intercontinental hotelThe 358-room InterContinental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos is to be deflagged following the collapse of talks between the United Kingdom-based property owner and its local partners over terms of rescuing the portfolio from receivership.

InterContinental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, the first property of the U.K-based Milan Group, was commissioned for business in September 2013 by immediate past Governor of Lagos State, and now Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola.

It is also the first InterContinental flagged hotel in Nigeria by the hospitality chain which also has portfolios in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia.

The move to exit the Nigerian market following the collapse for debt repayment talks was confirmed by Mr InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) Director of African Operations, Simon Stamper, in an emailed statement, last Wednesday, while also adding that the landmark high-rise hotel on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island will no longer operate as an InterContinental-branded property as from January 18.

“We remain committed to Africa and continue operations in all our other properties across the continent as usual,” he said.

It would be recalled that a Lagos High Court last May ordered Skye Bank Plc, one of the lenders to the N30 billion InterContinental Hotel, to take over the property from its owner, Milan Group, over debts of $29.8 million and N3.8 billion.

However, IHG continued to manage the property, which then went into receivership.

IHG has 5,272 hotels worldwide with 785,544 rooms and owns brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

The InterContinental hotel is not new to deflagging of its properties as it undertook the same measure in 2011, when it exited about 10 per cent of its Crowne Plaza hotels portfolios for not meeting product quality and consistency standards.


(From left to right): Executive Director, Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited, Kazeem Tajudeen; Managing Partner,AT3 Resources, Tosin Adefeko; Director Legal, Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited, Olaitan Tajudeen; General Manager, Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja, George Balassis; and Director of Projects Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited, Ahmed Tajudeen, at the press conference announcing the partnership between Radisson Blu and Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited

Renaissance Hotel, in Ikeja GRA will now be flagged by the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group under the brand of Radisson Blu.

This development follows an agreement reached between the property owners, Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited and the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group to flag the new property as well as to terminate management contract with the Renaissance Hotel Group.

The Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, was previously operated by the Marriott Group that owns the Renaissance brand which opened for business in December 2016 with 155 guestrooms including 17 contemporary suites, being the first hotel chain’s brand in the country.

Director of Legal at Avalon Intercontinental, Olaitan Tajudeen Salaudeen, assured existing and potential customers are assured of boundless experiences from this new offering despite the reflagging development.

“Our partnership with Radisson Blu is bound to provide a new lease of life within the property; our focus has and always will be on providing excellent services and an overall memorable guest experience,” Olaitan said.

She emphasized that Avalon Intercontinental is excited about the new partnership as both parties share the same intrinsic values.

“We are so excited as we look forward to Radisson Blu bringing to bear their expertise to the delight of our esteemed customers, the strength of the Radisson Blu brand reinforces our optimism and belief in this decision”.

sheraton abuja hotels

The Sheraton Abuja Hotels

The Sheraton Abuja Hotel has concluded plans to celebrate Chocolate Day in all its restaurant venues from this month.

According to the hotel, Foodies and Chocolate enthusiasts already commemorate the Chocolate Day every January 27.

“We are happy to start this year with a lineup of creative and compelling food and beverage activities for our patrons. We look forward to welcoming all our diners and in-house guests to an exceptional experience on the 27th of January; Sheraton Abuja Hotel will celebrate Chocolate Day in all our restaurant venues.

“At the Papillion Restaurant our guests will enjoy our mouthwatering black forest cake which is one of our specialties from our very own Chef Maroof and team. While at the Obudu and Luigi’s Restaurants our female diners will be treated to a chunk of wholesome rich chocolate cake slices.

“Those visiting our Pool Bar and Restaurant will not be left out of our free offer of chocolatey forest goodness as the cake will be presented to female diners at the Pool Bar and Restaurant as well. Our Chocolate day will definitely illuminate the eyes and spark off your taste buds,” enthused Irshad.

Meanwhile, the icon Abuja-based hotel kick-started the New Year with the introduction of the grilling seasons BBQ nights at the hotel’s poolside.

Executive Chef for Sheraton Abuja Hotel-Nicholas Geba and his team have put in efforts towards creating a tasty assortment of BBQ flavors for food and entertainment enthusiasts within the Federal Capital Territory.

The BBQ night which officially launched January 13, holds every Saturday at the Poolside bar for both our in-house guests and customers.

“We have made the best selection of various live band entertainers within Abuja City so there will never be a dull moment. Our special free-flow-salad will be available for all diners. For beverages, you will be spoiled for choice with our compelling selection of wines, beers, soft drinks and cocktails. And for your added pleasure, we have Shisha with various flavors-on request.

“Last but not least our collection of fun and interesting board games such as Ludo, whots, chess, local Ludo, scrabble and draft are available for you to have an interactive and engaging time with new or old friends; the idea is that this creates the perfect activity during family bonding time.

“A relaxed evening around the most transformative ambience with great food and inspiring music is what we offer our loyal patrons and customers and so we encourage all our visitors to come experience something truly unforgettable on that Saturday onwards,” said Irshad.

Lagos TourismLags State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has disclosed that said his administration had embarked on projects to regenerate, redesign and reactivate special cultural and tourist infrastructure in the state.

Ambode who spoke, last Tuesday, at the ground-breaking for the redevelopment of the J.K Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture in Onikan, noted that on completion, the projects would be converted to centres for recreation, tourism and entertainment.

“At the inception of this administration, we made a promise to Lagosians that we will  execute only programmes and projects that will be to the benefits of all our people.

“We identified some areas for special attention in our bid to accelerate growth and development. One of the areas we have identified which holds a lot of potential and opportunities for high growth and employment, is tourism.

“It is an area in which a little investment in infrastructure will generate a lot of economic activities, leading to job creation. One of such edifices is the J.K Randle Centre which was originally built in 1928,’’ Ambode said.

The governor who said that the new J. K. Randle Centre would consist of an exhibition centre, a library, a multi-purpose hall, learning spaces, restaurant and lounges, revealed that the centre would retain its swimming pool and sports facilities and also have a pavilion for stage performances.

According to Ambode, the government had also embarked on the development of the Eko Park which would comprise the Lagos Heritage Centre for Leadership at the former Presidential Lodge, Marina, adding further the park would also comprise of the Lagos Historical Centre at the former State House, Marina, a Lagos Museum and the erection of a 55-foot Eyo statue at the Lagos History Centre.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya said that the projects would improve tourism and cultural activities on Lagos Island, alongside the National Museum.

IATAThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has disclosed that global passenger traffic for November 2017 rose by eight per cent, compared to the same month in 2016.

A statement signed by IATA’s Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, on its website on Thursday, noted that it was the fastest growth rate in five months and up from a 7.3 per cent year-over-year rise in October.

The apex aviation body said capacity increased by 6.3 per cent, and load factor rose by 1.2 percentage points to 80.2 per cent.

“The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum.

“The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000. Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, the cost of travel in real terms has never been cheaper. Along with delivering great value to consumers, airlines are rewarding their shareholders with normal levels of profitability.

“We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row where the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital. In sum, we begin the New Year with confidence,’’ de Juniac, said.

According to him, challenges such as security threats, infrastructure issues, fees and charges need to be addressed.

The DG pointed out that in many cases, airports and air traffic management were struggling to keep pace with demand and technology advancements.

“These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments. And doing so requires governments to recognise the enormous value that aviation, being the business of freedom, provides to their economies and the world,” de Juniac said.

He said African airlines posted a 7.9 rise in demand compared to November 2016.

“Volumes have started to trend upwards strongly again in seasonally-adjusted terms in recent months. This is in line with an improvement in business confidence in key economies, including Kenya and Nigeria.

“Indicators in South Africa, by contrast, are still consistent with falling economic activity. Capacity rose 3.7 per cent and load factor climbed 2.7 percentage points to 68.3 per cent,” said de Juniac.

Meanwhile, demand for global air freight, measured in freight tonne kilometres, rose 8.8 per cent in November compared with a year earlier, according to IATA, Wednesday.

The rise in November puts the air cargo industry on track for the strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010, IATA said.

The growth in freight demand, coinciding with the traditional period of strong demand seen in the fourth quarter, comes despite indicators pointing to air cargo having passed a cyclical peak.

Available capacity rose 4.0 per cent in the month, marking the 16th consecutive month of demand growth exceeding capacity growth, which is positive for industry load factors, yields, and financial performance.



Delta Air Lines was named the World’s Most On-Time Airline among mainline carriers by the aviation data and analytics company FlightGlobal, incorporating FlightStats, and is the first United States airline to earn the industry-leading distinction in the nine years FlightGlobal’s FlightStats has presented its OPS Awards, according to a release by the company Tuesday.

In 2017, Delta’s mainline operation saw 85.94 percent of flights arrive within 14 minutes of the scheduled arrival time, the industry’s widely used definition of on-time, according to FlightStats.

“We are extremely proud of what Delta employees have been able to accomplish in service to our customers to drive a safe and reliable global operation,” said Gil West, Delta’s Executive Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

“The results reported by FlightStats are humbling and yet another proof point that Delta employees worldwide are redefining operational excellence. Hats off to all Delta employees who come to work every day looking for ways to make meaningful improvements to the airline and continue to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

Delta was also recognized as North America’s most on-time major carrier—a title that takes into account the Delta Connection regional operation. FlightStats reports that Delta, together with its regional partners, saw 84.06 percent of flights arrive on time in 2017, based on FlightStats’ analysis of flight status and arrival data pulled from over 600 global sources and data feeds.

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has now approved additional funds for ongoing works at the new Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja Terminal already funded by the Chinese EXIM Bank.

The terminal project, one of the four, which is part of the US$500 million dollars loan from the Chinese EXIM bank and 100 million dollars counterpart funding from Nigerian government is said to have a foundational issue which had altered the master plan of the airport.

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had confirmed last week that the completion of the project is now dependent on correcting certain problems including works on power and water supply as well as its location to avoid blocking the control and fire towers which were not factored in the earlier costing of the project.

He hinted that there may be some relocation of some structures to ensure that the terminal functions at optimum and does not hinder safety or security for that matter.

”The new Abuja Airport Terminal, inherited by this administration suffered defected design and construction, affecting Power supply, water, Sewer systems, the Apron etc. Remedial work is now ongoing. Today’s FEC approval for power is the first step in the remedial work.#FECBrief,” confirmed a tweet from @AsoRock, the Twitter handle of the Presidency.

During last week’s inspection on the state of work at the terminal, Sirika said: “The contractor has told us some of the challenges he has been facing regarding some of the components of work and some additional works required for this project to be put into use.

“Unfortunately, some of these components are complex which would delay this job and some of them are from the foundation like that of the sewer and water. There is also the problem of the control tower blocking the access into the terminal apron and also the inadequate nature of the apron itself.


Air Peace

Indigenous carrier, Air Peace, has commended the Federal Government for reviewing the Operating Weather Minima in 18 airports in the country.

The review was carried out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in conjunction with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

Weather minima are the worst weather conditions under which aviation operations may be conducted under either visual or instrument flight rules.

The aerodromes where the operating minima and take-off minima have been reviewed are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Dutse, Eket and Enugu. Others are Gombe, Ilorin, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola and Zaria.

The airline’s Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah, who gave the commendation, Tuesday in Lagos, said that the review was a good development because of the problems caused by low visibility during the harmattan season.

“We must commend them for the review. The airline operators had a difficult time in December because we could not operate our scheduled flights due to adverse weather. So, what they have done is to ensure that we don’t face similar situation next time.

“On our part, we are ready to upgrade our equipment and give the prerequisite training to our pilots to enable them to operate under the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS Cat II) Approach and Landing Minima,” he said.

SAASouth African Airways (SAA) has announced a code-share agreement with TAAG Angola Airlines. As part of the extended agreement, SAA will code-share with TAAG on their direct services between Johannesburg and Luanda and between Cape Town and Luanda effective 15 January 2018.

In return, TAAG Angola Airlines will code-share with SAA on its direct services between Johannesburg and Luanda and will include Johannesburg and Harare, Johannesburg and Lusaka, and Johannesburg and Hong Kong in the near future. A code-share agreement enables SAA to offer flights with the SA code on flights operated by TAAG, and TAAG will in turn be able to offer flights with the DT code on flights operated by SAA.

SAA is progressively implementing its Five-Year Corporate Plan aimed at achieving and maintaining financial sustainability in the shortest time possible. SAA’s Alliance Strategy supports the Network Strategy by strengthening its position in sub-Saharan Africa through forming new partnerships, such as this one.

SAA and TAAG formed an interline relationship in 1996, allowing the acceptance of each other’s customers and access to each other’s network. Interline agreements between airlines facilitate travel for customers who fly on more than one airline to reach their destination.

The relationship expanded into a commercial partnership in 2007 with SAA operating the flights for TAAG between Luanda and Lisbon, in Portugal. At the time, SAA operated the flights with its own aircraft and crew on behalf of TAAG.

“We value our relationship with TAAG and look forward to strengthening this partnership and creating a seamless travel experience for our customers travelling to various destinations on the continents of Africa and Asia.

“This new code-share will enable customers to connect seamlessly from our domestic services through to Angola and gives customers the opportunity of also flying with TAAG to Angola,” says Tlali Tlali, SAA Spokesperson. SAA currently serves the Angola market four times per week.

“The code-share relationship between TAAG Angola Airlines and SAA is a strong partnership and we are extremely pleased to work together in developing our route networks further, for the benefit of all our customers. We are confident that this code-share opportunity will bring our countries closer together and contribute to the development of our respective economies and tourism industries,” said William Boulter, TAAG Chief Commercial Officer.

Lagos gets new tourism commissioner

Posted: January 12, 2018 in general

Lagos TourismLagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has announced the appointment of Mr Steve Ayorinde as the new Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture. He was previously the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy.

A major Thursday cabinet reshuffle by the governor saw the dropping three commissioners and appointment of five new ones.

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, the three dropped cabinet members are; Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola, Mr. Femi Odubiyi and Mr. Anifowoshe Abiola.

The newly appointed cabinet members include Mr. Hakeem Fahm (Ministry of Science and Technology); Mr. Ladi Lawanson (Ministry of Transportation); Mr Segun Banjo (Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget); Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman (Communities and Communications).

The Statement added that major deployments have also been effected.

Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye from Commerce and Industry to Physical Planning and Urban Development; Mr. Steve Ayorinde from Ministry of Information and Strategy to Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan from Communities and Communication to Ministry of Information and Strategy; Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi Etti from Ministry of Wealth Creation to Ministry of the Environment; Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf from Ministry of Youth and Social Development to Ministry of Wealth Creation; Mr. Agboola Dabiri from Central Business District to Ministry of Youth and Social Development.

Others include Dr. Samuel Adejare from Ministry of the Environment to Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development; Engr. Ade Akinsanya from Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development to Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.