World Food Day: Emirates SkyCargo maintains supply chains for food and other perishables during COVID-19

LAGOS, NIGERIA;  15 October 2020 – As the world marks this year’s World 
Food Day today October 16th 2020, themed, “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions are our future”, Emirates SkyCargo is proud to have maintained a supply chain for food and other perishables in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID-19 and the disruption to international passenger aviation, the supply chain for food products was put into risk of disruption. 
However, Emirates SkyCargo worked very quickly to restore its international cargo connectivity, growing its network from just around 35 destinations on its freighter aircraft at the end of March to more than 130 destinations by early October on its freighter as well as passenger aircraft. Currently around 500 tonnes of food items are transported every day in the cargo hold of Emirates aircraft across the world.

As a socially responsible carrier, Emirates SkyCargo has ensured that adequate cargo capacity remains available on its widebody aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic for the transport of urgent medical supplies as well as food items. By doing this, the air cargo carrier is able to help countries and supermarkets maintain their food supplies and at the same time help farmers reliant on food exports continue to make their livelihoods in these challenging times.

Consumers across the world have integrated international ingredients and produce into their daily diets for taste and nutritional reasons. 
Members of international diaspora also look for comfort food offerings from their home countries in supermarket shelves. With Emirates SkyCargo’s global network and flight 

schedule, food items from diverse 
origins retain their freshness as they are rapidly transported to their 
final destinations and the dining tables of consumers.

Emirates SkyCargo’s first freighter flight took off from Guadalajara, Mexico, on the 2nd of October, and the growth of export markets over the last decade has also provided a boost to farming communities and agriculture in the various production markets. Emirates SkyCargo’s flights provide a quick and direct connection for farmers and exporters of food items to their international end customers, thereby supporting their livelihoods and the local economy.

Call for Entries: APO Group African Women in Media Award to Recognise Support of Female Journalists for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Africa

The winner will be bestowed with USD 2,500 cash prize, and online courses from one of the most respected international universities

APO Group (APO-opa.com), the leading pan-African communications and business consultancy, presents the second annual APO Group African Women in Media Award set to recognise, celebrate and empower African women journalists who support female entrepreneurship in Africa.

The Award will be bestowed to the winner at the 6th Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum’s (AWIEF) (AWIEForum.org) Virtual Conference and Awards hosted on 2-3 December 2020, with the theme ‘Reimagining Business & Rebuilding Better.’

AWIEF’s prestigious annual event is a platform that sees global thought leaders, industry experts, policymakers, academics, development organisations and investors gather to dialogue, connect, network, share, collaborate and transact in a combined effort to boost Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem for women.

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Chairman and Founder of APO Group said, “The launch of our inaugural award in 2019 was successful in putting a spotlight on the work of female journalists sharing the stories of women entrepreneurs in Africa. We are proud to continue The APO Group African Women in Media Award as part of our commitment to supporting the development of journalism on the continent. We look forward to presenting this award with AWIEF in Johannesburg as we celebrate women in journalism and entrepreneurship.”

Entries for APO Group African Women in Media Award must offer valuable insights into African female entrepreneurs while appealing to a global audience.

The award is open to African woman journalists and bloggers, whether directly employed or freelancers, working in the continent of Africa who have produced a story that has been broadcast or published in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic in the form of a printed publication, a television feature, a radio story, a website or a blog whose primary audience is based in Africa.

Stories must have been broadcast or published between 1st January and 31st October 2020.

We look forward to presenting this award with AWIEF in Johannesburg as we celebrate women in journalism and entrepreneurship

Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.

All stories must be submitted in electronic format:

– Print: upload the scan(s) of the published article;

– Radio: upload the SoundCloud link;

– Website: upload the URL or

– TV: upload the YouTube link.

TV material must first be uploaded to YouTube (YouTube.com) and radio material to SoundCloud (SoundCloud.com). If one is not a member of these sites, one will need to sign up in order to upload the video or radio material. Once one has obtained the link, one must enter it in this online entry form when inputting one’s story details.

The online entry form is available here: http://bit.ly/APOaward

The deadline for entries is 31st October 2020. The finalists will be announced on 20th November 2020 while the winner will be announced on Thursday, 3 December 2020.1.  

About APO Group:
Founded in 2007, APO Group (APO-opa.com) is the leading pan-African communications and business consultancy. We assist private and public organisations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries across Africa. Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organisations to produce a real, measurable impact in Africa and beyond. The trust and recognition granted to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments, and NGOs inspires us to continuously enhance our value proposition within Africa to better cater to our clients’ needs. Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestlé, GE, Uber, Microsoft, Nokia, NBA, Canon, PwC, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Philips, Siemens, Standard Chartered, HP, Hilton, Ernst & Young, Orange.

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong.

For further information, please visit our website: APO-opa.com.

About AWIEF:
AWIEF (www.AWIEForum.org) is a pan-African women’s economic empowerment organisation that promotes and supports female innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across Africa through a portfolio of high impact programmes. AWIEF’s mission is to foster the economic inclusion, advancement and empowerment of women in Africa through entrepreneurship support and development. AWIEF’s programmes and activities include accelerators, capacity-building and training, networking and mentorship, AWIEF Awards, AWIEF Digital Hub, and building the AWIEF community of African women entrepreneurs. The year-round activities culminate in convening and hosting the popular and widely attended annual international and multi-stakeholder AWIEF conference, exhibition and awards event, currently in its fifth edition. Website: www.AWIEForum.org.

Delta Air Lines Announces September Quarter Financial Results

September quarter 2020 GAAP pre-tax loss of $6.9 billion and loss per share of $8.47 on total revenue of $3.1 billion

September quarter 2020 adjusted pre-tax loss of $2.6 billion and adjusted loss per share of $3.30 on adjusted revenue of $2.6 billion

Delta ended the September quarter 2020 with $21.6 billion in liquidity

ATLANTA, Oct. 13, 2020 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today reported financial results for the September quarter 2020. 

“While our September quarter results demonstrate the magnitude of the pandemic on our business, we have been  encouraged as more customers travel and we 

are seeing a path of progressive improvement in our revenues, financial results and daily cash burn,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.  “The actions we are taking now to take care of our people, simplify our fleet, improve the customer experience, and strengthen our brand will allow Delta to accelerate into a post-COVID recovery.”

September Quarter Financial Results  

Revenue Environment

Delta’s adjusted operating revenue of $2.6 billion for the September quarter was down 79 percent versus the September 2019 quarter as demand for air travel remains under significant pressure.  Passenger revenues declined 83 percent on 63 percent lower capacity.  Non-ticket revenue streams have performed relatively better than passenger revenues, with total loyalty revenues declining 60 percent and cargo declining 25 percent.

“With a slow and steady build in demand, we are restoring flying to meet our customers’ needs, while staying nimble with our capacity in light of COVID-19,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.  “While it may be two years or more until we see a normalized revenue environment, by restoring customer confidence in travel and building customer loyalty now, we are creating the foundation for sustainable future revenue growth.”

Setting the Foundation for Recovery

Delta has taken a number of actions to position the company to accelerate into a post-COVID recovery:

Taking great care of Delta people

  • Through the voluntary separation and early 
  • retirement programs, voluntary unpaid leaves, job sharing and other initiatives, the company has been able to avoid involuntary furloughs for ground and flight attendant employees
  • Launching a “Stop the Spread.  Save Lives.” campaign to emphasize the six core health actions that protect Delta employees against COVID-19, including wearing masks, social distancing, testing and getting a flu shot.  Delta is providing no-cost COVID-19 testing and flu shots for its U.S. employees  

Improving the customer experience

  • Emphasizing health and safety with the Delta CareStandard, a multi-layered approach that includes intense cleaning protocols, blocking middle seats and requiring masks onboard all aircraft
  • Reducing complexity for customers by eliminating change fees for nearly all domestic fares and redeposit/reissuance fees on domestic reward tickets for SkyMiles Members
  • Taking a customer-centric approach to refunds, with approximately $2.8 billion returned to customers year-to-date.

Simplifying the fleet

  • Restructuring its Airbus and CRJ aircraft order books to better match the timing of aircraft deliveries with network and financial needs over the next several years.  The restructuring reduces aircraft purchase commitments by more than $2 billion in 2020 and by more than $5 billion through 2022
  • Accelerating its fleet simplification strategy, which is intended to modernize and streamline the company’s fleet, enhance the customer experience and generate cost savings.  The company has announced plans to accelerate retirements of nearly 400 aircraft by 2025, including more than 200 in 2020.

I

Cost Performance

Total adjusted operating expense for the September quarter decreased $5.5 billion or 52 percent versus the prior year quarter excluding $3.1 billion in charges related to the voluntary separation and early retirement programs for employees, $2.2 billion in restructuring charges from fleet-related decisions, and a $1.3 billion CARES Act benefit.  This performance was driven by a $1.8 billion or 78 percent reduction in fuel expense, a 75 percent reduction in maintenance expense from parking or retiring nearly 40 percent of mainline aircraft and lower volume- and revenue-related expenses.  Salaries and benefits expense was down 32 percent as a result of approximately 18,000 employees electing to depart the company in addition to benefits from voluntary unpaid leaves, work hour reductions and other initiatives.

Non-operating expense for the quarter was $349 million higher versus the prior year quarter, driven primarily by $221 million in higher interest expense from increased debt levels the company has incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our results this quarter were underpinned by a strong focus on costs, as we reduced adjusted operating expenses by more than 50 percent, similar to the June quarter, despite flying 23 points more capacity,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer.  “That cost focus allowed the increase we’ve seen in net sales to flow directly into an improvement in our daily cash burn, which improved from $27 million per day in June to $18 million per day in September.”

Balance Sheet, Cash and Liquidity

Delta ended the September quarter with $21.6 billion in liquidity.  Cash used in operations during the quarter was $2.6 billion.  Daily cash burn averaged $24 million for the quarter, with an average of $18 million for the month of September. 

At the end of the September quarter, the company had total debt and finance lease obligations of $34.9 billion with adjusted net debt of $17.0 billion, $6.5 billion higher than December 31, 2019.  In September, Delta completed the largest debt offering in aviation history, raising $9.0 billion at a blended average rate of 4.75 percent secured by its SkyMiles loyalty program.  In addition, the company borrowed $1.5 billion at a blended yield of 4.4 percent in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, that will be used to finance the LaGuardia airport project.  Thecompany’s total debt had a weighted average interest rate of 4.3 percent at September 30, 2020.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the company repaid the $3 billion, 364-day term loan that it entered into in March, increasing its unencumbered asset base to $9 to $10 billion of aircraft, engines and spare parts and reducing remaining debt amortization and maturities to $2.3 billion through the end of 2021.  The company also repaid $2.6 billion under its revolving credit facilities drawn down in March 2020.

At the end of the September quarter, the company’s Air Traffic Liability stood at $4.6 billion, including a current liability of $4.4 billion and a non-current liability of $0.2 billion.  The non-current liability represents the current estimate of tickets to be flown, as well as credits to be used, beyond one year.  Travel credits represent approximately 60 percent of the Air Traffic Liability at the end of the September quarter.

CARES Act Accounting, Fleet Restructuring and Voluntary Separation and Early Retirement Program Charges

In the September quarter, the company received $701 million under the payroll support program (PSP) of the CARES Act, consisting of $491 million in additional grant funds and a $210 million increase in the low-interest, unsecured 10-year loan.  The September quarter amount includes an incremental $157 million beyond the initial $5.4 billion Delta was allocated in April 2020.  In the September quarter, approximately $1.3 billion of the grant was recognized as a contra-expense, which is reflected as “CARES Act grant recognition” on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.  The company expects to use the remaining proceeds from the PSP by the end of 2020. 

During the September quarter, the company made the decision to retire its 717-200 fleet and the remainder of its 767-300ER fleet by 2025 and its CRJ-200 fleet by 2023.  As a result of these decisions, the company recorded $2.2 billion in fleet-related charges, which are reflected in “Restructuring charges” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations. 

The company offered voluntary separation and early retirement programs to employees during the September quarter.  Approximately 18,000 employees participated in the programs, with most leaving the company August 1, resulting in a $3.1 billion restructuring charge in the September quarter, which 

is reflected in “Restructuring charges” on the Consolidated Statement of Operations.  Cash payments in connection with these programs totaled $813 million in the September quarter, and these payments are excluded from daily cash burn figures.  The company anticipates an additional $150 to $250 million in cash payments in the December quarter, $600 million in 2021 and the remaining payments in 2022 and beyond.

September Quarter Results

September quarter results have been adjusted primarily for the CARES Act grant recognition and restructuring charges described above.


SAHCO INTRODUCES ANKARA UNIFORM FOR OPERATIONAL STAFF, BUILDS SANITISING STATION

Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) PLC has introduced a branded ankara uniform for its frontline operations staff.

The introduction of the ankara patterned uniform is to showcase the Nigerian culture to the world through the company’s day to day operations.  As an indigenous company with a global soul that was an arm of the Nigerian Airways before it was acquired by SIFAX Group and now listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange with an all Nigerian top Executives, SAHCO has always been proud to showcase Nigerian culture to the world through quality services to clients. More so, the introduction of the Ankara uniforms coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the existence of Nigeria as a country

The new uniform’s theme is a fusion of abstract shapes of orange and dark grey which is SAHCO’s brand colours all incorporated in a Nigerian themed Ankara design. These uniforms will help create more awareness about SAHCO’s brand while also promoting the Nigerian culture since the first point of contact to SAHCO as a company is usually through the front-line staff.

SAHCO is the first Ground Handling company to adopt Ankara design uniform. The focus of the uniform is not to change the ones used by operations staff, but to have an additional uniform that aims at projecting the “Buy Nigeriato Grow the Naira” slogan and to promote the Nigerian cultural heritage and pride.

For clarity’s sake, SAHCO is not changing the officialuniform, but the company is giving operational staff a different option for their convenience and comfort, using our indigenous Ankara fabrics.

In another development, SAHCO has produced a Contactless sanitizing station in a bid to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic to all visitors to SAHCO’s facilities.  The sanitizing station which was constructed from locally sourced materials is fitted with a speech sensor system that senses human presence after which it automatically plays Covid-19 educational information to the hearings of users.  The sanitizing machine is contactless and fitted with different compartments- running water, liquid soap, alcohol base hand sanitizer, wipes, hand dryer and waste-bin. All these are controlled with pedals so as to prevent contacts by multiple users.

Furthermore, the station is solar powered in a bid to promote green energy. It is worthy to note that this is not the first equipment that has been produced by the Engineering and Maintenance team of SAHCO, not too long ago, the team produced a fuel bowser that is used to fuel Ground Support Equipment on the ramp and they have also produced baggage carts, all from locally sourced materials.

SAHCO PLC has been adjudged as a pace setter in providing Ground Handling services across West Africansubregion, this is as a result of SAHCO’s continuous innovations, through human and technology to provide speedy, safe and efficient Ground Handling to all its clients 

NIGERIA TO BENEFIT AS UK ANNOUNCES COVID-19 RESEARCH SUPPORT WITH TWENTY NEW INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS.

UK government invests £7.2 million in 20 new research projects to address the impact of Covid-19 in vulnerable communities• Projects include delivering mass vaccination capacity in Bangladesh, protective equipment for refugees in Jordan and remote healthcare access for patients in Nigeria  

On September 5th, 2020, the UK government announced its continued support of vulnerable communities through the impact and challenges of CoVID-19 with funding in areas of research and technology.

In partnership with some of the UK’s leading research institutions, twenty new projects will benefit from a share of £7.2 million of UK government funding to develop new technology and processes to address challenges.

Some of the projects announced today include:• The University of Birmingham, working with BracUniversity and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology will lead a project to increase vaccine access in developing economies, by researching more effective ways of storing and transporting vaccines from manufacture to the point of use. Weak supply chains with inconsistent temperature control can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines by up to 25 per cent, so this vital project will help fast track Covid-19 vaccine delivery.• King’s College London will lead a training programme for healthcare workers across Nigeria and Tanzania enabling them to deliver trusted and safe care to patients over the phone where internet availability is limited. Trials will involve 20 health clinics in each country to test the effectiveness of remote health appointments, recommended by the World Health Organization during the pandemic, to help minimise physical contact that could spread the virus. King’s College London will work with University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Makerere University, Uganda; and St Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania.• The University of Bath and the University of Lagos aim to address the issue of limited Covid-19 testing capacity in Africa by leading a project to measure the disease in domestic wastewater, which can help reveal the health status of a population. By studying wastewater, real time information about infection prevalence across South Africa and Nigeria can be accessed, enabling rapid identification of Covid-19 hot spots, and helping to shape decisions around entry and exit from ‘lockdown’ periods.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

Defeating coronavirus is a truly global endeavour, which is why we’re backing Britain’s scientists and researchers to work with their international counterparts to find tech solutions to treat and combat this virus around the world.

“The research projects we are backing today will ensure that we equip some of the most vulnerable communities with the resources they need to tackle Covid-19 and build their long-term resilience to respond to future pandemics, making us all safer.”

Other projects receiving funding include:• The University of Oxford will work with the University of Cape Town to develop a parental advice app for families affected by COVID- 19 school closures across Africa;• Birmingham City University will partner with Lusaka and Ndola Colleges of Nursing to help improve the clinical decision making of nurses in Zambia, helping to free up their time and prevent healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed;• The University of Sheffield will work with the UN Refugee Agency to make personal protective equipment with digital and 3D printing for Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, home to approximately 80,000 Syrian refugees, helping to protect those living in crowded conditions that are most vulnerable to the virus; and• The University of Edinburgh will work with the Open University of Tanzania to identify measures to make voting safer and more secure in African elections to promote social distancing and to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Professor Andrew Thompson, International Champion, UK Research and Innovation said

Covid-19 is demonstrating how the world’s biggest problems transcend rich and poor countries. To find lasting, sustainable solutions to help us all during this current pandemic as well as to make us all more resilient for the future, we require global thinking, the mobilisation of global expertise and a global response. That is exactly what these new projects provide. 

“Working together, researchers in the UK and across the Global South will combine their knowledge and experience to develop innovative solutions to help empower local communities to overcome the wide-ranging challenges created by Covid.”

The funding follows the launch of the government’s ambitious R&D Roadmap in July, which committed to boosting international collaboration in research and development and establishing global scientific partnerships that will create health, social and economic benefits across the world.

It will be managed by UK aid programmes- the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund- through UK Research and Innovation

Emirates resumes flights to Lagos and Abuja.

Lagos, 6 September 2020 – Emirates flights to Nigeria will resume this week. Passenger services to Lagos will start again on 7 September and daily flights to Abuja from 9 September. The resumption of flights to both Nigerian cities takes Emirates’ African network to 13 destinations, as the airline works hard to help its customers travel safely and confidently, implementing industry-leading health and safety measures at all points of the travel journey.
Flights to Lagos will operate four times a week on Monday, Wednesday,
Friday and Sunday. Flights to/from Abuja will operate daily.
Passengers travelling from both cities in Nigeria to the Americas,Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific can enjoy safe and convenient connections via Dubai, and customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors.
To ensure the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai is one of the most popular global destinations. In 2019, the city welcomed 16.7 million visitors and hosted over hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events. Dubai was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.  Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket by 30 September 2020 for travel on or before 30 November 2020, can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options, if they have to change their travel plans due to unexpected flight or travel restrictions relating to COVID-19, or when they book a Flex or Flex plus fare. Customers can also now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 October 2020 and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination.
Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to all customers.

Five ways Delta is keeping lavatories safe and clean for you

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available near boarding doors and lavatories on every Delta aircraft – a first for U.S. airlines 
  • Dispensers developed in partnership with Delta Flight Products
  • Builds on extensive layers of protection from curb to claim as part of the Delta CareStandard

Cleanliness across travel and particularly in airplane lavatories is of utmost importance, especially in the COVID-19 era, but Delta customers can rest easy.  

“Over the past few months, our customer satisfaction scores have skyrocketed by double digits, including those for onboard lavatory cleanliness,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “But that’s not stopping us from going even further to make sure customers feel safe and comfortable when they travel with Delta.” 

Here are five ways we are keeping lavatories – and the rest of your onboard experience – safe, clean and comfortable on every flight, with even more enhancements to come:

1.    Hand sanitizer stations are coming to your flight soon: Delta will become the first U.S. airline* where customers can find hand sanitizer stations near the boarding door and bathrooms on every Delta aircraft. Now, you’ll truly never be more than a few feet away from hand sanitizer, with stations available from curb to claim. 

Depending on the size of the aircraft and the number of customers, each Delta aircraft will have up to five hand sanitizer stations. Installations begin on Aug. 28 with the Boeing 757-200 fleet.

2.    Flight attendants are wiping down high-touch surfaces in lavatories frequently during each flight: While in the air, flight attendants regularly make sure lavatories are clean, tidy, fully stocked with supplies and ready for customers. Using kits that include disinfectant spray, wipes and gloves, flight attendants ensure the thorough sanitization completed prior to boarding stays fresh.

3.    Look out for hands-free features already in many lavatories: Bathrooms on Delta’s A350s, A330-900neos, 767-400s and 757-200s already have some hands-free features such as touchless faucets, flush levers and waste lids. As we continue to look for more ways to reduce touch points, we’ll be exploring how we can bring touchless features forward throughout the travel experience.

4.    Hand-washing reminders will be in each lavatory: Already installed on more than 130 planes, all aircraft bathrooms will soon feature hand-washing reminders.

5.    We will continue to use electrostatic sprayers before every flight, every day:Every interior surface is thoroughly sanitized prior to boarding using electrostatic sprayers. Following this process, cleaning crews complete an extensive checklist of cleaning procedures using this same high-grade disinfectant to wipe down personal and common areas of the cabin – including lavatories. Our employees then perform spot checks throughout the aircraft and if it doesn’t meet their high standards before you board, our teams are encouraged to hold the flight to call back the cleaning crew.

Delta and Delta Flight Products developed the new hand sanitizer stations 

The new hand sanitizer stations were designed in partnership with Delta Flight Products – the airline’s innovative industrial manufacturing subsidiary that quickly shifted its capabilities earlier in the year to focus on responding to the pandemic. In June, Delta and Delta Flight Products teams went to work to find ways to make hand sanitizer accessible and available on board. They quickly created, tested, refined and certified the units you’ll experience on the plane – complete with PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer. Since the pandemic started, DFP has also manufactured face shields for medical professionals, developed plexiglass safety barriers in use across Delta touch points and worked with Delta TechOps to produce a military transport pod for the U.S. Air Force.

Delta’s new Global Cleanliness Division is working with teams across the airline and with partners to advance safety and cleanliness throughout travel. For example, Delta’s partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol®, will inform the development of future disinfecting solutions and protocols for both the airport and onboard experience, and the lavatory is one of the team’s first areas of focus. 
Building on Delta’s already robust onboard cleanliness efforts as part of the Delta CareStandard, these new, industry-leading cleanliness features create a safer, more comfortable onboard experience for customers and employees alike. From blocking middle seats into January 2021 to changing high-grade HEPA air filters twice as often as recommended, the airline is constantly updating best practices and improving the new standard of care based on expert medical advice and the feedback of customers. Using the same innovative spirit we’re known for, we continue to evolve, always with cleanliness and safety top of mind.

Learn more about the Delta CareStandardand Delta’s health and safety protocols.

POTBELLY, WHAT IS IT?

Potbelly is the word used to describe obesity of the trunk or central abdominal region. The Merriam-Webster definition of potbelly is an enlarged, swollen, or protruding abdomen. Previously, this used to be common among people in the older age group. However in recent times it has been observed that younger men, women and even children are not left out. What is causing the trend? Why should this be a bother to anyone?Potbelly people are often thought to be cheerful. In fact, an African proverb says an elderly person who does not have a protruding tummy must be miserly.

Potbelly is due to the large fat deposit in the abdomen; it may be just underneath the skin of the abdomen, or on the organs contained in the abdomen, the intestines, liver, kidneys and pancreas. The latter will mean that the blood supply to the affected visceral will be compromised leading to organmalfunction and possibly failure.

The standard measurement of potbelly is by using the waist to hip ratio (WHR). That is the circumference of the waist taken at the level the navel, divided by the value of the circumference of the hip. Typically, the WHR for men is less than 0.9 and women,less than 0.85. When the WHR is greater than 1.0 in men or greater than 0.9 in women, we say there is abdominal obesity.

Causes of potbelly.• Diet – the number one cause of potbelly is negative energy balance; that is eating more food than your body can expend at a particular time.• Age – with increasing age, typically over 30 years, and metabolism has slowed to a significant level, such that food takes a longer time to digest and are therefore converted to fat.• High consumption of fat laden red meat and offal.• High alcohol consumption. Potbelly in some climes is also known as Beer belly. Alcohol has a high caloric value thatis not useful to the body. 500mls beer contains 170 calories. Coupled with the fact that beer is often taken with such things as fried meat or fish, pepper soup, nkwobi (an assorted meat delicacy), barbecue and so on. These tend to reduce the likelihood of getting drunk as they slow metabolism. So more beer, more meat cycle.• Prolong sitting. When you sit for a long time at a stretch working on the computer, watching a movie, or idling away, this causes the body to produce high levels of cortisol resulting in truncal obesity.• Hormones – in the period before menopause under the influence of Oestrogen, fat is deposited at the hips, the thighs and the buttocks. As the oestrogen levels fall at menopause, it is now deposited in the lower abdomen. In the same vein, as the male hormone testosterone levels reduce, the fat deposit in the visceral increases.• Lack of or infrequent exercise.• Chronic stress, over time causes the body levels of cortisol to rise. The use of high levels of extraneous corticosteroidsover a long period will also have the same effect.• Inadequate sleep.

What are the effects of potbelly?1. Potbelly have been associated with, heart disease, hypertension and its attendant complications.2. Insulin resistance when the body cells fail to respond to the hormone insulin and type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Excess fat secrete the hormone adipokines which is responsible for impaired glucose tolerance.3. When asthmatics are also obese, they tend not to do well. The total lung volume is reduced due to the increased abdominal size, thus restricting the lung movement, makes the muscle tighter and narrows the airway, resulting in small volume inhalation at a time.4. Dyslipidaemia, this is an abnormally elevated fat levels in the blood. Increasing chances of clogged arteries, heart attacks, and stroke or blood circulatory issues.5. Osteoarthritis of the knee due to the heavy weight the knee bears.6. Postural defects and low back pains.

What to do?

Abdominal obesity is something that is developed over a period of time. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix solution to this problem. We shall have to go step by step to sort this as it was developed. This information may be timely for some of us. An easy way is to look at it as fibre, fitness and healthy fat. The aim is to lose about an inch or two in the waist line over a period of about 6 months.• Be involved in regular low to moderate intensity exercise about 3 to 4 times weekly this may include weight lifting to help build underlying muscles and burn unwanted fat.• Work on your diet. Try taking small portions of healthy meals every 3 to 4 hourly instead of three heavy meals per day. Meals should consist of foods grown by plants not those manufactured in plants. Thus, we should minimize our intake of processed food. Aim at reversing the energy imbalance. So diet should include high protein, high soluble fibres like vegetables (spinach, green leafy veggies, carrot, and pumpkin) fruits (citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, apples, bananas) and beans.• Consume healthy polyunsaturated fats as can be obtained from fatty fish, rich in omega 3 fatty acids like mackerels, salmon, tuna, herring, seeds and nuts. This helps to burn unwanted fat.• Use plant based oil for cooking.• Avoid eating fast food, as they are often loaded with trans-fat; endeavour to have home cooked meals often.• Avoid heavy, fatty meals late at nights, your body system need to shut down from working at night.• Avoid red meat and offal they are rich in saturated fat.• Avoid prolong sitting. Find a reason to move around after sitting for an hour or so.• Reduce alcoholic beverage intake to social drinking levels.• Work at reducing stress levels. We can build our resilience by the support system we form around us, being aware and grateful for our small wins. Finding relief in humour, it is said the laughter is the best medicine but being able to laugh at the silly things you had done is even better. Spending time in relaxation, walk in nature, meditation and spirituality. Remember, even that mighty challenge has an expiry date.• The final benefit will be a slimmer, trimmer and healthieryou.

Delta brings back more flights across the Atlantic this winter and summer 2021


As Delta works to restart service in line with the lifting of travel restrictions, potential vaccine availability and the gradual return of demand, customers will see more trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights to top business and leisure destinations for the winter 2020-2021 and summer 2021 seasons. While the airline expects pre-COVID level recovery for international flying tocontinue to lag U.S. domestic, Delta plans to add over 50 transoceanic flights next summer, compared to the summer 2020 schedule.

Delta will focus its strengths in its core markets and with the support of its partners, offer customers a wide array of onward connections.

“While significant hurdles remain in the global fight against the pandemic, we are ready to connect customers to the people, places, opportunities and experiences they’re longing for,” said Joe Esposito, S.V.P. – Network Planning. “Customers flying internationally can look forward to a modernized fleet featuring our latest cabin products and a travel experience that prioritizes their health and the health of our employees from check-in to baggage claim.”

As customers consider future travel, whether international or domestic, Delta’s multi-layered approach to their health and safety ensures peace of mind throughout the travel journey. These include, but are not limited to:• Sanitizing all aircraft with electrostatic spraying before departure and extensive pre-flight disinfection of high-touch points throughout the aircraft interior.• Using state-of-the-art air circulation systems with HEPA filters that extract more than 99.99% of particles, including viruses. • Blocking all middle seats and limiting the number of customers per flight through Jan. 6, 2021.• Requiring face masks throughout the airport, in Delta Sky Clubs and on board the aircraft

Delta’s partners have also introduced measures to ensure that customers enjoy a hassle-free, seamless and safe experience from start to finish, with regular updates posted on their websites as service returns.  

Delta will operate the adjusted schedule with a more efficient, upgraded fleet of Airbus A350-900s, A330-900neos andrefurbished Boeing 767s, following the retirement of its Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of October 2020.

Customers can also enjoy greater flexibility in case their plans change, as Delta has extended its change-fee waiver for new flights purchased through Sept. 30, 2020.

Delta’s schedule remains subject to change due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, customer demand, government travel regulations and federal health guidelines. Specific restart dates may vary for previously suspended routes due to travel restrictions and other operational requirements. Delta will make decisions about resuming additional service on other routes at a later date.

Trans-Pacific Schedule 

Delta is maintaining its global presence and investment in Seattle (SEA) over the next year, which continues to be a premier gateway for travel to Asia. Continued daily service next year from Sea-Tac to Tokyo-Haneda (HND), Seoul-Incheon(ICN), Beijing (BJS), and Shanghai (PVG) will allow customers to connect further within the region through Delta’s partners, Korean Air and China Eastern.

With the opening of the new international arrivals facility at SEA, Delta will offer an entirely upgraded experience for local and connecting customers with direct or one-stop partner access to over 95% of Asia markets. Customers traveling from Seattleto any destination the airline serves in Asia will enjoy an enhanced experience on efficient, next-generation aircraft featuring the award-winning Delta One suites and the popular Delta Premium Select cabin.

At Delta’s partner hub at ICN, customers can connect on Delta’s current flights from Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW) and Seattle to over 70 destinations throughout Asia via partner Korean Air. In April 2021, Delta plans to return to service between Minneapolis(MSP) and Seoul-Incheon.

Delta also remains committed to the Japan market and by summer 2021, will offer service from seven U.S. cities to Haneda, Tokyo’s closest and most convenient airport. Currently, the airline offers up to 14 weekly flights across its Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle gateways. Beginning in December 2020, Delta plans to add up to four-times weekly services between Haneda and Honolulu (HNL).

Between the U.S. and China, Delta is working closely with governments in both countries to increase service in response to high demand. Currently, Delta operates four weekly flights to Shanghai (PVG) from Detroit and Seattle. Subject to approval, the airline plans to increase service between these destinations. In summer 2021, Delta hopes to operate daily service between Shanghai and Detroit, Seattle and Los Angeles, plus daily service connecting Sea-Tac with Beijing’s new Daxing Airport, subject to government approval.

To Australia, Delta plans to maintain a minimum of thrice-weekly service between Los Angeles and Sydney (SYD) before resuming daily service in 2021. The flight will be operated on Airbus 350-900 aircraft beginning in November, which offers more luxury and comfort with the Delta One suite, Delta Premium Select cabin, large in-flight entertainment screens and more personal space.

Trans-Atlantic Schedule

As travel restrictions lift and Delta begins to restore its global network, the airline plans to increase flying in the trans-Atlantic market from winter 2020-2021 to summer 2021.

Between September and October, Delta will resume service to several major business and leisure markets, including a buildup at its hub in New York-JFK.

Delta will resume Atlanta – Lagos*(LOS) – subject to Nigerian government approval for resumption of international flights operation.

In September Delta will resume:• Boston – London-Heathrow (LHR)• New York-JFK – Accra* (ACC)• New York-JFK – Barcelona (BCN)• New York-JFK – Madrid (MAD)• New York-JFK – Rome (FCO)

In October, Delta will add: • New York-JFK – Brussels (BRU)• New York-JFK – Dublin (DUB• New York-JFK – Frankfurt (FRA)• New York-JFK – Zurich (ZRH)• Seattle – Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)

Service between Boston and Paris will return in November.

Following this resumption of service in the fall, Delta expects tomaintain a similar schedule across the Atlantic through winter 2021.

Moving into next summer, Delta will expand its hub-to-hub flying between the U.S. and Europe, offering nonstop daily service to Amsterdam (AMS), Paris and London-Heathrow from Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, New York-JFK and Minneapolis. From Seattle and Salt Lake City, customers will have nonstop daily access to Amsterdam and Paris. Delta’s LAX hub will offer nonstop service to Paris. This expansion also marks a restart of trans-Atlantic service for L.A., Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.

Additionally, Delta will add back service to Paris from our focus cities Cincinnati (CVG) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU), as well as service to Amsterdam from Portland (PDX).

From AMS, CDG or LHR, customers will then have access to over 160 destinations throughout the region via partners Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM.

Delta remains committed to ensuring customers benefit from easy access across the pond through its key hubs in ATL, BOS and JFK. By next summer, customers traveling through JFK will have direct access to six more seasonal destinations popular with leisure travelers. Delta will also resume popular vacation spots from Atlanta, such as Barcelona, Dublin, Rome and Madrid. Service from Boston to Paris, London-Heathrow and Dublin will increase to daily.

IT’S CRITICAL TO ELIMINATE BUREAUCRATIC DELAYS IN CARGO CLEARANCE – Comptroller MUSA MBA, Customs Area Controller of Tincan Island Port Area Command.

The severity of the negative impact of the global pandemic called Corona Virus and otherwise known as Covid-19 on all facets of the world cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, and very worrisome too, the virus has continued to spread across the world with more than 12.7million confirmed cases in 188 Countries and more than 560,000 deaths as at Sunday 12 July, 2020. Since a potent cure has not been found for the virusyet, and it seems that we might be living with the virus for a while, we at IWA decided to go into the market to find out from market leaders how they plan to cope with the new normal occasioned by the pandemic. IWA, paid a visit to the Customs Area Controller of Tincan Island Port Area Command, Comptroller Musa MBA, below is an extract of the interview we had with him:

IWA: Sir, how do you intend to steer the ship of this area command to successfully cope with the negative impact of the Corona Virus?

MUSA: It is obvious that with the advent of this ravaging Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, what we knew and had accepted as normal are fast giving way to a new yet very fluid normal that for the moment changes on a daily basis. We are clearly in a transitory state, coping with the COVID-19 crisis, which has continued to adversely disrupt all the facets of our lives – health, economy, education, government, businesses, social order, religion, etc. It is an unusual situation and as a frontline government regulatory agency vested with the responsibility of facilitating trade and collecting revenue among other statutory functions operating in the midst of these uncertain times, having first-hand clear knowledge and understanding of the pandemic from health experts is imperative to safeguard lives and livelihoods. It is for this reason, that apart from the efforts we have continued to make at the area command level and zonal office, the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), led by Colonel Hammed Ali (RTD), had right from the start ensured that all officers and men of the service have first-hand knowledge and understanding of the pandemic. Like in most other countries, the first major response of the Nigerian government to the pandemic was to lockdown the nation, for the people to stay at home and maintain safe distance to prevent the spread of this infectious disease. As you know officers working in the ports, were exempted from the lockdown because we provide what the Government categorized as essential services.  

Luckily, some aspects of cargo clearance procedures were already being done remotely. For example, with the aid of NICIS II software recently approved by the Comptroller General of Customs, submission of e-manifest, submission of e-declaration, generation of assessment, online/e-payments (banks). E-release for transactions that are selected green, e-terminal release and e-exit of cargo are being done seamlessly. In addition, other procedures like fast track, transit and free trade consignments were moved to owner’s premises, terminals and zones respectively for other inspection protocols to be done there and so it has been easy to minimize human contacts without unnecessarily upsetting our operations in this area command. Essential imports are given expeditious treatment and release as officers of certain categories alternated duties, while the use of face masks, sanitizers, physical distancing are enforced in providing and maintaining a safe and conducive work environment. 

IWA: Are there things that you were already doing in your area command before now that are likely to come in handy in the new normal? 

MUSA: The Nigeria Customs Service is a member of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) which is the umbrella body of all Customs Administrations around the world. As I have enumerated in my answer to your first question, most of WCO’s conventions, for example, the Revised Kyoto Conference, or the ‘Arusha Declaration’ of the WCO are meant to achieve best practices, transparency, harmonization, integrity, speedy clearance of goods, fast track, risk management-based operations etc. Specifically, most of the trade facilitation innovations like transmission of e-manifest, e-declaration and e-payments are in line with the new normal, as they make for reduction in human to human contact, thus making keeping of safe distance, easy.

IWA: What are the strategies you consider necessary for you to deploy to successfully cope with the new normal?

MUSA: Essentially, we are aware that we need to be more innovative and creative in our operations. Like the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. So, the necessity to live with the new normal requires us to take a complete assessment of our processes and procedures with a view of identifying existing gaps and fixing them. One critical area that we want to quickly fix, is to reduce or completely eliminate bureaucratic delays and focus on facilitating speedy clearance of cargoes from this area command. It is very apparent that we need to find a way of working more remotely, the era of crowding or staying long hours in the office is over. The focus now is to speed up operations in the ports and swiftly solve problems, which is why I think government and terminal operators need to urgently invest in the provision of scanners at all entry points for scanning of cargos, I believe this will be a worthwhile investment in the short and long run. It is also necessary to automate some aspects of vehicle clearance like the issuance of ex-factory values for used vehicles such that the declarant can submit declarations online and officers will only need to login and do the verification accordingly, create flexible and shorter supply chains with more and prompt value additions, use of trade free zone for production of essential products like pharmaceutical drugs and related items to reduce contact and work with businesses as partners to create value.

IWA: What are the likely challenges you think you may face in trying to build a new normal survival mechanism and how best do you intend to cope with them, get round them or overcome them?

MUSA: At a time like this, which is full of uncertainties and eventualities, it is important to generally develop the capacity to take on challenges and forge ahead. Therefore, I am essentially building confidence in my officers and men to stabilize the workplace and ensure that our primary responsibilities which are essentially facilitation of trade, revenue collection and suppression of smuggling are successfully carried out. We have also developed a robust infrastructure for the deployment of appropriate risk management tools/system capable of handling the transactions, guarding against cyber-attacks, manage the work force effectively by bringing them back to workplace and creating a sense of belonging, common purpose, shared responsibilities and some sort of re-assurance of safety and livelihood to officers and stakeholders.

IWA: What are the low hanging fruits to harvest in the new way we have started to do things because of the impact of the Corona Virus or everything is all bad?

MUSA: ironically, the ‘new normal’, has helped us to believemore in and deploy Information and communication technology (ICT), than we use to in our operations. I must say that we have had to continue to fine tune our operations along the way as we now more than ever constantly and carefully examine our operations. As an area command, the ‘new normal’, has made us improve substantially on the safety protocols of our officers and men. It has also helped us to have a cleaner working environment. Other “fruits” are deployment of efficient software for quality operations, increased transparency and harmonization and faster turnaround in the long run.