British Airways recently brought together the best of Britain and South Africa at 30,000 feet over Johannesburg to showcase how its £5 billion investment is benefitting customers.
Some 200 guests including top Springbok try scorer Bryan Habana, lock Flip, van der Merwe, Freshlyground singer, Zolani Mahola and a host of others were treated to two hours of non-stop entertainment and extravagance on board British Airways’ new A380, the airline’s largest and most modern aircraft.
Guests enjoyed a very special Champagne high tea at take off created specially by The Saxon and South Africa’s top chef, David Higgs featuring a raspberry union jack macaroon and vanilla biscuit dress.
The A380 became the longest runway in the sky for a fashion show of British Designer collections for the summer season presented by Harrods, the world’s most famous luxury department store.
Looks were shown from Stella McCartney, Jenny Packham, Alexander Mcqueen, Victoria Beckham, Mathew Williamson, Ralph & Russo and Temperley and teamed with Jimmy Choo shoes and jewellery by Astley Clarke, Monica Vinader, Shaun Leane + Lara Bohinc.
It then doubled as a 30,000 foot-high stage for a live performance by multi-award winning Afro-fusion band Freshlyground, who’s lead singer Zolani opened the 2010 World Cup singing Waka Waka with Shikira.
Freshlyground performed a unique rendition of Shake it and Flower Duet Lakme, British Airways’ iconic theme tune.
During the past fortnight the aircraft has visited three major cities in South Africa. Since 27 January it has been based at King Shaka International Airport for flight crew training.
During this time winner s of the #Man vs Plane online challenge got to try and emulate Bryan Habana’s 2013 race against the A380, which became a YouTube sensation.
Then the superjumbo paid a fleeting visit to Cape Town for a world first fly past over Table Mountain, before arriving in Johannesburg for the launch event.
Modern, fuel-efficient aircraft are the mainstay of British Airways’ five-year investment programme in products and the A380 is the third of 12, all of which will be in daily service by 2017.
It has also ordered 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and is the first airline in Europe to operate both aircraft types.
The aircraft will begin operating between London and Johannesburg on 12 February. This is only the third route to be confirmed after Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
Initially it will operate three times a week, with the other 11 Boeing 747-400 weekly frequencies. The A380 service will increase to six weekly services by 6 March, resulting in a net capacity increase on the route.
British Airways operated by Comair, which operates domestic and regional flights in southern Africa, is also currently enhancing its fleet and recently took delivery of its first 737-800, next generation Boeing. Comair is investing R3.5 billion to replace its current fleet of 737-300 and -400 aircraft, with the more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft. A second 737-800 is due to be delivered in the half of 2014.
British Airways has a history of innovation in South Africa.
Speaking on at two-hour launch flight, Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience, and Erik Venter, Comair chief executive outlined the enhancements being introduced for domestic, regional and international customers.
It has worked with top chefs to improve the quality and choice of food on board with the A380 First service includes a five-course tasting menu. Locally Comair runs its own in-flight catering operation, Food Directions, to provide customers with top-quality, fresh, tasty meals including hot, cold and snack meal options.
On the ground a new international departures lounge, modelled on the Galleries Lounges in Terminal 5, has just opened at Cape Town International Airport.
The departures lounge at OR Tambo, which has been reconfigured to accommodate the A380, will be refurbished toward the end of the year.
British Airways operated by Comair’ lounges, known as the SLOW Lounges, have proved popular with travellers and have set new standards for South African airport lounges, winning numerous local and international awards. Owing to high demand, the Cape Town facility will be expanded later this month, providing more space and comfort.
A new British Airways credit card, launched this week in partnership with Barclays, offers priority check in and other benefits, and the best Avios earn rate in South Africa.
“We’ve long been clear about how important South Africa is on our route network. Over the past 82 years we’ve grown our schedules, established and developed local partnerships and invested in our customers. We’ve just announced that we’re increasing our Cape Town schedule by three a week this winter. This and the introduction of the A380 to Johannesburg is a further, unambiguous demonstration of our confidence,” said Keith Williams.
Erik Venter, said that over the past 18 years many South Africans first experience of British Airways had been on a flight operated by Comair. Its new aircraft, improved on-board catering, more opportunities to earn frequent flyer benefits and privileges and seamless connections with international flights gives customers even more reason to fly British Airways.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
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