Uzoma Akabusi is a travel enthusiast and tourism professional. He has also been actively involved with Africa's business tourism destination promotion and investment facilitation. His specialty is West Africa.
Previously, Uzoma Akabusi worked some international travel and logistics companies including Hertz in Nigeria.
Another air disaster was averted at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja on Monday as a Med-View Airlines aircraft from Lagos suddenly took to the air again at the point of landing in Abuja. The pilot told the passengers that he took to the air again to avoid a collision with another aircraft on the tarmac. The airline Flight VL2104 took off from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at noon and was scheduled to land in Abuja at about 1.05pm. The pilot had already announced final descent into Abuja and asked all passengers and cabin crew to fasten their seat belts but the pilot suddenly took off to the air again with barely 30 seconds to touch ground. The plane had 150 passengers on board. A correspondent of The PUNCH was one of the passengers. After about three minutes of gaining altitude, the pilot announced that he decided to take off again to avoid colliding with an aircraft that was on ground. He said that after he had been granted clearance to land, it was later discovered that the other aircraft was not fast enough, hence his decision to take off.
This is not the best of times for domestic airlines, which have lost about 30 per cent of their passengers as a result of the crisis being witnessed in the aviation industry in the country. Trouble began for the aviation sector about a month ago when an Associated Airlines’ plane conveying the remains of a former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, to Akure crashed in Lagos, killing 16 people. The development was followed by some major incidents that made the nation’s airspace to record four mishaps within three weeks. The situation became worse when reports later emerged that the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, who is supposed to be championing the cause of safety in the sector, was involved in a multimillion naira bulletproof car scandal. As a result of the developments in the sector, domestic airlines’ chief executive officers, who spoke to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue, admitted they had lost about 30 per cent of their passengers, who had suddenly developed a phobia for air travel. The chief executive officer of one of the popular domestic airlines told our correspondent, “We are in a crisis situation now. There is a major crisis of confidence ravaging the airline industry now. People are now afraid to fly. “For us in our airline, we have lost not less than 30 per cent of our demand. Our aircraft are going to Abuja and other parts of the country not full again. This is a serious crisis situation.
Traders under the auspices of Traders’ Rights Protection Initiatives have said they want a round table talks with the federal government on various issues affecting trading activities in the country especially on high interest rates and import policies. The group made the demand through its General Secretary, Mr. Anthony Okechukwu who spoke to news men during a business award organised by the association in Lagos. He said that despite the contributions of the trading community to the nation’s economy, traders have continued to suffer unduly due to high interest rates and unfavorable import policies. According to him, “Our greatest concern is the issue of borrowing money from the banks by the trading community; the interest rate is too high. At the moment, we are competing with foreigners who are also importing finished goods.
Beleaguered Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, who is under fire following the procurement of two bulletproof cars, valued at N255 million, for her use, has written to President Goodluck Jonathan to defend the transaction. The minister, who is being probed over the car deal, in an October 21 letter to the president, a copy of which was obtained by THISDAY Wednesday, said contrary to claims by her critics, there was a budgetary provision for the procurement of the two BMW 760 Li cars and the transaction followed due process.However, her claim that the purchase of the cars was included in the 2013 budget of the ministry contradicted that of a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Hon. Matthew Omegara, who told his colleagues during Tuesday's plenary session where it was decided to probe the car deal that there was no budgetary provision for it. Omegara had said while the purchase of the two cars was initially proposed in the 2013 Appropriation Bill, it was "clearly deleted" during the passage of the bill into law.
Millennials — people who grew up in the 1980s — travel differently than the rest of us, according to fresh research by Expedia, the online travel agency (OTA). In a key finding, travelers under 30 years of age are much more comfortable making last-minute shifts in travel plans using mobile devices than the typical traveler. The Expedia and Egencia survey, released today, cites 24% of millennials as saying that they have edited a trip on their smartphone at least once during a trip, compared with only 13% of travelers in the 46-to-65 age group.
Expedia responding to millennial tug
Millennials — born between the early 80s and mid-90s — are particularly of interest to Expedia UK and Ireland because they — especially those living in the southeast of England — disproportionately choose to shop with the OTA, said Andy Washington, managing director of Expedia UK & Ireland, in a phone interview with Tnooz. Washington said that Expedia Traveler Preference, a program allowing a customer to pay at time of booking at Expedia or when they arrive at the hotel, now has 30,000 properties globally signed up — with 840 of these in the UK.
As the country marks it centenary celebration next year, the Organizing Committee of the Nigerian Centenary Charity Ball has revealed that Nigerians now spend an estimate of N250 billion on medical tourism annually. The secretary of the organizing committee, Dr. Kingsley Esegbue, stated this during on Monday in Abuja at a press conference on their preparations for the country's centenary celebration at it relates to challenges in the health sector. He further said the committee planned to use the Centenary Celebration to generate about N8 billion for medical facilities in the country. Lamenting the state of the health sector in the country, Esegbue said that capital flight was unnecessary for a developing country like Nigeria, noting that that the medical problems that cause these medical flights could be handled in Nigeria if the facilities were there. He said, "Sealing a hole in a child's heart need not cripple the parents financially or take place in India; replacing a damaged kidney should and can be done within our borders. Every breast, cervical or prostate cancer patient should have access to quality care within Nigeria.
On behalf of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Hilton Worldwide has awarded a $5,000 Travel with Purpose™ Action Grant to ACE Africa Charity, an Abuja-based NGO with a focus on re-defining the meaning of charity in Africa while providing education, literacy skills and training to African children and youths. The funds will be used to facilitate the implementation of ILSA (Increase Literacy Skills Africa), a project designed to teach and increase literacy skills among African children and adults which includes topics such as English Language, being able to read and understand, writing numeracy, IT and basic etiquette. The Travel with Purpose Action Grants program, launched this year, is part of Hilton Worldwide’s global effort to recognize and encourage collaboration within the communities where we live, work and travel to address local and global challenges. ACE Africa Charity is one of 26 community partners around the world to receive a Travel with PurposeTM Action Grant.
World Travel Market (WTM) London, the biggest travel trade show in the world, is all set to open its doors on November 4, 2013. Staged annually at ExCeL – London, WTM is a vibrant must-attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to 47,776 global travel professionals. WTM is the place to do business. Worldwide buyers and sellers from every sector of the travel industry come together at the event. More than £1,859 million of travel industry deals will be generated as a result of WTM 2012.
Below are 7 reasons highlighting the importance of WTM for exhibitors:
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has been warned by Fifa over his future conduct following his comments about former Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet in August.The Malawi Football Association (FAM) had reported Keshi to Fifa after he called the Belgian "a white dude who should go back to Belgium". FAM alleged the comments, which came ahead of the sides' World Cup Group F qualifier in September, were racist. Fifa said it would "impose sanctions if such incidents happen again". A Fifa spokesperson wrote in an email to Nigeria's This Day Newspaper: "The chairman of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee referred to article 57 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code and requests that Mr Keshi guarantees that incidents of such high gravity do not occur again in the future. "If such incidents should happen again, the Fifa Disciplinary Committee will be left with no other option than to impose sanctions against the coach, Mr Stephen Keshi."Keshi and Saintfiet became embroiled in a row after the Belgian said the qualifier should be moved from the Nigerian city of Calabar on security grounds.It escalated
Why Royal Jordanian Airline? Why? Why not abcd airlines? Why, Mr Fly 4 Cheaper? I screamed all these on the phone at Mr. Segun Oyebolu, the CEO, Fly 4cheaper who I authorised to book a return ticket from Lagos to Amsterdam for me on any available airlines urgently as I made up my mind late to attend the Oodua Progressive Union, Holland’s Yoruba Heritage Centre Fund Raising and Award Event scheduled for September 14 -16, 2013 at Amsterdam. As I screamed and screamed and screamed, Segun, in his soft-spoken mannerism of a tour operator who wanted to ensure that the client bought the ticket from him and enjoy the trip, expressed his frustration in getting a seat on the airline that I preferred. “It is still summer time and the seats of those airlines have been mopped up.
Mr Wale, you contacted me just 30 minutes ago and today is 12 September. I struggled to get you a seat for tomorrow on Royal Jordanian, which leaves here for Amsterdam by 10 pm tomorrow with a stopover in Amman, Jordan. It is a new airline operating in Nigeria and I think you should be aware of its entry into the Nigerian market. “Oh, yes. I remembers now. That is the one facilitated by His Excellency, Taofeek Arapaja, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Jordan. Ok. I remember using the Airlines articles on this page and even did an elaborate interview with Ambassador Arapaja on that particular airline.