ideal year-round beach weather and the Port of Miami is known as the cruise capital of the world. It’s one of the preferred embarkation points for people joining Caribbean cruises. There are 14 flights a week to Miami from Terminal five and British Airways has just introduced one if it’s new A380s on the route. American Airlines offers 14 weekly services departing from Terminal 3.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kenya woo Nigerian tourists

By Jimoh Babatunde
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has continued to showcase the country's tourism attractions to Nigerians as the board in collaboration with Kenya Airways and KQ Holidays met with trade partners in Lagos recently.
Speaking at the forum, the Marketing Officer - Africa, Kenya Tourism Board, Betty Ingwe disclosed that the KTB is set to market Kenya as one of the foremost tourist destinations for the Nigerian market.

Betty Ingwe explained that the meeting with Nigerian stakeholders which started in Abuja is an opportunity to sell Kenya to Nigerians .
"Kenya is a great destination year round. Kenya is where you can experience a different safari every day. The country offers an endless array of activities for travellers", Ingwe said.
She noted that in the last five months that Kenya Tourism Board has held trainings for Nigerian tour operators and other trade partners who will be working with an arm of the board, Kenya Holidays in Lagos to sell Kenya as a preferred destination, “outside Kenya, Nigeria is the only country with an office of the Kenya Holidays, which shows the importance of Nigeria market to us.”
Betty Ingwe added that Kenya as the heart of African tourism market has cutting edge tourist attractions such as; the ultimate safari experience, wide beast migration between July and October every year, white pinstripe beaches, rich wildlife experiences and a very developed destination for golfers with 40 world class golf courses.
While adding that Kenya offers 99% Halal food for Muslims, she said KTB offers tourists the Magical Kenya App which is specifically designed to make the visitor’s experience more flawless, “the mobile application strengthens the tourist arrivals to the country by providing tourists a platform in which they can get all the relevant information about Kenya at their fingertip.”
Ingwe added “ Kenya has six UNESCO Heritage sites, international shopping malls, elephant sanctuary and availability of affordable quality education in institutions of higher learning.
Speaking at the parley, Kenya Visa Consular in Lagos, Karlus Maluta advise that tourists should not allow terrorists to define their way of life as the country is safe for tourists as the government has taken all necessary and preventive steps against terrorist attacks.

He added that the government has made it easy to secure the country visa for tourists as they have introduced an online visa service platform .


The Executive Secretary Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, John Kennedy opera has disclosed that the Commission had commenced the Fourth batch of its ongoing pilgrimage operations to Israel, Rome and Greece. He disclosed this in Abuja recently while briefing newsmen in his office.
According to the NCPC boss, the Commission formally commenced the October-December Pilgrimage on 17th October, 2015 and successfully concluded the third batch of its operations on 24th November, 2015 and on the same day commenced the fourth batch of airlift of pilgrims to the Holy Land.
He also informed that the Committees on Foreign Affairs of both Senate and House of Representatives would be travelling next week to Israel to carry out their oversight functions.
The NCPC helmsman further stressed that the skills Acquisition programme of the Commission was on course as the programme would expose the pilgrims in the area of exportable Agriculture. He described Israel as a “nation blessed in human capital” and as such would want the pilgrims to tap the blessings from Israel.
Mr. Opara further stated that the focus of the Commission in this year’s pilgrimage exercise is on self sponsorship. He stressed that the central thrust of the Commission is to use pilgrimage as a tool for moral transformation and spiritual Rebirth. He also disclosed that the inaugural flight for intending pilgrims to Rome and Greece would be on 24th November, 2015.
He was hopeful that the pilgrimage this year would be one of the best ever organized by the Commission. The No1 Pilgrim Officer of the Federation also disclosed that the Commission’s Christian pilgrimage lottery Scheme would commence next year. He added that the scheme would add value to the efforts of the government and would be at no cost to the state or federal government.
On the issue of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the State of Israel, the NCPC boss explained that the federal Government is determined to ensure its activation as soon as possible.
He posited that with the activation of the agreement signed in 2013, it would lessen the problem of having to travel for long hours to Israel and it would also boost the economy of both nations.
NCPC Media.

FG to review aviation policy ... Minister

By Yakubu Dati

The Civil Aviation Policy would be reviewed in order to accommodate the planned policies of this government which would include a Master Plan to reform institutions, airports (domestic and international hubs) and national airlines, to provide domestic and international services.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika stated this during the ICAO 2015 World Aviation Forum holding in Montreal, Canada, 23 - 25 November 2015.
According to the Minister, "Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, will continue to upgrade and develop aviation infrastructure to improve aviation safety and security, thus creating an enabling environment for growth of airlines and other service providers, as well as protecting the interest of aviation end-users.”
In a keynote address, the ICAO President, Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu said it was a key goal for the organization to assist member States to the fullest extent, possible with respect to the implementation of ICAO standards and policies.
He added "Only in this way can we ensure that 'No Country is Left Behind' and optimize the socio-economic benefits which derive from safe, secure, and reliable air transport in Africa, fully in line with local needs and expectations."
The Canadian Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau welcomed delegates and solicited greater collaboration and understanding among nations and peoples of the world.
Several speakers including the Colombian Minster of Transport, the Secretary General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), DG of the European Commission as well as China and the US emphasized the connection between the effective implementation of global aviation standards and policies and the social and economic benefits.
The high powered Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State, Aviation included the Canadian Acting Ambassador, Ja'afar Mohammed Balarabe, Directors from the Ministry of Aviation and CEOs of aviation parastatals who provided technical support.
The Forum drew participants from 99 countries on its first day.

Yakubu Dati
General Manager

Corporate Affairs

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Qatar Airways concluded a successful week at the Dubai Airshow, showcasing three of its latest-generation aircraft, the Airbus A350, A380 and the airline’s 25th Boeing Dreamliner, the B787.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, toured the airline’s A380 during the Royal Tour on the first day. The tour was led by His Excellency Mr. Jassim Seif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport for the State of Qatar, and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker. Among the official delegation was also Mr. Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al-Subaey, Chairman of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority.
During the Dubai Airshow Mr. Al Baker also hosted meetings with notable dignitaries including Ms. Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport; Ghazi Zaiter, Lebanon’s Minister of Public Works and Transportation; and The Honourable Mr. Nathan Deal, Governor of the U.S. State of Georgia. In addition, the U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Her Excellency Ms. Dana Shell Smith, joined Mr. Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner for a special ceremony on the second day of the airshow to celebrate the airline’s 25th Dreamliner delivery.
Over the course of the week it is estimated that more than 1,000 airshow guests and media toured Qatar Airways’ aircraft.
Mr. Al Baker commented: “Qatar Airways was central to the aircraft on static display at this year’s Dubai Airshow, with three of our finest aircraft present. This demonstrates the significant growth of our fleet in recent years, enabling Qatar Airways to showcase to the aviation industry the world’s very latest aircraft and interior product types, including the A350, for which Qatar Airways was the global launch customer.”
The A380 entered service with Qatar Airways last autumn and Qatar Airways received the A350 as Global Launch Customer in December 2014.
The A350, which entered service in January, now flies double-daily to Frankfurt, triple-daily to Singapore and daily to Munich. The Business Class cabin has 36 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration featuring an 80-inch fully flat bed and 17-inch HD in-flight entertainment screen and a spacious inflight lounge. Economy Class features 247 18-inch wide seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, each with a 10.6-inch in-flight entertainment screen, and more space at shoulder level for passengers in window seats due to the vertical side wall panel design.
The 517-seat A380 aircraft comprising of First, Business and Economy Class over two decks, is the largest passenger jet in the world, and currently flies to Bangkok, Paris and London from Doha in the State of Qatar. The new First Class A380 features a seat with a 90-inch pitch that transforms into a fully flat bed and has up to 2,000 entertainment options displayed on individual HD 26-inch television screens.
Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats with a class-leading standard of comfort on board, including individual 10.6-inch television screens for all Economy Class seats and an award-winning food and beverage service.
At the annual Skytrax 2015 World Airline Awards in June, Qatar Airways was awarded World’s Best Airline, Best Business Class Airline Seat, and Best Airline in the Middle East.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation and today flies a modern fleet of 170 aircraft to 152 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

Dubai Airshow: Qatar Airways displayed three of its latest-generation aircraft

The U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Her Excellency Ms. Dana Shell Smith, joined Mr. Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Mr. Ray Conner for a special ceremony on the second day of the air show to celebrate the airline’s 25th Dreamliner deliveryThe U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Her Excellency Ms. Dana Shell Smith, joined Mr. Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Mr. Ray Conner for a special ceremony on the second day of the air show to celebrate the airline’s 25th Dreamliner delivery
Mr. Al Baker hosted meetings with Mr. Ghazi Zaiter, Lebanon’s Minister of Public Works and Transportation
Mr. Al Baker hosted meetings with Mr. Ghazi Zaiter, Lebanon’s Minister of Public Works and Transportation
Qatar Airways concluded a successful week at the Dubai Airshow, showcasing three of its latest-generation aircraft, including the Boeing 787 DreamlinerQatar Airways concluded a successful week at the Dubai Airshow, showcasing three of its latest-generation aircraft, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Thursday, November 12, 2015

UNWTO, Griffith Institute for Tourism launch Global Report on Public-Private Partnerships in tourism

The UNWTO Global Report, produced in collaboration with the Griffith Institute of Tourism, highlights how Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) among tourism stakeholders drive socio-economic development (Madrid, Spain, 10 November 2015).
Through a wide range of case-studies, the UNWTO Global Report on Public-Private Partnerships: Tourism Development, provides a solid evidence base for the importance of effective PPPs in tourism, illustrating how partnerships across different destinations and market segments can be used as development tools.
The Report, a collaboration between UNWTO and its Affiliate Member the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT), a world leading tourism research institute from Australia, was launched this week in Madrid, Spain, in the presence of UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, Virginia Greville, Ambassador of Australia to Spain, and Noel Scott, Deputy Director of GIFT.
“This Report clearly demonstrates that public-private collaboration plays a key role in advancing tourism’s contribution to inclusive development, particularly in emerging destinations where the sector can make a significant positive impact in local communities. I am confident that the findings will inspire effective cross-sector partnerships that can help maximize tourism’s development potential” said Mr. Rifai on the occasion.
Ambassador Greville highlighted Australia’s experience in building tourism capacity in the Asia-Pacific region, and emphasized the need of a partnership approach to tourism development: “truly sustainable tourism involves all stakeholders”.
Presenting the main findings of the report, Professor Scott noted that through PPPs, stakeholders can come together to achieve remarkable results in areas such as product development and capacity building.  In order to succeed long-term, PPPs often require an external party or well-positioned stakeholder to lead partnership development and provide benefits to all stakeholders involved: “To demonstrate tangible outcomes is not only important in encouraging participation, but also for maintaining momentum and ensuring the sustainability of the project”, said Mr. Scott.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

British Airways refits B-747 on Lagos-London Route

Lagos, Nigeria, 11th November:  Passengers flying on the British Airways Lagos- London route will now enjoy new improved services on board the British Airways Boeing 747 aircrafts from Mid. January 2016.

The Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales for British Airways, Mr Paolo De-Renzis gave the cheering news at a media parleywhich also coincided as his first visit to Nigeria.

Speaking to Journalists, De Renzis said the refit of the aircrafts was one of British Airways many investments to improve the passenger experience on board.

He noted that, “At British Airways, the comfort and satisfaction of our customers is paramount and we are pleased that with the refurbishment, customers flying on the Lagos-London route can enjoy the very best travel experience available on the aircrafts.”

While describing Nigeria as one of the biggest markets for British Airways, he added that the country was very important and strategic to its operations in the region.

On his part, Regional Commercial Manager, West Africa, British Airways, Kola Olayinka while reiterating the commitment of British Airways to enhancing service delivery said, “Our winning streak in the past 80 years since we ventured into the Nigerian market has been the quality of service we offer our loyal customers, our human capacity and our understanding of the Nigerian market.”

Olayinka further expressed, “Our customers are the centre of everything we do, and this modern refit of the 747 aircrafts will allow customers flying on our Lagos-London routes to experience our new improved offerings.

“With a new Club World configuration, new world traveller class seats, and more variety in our inflight entertainment, our customers are in for a treat”

Next year, 2016 would mark 80 years of the leading airline flying in Nigeria. The Leading Airline Company was then operating as Imperial Airways. Its first passenger-carrying flight from Kano took wing in February 1936 and was later extended to Lagos via Kaduna, Minna and Oshogbo in October 1936.

UNWTO Affiliate Members Board elects its new Chairman

The UNWTO Affiliate Members Board has elected Mr. Edmund Bartlett as its new Chairman at the Board's Meeting held at the sidelines of the World Travel Market (WTM, London, United Kingdom, 3 November 2015).
Mr. Bartlett, former Minister of Tourism of Jamaica (2007-2011), is the Co-Founder of CTICo. Besides his career in tourism, for which he was named Man of the Year in 2009 by the Jamaica Observer, Mr. Bartlett has championed the cause of education and capacity building throughout his career. He is the Founder of the Jamaican Foundation for Children, which he continues to support.

As a Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, he served as a member of the UNWTO Executive Council, representing the Americas as well as Vice-Chairman of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas and Chairman of CARICOM’s Sub-Committee in the areas of Tourism and Transportation/Civil Aviation. He has also served as Vice President for the World Conference on Cultural Policies and as a Vice-Chairman of the UN International Youth Year Advisory Committee during International Youth Year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Emirates Super Jumbo Message Against The-Illegal Wildlife Trade

Dubai, UAE – November 2015: Two massive Emirates A380 jets take to the skies this week, wearing special livery in support of United for Wildlife, a global collaboration that unites the efforts of the world’s leading wildlife charities in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
The beautiful livery, featuring some of the planet’s wildlife threatened by poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, aims to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and communicate the need for urgent action.
The Rt Hon The Lord Hague of Richmond, Chair of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce said: “We welcome the efforts and commitment made by Emirates airline to combat the illegal wildlife trade. This is more than just an environmental issue. The illegal wildlife trade is now recognized as a serious and organized transnational crime. It drives corruption, is linked to money laundering and can damage economic development in many of the world’s poorest countries and communities. It will take a concerted effort, involving not only effective deterrents against poaching and smuggling, and vigilance in policing and punishing these crimes, but also efforts to increase consumer education to cut demand to protect these animals for the future.
” Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Many animals, in particular African elephants, rhinos, tigers, and pangolins, are under extreme pressure because of an unprecedented spike in the illegal wildlife trade. The world is in a global poaching crisis, and everyone has to do their part to stop this, before it is too late. Emirates believes that the global transport industry, including airlines, can play a significant role to break the supply chain of illegal wildlife trade. And at Emirates, we are committing the resources to do our part.”
Consumers too, can contribute in a big way, by boycotting products made from the parts of these endangered animals and discouraging others from doing so.
Emirates’ two A380s will be operating flights this week. The first one departed for London (LHR) on 2nd November and a second will operate to Mauritius (MRU) on 5th November, each wearing a different design featuring endangered wildlife. The decal on the first flight featured six endangered species, while the second flight will feature a decal with rhinos and elephants. Both designs cover the world’s largest passenger aircraft almost from nose to tail, spreading over the wings and under-belly of the plane. Approximately 40% of the surface area of the A380 will be covered by the decal. The larger of the two designs span over 42.5 metres in length and 6.2 metres in width, and weighs 70kg. Entirely designed, produced, and applied by Emirates’ in-house staff, both of these are the largest decals the airline has put on any aircraft, to date and took a team of 28 people 2.5 days to apply the decals on one A380, or approximately 900 man hours per aircraft.

View the timelapse video of the aircraft putting on its new livery here
In addition to its two A380s literally “flying” the flag for the cause, Emirates will run regular feature stories about wildlife protection in its inflight magazines, and showcase podcast interviews, wildlife programming and feature films on its award-winning ice inflight entertainment system. This subject was the cover story in the October edition of Emirates’ Open Skies magazine, which can be read here.
The airline is also collaborating with international organizations to train and better equip its ground and cargo staff to detect and deal with illegal wildlife products in transit. As the required paperwork for movement of some wildlife products is often forged, Emirates also made the decision to ban trophy shipments.
dnata, one of the world's largest air services provider and a member of the Emirates Group, is also raising awareness through its dnata4good initiative. dnata4good has already been working with local charity organizations and authorities to save the Rhinos in South Africa. dnata4good has already funded an emergency response vehicle which treats poached rhinos in the field and have played a major part in educating local children on the dangers of poaching. In addition to this, they have also supported the first rhino orphanage and rehabilitation facility which is now fully operational in Hoedspruit.
Quick facts about the threat to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade.
 There are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Illegal trade in their parts and products is one of the biggest threats to wild tigers. Between 2000 and 2014, the parts of at least 1,590 tigers were seized in Asia. ·
    Rhino poaching in South Africa increased from 13 rhinos in 2007 to 1215 rhinos in 2014. That now equates to more than three rhinos a day. Africa-wide, 1,293 rhinos are reported to have been poached in 2014. ·
    Around 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers each year. Central Africa is worst hit with a poaching rate twice the continental average. Left unaddressed, poaching could cause the extinction of elephants in Central Africa.
    The pangolin is the world's most-trafficked mammal. Over a million pangolins are estimated to have been poached in the last ten years. ·
    Park rangers are often ill equipped and inexperienced to tackle armed and ruthless poachers. Poaching syndicates have changed the way they operate and are now using sophisticated weaponry and equipment to increase their activities and avoid detection (helicopters, veterinary drugs, night vision equipment). 1,000 rangers are estimated to have been killed in ten years while protecting wildlife.
About Emirates
Founded in 1985, Emirates is a global connector of people and places. Based in Dubai, the airline’s global network serves 147 destinations in 79 countries across six continents.
Its luxurious amenities, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, award-winning in-flight entertainment system – ice – and unmatched hospitality provided by its iconic multilingual Cabin Crew have made Emirates one of the world’s most recognized airline brands.
About United for Wildlife
United for Wildlife is an unprecedented alliance between seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The collaboration between Conservation International (CI), Fauna & Flora International (FFI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WWF-UK, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and The Royal Foundation hopes to lead the way to substantially increase the global response to major conservation crisis.
With the support of The Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife hopes to bring attention to acute conservation problems, the most pressing of which, as agreed amongst the collaboration, is the rapid escalation of the illegal wildlife trade. This trade is having a devastating effect on wild populations of some of the largest and most iconic species: elephants, rhinos and tigers, plus lesser known animals such as the pangolin.

The President of Emirates Airline, Sir Tim Clark, has joined the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transport of Illegal Wildlife Products which is focused on stopping the shipment of illegal wildlife products. The Taskforce is chaired by The Rt Hon The Lord Hague of Richmond, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The Taskforce has brought together senior representatives of the transport industry to make practical recommendations for the reduction of trafficking of illegal wildlife products. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lufthansa launches Nairobi service

First non-stop flight from Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub to East Africa's economic powerhouse and leisure destination
With a grand welcome, Lufthansa’s introduced its newest service to Africa yesterday connecting Nairobi with the airline’s Frankfurt Hub, one of Europe’s key airports and gateway to hundreds of global destinations.
“Our arrival in Nairobi signifies an important milestone for the entire Lufthansa Group.  We are excited to serve this amazing city, East Africa's economic powerhouse and the gateway to leisure destinations that attract tourists from Germany and around the world”, said Lufthansa Group Board Member and Chief Officer Corporate Human Resources & Legal Affairs, Dr. Bettina Volkens, at press conference held with Kenyan Tourism officials in honor of the new route.
As of October 25th, Lufthansa will operate three weekly flights on the Nairobi route in the 2015-2016 Winter Season (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) using a next generation Boeing 737-700 BBJI, operated by Private Air, a Switzerland-based airline that has a long history of successful and reliable operation of flights on behalf of Lufthansa. Known as the “BBJ”, the aircraft will operate in a two-class configuration offering intercontinental Business and Economy Class cabins.
Together with Swiss International Airlines this Winter Season the Lufthansa Group will operate eight weekly flights to and from Nairobi, offering customers seamless connections to hundreds of destinations around the globe through two of Europe's leading hubs.
 Already due to increased demand during the upcoming Christmas travel season Lufthansa will add over a dozen flights on the Nairobi route using wide body Airbus A340-300 aircraft.
 As originally planned the airline intends to increase its services on the Nairobi route to five weekly flights during the summer months to be operated by an A340-300.
 “The Lufthansa Group is the natural bridge between the business communities of Germany, Switzerland and Kenya. I am sure the direct flights from Frankfurt as well as our future expansion plans for the summer will lend to even closer ties”, noted Tobias Ernst, Lufthansa’s Nairobi-based General Manager for Kenya.
Lufthansa’s introduction of directs flights to Nairobi will support the already bourgeoning economic relationship Germany and Kenya enjoy. Germany remains Kenya's third largest export market in Europe after the UK and the Netherlands. In 2014, Kenya exported goods worth some KES  8 billion to Germany. At the same time, Germany exported goods just under KES  20 billion to the East African nation.

An important facet of the economic relationship between both countries remains the robust tourism figures from Germany. According to the Kenyan Tourism Board, Germany is the third most importance source of tourists to Kenya.
“We have waited a long time for this day, building important bonds with the local tourism industry that will bolster the relationship between the Lufthansa Group and Kenyan business,” noted Ernst.

The Lufthansa Group has a proud history in Kenya. Swiss  offers five weekly flights between Nairobi and its Zurich hub, while Lufthansa Cargo has named one of its Boeing 777-200 freighters “Jambo Kenya,” symbolizing the significance of Kenya and the African continent on the whole as one of its most important growth markets for global air freight services.                

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Abuja Sheraton hotel gets new GM

Nouman Irshad

Nouman Irshad 

The owners of Abuja Sheraton Hotel has appointed a pharmacist, Nouman Irshad,  as the General Manager of the hotel.
From General Practitioner to General Manager, Nouman’s journey has been an exciting one. Through his medical studies and stint in the pharmaceutical industry, Nouman continued to nurture his dream of becoming a hotelier. He went on to realize this dream when he joined Sheraton Karachi in July 2007 as Director of Sales & Marketing, an opportunity he took as soon as it came up. Within a short period of time he made his way up to grow and assume the role of Deputy General Manager in June 2012.
In January 2014 Nouman was appointed Deputy General Manager of Sheraton Lagos and soon earned the respect of his colleagues and owners alike. His inspirational leadership style and operational achievements at Sheraton Lagos made him the logical choice for Sheraton Abuja.
The owners said they  are confident that Nouman with his strong sales & marketing experience and leadership skills will add great value to Sheraton Abuja.