Africa: Tifa Travels launches first Lufthansa City Centre in Nigeria
It was a celebratory feat, and the atmosphere and mood at the Oba Akran, Ikeja, Lagos – based office of Tifa Travels looked the part. Same with most of the guests at the event last week, which was the formal commissioning of the office complex of Lufthansa City Centre (LCC), by Tifa Travel, the first ever in Nigeria.
Lufthansa City Centre is a global body for travel agencies and warehouses other service suppliers and inventories in the travel industry as well. With a presence in over 250 countries, including Kenya, Ghana and now Nigeria.
For the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tifa Travels, Mrs. Adelola Adewole, it was not just an epoch making event alone but also a dream come through for her and her team, as she had all along dream of having a global outlook in her operation and her affiliation to LCC provided just that.
According to her, having made the kind of impression and success in the Nigerian market, there was the need to reach out to the global market so as to consolidate on the gains that the agency has made over the years and push its agenda to the next level.
Therefore, having LCC, for her, is a perfect match as its vision, mission and commitment are in line with the core values of the travel agency. With recourse to the sincerity, efficiency, organisation and competency for which Lufthansa is known globally, she said Tifa Travel will operate in the same wave length and replicate the proverbial ‘German machine’ ethos of Lufthansa in all its operations.
‘‘We now have added – on value to pass on to our clients by joining LCC. It is to ensure that our clients get the best of products and services available in the global travel market,’’ said Mrs. Adewole, adding that ‘‘we now have a bigger family around the world and a global reach to available to our clients.’’
Of course, who wouldn’t crow over such a powerful reach with over 250 offices of LCC at your beck and call across the world? What this means she explained is that clients of Tifa Travels anywhere in the world were LCC affiliates are based are guaranteed first class products and services once they walk into any of the offices as clients of Tifa Travels Nigeria.
It is a thing of pride for Tifa Travels to be the first affiliate of LCC in Nigeria, she said, adding that it is a business expansion, which they have to build on as they are expected to have offices across the different operational bases of Lufthansa in Nigeria, which presently operates from Port Harcourt and Abuja beside Lagos.
For her, the only challenge that this business expansion poses is the fact that Tifa Travels will be expected to operate on the same level as Lufthansa, a journey she said Tifa Travels is quite prepared for.
‘‘It is an uncharted course but familiar as the challenge is that we must deliver service on the same level as Lufthansa,’’ she disclosed.
Speaking on the development, the Senior Business Development Manager of Lufthansa City Centre, Pablo Castro, who flew in from Spain to attend the event, it is an exciting moment and a thing of pride for him to come to Nigeria and have LCC makes its entry to the market.
According to him, LCC, which was birthed by Lufthansa in 1991 but now operates independent of the airline, has presence in over 94 countries. As a family of travel agencies, he said that the company was established to work with emerging countries and economies.
On the criteria for a travel agency to get affiliated with LCC, Castro said: “They must be International Air Transport Association (IATA) licensed, that is a priority and they must provide travel agency service, and this has to be approved by Lufthansa.”
He recommended Tifa Travels to the Nigerian market, explaining that with LCC as partner, Nigerians should expect the best of services delivered in a world class environment and culture as associated with Lufthansa’s culture of excellent service delivery.
Also, Castro revealed how elated he is and enamoured of Tifa Travel. ‘‘I am proud of them and what I have been finding out and wish them all the best as I am very confident that they will deliver on the culture of LCC and give confidence to the Nigerian travelling public.
The General Manager, Sales, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, Lufthansa Group, Mrs. Adenike Macaulay, also expressed the same sentiments as Castro, as she said she was delighted by the achievement of Tifa Travels as not all agencies can earn LCC’s affiliation within such a record time as they did.
‘‘We are proud to be commissioning Tifa Travels as the only LCC in Nigeria and proud to be extending what Lufthansa is known for; efficiency, integrity and excellent service culture,’’ said Mrs. Macaulay, adding that: ‘‘We look forward to a mutually benefiting collaboration with you.’’
Mr. Gregory Enahoro of Knightsbridge, who is one of the clients of Tifa Travels at the event, gave a good testimonial of the service record of the travel agency, describing it as one of the best in the country even as he scored it 98%, insisting that their knack for excellence service delivery is commendable.
He also commended the personal touch of Mrs. Adewole, saying that: ‘‘She is on top of her game and number one for us despite the fact that we have other agencies. I am going to score her 98%.
On the affiliation with LCC, Enahoro said it is a mark of Tifa Travels’ service differentiation and culture of excellence. ‘‘For you to partner with LCC, it means that they have seen something good in what you are doing despite the problems in our environment. I wish you all the best all the way and what you have been doing just keep it up.’’
By Andrew Iro Okungbowa