Travel News

Black and Asian Brits earning up to 42% less than white workers - BLOOMBERG

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

UK ethnic minorities continue to earn less than their white counterparts as evidence of discrimination against Black and Asian Brits in the labour market remains clear, a think tank has said.

Median weekly earnings among employees for Black Caribbean men were 13% below white British men in 2019, with Pakistani and Bangladeshi pay 22% and 42% lower, respectively, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has revealed.

The study for the IFS Deaton Review of Inequalities, funded by the Nuffield Foundation also showed that only 2% of Black African households were in the wealthiest fifth of UK households pre-pandemic, while more than half were in the least wealthy fifth.

In England, most of the largest minority ethnic groups are at least as likely to obtain as good English and Maths GCSEs as White British students.

Mark Franks from the Nuffield Foundation said: "There are large and persistent income and wealth gaps between different ethnic groups in the UK. Children from Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black African and Caribbean heritage, are significantly more likely to grow up living in poverty than the white majority.

“Financial stress from not having an adequate income or work, reverberates through family life, with a range of consequences, including poorer mental health outcomes.”

The study also said that it is a mistake to lump all ethnic minority groups together.

For example, nearly one in four people of Indian ethnicity are among the highest income fifth of the population — more than is the case for white British. Meanwhile, fewer than one in 20 of those from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds are in this top income quintile.

Earnings among Indian men were also 13% higher than white British men.

The rate of change in educational performance for some groups has also improved.

Just 15 years ago, Bangladeshi pupils were 10 percentage points less likely than white British to obtain good Maths and English GCSEs. They are now five percentage points more likely to do so. Black African and Pakistani pupils have also largely closed the gap with white pupils.

However, Black Caribbean pupils have fallen further behind.

Heidi Safia Mirza, from the UCL Institute of Education, said: “Most ethnic minority groups in the UK are doing better than they were and are doing particularly well in education.

“On the other hand, most continue to earn less than their white British counterparts, and all earn less on average than we would expect given their education, background and occupation.

“Evidence of discrimination in the labour market is clear, and wealth inequalities are likely to prove especially hard to shift.”

The fraction of the population in England and Wales from ethnic groups other than White more than doubled to 14% between 1991 and 2011.

Unlimited flights between India and Canada given green light in move to rekindle trade ties - FINANCIAL POST

NOVEMBER 15, 2022

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that the government will allow an unlimited number of flights from designated airlines between Canada and India, significantly expanding a deal that previously limited each country to 35 flights per week.

“By making the movement of goods and people faster and easier, this expanded agreement will continue to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and India and help our businesses grow and succeed,” Alghabra said in a statement on Nov. 14.

The agreement gives Canadian airlines — primarily Air Canada, the only airline that does significant business in Asia — access to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, while Indian air carriers get access to Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and “two additional points to be selected by India,” the government said in the release.

Canada and India have been trying to rekindle trade ties after relations between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government and Narendra Modi’s regime hit a rough patch a few years ago over New Delhi’s concern that Ottawa was soft on the separatist movement in the state of Punjab. In March, the two countries “relaunched” negotiations over a trade agreement that had all but stalled after more than a decade. Geopolitical forces also could be at work, as democratic countries such as Canada have begun more aggressively courting India to counter the growing influence of China and the erratic behaviour of nuclear-armed Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February.

Ottawa and New Delhi first reached an agreement on air transport services in 1982, and before Monday’s refreshed deal, it was last expanded in 2011 under Canada’s Blue Sky Policy. The policy, adopted in 2006, set out a framework to guide Canada in pursuing bilateral deals that boost the country’s economy through expanded international air travel for everyone from tourists to entrepreneurs.

India’s consul general, Apoorva Srivastava, said the expanded agreement is an “important development” in the countries’ bilateral dealings, underlining that the foundation of the Canada-India relationship is the “strong people-to-people” ties.

“We have a large Indian diaspora here. Apart from that, we have 700,000 Indian citizens living and working here in Canada,” Srivastava said. “Indian students form the largest chunk of international students coming and studying in Canada. We currently have 230,000 and a lot more ready to come to Canada for educational purposes.”

Doctors migration not peculiar to Nigeria - FG - VANGUARD

NOVEMBER 16, 2022

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said the migration of doctors to foreign countries is not peculiar to Nigeria.

He said the Federal Government is only concerned about the experienced medical personnel who left the country, adding that it was working on how to make them still offer virtual service to the country.

Ehanire, who disclosed this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria ministerial forum in Abuja yesterday, said the federal government was working towards improving the condition of service of Nigerian doctors to check the migration of medical personnel.

He said:  “At a very senior level of those who have had postgraduate training, we are doing everything we can to improve the conditions of service.

“The health reform committee set up by the President is working and looking at that; we have been talking with the Ministry of Labour on how to do that.

“We are also talking about engaging those who have spent many years abroad; who are specialists who are highly specialised, and who know a lot of high tech medicine, to engage them to work with us, even if it is virtually, so they can do virtual consultations.

“They can come here every three months or six for a few weeks and do some work hands-on so that we can gain something from their experience and knowledge.

“This is so that we can harvest the knowledge and skills that they developed after working for many years in highly developed countries.”

Ehanire, who described the issue of migration of health workers, especially doctors and nurses, as a global phenomenon and not peculiar to Nigeria, said the people in those professions were becoming a very mobile professional group.

“I have spoken with health authorities in the United Kingdom, and they have told me that their doctors are also leaving for Canada, New Zealand and other countries where the pay is better.

“So, the movement of doctors is not peculiar to Nigeria, Ghana has the same experience. I spoke to the Minister of Health of Egypt; they have the same experience in mobility of doctors and even in Europe, European doctors move to where the salaries are better.

“As far as we are concerned, it is the very experienced ones who leave we have issues with,” he said.

Ehanire explained that Nigeria produces about 3,000 doctors every year, adding that the number leaving is just about 1000.

“So, there is, indeed, a surplus of doctors,” the health minister insisted.

He added that many doctors were still in search of where they could do their internship or to serve their residency, saying that “once they undergo some training, the younger ones could easily be replaced quickly.”

According to him, the government is also working on civil service rules to make the replacement prompt so that once a doctor leaves, he or she can be replaced within a week.

“The apparent gaps we see are because rules have to be obeyed and this makes it difficult for those who exit the public hospitals to be immediately replaced.

“So, once that is possible, it will be done, but at a very senior level of those who have post-graduate training, we are doing everything we can to improve the condition of service,” he added.

NAN reports that the migration of doctors and other health personnel from Nigeria to other countries of the world has increased astronomically, and the story is that there are better working conditions and remuneration abroad.

Following such reports, many stakeholders in the health sector, including the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, and the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, have lent their voices to the issue of brain drain.

They said unless drastic measures are deployed by governments to stem the tide of brain drain, national health indices might spiral out of control, leaving Nigeria in the bottom rank among the comity of nations.

Overland Airways Starts Operations In Jigawa - DAILY TRUST

NOVEMBER 17, 2022

Overland Airways started its first operation from Dutse to Abuja on Monday as the aircraft, with the number 5N-BM, and 50 seats carried at least…

    ByAli Rabiu Ali

Overland Airways started its first operation from Dutse to Abuja on Monday as the aircraft, with the number 5N-BM, and 50 seats carried at least 20 people, from the Dutse airport in Jigawa state.

Captain Boyo, the managing director and chief executive officer of the airline, said Overland has come to stay in Jigawa.

Briefing the press, he said the Jigawa State government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the private airline operator for the commencement of scheduled flight operations from Dutse to Abuja.

This was disclosed by the state governor, Badaru Abubakar, at Dutse International Airport while speaking with Daily Trust.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Malam Umar Namadi Danmodi, explained that “having been endowed with various agricultural outputs and animal products, the state has so many things to export to other parts of Nigeria and abroad.”

According to him, “this will improve the businesses in the state, and so many important things will come to the state and so many things will also go to Overland Air Nigeria.”

Namadi said the state government would abide by all agreements entered into in order to sustain the service of the airline.

New Airfield Lighting At MMIA Runway To Boost Safety – Sirika - DAILY TRUST

NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said the completion of Airfield Lighting (AFL) on Runway 18L/36R of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos would improve…

    By Abdullateef Aliyu

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said the completion of Airfield Lighting (AFL) on Runway 18L/36R of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos would improve safety, airport efficiency and efficiency of airlines.

According to him, many airlines would save cost while passengers would experience greater comfort.

Sirika stated this at the Protocol Lounge of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos even as he appreciated stakeholders for their patience in the last 14 years.

This followed the completion of the installation on the 2.7-kilometre 18L/ 36R runway which was recommissioned in 2008 after refurbishment and rehabilitation but without AFL which allows aircraft to take off and land at nights while arriving flights had been landing at the international runway anytime from sunset.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had shut down the runway on July 7, 2022 for 90 days to install the equipment comprising approach lights, Runway Lights (Threshold and Centre, edge light and others so that it can return to full 24/7 operations.

However, after three months and three days, the runway has been reopened even as Sirika said he landed on the runway at 10pm on Monday, November 14, 2022, saying the runway lighting and other safety components were working perfectly.

“The fundamental issues the runway lighting would solve is air safety, efficiency of the airport and efficiency of the airlines in cost saving, operations and comfort, I am very glad we achieved this.”

Speaking earlier, Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu stated that delivering the project was a difficult task for the authority.

He said, “It was a very difficult task but we delivered a very critical milestone. Achievements come and go but none comes bigger and better than the lighting of the MMA Runway 18L/36R.

“Over the 14 years minimum the lack of AFL compromised security, efficiency and affected 24/7 operations. As a pilot, I have never landed on Runway 18L/36R after sunset and I have been a pilot for over two decades,” he said.

Nigeria’s proposed national airline is facing local resistance to its take-off - QUARTZ

NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Nigeria's local airlines don't want Ethiopian Airlines as the government's partner for a national carrier.

ByAlexander Onukwue

For a few weeks now, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari and his aviation minister have insisted that Nigeria Air, a new national carrier first announced in 2018, will begin operations this year with flights between Lagos and Abuja. The government scored a major win in September by getting Ethiopia Airlines to buy a 49% stake and be the carrier’s technical partner.

But the project’s take-off is being opposed by local airlines that say they were not “carried along” in the process that brought Ethiopian Airlines onboard. In October, Allen Onyema, CEO of Nigeria’s largest local airline Air Peace and the industry’s leading lobbyist, said it would be better for Nigeria Air to be wholly owned by Nigerians.

This week, a federal court in Lagos ordered the government to suspend its partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, based on a suit by eight local airlines including Air Peace. One of the demands of the suit was to declare that Ethiopian Airlines had no competence to bid for shares in Nigeria Air. Nigeria said it has been transparent all through and provided information to every interested party. “Stakeholders claiming they were not carried along are being unfair,” said aviation minister Hadi Sirika.

Nigeria Air is already four years behind schedule

The court order is a temporary injunction that could be overturned by another court. But it is the latest obstacle to Nigeria’s attempt to relaunch a national airline after the pre-independence Nigeria Airways collapsed in 2003 after years of mismanagement and debt.

The new Nigeria Air was announced in July 2018 to much fanfare at an aerospace exhibition in England, with plans to take-off December that year. It did not happen; the government suspended the project two months after announcing it. The episode sowed popular doubt that Nigeria could realize the ambition for a flag carrier.

But with Buhari on his way out as president, his government seems to have put the project together, the Ethiopian Airlines deal being the key marker. Unlike Nigerian Airways that was wholly owned by the government, the new version only reserved a 5% stake for the government. The remaining 46% is owned by private Nigerian investors.

If it goes ahead, Nigeria Air will enter the league of African national carriers that include Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airways, RwandAir, and South African Airways. Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest and profitable airline.

Portugal to launch high-speed trains in rail redesign -minister - REUTERS

NOVEMBER 18, 2022

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal plans to introduce high-speed trains and a third crossing over the Tagus river in the Lisbon region in a redesign of its national railway system, Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos said on Thursday.

Santos said in a national presentation the plan would make the country's rail infrastructure more modern and environmentally sustainable, and allow for train travel from Lisbon and Porto to Madrid in about three hours.

The plan includes high speed trains in the 10 largest Portuguese cities and rail links in all districts.

It would halve the travel time between Lisbon and Porto from the current 2 hours 50 minutes. A third crossing over the Tagus will shorten the trip to Lisbon from southern regions by at least 30 minutes, said Federico Francisco, coordinator of the working group drafting the plan.

Portugal sees train travel as a way to reduce driving and meet its objective to become carbon neutral by 2045.

It aims to boost rail travel's share of total passengers to 20% from 4.6% and rail transport of goods to 40% from 13%.

(Reporting by Patricia Rua; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Charlie Devereux and Richard Chang)

Brexit leaves UK expecting 200,000 migrants a year, says budget watchdog - THE I

NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Migrant workers arriving in the UK will be 60 per cent higher than previously thought, the government’s economic watchdog has warned.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revised its inward migration forecasts higher due to workforce shortfalls across many business sectors as a result of Brexit.

The forecast was made alongside findings that Brexit has had a “significant adverse impact” on UK trade, and as a fresh poll suggested even Brexiteers were now questioning whether leaving the EU was the right move.

The OBR said it now assumes net migration into the UK will be 224,000 in 2023, up from its previous forecast in March of 136,000. It added that from 2026, net migration into the UK would settle at 205,000 a year, up 60 per cent on its previous estimate of 129,000.

The OBR said: “This upward revision reflects evidence of sustained strength in inward migration since the post-Brexit migration regime was introduced.

“It also reflects discussions with the Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee over what levels of net migration for the next several years might be consistent with the current migration regime.

“Moving to this higher net migration assumption adds 0.6 per cent to the adult population at the forecast horizon.”

On trade, the OBR added that Brexit will lead to a 15 per cent fall in UK “trading intensity” over the long term after reducing trade volumes and business relationships between UK and EU firms.

rade was also hit by slowing global economic growth, the OBR’s economic and fiscal outlook said.

In its assessment of Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, the OBR said: “Near-term growth in exports and imports is lower than in our March forecast as slowing global GDP [gross domestic product] growth hits exports and a weaker outlook for consumption and investment weighs on imports.

“Our trade forecast reflects our assumption that Brexit will result in the UK’s trade intensity being 15 per cent lower in the long run than if the UK had remained in the EU.

“The latest evidence suggests that Brexit has had a significant adverse impact on UK trade, via reducing both overall trade volumes and the number of trading relationships between UK and EU firms.”

The OBR also forecast that the Government would pay a further £18.9bn to Brussels under the terms of the Brexit divorce deal between 2022-23 and 2027-28.

During his speech to MPs, Mr Hunt did not refer Brexit, but did say that “the OBR confirms global factors are the primary cause of current inflation”.

The OBR’s comments come as support for Brexit has fallen, according to new polling.

A survey from YouGov revealed only 32 per cent of Britons believe it was right to leave, while 56 per cent believe it was wrong.

The gap is the largest yet and marks a big swing in opinion. Polls before the 2017 general election showed that more people believed Brexit was right.

Even among people who voted in favour the UK’s exit from the European Union, almost one in five now believe it was the wrong decision.

Over the past 18 months, the percentage of Brexiteers who believe voting to leave the EU in 2016 was the right decision has dropped from 88 per cent to a record low of 70 per cent.

Remain voters are more likely to have stood by their decision, with nine in 10 still believing Brexit was wrong.

Airfares may hit N200,000 for Christmas as airlines record full load factor - BUSINESSDAY

NOVEMBER 18, 2022


Travel agents are predicting that some airlines may start selling tickets for as much as N200,000 for Christmas as most airlines are already seeing full load factor on some routes.

The cost of maintenance and spares which has risen as a result of foreign exchange rates are also forcing airlines to ground their aircraft. With fewer aircraft, airlines are increasing fares daily as more tickets are being sold out. This is impacting ticket availability for Christmas. Tickets on Air Peace and United Nigeria for some Christmas holiday dates are sold out as of Thursday, showing passenger glut for available equipment.

“Everyday, airlines are increasing their fares. Some airlines sold tickets for as much as N150,000 for one way before their tickets were sold out. For those who still have seats, I’m sure they will sell as much as N200,000 for Christmas,” Gina Chika, a travel agent said.

BusinessDay’s investigations show that a Lagos to Enugu and Owerri ticket on Green Africa from December 24 to 31 is selling between N117,000 and N130, 000.

Lagos to Owerri tickets on Air Peace for December 18 to 23and December 25 to 27 are currently sold out.

Air Peace’s Lagos-Owerri ticket for December 28 is currently selling for N150,000 and may increase in a few days.

Tickets for United Nigeria Airlines on December 5,12,17 and 19 to 30 are all sold out.

Apart from the depleting fleets, airlines have continued to struggle with operating costs, forcing them to increase ticket costs.

The aviation fuel crisis which began late February and deteriorated further through the months of March to May, has further worsened and is currently threatening the ability of airlines to continue operations with the price of JetA1 rising from N200 in December 2021 to over N400 per litre in February. Currently, the price has skyrocketed to over N800 per litre and sometimes more

Airlines have also continued to struggle with operating costs such as taxes, surcharges and maintenance costs which have risen because of the scarcity of foreign exchange. Airlines carry out most of their activities in US dollars which today is in short supply.

BusinessDay’s checks show that aviation fuel currently takes over 65 percent of airline’s revenues excluding multiple charges to aviation agencies, labour, aircraft maintenance and rent, non-aircraft rents and, professional services, landing fees, amongst others.

Average fuel consumption on a Lagos to Abuja flight takes nothing less than 8,000 liters depending on the aircraft. At N800/litre, airlines would be paying N6.4m for fuel alone, apart from taxes, staff payment, service charges etc; that is if the airline does not have to divert flight for weather or technical reasons.

Qatar 2022: Nigeria issues travel advisory to citizens - PREMIUMTIMES

NOVEMBER 18, 2022

ByChiamaka Okafor

The Nigerian embassy in Qatar on Thursday advised Nigerians travelling for the World Cup to adhere to the laws of the country.

“The Embassy wishes to strongly advise that Nigerian fans travelling for the soccer fiesta should endeavour to obey and respect the laws of the host country while in Qatar,” a statement from the embassy said.

It added that Nigerians should ensure they comply with all relevant guidelines and requirements for visiting fans before embarking on any trip.

The embassy also warned against falling victim to visa fraud.

“…the special world cup visa called Hayya card and Entry Permit cannot and will not be changed or transferred to work visa or permit,” it warned.

Qatar is set to host the FIFA World Cup, twelve years after it was awarded hosting rights making it the first middle eastern country to host the world’s biggest football event.

The event will feature 32 teams and attract more than 1.2 million visitors to Qatar.

There are only three days until the tournament which opens on 20 November; a change from the usual June/July summer play.

For the first time at the men’s World Cup, three women have been included among the 36 referees selected.

Stephanie Frappart of France, Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan and Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda.

Schools in Qatar will be closed during the period (20 November to 18 December) and work hours reduced.


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