Arik Air and Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on capacity building.
The agreement was signed recently when the Commander of PAF, Air Commodore Hassan Bala Abubakar led senior officers of the Fleet to Arik Air Aviation Centre at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
In the agreement, the airline is expected to assist in imparting proficiency to and line training for the presidential air fleet pilots.
Furthermore, the airline will provide PAF pilots rated on the aircraft Line Training and hour building to maintain proficiency on the aircraft, including undertaking regular commercial flight under supervision, as per the standards approved for the airline.
Speaking at during the meeting, the chief executive officer of the airline, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu said the agreement would go a long way in bridging the gap in the PAF’s pilot training and proficiency adding that both parties could always work together to achieve their goals.
He said Arik Air which had in the past assisted PAF in the proficiency training of its pilots “is a safety conscious airline” adding that “this has informed the decision by the top hierarchy of the Fleet to enter into this agreement.”
In his remarks, Abubakar appreciated the support and cooperation PAF had been receiving from Arik Air over the years, saying “this has helped in getting the Pilots to maintain a high level of training.”
Global air cargo market grows 8% in 2018
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 8.0 per cent in January 2018 compared to the year-earlier period.
This was up from the 5.8 per cent annual growth recorded in December 2017.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 4.2 per cent year-on-year in January 2018.
The director general and chief executive officer of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac explained that the continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2018 reflects the fact that demand drivers for air cargo remain supportive.
Global demand for manufacturing exports is buoyant and meeting this strong demand is leading to longer supply chain delivery times.
Demand for air cargo may strengthen as a result, with companies seeking faster delivery times to make up for longer production times.
“With 8 per cent growth in January, it has been a solid start to 2018 for air cargo. That follows an exceptional year in which demand grew by 9 per cent. We expect demand for air cargo to taper to a more normal 4.5 per cent growth rate for 2018. But there are potential headwinds. If President Trump follows through on his promise to impose sanctions on aluminum and steel imports, there is a very real risk of a trade war. Nobody wins when protectionist measures escalate,” said de Juniac.
Regional statistics showed that all the regions reported an increase in demand in during the period.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 7.7 per cent in January 2018 and capacity increase by 2.2 per cent, compared to the same period in 2017. The increase largely reflects the ongoing strong demand experienced by the region’s major exporters, China and Japan which has been driven in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe. However, the upward-trend in seasonally-adjusted volumes has paused.
North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 7.5 per cent in January 2018 year-on-year, as capacity increased 4.2 per cent.
The strength of the US economy and the US dollar improved the inbound freight market in recent years.
European airlines posted a 10.5 per cent increase in freight volumes in January 2018 with capacity increasing 5.3 per cent.
The strong European performance corresponds with a very healthy demand for new export orders among the region’s manufacturers.
Seasonally-adjusted volumes jumped 3 per cent in month-on-month terms in January – the largest increase since March 2017.
Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 4.4 per cent year-on-year in January 2018, the slowest growth of all regions.
Capacity increased 6.3 per cent while seasonally adjusted freight volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year.
However, the region’s carriers remain affected by the ongoing challenging political environment in the Middle East.