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Emirates Suspends All Nigerian Flights Over $85m Blocked Funds

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Emirates Airlines has announced the suspension of its flights from Nigeria with effect from September 1, 2022.
The decision was due to the inability of the airline to repatriate its funds from Nigeria.
Recall that the airline had in a leaked letter to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said it would reduce its frequencies in Nigeria from 11 to seven by mid August over its trapped $85m in Nigeria.
Daily Trust reports that other airlines may also follow suit as blocked funds belonging to foreign airlines have hit over $600m which they are unable to repatriate as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) could not meet airlines’ request for dollars.
In line with the bilateral air service agreements (BASAs), foreign airlines are expected to issue their tickets in naira while the CBN provides the dollar equivalence for repatriation to their home countries.
In a statement on Thursday morning, Emirates said it would stop all its flights to Nigeria, adding it might re-evaluate its decision if there was any positive development in the coming days.
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The statement read: “Emirates has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.
“Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective 1 September 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.
“Should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, we will of course re-evaluate our decision. We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much needed connectivity for Nigerian travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”

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NNPC declares over 100% profit in one year, with N674bn for 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited recorded a profit after tax (PAT) of N674 billion for the year ended 2021.
This is more than 100 per cent profit over the N287bn declared in the previous year (2020).

The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari,  disclosed this at a briefing on Tuesday.

He said, “Today, I’m happy to announce that the Board of NNPC has approved 2021 audited financial statements & NNPC has progressed to a new performance level, from N287bn profit in 2020 to N674bn profit after tax in 2021, climbing higher by 134.8% YoY profit growth.”

The 2021 financial year made it the fourth consecutive year that the NNPC will be opening its book for public scrutiny.

In 2018, when the NNPC first made account statement public, it reported a loss of N803.9bn.

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GM raises production of electric vehicles, repositions Chevrolet Bolt

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General Motors Company says said it is increasing its electric vehicle assembly plans, raising production of the EV Chevrolet Bolt and other vehicles.

GM reported its highest quarterly sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which totalled 14,709 vehicles. Bolt sales are down by 11 per cent for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year.

In June, GM said it would sharply cut Bolt prices after it halted sales for six months following a battery recall.

Autoblog reported the GM as saying on Monday it would specifically boost Bolt production for global markets to more than 70,000 in 2023 from about 44,000 vehicles this year.

Bolt sales in 2021 hit a record annual high of 24,828 vehicles.

The largest US automaker said it was moving up body shop upgrades at its Detroit Factory ZERO for Silverado EV production in 2023 and taking other steps to prepare.

GM will suspend the production of the GMC HUMMER EV pickup for several weeks starting in late November to prepare for that production jump, it said.

Cadillac Lyriq production will increase in the fourth quarter and GM plans additional production shifts for GMC Hummer EVs in 2023, it said.

The automaker stated that its 2023 EV launches, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox EV, were on schedule.

GM’s EV sales are still a small fraction of US sales. Out of 1.65 million US vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year, GM sold 22,012 Bolts, 782 Hummer EV pickups and 36 Lyriq SUVs.

GM and LG Energy Solution’s joint venture Ultium Cells LLC is considering a site in Indiana for a fourth $2.4 billion US battery cell manufacturing plant, the venture said in August.

 

-Autoblog

 

 

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Maserati GranTurismo returns, this time with electric folgore model

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Luxury sports car maker Maserati has unveiled its new GranTurismo model ahead of an official launch next year for the brand’s first car fully-electric version.

Maserati, the luxury brand of automaker Stellantis, rolled out the new GranTurismo on Monday, according to Reuters, returning the to sporty coupe which has seen many iterations over the years, but now with the option for 100 per cent electric propulsion.

Folgore is the name that Maserati applies to its electric vehicles and the new GranTurismo Folgore will sit alongside Modena and Trofeo versions, both powered by a 3-litre V6 engine, as you might expect, reports Pocketlint, an online auto journal.

But the Folgore takes Maserati in a new direction and creates something rather unique for those looking for a high-end electric sports car. As this is the GranTurismo it only has the two doors, but there’s four seats, the long, low, body designed for sporty driving in comfort.

 

Maserati, which returned to an operating profit last year, has promised fully-electric or folgore – versions of all its cars by 2025, as part of a wider turnaround plan.

It said in a statement the electric powertrain for the new grand tourer (GT) would be derived from Formula E technology, where the Italian brand will start competing next year.

The automaker said the new GranTurismo will also be available with a three-litre, six-cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE), in two versions capable of 490 and 500 horse powers.

Both the fully-electric and the ICE versions would have an indicative starting price of around 200,000 euros ($195.000), just below the entry price for a Ferrari car.

The GranTurismo will be produced at Stellantis’ Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.

Maserati will provide further details of the new car at its official presentation in the first quarter of next year, while sales are expected to start in the second quarter.

 

 

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