Red Star Express Expands with GSA Services


LAGOS, NIGERIA; JUNE 26th 2019:  One of Nigeria’s leading logistics and cargo generating company, Red Star Express Plc, has ventured into the cargo General Sales Agent services (GSA) as part of its expansion drive. This was announced at an exclusive interview with some of the company’s top management staff recently.

This service which was introduced last Friday (June 14th), according to the company, will help connect passenger baggages and packages from one airport location to another at a faster rate.

According to the Group Managing Director, Red Star Express Plc, Dr. Olusola Obabori, the company is focused on growth.

“We are a company focused on growth, and part of our growth platform for the financial year is to work to a large extent with airlines on cargo consolidation both locally and internationally. With this in mind, we commenced a partnership with Aero Contractors, and we have ongoing discussions with other airlines which of course will start soon in the course of the business. We are aggressive in terms of expansion, and this is the reason we started operations in some West Africa offices a few months ago, some of which are Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic. If we have to expand, we have to be able to connect shipments from Lagos to these countries. We are hopeful that we are going to open more offices around West Africa, as much as we do that, in the near future we are going into Aviation as a matter of fact, but for now, we are working with the operators of airlines in Nigeria to help them see how we can consolidate cargo since that’s our core business. We will consolidate locally to give to them, but we will also consolidate internationally for operators on International routes.”

“Our international business is principally done on the FedEx platform and we have Red Star Freight that does major cargo movement from here to the rest of the world and also bring in cargo into Nigeria. The GSA is a component of our expansion plan which we recently introduced. This will bring lots of help in the industry. We have opened international operations which are to show you that beyond the domestic market, there’s a lot we can do for Nigeria in the West Africa sub-region. This is why we also went into those markets. This means if you are a businessman in Nigeria and need to drop shipments in those locations, it will be delivered the next day as if you are delivering goods to Kano or Kaduna. More so, with the introduction of the GSA, we can ride behind the airline operators to get these goods delivered on time. It makes the whole process extremely seamless and of course, the business can go faster. Nigeria is not our only market, we have gone West African”.

Similarly the Chief Operating Officer, Red Star Freight, Mr. Mudiaga Okumagba threw more light on the initiative.

“Red Star Express is an indigenous Nigerian company owned by Nigeria and run by Nigerians. We are a licensee of FedEx, an American company. This enables us to ship anything through the FedEx network.  We got the GSA license about two years ago, but we just started operating with it. We have partnered with Aero Contractors, and we hope to work with other domestic airlines in a couple of months. Also for the International routes, we are hoping that before the end of the year, we will have something to do with Lufthansa Airline. Partnering with airlines, gives us an opportunity of dropping in our cargoes in spaces not occupied by passenger’s luggage. Red Star Freight also has Independent Network partners –RFLM and WCA.

These networks allow shipments to any part of the world either by air or by sea. We started as an air express delivery company, so we deal more with airlines. Red Star has a vision of not just handling cargoes on domestic and International routes; rather we are looking forward to flying our own aircraft. This is the opportunity that lies in the GSA business. Going into this will help us go deeper into the Aviation business because you cannot do GSA business if you are not operating in the Aviation territory. We have been moving our shipments through vendors to the airlines. We are looking forward to breaking the barrier and building a relationship directly with airlines”.

Okumagba who reiterated that Red Star had about 166 offices nationwide prides in the company’s capability to handle cargoes and parcels professionally, both in the number of staff and offices it has nationwide. According to him, Red Star Freight also handle the perishable deliveries.

“We also handle Red Star Agro which is merged with the Freight business. We have done lots of shipments in the perishable areas. Over time, we have successfully moved perishables (tomatoes and vegetables) to the US and UK. From time to time, we enlighten exporters on how they can overcome certain bottlenecks that can hinder successful exports such as quality, price, packaging, and the proper certification of their representative at the receiving end”.

Red Star Freight is a subsidiary of Red Star Express. Red Star Express Plc is a Licensee of Federal Express (FedEx) Corporation, the world’s largest delivery solutions provider. The company has over 166 offices nationwide.

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Emirates Announces Additional Flights For Nigerian Pilgrims

Emirates has announced plans to operate additional flights to help facilitate travel for Nigerian pilgrims heading to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. The airline will be operating  additional flights between July 27th and August 27th in order to support the Hajj journey of Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy city of Mecca.

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Nigerian travelers with a valid Hajj visa will enjoy travel which runs along with Emirates’ regular scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina.

Emirates has commissioned a dedicated team to manage check-in and transfers for the seamless movement of Hajj passengers leaving from and transiting in Dubai.  Similarly, Emirates has planned several initiatives on-board that upholds the values and traditions of pilgrims when traveling for Hajj.

Afzal Parambil, the Regional Manager West Africa said: “We wish our Nigerian Muslim faithfuls who will be traveling to Mecca for Hajj this year, a holy pilgrimage and safe trip.  We at Emirates are committed to ensuring a comfortable trip. Emirates has planned several on-board initiatives that upholds the values and traditions of pilgrims. Extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller’s needs such as performing ablutions and other cleansing rituals as well as advising passengers when they have entered Al Miqat zones to ensure readiness for Ihram (the point when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity) through dedicated passenger announcements.  This is in addition to other service and product measures such as providing extra blankets and unperfumed hot towels”.

Nigerian travelers departing from either Lagos or Abuja to their various destinations can enjoy an amazing list of entertainment curated for their comfort on-board, but most importantly, it will also feature a special Hajj video that covers safety, formalities, and information about performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Pilgrims will also be able to tune into the Holy Quran channel during their journey”, Parambil added.

The airline has stated that on flights from Jeddah, Hajj passengers can bring up to 5 litres of holy water (Zamzam) which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold.

Emirates currently has a total of 158 destinations in 86 countries, with 270 aircrafts (257 passenger and 13 Freighter aircrafts) in service.  It operates a double daily flight ‘to’ and ‘from’ Dubai to Lagos and daily to Abuja.

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Emirates Celebrates Nigerian Children

Emirates, the world’s fastest growing airline has demonstrated its priority attention to Nigerian children by hosting a dedicated Children’s Day and exclusive screening of a blockbuster movie, ‘Aladdin.’

The children were treated to a full day of entertainment and inspiration at the spectacular Children’s Day event in Maryland Mall, Lagos.

The special Children’s Day package included movie screening, special cake cutting, positive interactions, display of a model aircraft, visualization of the Emirates flying experience and one on one with the Emirates Regional Manager West Africa, Afzal Parambil.

Some of the children dressed in specially made Emirates pilot and cabin crew uniforms expressed their aspirations to not only pursue aviation careers but to also fly actual Emirates planes someday. The children felt encouraged to dream and work towards those dreams.

The Emirates Regional Manager West Africa, Afzal Parambil, said, “We can think of no better way to celebrate the special young travelers in our lives than by bringing the joy of movies to life. Whether they are flying with family or alone, we ensure that children always have an unforgettable experience on Emirates. We always want to make the journey as enjoyable as the destination.”

Afzal pointed out that “We recognize young travelers as one of our most important customers. We know how challenging it can be for parents to keep their children occupied and happy on flights. We have ensured that every aspect of the travel experience is catered for, from toys and kids’ entertainment to special meals on board, and even family check-in areas. We are committed to ensuring a smooth travel experience for families,”

The Emirates award-winning ‘ice’  offers a wide variety of children’s programming including the very best movies and television from Disney, Cartoon Network, CBeebies and Nickelodeon channels plus much more. For young music fans, Emirates offers a great selection with hundreds of channels of music available. Young travelers on Emirates also receive specially designed colorful headphones for a better fit and improved sound quality.

To fuel a sense of wonder and imagination, Emirates has developed its own set of toys for children, which includes, Fly With Me Cuddle Buddy, a soft comfort blanket for infants, Fly With Me Animal Tin Cases with magnets and activity sheets for toddlers, and Fly With Me Lonely Planet Kids case for older children featuring a fold-out board game, spinner, ID holder, lanyard, gadget stand and pen.

Other attractions for children and infants on Emirates include priority boardings, special fares for those aged two to eleven years of age, and 10kg free baggage allowance for infants not occupying a seat.

Emirates Regional Manager West Africa, Afzal Parambil, concluded that “Emirates celebrates children beyond Children’s Day. On every Emirates flight, we clearly demonstrate the importance of children.”

Emirates flies 14 times a week from Lagos to Dubai (2 flights per day), and 4 times a week from Abuja to Dubai.

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Emirates Celebrates 15 Years of Service in Nigeria with a Brand Campaign


Emirates marked 15 years of successful operations in Nigeria with the launch of a pan-African brand advertising campaign that celebrated the talent and achievements of young Africans, taking the message of ‘New Africa’ to the world. Emirates paid tribute to a new generation of African disrupters who are making their mark globally across music, fashion, literature and the arts. The campaign included Nigeria’s very own Abiola Oke, CEO and Publisher of OkayAfrica – a digital media platform.

The airline commenced its operations to Nigeria 15 years ago with four flights per week to Lagos from Dubai, linked with Accra in Ghana and operated by the A330-200 aircraft.  The following year, Emirates increased its services from four to six flights a week, and following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005. The airline has seen a steady growth in operations, and on 1st January 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai. Emirates started its second daily service to Lagos in February 2009. It thereafter commenced its Abuja operations in 2014.

Since its first flight, Emirates has flown millions of passengers on the popular Nigerian route and has become the airline of choice for both premium and value-conscious Nigerian travelers. Emirates now operates a double daily service to Lagos with the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which offers eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

The Regional Manager West Africa, Afzal Parambil, “Emirates has enjoyed a strong relationship with Nigeria and remains deeply committed to the market. Over the past 15 years, we have not only seen our operations grow, but our product develops to cater to the taste and requirements of our Nigerian customers. We constantly strive to provide our passengers with unforgettable travel experience, and our growth is a testament to the fact that we are on the right track.”

Emirates SkyCargo also started operations in 2004 and has since carried 14,000 tonnes of mobile phones, garments and personal effects as imports, and has exported over 4,000 tonnes of fresh Kolanuts, beverages, and mobile phones.

In keeping with its onboard food philosophy to offer customers a menu that reflects both local flavours and international cuisine, Nigerian travellers can look forward to Nigerian favourites such as Jollof Rice, Beef Stew Porridge yam, Braised Chicken thighs, Rice with black-eyed beans, Fried plantain, Sautéed Spinach, Sweet Potato Mash, and Chicken stew. ‘ice’, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment has over 4,000 channels of on-demand entertainment, with a diverse mix of African and Nollywood films and music.

Emirates currently has a total of 158 destinations in 86 countries. It has about 271 operational aircrafts (258 passenger and 13 freighter aircrafts). The airline operates a double daily flight in Lagos, and four weekly flights to, Abuja which set to become daily from 1 June 2019.


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Emirates Celebrates The Spirit Of Africa With Latest Brand Campaign [VIDEOS]


Emirates has launched a pan-African brand advertising campaign that celebrates the talent and achievements of young Africans, taking the message of ‘New Africa’ to the world. The campaign also features an original music video produced by Kenyan musician and DJ Blinky Bill, inspired by contemporary African electronic club music.

Paying tribute to a new generation of African disrupters who are making their mark globally across music, fashion, literature and the arts, the campaign celebrates the cultural renaissance taking over Africa. The short films produced by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) for Emirates, tells the stories of unique individuals from different parts of the continent. Poised to become cultural ambassadors for Africa to the world, they share a common passion to bring their global exposure and influences to their own local journeys, as they discover what it means to be ‘home’.

“It is impossible to ignore the energy and talent coming out of Africa today, whether in music, fashion, sport or art. We’re seeing a greater awareness of a strong, proud African identity – while being very connected to a broad, global culture. We wanted to join the conversation and celebrate amazing, inspiring stories of people constantly pushing boundaries and challenging African stereotypes. To us, that is what travel is about, to find a common ground that helps us connect, to question, to be curious, and I believe this campaign does just that in taking Emirates closer to the heart of our audience in a way that is authentic,” said Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, Emirates.

Richard Pattinson, Head of BBC StoryWorks said, “This new series taps into the deep creative strength of the BBC to deliver a campaign that will capture the attention of our extensive and premium audiences in a way that no other publisher can.”

The series gives us a closer look at the inspiring stories of pioneers who represent today’s Africa.

Nairobi-based “Blinky” Bill Sellanga – Kenyan musician, producer and DJ is the embodiment of a renaissance in African music. As part of the Kenyan art and music collective ‘Just A Band’; he has been redefining the modern African musical identity and has performed his music all over Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.

Shanelle Nyasiase is a 21-year-old South Sudanese model who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Kenya. She had dreamt of becoming cabin crew but her journey took her to international catwalks in Milan and New York instead, where she has worked with some of the biggest international fashion brands.

Abiola Oke left New York and a career on Wall Street to return to his hometown Lagos, Nigeria, as the CEO and Publisher of OkayAfrica – a digital media platform – at the age of 31. His business is dedicated to African music, film, culture and entertainment.

The campaign also features an original song with energy-filled music and inspiring lyrics that reflects the beats of contemporary African electronic club music. Produced by Blinky Bill, the song has popular sounds and rhythms that are currently dominating the radio, blasting out of taxicabs and on the dancefloors across the continent. Music is a unifying language not just across Africa, but around the world, and the song does away with cultural clichés, instead celebrating the vibrant energy of contemporary Africa.

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Emirates rolls out first ever Africa brand campaign

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Emirates introduces entertainment playlist syncing ahead of travel for Nigerian Travellers

Customers can browse over 4,000 channels of entertainment on the Emirates app, create personalized playlists and sync selection to seat once on board.Emirates 2

Dubai, UAE, 28 January 2019 – Emirates has introduced an innovative new function on its app to allow Nigerian customers create bespoke playlists ahead of their flight and sync it to their seats once on board. Customers can plan their trip more effectively, and maximize their onboard experience by using the Emirates app to browse the expansive entertainment catalogue at any time.

ICE, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment has reached a new milestone of over 4,000 channels of on-demand entertainment. The catalogue includes over 1,000 movies, more than any other airline, popular television box sets, tens of thousands of music tracks, podcasts and games.

Nigerian Travellers can get to watch the highly celebrated Nollywood movie ‘The Royal Hibiscus Hotel’ (Nigeria), a romantic movie produced by the makers of the ‘Wedding Party’. The movie starred top Nollywood actors and actresses such as Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, and Jide Kosoko, amongst others. Similarly, they can get entertained with other African movies such as ‘Supa Modo’, Kenya’s 2019 Oscar submission in the Best Foreign Film category, ‘I Am Not A Witch’ (Zambia), ‘Farewell Ella Bella’ (South Africa), to mention but a few. For lovers of TV shows, they can enjoy ‘African laughs: Chinedu’, one of Africa’s comedy shows with funniest stand-up comedians.

Nigerian music playlists available on ice for the month of February include music by Fela Kuti, Davido’s ‘Son of Mercy EP’, WizKid’s ‘Sounds from the Other Side’, and Burna Boy’s ‘Outside’. Other African music to choose from are Dj Ganyani’s House Grooves, Best of Yvonne Chaka Chaka, African Pop Mix, and Diamond Platnumz’s A Boy from Tandale.

Travellers can sync their entertainment selections Aplo ahead of travel by first booking a flight on Emirates App, and then visit ‘My trips’ on the app to see what’s showing on ICE, after which they will be expected to scroll through thousands of movies, TV shows, music and podcasts, pick out their favourites, and add them to the playlist, and the playlist is ready to take him on board. The traveller will then be expected to connect to Wifi on board and pair his playlist with the seat back screen after which he enters the seat back number. That way, pairing is complete and so he can sit back and enjoy a personalized entertainment.

Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said: “In keeping with our ‘Fly Better’ promise, our teams work tirelessly to provide ever better world-class travel experiences. Every detail is carefully considered as we continually enhance and develop innovative products and services for our customers. This latest functionality on the Emirates app elevates the customer experience even before they step onto the aircraft. Our customers can now browse the unmatched content on offer and create personal entertainment playlists at their leisure, and once comfortably settled in their seats on board, they simply sync and press play.”

The syncing capability is currently available on over 100 Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft and will be made available progressively across the entire fleet, including A380 aircraft in the coming months.

With a global customer base, Emirates offers entertainment in 44 languages and each month over 100 movies are added to the system. Emirates ensures its youngest customers are catered for with a large selection of children’s movies and TV channels. In addition to over 75 Disney, Marvel, and children’s movies there are also over 50 TV channels, including Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, CBeebies & the Disney Channel.

ICE also features varied content such as Emirates’ own Food and Wine Channels giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at how it creates its onboard menus; expert-led LinkedIn Learning courses; as well as uTalk language courses offering lessons for beginners.

The Emirates app is a one-stop travel companion allowing customers to book flights, hotels, car rentals, tours and attractions. In addition to the ICE catalogue, travellers can browse through their flight menus and wine lists up to a month before the departure date.  The Emirates app also features 3D seat maps which allows customers to navigate the interior of the Emirates A380 and the Emirates Boeing 777 during seat selection, and explore the spacious cabin before they board.

The Emirates app is free to download on iOS or Android devices.

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