Emirates celebrates holiday season with special Christmas treats

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Emirates is spreading the festive joy with treats across all cabin classes this December. Customers travelling for the holidays will enjoy several Christmas specials both on the ground and on board from food to entertainment.

Festive menus are back

In addition to the regionally inspired cuisine served on board, Emirates is bringing back its Christmas menu with a more extensive offering of holiday favourites. Emirates’ seasonal menus are a key component of its dining offering and the Christmas menu is one of the main highlights.

The festive meals are available throughout December for customers travelling from Dubai to Australia, Europe, the United States or the United Kingdom and those travelling from the UK to Dubai.

Customers travelling in Economy Class can enjoy rolled turkey buffé served with cranberry jus lié, mashed potatoes, Vienna chicken sausages and seasonal vegetables. For desserts, customers will be served festive sweets such as a lemon cranberry cake with cream cheese frosting or a cocoa cake with white chocolate chips and raspberry coulis.

Those travelling in First and Business Class will start with king prawns marinated with lemon and herb and served with cocktail sauce and a fennel salad, and enjoy a main course of rolled turkey buffé served with chestnut and apricot stuffing, cranberry jus lié, pumpkin mash and creamy brussels sprouts with turkey bacon.  A variety of desserts is available on the different routes including Ginger bread roulade, Chocolate Mint dome and Yule log.

As a special treat, First Class customers, can look out for Santa-inspired macaroons and hot chocolate served with marshmallows and gingerbread. Young fliers in First Class will be surprised with snowman-inspired marshmallow biscuits.

Besides Dom Pérignon , Veuve Cliquot and Moët & Chandon champagnes available on board to celebrate the holidays, those travelling to Europe or Africa can pair their meals with the premium vintage Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1985  – a rare treat available in December in First class.

Premium customers can also get into the holiday spirit before the flight departs at the seven Emirates lounges found in Dubai International Airport and over 30 Emirates lounges worldwide. From mid-December, traditional sweets such as Basler Leckerli gingerbread cookies, Christmas cake and Stollen cake are being served as well as roasted turkey in the First Class lounges.

Holiday gifts for all

Emirates is also making sure customers’ Christmas stockings are filled with special goodies. Across all classes, newly designed amenity kits are being introduced for December.

A new range of Bulgari amenity kits are being rolled out in First and Business Class. There are 16 brand new designs for men and women which can be re-used to keep electronics or make-up. The laser-cut pattern is inspired by Bulgari’s design archives with a touch of Middle Eastern influence inspired by Dubai, Emirates’ hub. The exclusive designer kit bags include new signature Bulgari fragrances and lotions, along with other pampering essentials. The latest kits feature Bulgari’s White Tea fragrance and are available on long-haul night flights and on flights over 10 hours.

The Economy Class amenity kit bags are also getting a refresh in time for the holiday season. The six new designs are inspired by EXPO 2020 which will be hosted by Dubai. Emirates is the Official Airline Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai. The collectable bags feature the key subthemes of EXPO 2020 – Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity. When arranged together, the kit bags form an image that represent the collaborative spirit of Expo 2020 and the key theme of connecting minds and creating the future.

The kit bags are given out on ultra-long haul flights and feature travel essentials such as socks, matching eye mask and a toothbrush.

In addition, parents travelling with infants will receive an amenity kit especially for baby. The newly designed pouch features Emirates’ iconic Little Traveller characters and contains essentials such as a bib, spoon, baby wipes, changing mat, diaper rash cream and small diaper bag for a comfortable journey.

Special treats for young flyers

Young flyers are given special attention when travelling on Emirates. Kids will enjoy a specially created festive menu with roast turkey, sweet potato mash, carrots and peas, as well as a moist chocolate brownie with cream cheese frosting and a white chocolate lollipop.

As part of the Emirates Fly With Me Animals range, a special limited edition character will greet young travellers. Noel the polar bear, decked out in a festive red scarf, will be introduced on board to coincide with the Christmas season and will only be available in December.

Noel will be available as a Travel Buddy which comes with a plastic toggle allowing the toy to be hung in the car, on a pram or in the cot and the Carry Buddy, a dual purpose toy and blanket.

Christmas classics on ice

To get travellers into the spirit of the holidays, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, will feature Christmas classics for the month of December. These include movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone and Scrooged, as well as TV specials including The Office and Family Guy Christmas shows.  Customers can enjoy over 2,500 channels of entertainment including Christmas number 1s music playlist for the first time this year and dedicated kids’ TV channels. Special programmes for kids include The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and The Snowman.

Emirates offers customers across all classes 20MB of free Wi-Fi data to keep connected with friends and family, and Emirates Skywards members enjoy special benefits depending on membership tier and class of travel.

For those looking to brush up on a new language in the New Year, the airline has added 10 new u Talk language channels including Japanese, Swedish, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Turkish.

Last minute holiday shopping

The Emirates Official Store has a range of new Christmas inspired products for those still looking for gifts. These include a limited edition red First Class blanket, and Christmas sweaters and festive pyjamas for the whole family. Other gifts include  Santa teddies, tree decorations and greeting cards. These are also available in stores and online at http://www.emirates.store.

Last minute shoppers can also get gifts on board with brand new products and special offers in the Emirates duty free collection. Shoppers will find over 100 new items in the collection as well as Emirates official merchandise. Special deals include discounts when purchasing 2 or more fragrances.

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Segun Agbaje: Using Fairs to Redefine Retail Banking and SME Lending

Segun-Agbaje

Segun Agbaje, the managing director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), is not a popular man. To many, he is aloof, too strait-laced, not your typical run-of-the-mill Nigerian. As one of Nigeria’s foremost bankers, he has a reputation for running a tight and efficient ship, is unflinching in his pursuit and recovery of loans from the country’s systemically chronic debtors who have a sense of entitlement believing that they can borrow depositors’ funds without paying back, and does not give a hoot about those critical of his take-no-prisoners approach to banking.

In the media space, he does not seek publicity, he lets his work speak for itself, could not care less if his story or photograph makes the front page of the newspapers, limits his bank’s advertising spend to what he believes is necessary to market and promote GTBank to a wider audience, and through NdaniTV and Ndani Blog understands the power of the social media in reaching out to youths that make a larger percentage of Nigeria’s and regional demographic where the bank operates.

To me, Agbaje is the ideal banker. He is not my friend and we only interact sparingly and strictly professionally as the need arises. Yet, I cannot help but wish that we had more bankers like him in this country. If we did, fewer Nigerian lenders would have to make provisions for unpardonable impairment charges on bad loans given to delinquent debtors, fewer banks would engage in reckless insider lending that threaten their capital adequacy and liquidity ratios, more banks would recognise that they have a fiduciary responsibility to manage their customers’ deposits with care, and more banks would know how to sweat their assets in the most cost-efficient manner to make the most attractive returns to their shareholders.

In all the key parameters used in defining the size of banks, GTBank, among the five Tier 1 banks in the country, is not by any stretch of imagination the biggest. In terms of total assets, loans and advances, customer deposits, number of branches, and presence on the African continent and beyond, FirstBank, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) stand head and shoulders above GTBank. By Nigerian standards, the “big three” could be called banking behemoths and are very difficult to supplant. Still, GTBank, with its cost optimisation strategy, asset quality and stability ratios, among others, has over time proved to be the most profitable bank in the country. Its stock has remained the bellwether in the banking segment of the Nigerian bourse for years, signposting the confidence institutional and individual investors have in the bank.

But this article is not about GTBank’s financial performance. Its annual and quarterly reports, including those of its peers, are public documents that can be readily accessed for in-depth comparative assessment. What I have found more interesting about the bank is its focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and interventions in key economic sectors targeted at strengthening small businesses through not-for-profit fairs and capacity building initiatives. For two years in a row, GTBank has solely funded and hosted its Food and Drink Fair and Fashion Weekends, making them social and tourist events that feature prominently on Nigeria’s social calendar. That is not to say that the bank has not focused on other areas of CSR. Its 2016 annual report showed that GTBank spent about 58 per cent of the N449.62 million of its CSR funds on education alone while community development accounted for another 30.8 per cent.

But it is GTBank’s focus on food, drink and fashion that have been the most impactful publicly, bringing together scores of promising, talented and recognised local and international chefs and food vendors, drinks makers and merchants, fashion houses, milliners, fashion accessory designers and leather goods makers in a dizzying, well-put together and well-thought out extravaganza that leaves the public yearning for more. Both events, which are open to the public, have been attended by several thousands of people, including children, for two years running that have left attendees breathless and wondering how the bank manages to package the two fairs in areas where it has no competencies.

The trick, says Agbaje, whom I had to hound to open up on the success behind both fairs, is getting and attracting the best participants and controlling costs by getting the bank to work directly with the contractors who have to build the stalls, decorate the venue, create play areas and cooking classes exclusively for children, and provide the music, etc., during both fairs; no middlemen or consultants are used by the bank. For him, the fairs present an opportunity for GTBank to deepen its footprint in the retail banking space and increase its SME lending from 2 per cent of the bank’s loan book to 10 per cent over the next five years.
With time, he would also rather extend more loans to small and medium-sized businesses that are more impactful on the economy and achieve a loan recovery rate of 70-80 per cent, than pursue Nigeria’s so-called “big men” with woeful credit track records. Although he was demur about what it costs his bank to host both events, he was emphatic that making money at this juncture is not the overdriving objective, at least not in the short-term, but recognises the long-term benefits not just for GTBank but other Nigerian lenders.
Beyond this objective and given the magnitude of both fairs and their potential to grow into annual events that could attract millions from across the global, Agbaje’s vision is not one to be trifled with. Already, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair and the GTBank Fashion Weekend create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and referrals for hundreds of young Nigerians who have to build the stalls, decorate the venue, and provide the music, entertainment, security and other support services to make them a resounding success. And they have the potential to create even more.

Aside the suppliers, vendors and designers that make brisk business and achieve record sales during the fairs, the Master Classes included in both events are helping to build capacity and drive innovation in the creative industry that has proved to be a major magnate for Nigerian and African youths. By bringing them under one roof, GTBank has also provided a platform for shared services and given them the exposure that help these small businesses to grow and create more employment opportunities.

Without doubt, both fairs are worthy initiatives. But they could be better. In the last two years, GTBank has handled both fairs singlehandedly without support from other institutions and/or the Lagos State government, a direct beneficiary of the events and their spin-offs. In 2016, the food and drink fair alone attracted 25,000 people; this year, it attracted 75,000 people. I do not have the numbers for the bank’s fashion weekends, but I can imagine that the number of visitors will not be far off from those who attended the food and drink fairs.

Given the swelling numbers, both fairs have already started to cause traffic gridlocks on the days they are held. They are also attracting touts and hoodlums who mill around the roads leading to the venue and try to pounce on unsuspecting visitors as they alight from their cars or walk to the venue. On a positive note, big and boutique hotels, restaurants and food caterers on the Lagos Island experience an upsurge in occupancy rates and patronage by participants and the international media who have flown in to take part or cover the events. All these translate to more tourist dollars, taxes and revenue generation for the federal and Lagos State governments.

The import of this should not be lost on the federal and Lagos State governments.
They have to do more than just show a passing interest in what GTBank has started. Given the potential for both fairs to become global destinations for tourists and visitors on the African continent, Lagos State in particular needs to improve on its infrastructure in and around the venue where both fairs are held. It must improve on traffic management and security to ensure that visitors can move about with ease and feel secure. According to Agbaje, in terms of support, the state government has not yet stepped up to the plate, nor has his bank sought for any. But he does acknowledge that with time, GTBank will have to reach out to Lagos State because of the interest both fairs are generating in terms of attendance and participation.

Right now, Agbaje appears to be satisfied with what his bank has accomplished in terms of bringing both fairs to the public’s consciousness. But do the federal and state governments understand the roles that they have to play in institutionalising them and ensuring that they outlast his stewardship in GTBank? Cities like Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris, New York and Melbourne that host major sporting, fashion, carnivals, music and film festivals every year, attracting thousands of visitors do not owe their success just to corporate sponsors but to the municipalities, state and federal governments that understand their roles and lend the required support to the private sector. As such, Lagos State needs to buy into the GTBank fairs as a public-private partnership that can and should work.

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#NominateAChamp : Who Is Your Favorite Traffic Warden

2.jpgChampions are made in our streets from the selfless service of the ordinary people who go beyond the call of duty to keep our roads safe and hassle-free. In this special season of giving, it is only fitting to reward these champions with gifts of gratitude. That is why GTBank is championing the #NominateAChamp campaign.

 

The #NominateAChamp campaign is about celebrating the Traffic Wardens who have won our hearts with their selfless service. These Wardens go the extra mile to manage the often perilous traffic on our roads. They stand for hours, oftentimes under the sun and in the rain, in order to provide more comfort to road users.

 

To celebrate our Road Champions, GTBank would like you to nominate your favourite Traffic Warden of the year. The bank would make a shortlist from the nominees and celebrate them with an Orange Sac full of gifts for the season and beyond.

 

So, who is your favourite Traffic Warden?

Please visit http://csr.gtbank.com/nominateachamp to nominate him or her.

It’s your own little way of putting smiles on their faces while saying “thank you for a job well done.”

 

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GTBank emerges Nigeria’s Best Bank…….. The Banker Awards 2017

the banker 2017_social media copyForemost African financial institution; Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been recognized as the 2017 ‘Bank of the Year Nigeria’ at The Banker Awards which held in London, United Kingdom.

 

The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times, is the world’s leading monthly journal of records for the banking Industry, with over 90 years expertise in publishing development in the banking industry both Africa and on the global scale. The Banker Awards is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence, recognizing and celebrating the achievements of individuals and financial institutions within the global banking sector.

 

According to Brian Caplen, Editor of The Banker Magazine: “The banking and financial services industry continues to develop rapidly, with a few financial institutions cementing their positions as market leaders, pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence. GTBank has over the years maintained a reputation for delivering notable financial success hinged on world class corporate governance standards and excellent service delivery.”

 

Receiving the award on behalf of the Bank, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director/CEO of GTBank said; “We are honored to be recognized as the 2017 Bank of the Year. Our vision has always been to create an oasis in the financial services industry and we strive to achieve this by adopting high corporate governance standards whilst pushing the limits of innovation and service delivery to provide our customers with a superior banking experience.

 

He further stated that; “This award serves as further motivation for us as we continue to transform our organization into a platform for enriching lives that offers our customers benefits beyond banking. It also reflects our sustained commitment to maximize shareholders’ value and deliver superior and sustainable return, guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline and integrity.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.

In due recognition of the Bank’s leading role in Africa’s banking industry, owing to its bias for world class corporate governance standards and excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient to numerous awards over the course of the year. They include Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney,  Bank of the Year by EMEA Finance and African Bank of the Year by Africa Banker Magazine.

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Emirates Airline Group announces half-year performance for 2017-18, up 4%, on overall capacity expansion of 2%.

image005Group: Revenue up 6% to AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion), and profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million), up 77%. Results due to capacity optimization and efficiency initiatives, easing of strong US dollar, and steady business growth.
 Emirates: Revenue up 6% to AED 44.5 billion (US$ 12.1 billion), and profit lift of 111% to AED 1.7 billion (US$ 452 million). 29.2 million Passengers carried, up 4%, on overall capacity expansion of 2%.
Dnata: Revenue up 7% to AED 6.3 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), profit up 20% to AED 659 million (US$ 180 million). 330,317 aircraft handled, up 11%, 1.5 million tonnes of cargo handled, up 25%.

The Emirates Group today announced its half-year results for 2017-18. The Group saw steady revenue growth and a rebound on profitability compared to the same period last year, in spite of the continuing downward pressure on margins, a rise in oil prices, and other challenges for the airline and travel industry.

The Emirates Group revenue was AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion) for the first six months of its 2017-18 financial year, up 6% from AED 46.5 billion (US$ 12.7 billion) during the same period last year.

Profitability rebounded after a low during the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2017-18 half-year net profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million), up 77%.  This result was driven by capacity optimization and efficiency initiatives across the company, steady business growth, and a more favourable foreign exchange situation compared to the same period last year.

The Group’s cash position on 30th September 2017 was at AED 18.9 billion (US$ 5.2 billion), compared to AED 19.1 billion (US$ 5.2 billion) as at 31st March 2017.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “A lot of the credits for our 2017-18 half-year results go to our talented workforce who have worked hard to improve our business performance, and address our challenges without compromising on quality and service.

“Our margins continue to face strong downward pressure from increased competition, oil prices have risen, and we still face weak economic and uncertain political realities in many parts of the world. Yet, the Group has improved revenue and profit performance. This speaks to the resilience of our business model, and the agility of our people.

“The easing of the strong US dollar against other major currencies helped our profitability. We are also seeing the benefit from various initiatives across the company to enhance our capability and efficiency with new technologies and new ways of working.  Moving forward, we will continue to keep a careful eye on costs while investing to grow our business and provide our customers with world-class products and services.”

In the past six months, the Group’s employee base reduced by 3% compared to 31 March 2017, from an overall staff count of 105,746 to 102,669. This was largely a result of natural attrition together with a slower pace of recruitment, as various parts of the business adopted new technologies, streamlined business processes and re-allocated resources.

Emirates

Emirates continues to invest in the most advanced wide-body aircraft to improve overall efficiency and provide better customer experience. During the first six months of 2017-18, Emirates received 10 wide-body aircraft – 4 Airbus A380s, and 6 Boeing 777s, with 9 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year. It also retired 5 older aircraft from its fleet with further 4 to be returned by 31 March 2018.

Emirates launched two new passenger services in the first six months of its financial year – to Zagreb (Croatia) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).  As of 30 September, Emirates’ global network spanned 156 destinations in 84 countries. Its fleet stood at 264 aircraft including freighters.

Emirates continues to provide ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai.

In July, the airline announced a partnership with flydubai, leveraging both airlines’ complementary networks to open new city-pair routings for customers, and optimize operations at Dubai International airport. Emirates also announced it will extend its successful partnership with Qantas for a further five years in tandem with joint network adjustments that will offer travellers more connectivity and flight choices to and from Australia and New Zealand.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased a modest 2% to 30.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM). Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), grew by 3%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up 5% with average Passenger Seat Factor rising to 77.2%, compared with last year’s 75.3%.

Emirates carried 29.2 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2017, up 4% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.3 million tonnes is up 5% while yield improved by 8%. This solid performance speaks to Emirates Sky Cargo’s recent investments in products and services tailored to key sectors, and it is also a positive sign of a gradual recovery in the global air freight market.

In the first half of the 2017-18 financial year, Emirates net profit is AED 1.7 billion (US$ 452 million), up 111%, compared to last year. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 44.5 billion (US$ 12.1 billion) was up 6% compared with the AED 41.9 billion (US$ 11.4 billion) recorded during the same period last year. This result was driven by improved seat load factors, tight control on capacity deployment, and the strengthening of currencies in Emirates’ key markets against the US dollar.

Emirates operating costs grew by 4% against the overall capacity increase of 2%. On average, fuel costs were 14% higher compared to the same period last year, this was largely due to an increase in oil prices (up 11% compared to same period last year), as well as an increase in fuel uplift of 3% due to Emirates’ expanding fleet operations. Fuel remained the largest component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 26% of operating costs compared with 24% in the first six months of last year.

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Dnata

dnata saw steady growth across its global businesses which now span 84 countries. In the first half of 2017-18, dnata’s international operations accounted for over 67% of its total revenue.

dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, is AED 6.3 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), a 7% increase compared to AED 5.9 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) last year.  This performance was underpinned by robust organic business growth, particularly in its international airport operations business with its previous cargo and ground handling acquisitions contributing to the 2017-18 half year performance.

Overall profit for dnata is up by 20% to AED 659 million (US$ 180 million). This was driven by dnata’s continued focus on extracting operational, process and cost efficiencies across all business streams, and supported by strong performances from both its international and UAE airport operations divisions, with new customers won and the expansion of existing contracts.

dnata’s airport operations remained the largest contributor to revenue with AED 3.4 billion (US$ 922 million), a 9% increase compared to the same period last year.  Across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata increased by 11% to 330,317, and it handled 1.5 million tonnes of cargo, up 25%.

This reflects new customer contracts won across the network, and expansion to new locations such as Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam (ground handling) as well as the overall upturn in global cargo volumes. In the first six months of 2017-18, dnata continued to strengthen its international footprint with the acquisition of AirLogistix USA marking its entry into the US cargo market and expanded its marhaba lounge product to new markets in Australia and Pakistan.  Additionally, a new maintenance base was opened in Singapore and a new cargo facility was opened in Adelaide.

dnata’s travel division contributed AED 1.5 billion (US$ 420 million) to revenue, up 3% from the same period last year. The division’s underlying net sales remained stable at AED 5.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion).

This was a good performance in the face of increased competition and a challenging landscape. dnata’s investment in technology has included rolling out Avaya to connect its contact centres globally, and a new proprietary booking system for Emirates Holidays. The division’s Middle East corporate business secured significant new accounts, and its newly launched bedbank – Yalago – began trading with third parties. Australia was a new market for cruise, and has already delivered a strong performance with growth continuing across this segment. dnata’s travel division continues to build a strong management team with key personnel changes geared to lead the business and extract synergies across its extensive portfolio of travel brands.

dnata’s flight catering operation, contributed AED 1.1 billion (US$ 298 million) to its total revenue, up 4%. The number of meals uplifted dropped 7% to 31.8 million meals for the first half of the financial year. The unit’s improved performances in Australia, Singapore, Romania and Czech Republic was dampened by key contracts lost in UK and Italy primarily from Alitalia and Monarch Airlines which ceased operations.

In the first six months of the year, dnata’s catering unit continued to win contracts from new customers and expand existing customer relationships. It also opened a new state-of-the-art kitchen in Melbourne, and invested to expand its capabilities in other value-added inflight services such as onboard retail.

 

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Sharon Ooja, Toke Makinwa, , Uti Nwachukwu Attend GTBank Fashion Weekend Pre-Event Cocktail

 

In the heart of Victoria Island at the Temple Muse conceptual store, the crème de la crème of fashion and lifestyle in Lagos enjoyed an evening of cocktails and great music from the decks of DJ Obi and DJ KoolJay.

The occasion was the GTBank Fashion Weekend Pre Event Cocktail, a glimpse of the fun planned for Fashion Weekend on the 11th and 12th of November.

Stepping into the exclusive party greeted by the beautiful Sharon Ooja and Timini Egbuson who were hosting the red carpet videos for GTBank’s Ndani TV was very pleasant but also intimidating. Sharon was a complete #Bellastylista in a S.O.M.O multiple side pleat blush and damask fabric set. While Timini kept things cool in an ankara set from menswear brand Lookslikeagoodman.

Ik Osakioduwa kicked off the activities with a welcome bit of comic relief inside the boutique which had been totally transformed to a dimly lit party space, with more of the invited guests taking in the vibes of the night – drink in hand and munching on samosas.

The transitioning of the music from the 70s, 80s, to the 90s sure made the atmosphere jolly, close buddies like Teni Sagoe, Denola Grey, Papa Omisore and Latti Ronx Bamisedun among other glittering crew of friends shared laughs in between snapchat photos and cute boomerangs.

One of the highlights of the night was the well-curated mini fashion show TheStyleInfidel put together showcasing pieces from brands that will be showing at the GTBank Fashion Weekend and also stock at Temple Muse.

Credit: BellaNaijaStyle

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Emirates Enhances Nigeria service Increases flight, Offers Special Fare to Dubai

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Emirates announced today it will reinstate its second daily service to Lagos and resume operations to Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, with four weekly flights from 15 December 2017.

Similar to the current daily service between Dubai and Lagos, the added frequencies to Lagos will be operated with Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, offering eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. The reinstated service to Abuja will be served by a 360-seat Boeing 777-300 in a three-class configuration.

However, Emirates will be offering Nigerian travellers the opportunity to visit Dubai with a special Economy and Business Class return airfare that includes a free third piece of luggage of up to 23 kg.

Under the special offer, an Economy Class ticket from Lagos to Dubai costs USD899 and Business Class USD3499. The fare offer is for a limited time only and tickets must be booked between 1st November and 17 November 2017.

Travel must take place between 1st November 2017 and 30 March 2018. The cost of the ticket includes airport taxes. Seasonality and blackout dates apply as well as other terms and conditions.

“Nigeria is a key market for Emirates and its importance is reflected by the fact that we will add 11 weekly flights between Dubai and two major cities in Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos. This is great news for both our business and leisure customers and highlights our commitment to providing travellers in Nigeria with not only the very latest in aircraft innovations but also increased connectivity,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa. “We thank the Nigerian authorities for facilitating the reinstatement of our flights to Abuja and Lagos which will, in turn, greatly benefit Nigerian tourism, trade, investment and economy at large.” added Mr Abbas.

By operating a double daily service to Lagos and four weekly flights to Abuja, Emirates will offer travellers in Nigeria very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on the Emirates network, including more than 35 destinations in the Middle East and Far East, 18 destinations in South Asia and over 20 destinations in the Americas and Australia. Many of these destinations are served by Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft.

Apart from the increased passenger capacity, the new flights will provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight, giving businesses and traders more opportunities for increased imports such as electronic goods, construction equipment and pharmaceuticals, and exports such as fresh produce and perishables.

The added Lagos flight EK781 will depart Dubai every day at 0355hrs and arrive in Lagos at 0905hrs. The return flight EK782 will depart Lagos at 1240hrs and arrive in Dubai at 2255hrs. The Abuja flight EK785 will depart Dubai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 1035hrs and arrive in Abuja at 1535hrs. The return flight EK786 will depart Abuja at 1855hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0435hrs the next day. The arrival of the flight in Dubai is conveniently timed to enable a shorter transit period for customers connecting to Emirates’ early morning flights to popular destinations such as New York, Houston, London, Beirut, Bangkok, Jeddah, Medina, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Delhi and Sydney, amongst others, which are popular cities for Nigerian travellers.

Customers on Emirates can look forward to the famed on board service and hospitality from its multi-national cabin crew including Nigerians, as well as enjoy regionally and internationally inspired meals and complimentary beverages.  Passengers can also enjoy Emirates’ award winning ice entertainment system, offering up to 2500 channels of on demand movies, television programmes, music, audio books and music. Families with young children are also well catered for with special products and services to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable flight, from free toys to kid’s meals and entertainment, as well as priority boarding.

Emirates launched services to Nigeria on 2 January 2004 with four flights per week from Dubai to Lagos linked with Accra in Ghana, using an A330-200 aircraft. Just over a year later Emirates increased its services from four to six flights a week, and following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005. On 1 January 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai. Emirates operated a second daily service to Lagos between February 2009 and June 2016 and daily flights to Abuja between August 2014 and October 2016. From 15 December 2017, Emirates will operate 18 weekly flights between Dubai and Nigeria.

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