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Airlines Conspiring to Take Air Peace Out of Business-  CEO

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Allen Onyema, chief executive officer of Air Peace , has claiimed that some airlines are conspiring to take his company out of business by underpricing the flight tickets for the Lagos-London route.

Airlines Conspiring to Take Air Peace Out of Business-  CEO

Speaking on the Channels TV evening program, Politics Today, Onyema revealed that the significant reduction in international airfares by foreign carriers operating on the route is a deliberate attempt to prematurely remove Air Peace from the market.

The CEO pointed out that before Air Peace entered into the Nigeria-UK route, foreign airlines were charging exorbitant prices, citing business class tickets costing as much as N17 million and economy class reaching N5 million.

However, shortly after Air Peace began operating on the Lagos-London route, foreign airlines drastically reduced their fares, despite no significant change in the exchange rate between the dollar and the Naira.

Onyema expressed his frustration, stating, “The foreign airlines were taking between N15-N17 million for business class, N6 million for premium economy, and N5 million for economy. Then Air Peace came on, charging N4.5 million for business class, and economy class starting from N1.2 million. Now Air Peace did this, everybody has came crashing their prices from N18 million to N5 million. Dollar did not change.”

He further elaborated that foreign airlines are conspiring to cut their fares to levels below their break-even point, with the aim of pushing Air Peace out of the Nigeria-UK route. Onyema warned that if these tactics succeed, Nigerians would face considerably higher fares than the current rates.

Air Peace launched its Lagos-London route on March 30 to provide quality travel experiences and make international trips more affordable for Nigerians.

Since commencing its UK service, Air Peace has offered competitive rates, with economy class fares starting at N1.2 million, significantly lower than the N3-5 million usually charged by foreign carriers. Business class tickets are priced at around N4.5 million, well below the N15-N18 million rates of foreign airlines.

Onyema also disclosed that since the airline began its direct flights from Lagos to London a few weeks ago, Gatwick Airport has allegedly frustrated its operations, aiming to impede its activities in the UK. He cited challenges with ground handling and space allocation at Gatwick Airport as proof of these retaliatory actions.

On the inaugural flight out of London, Onyema claimed that Gatwick Airport management moved Air Peace to a different checking area and assigned a malfunctioning baggage carousel, leading to delays and inconvenience for passengers.

Additionally, the CEO revealed that the boarding gate in the reassigned terminal collapsed on the day of Air Peace’s flight, further compounding the airline’s challenges at the London airport.

Onyema acknowledged the support received from the Federal Government, particularly from Festus Keyamo, minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, in launching Air Peace’s Lagos-London route successfully.

However, he called on the government to intervene against foreign airlines that are slashing fares below their break-even points, aiming to force Air Peace out prematurely.

He suggested that the government could assist Air Peace by reducing its operational charges, thereby providing the airline with a better opportunity to compete against foreign carriers backed by their governments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Afreximbank Launches CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa

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Afreximbank, has officially announced the launch of the CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa, a partnership between the CANEX Book Factory and the Narrative Landscape Press Limited.

Afreximbank Launches CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa

The CANEX Book Factory, a key intervention under the CANEX programme, aims to promote a vibrant literary culture across Global Africa and encourage the development of a sustainable business ecosystem in the literary sector.

CANEX was launched in 2020 by Afreximbank as a key driver for development and job creation in Africa, having recognized the relevance and opportunities provided by the creative and cultural industries.

The CANEX Book Factory will spotlight and elevate the African book value chain through a Pan-African writing workshop, an e-newsletter highlighting African literature and the prize for publishing in Africa. This will culminate in the Award Ceremony at the CANEX WKND to be held in Algiers, Algeria between 16-19 October, 2024.

A USD20,000 prize will be awarded to the publisher of the best trade book. Trade books refers to books published for a general audience, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry and excludes textbooks and academic books. Additionally, four finalists will each receive $2,000 in prize money.

Commenting on this announcement, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, executive vice president-Intra African Trade and Export Development Bank at Afreximbank said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa, a pioneering initiative by Afreximbank aimed at promoting and celebrating excellence in African publishing. This prize underscores our commitment to nurturing Africa’s creative industries and supporting the vibrant literary landscape across the continent. Through the CANEX Prize, we aim to recognize and empower African authors and publishers who play a vital role in shaping our cultural identity and enriching our communities through literature in what is a multi-billion-dollar industry.”

On the importance of initiatives such as CANEX,  Ms. Chimamanda Adichie, renowned writer and novelist, said: “Imagine being an African, dreaming about being a writer, surrounded by people in a room who share the same interests, it propels you, it gives you hope. I’ve always believed that there is nothing more essential to the human spirit than hope. For me, CANEX is about hope – the hope of many more African stories.”

Submissions will be judged on the quality of writing, editing and production. Priority will be given to books printed and produced on the African continent as well as to books published in indigenous African languages.

A key concession for the inaugural year (2024) is that books published in the preceding two years will be considered.

By supporting the enabling environment for various creative sectors like fashion, music, film, art, literature, gastronomy, and sport; CANEX seeks to support the advancement and expansion of the creative and cultural economy, both within Africa and the diaspora, utilizing various financial and non-financial tools and initiatives.

CANEX invites publishers in Africa to submit published trade books for the inaugural CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa. To submit your entry, please visit:  https://apo-opa.co/3WR3vgu.

 


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Transcorp Power Posts N142Bn Revenue, N52.8Bn PBT

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Transcorp Power Plc, a subsidiary of Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp Group), announced impressive financial performance at its recently concluded 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM), the first since the Company went public, via a listing by introduction of its shares, on Monday.

Transcorp Power Posts N142Bn Revenue, N52.8Bn PBT

L-R: Dr. Owen D. Omogiafo, OON, Non-Executive Director; Peter Ikenga, Managing Director/CEO; Emmanuel N. Nnorom, Chairman; Stanley Chikwendu, Company Secretary at the Annual General Meeting of Transcorp Power Plc held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja on Monday

 

The Company recorded gross earnings of N142.1 billion, a 57.3% increase, compared to the previous year.

Profitability remained strong, demonstrating its resilience amidst evolving market dynamics.

Profit before tax showed an impressive year-on-year growth, up 84.4%, from N28.6 billion reported in 2022 to N52.8 billion in 2023.

At the AGM, Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom, chairman of the Board, highlighted Transcorp Power’s achievements over the past year, while assuring shareholders of the Company’s commitment to maintaining its exceptional financial results and improving the lives of Nigerians.

He said: “Last year’s strong performance is a testament to the resilience of our business strategies, underpinned by a culture of strong corporate governance.  We know that with our strategy and the dedication of our team, we will continue to deliver exceptional value to all stakeholders.”

Speaking on the Company’s performance, Peter Ikenga, managing director/chief executive officer, Transcorp Power, stated that the Company’s success is as a result of the rigorous execution of our strategies and deliberate focus on enhancing operational efficiency.

“As we celebrate last year’s achievements, we remain committed to continuous improvement. This year, our strategic focus is on recovering plant available capacity, enhancing operational excellence and efficiency, and rigorously implementing our plant maintenance schedule. We will continue prioritizing and investing in human capital, aiming to enhance in-house capabilities.  Our commitment to incident and injury-free operations remains strong, as we leverage our talent, foster ingenuity, and nurture teamwork. We are determined to build on our successes and leverage strategic investment opportunities to deliver even greater performance and sustainable growth for our stakeholders.”

Shareholders at the AGM lauded the Company’s professionalism and commitment to growing value for shareholders.

Mrs. Bisi Bakare, one of the company’s shareholders, commended Transcorp Power for continuously exceeding shareholder expectations.

She said: “I am very satisfied with Transcorp Power’s performance. It demonstrates their commitment to creating value for us shareholders, which is what we are all here for.”

Transcorp Power’s social responsibility activities were also commended at the AGM.  The Company has contributed to Nigeria’s sustainable development, particularly in the areas of education, community development, and environmental sustainability.

Operationally, the Company’s focus on excellence and optimisation has contributed to its position as a market leader in the power sector.

Through strategic investments and operational strategies, Transcorp Power continues to enhance its generation capacity and optimise plant performance.

Transcorp Power Plc is an electricity generating subsidiary of Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp Group), a leading, listed African conglomerate with strategic investments in the power, hospitality, and energy sectors.

Transcorp Power is committed to creating value and driving economic growth, by improving lives through access to electricity and transforming Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Air Peace: Strategies to Gain Competitive Advantage in the Battle for the Skies

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By Austin Okere

Congratulations to Air Peace on its inaugural flight to London and for achieving full bookings for the upcoming months, thanks to attractive ticket prices. Over the past fortnight, Air Peace has been making waves on social media for various reasons.

On a positive note, the airline shared a LinkedIn post featuring a picture of former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, aboard a return flight to London.

The caption highlighted his positive experience, stating, “I went, it was pleasant. I came back, it was even more pleasant.”

However, on a different note, Nigeria Stories recently reported that the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority has contacted Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority regarding alleged violations of aviation safety regulations by Air Peace.

The significance of Air Peace’s impact on airfares along the Lagos-London route cannot be overstated. Since commencing operations on March 30, Air Peace has maintained its round-trip economy ticket price at $1,000 (₦1.2 million), a substantial reduction compared to the previous rates charged by international airlines, which could soar up to $2,500 (₦3 million).

This bold pricing approach has disrupted the established norms, prompting foreign carriers to reassess their pricing frameworks.

To uphold customer loyalty and ensure long-term viability, it is imperative for Air Peace to explore additional strategies for differentiation. I have outlined these strategies using Austin’s Four Models of Competitive Strategies below:

  1. Technological Leadership

This approach is commonly embraced by firms that have secured a substantial leadership edge on the innovation spectrum. Their dominant position within their specific market niche is profound, making it exceedingly challenging for competitors to replicate or close the gap. Companies like Apple, Alphabet, Airbus, SpaceX, Netflix, and Tesla, among others, adeptly employ this strategy to significant effect.

Typically, they command premium prices for their offerings, allowing for greater investment in ongoing research and expertise, thus fortifying their technological supremacy and perpetuating their cycle of success.

  1. Service Excellence

This strategy is often embraced by companies that may not necessarily lead in technology but excel in delivery and customer experience to secure patronage and foster loyalty. Airlines like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Japan Airlines consistently rank among the world’s top 10 airlines as voted by travelers worldwide, thereby drawing more patronage.

3. Customer Intimacy (Personalized Customer Engagement)

This approach is predominantly employed by companies that strive to create a familial bond with their customers. They foster a sense of intimacy with their clientele, exemplified by Ghana’s Africa World Airways (AWA), which has established a reputation for punctuality in West African travel.

Air Peace appears to be following suit with this strategy, offering popular Nigerian cuisine and beverages on the Lagos-London route, and outfitting their crew in vibrant Nigerian attire. Companies employing this strategy often boast prolonged customer retention rates. They possess a deep understanding of their customers, accommodating their unique preferences, while customers reciprocate with steadfast loyalty.

  1. Cost Leadership

This strategy is predominantly adopted by companies that have enjoyed an early lead in product development and launch, leveraging the returns on their investments over time. They employ low pricing to dissuade competitors from entering the market. A classic example is Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.

Additionally, other companies that may employ this strategy are those that have accessed the experiences and intellectual property of more advanced competitors without incurring the costs and challenges of research and development. They are content to price their products relatively lower to attract patronage.

Many established companies with mature infrastructure also aim to increase their market share through periodic sales promotions, satisfied with extracting contribution margin from fixed costs.

Airlines often utilize this strategy during low seasons to improve their load factor rather than flying with empty seats or cargo space. They prefer to capture customers at any price rather than allow competitors to benefit from lost sales.

Bringing it All Together

In the fiercely competitive landscape of the airline industry, pricing strategies serve as a cornerstone in attracting passengers and maintaining a competitive edge. Employing competitor pricing, a dynamic and data-informed approach, enables airlines to swiftly adapt to market fluctuations and consumer preferences while optimizing revenue streams.

Airlines continuously fine-tune their fares in response to market dynamics, competitive maneuvers, and various other factors, employing a seamless and automated process to uphold competitiveness, optimize load factors, and maximize revenue streams.

While competitive pricing may serve as an initial strategy to penetrate the market and garner market share, I am cautious about relying solely on it for sustained success. It’s essential to recognize that no matter how aggressively priced one may be, there’s always someone offering a lower fare.

This approach risks triggering a downward spiral in pricing, potentially leading to a race to the bottom. In such a scenario, financially robust incumbents may outlast vulnerable newcomers, only to subsequently increase prices to recoup lost revenue once the newcomers are forced out of the market. This fate should not befall Air Peace.

Austin Okere is a thought leader, and business mentor. An Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Columbia Business School, New York.

 

 


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