Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) summoned Nigerian carriers for an emergency meeting on 10-Jan-2011 and 11-Jan-2011 to deliberate on the 10% increase on aviation fuel (All Africa, 14-Jan-2011). A 20% increase in fare prices has been implemented to offset the fuel hike. National President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Balami David called on the Federal Government to intervene and stop the increase to "forestall the collapse of airlines".
Nigerian Government called on to fix fare hike
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Africa Fleet Outlook: Illustrates Continuing Under-achievement
African airlines currently have less than 150 aircraft on order compared to an active fleet of approximately 1,600. In the neighbouring region of the Middle East, there is a similar sized fleet but 1,400 orders. Fast expansion from Middle East airlines have made it extremely difficult for African airlines to compete. But this is hardly an excuse for African airlines falling short; over many decades they have demonstrated their capability to do that without any help from outsiders. Given the diverging order books of the two regions the outlook for the African airline sector remains relatively bleak.
Finnair and TAP Portugal: their location based long haul niche strategies compared
Both Finnair and TAP are based in peripheral corners of Europe: Finnair in the extreme northeast and TAP in the southwest. Both are based in countries with relatively small populations, but they have developed networks that capitalise on their geographic location to carry connecting traffic from across Europe and elsewhere to long haul destinations in other continents.
TAP's main long haul market is Upper South America (primarily Brazil), but it also has a secondary long haul niche in Africa. Finnair's main long haul market is Northeast Asia, with an additional presence in South and Southeast Asia. Both also operate to the US. On short haul, LCC competition has been a bigger threat to TAP than to Finnair, but cost savings are important to both.
TAP and Finnair have similar traffic volumes, unit costs and average trip lengths. Moreover, both have struggled to generate sustainable profitability. This report compares and contrasts Europe's two leading independent exponents of the location based long haul niche strategy. Both are set to accelerate their long haul growth.