By Sade Williams
Air Peace has pledged seamless air travel with its project to connect more local, regional and international destinations.
The carrier gave the assurance yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State when its Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Chief Allen Onyema was conferred with the award of “Aviation Man of the Year 2016” by ATQnews and Akwaaba African Travel Market.
Speaking at the Rivers event tagged “Port Harcourt Bantaba”, Onyema said Air Peace was strengthening its fleet with Boeing 777 aircraft in preparation for the launch of its Guangzhou-China, Dubai, Mumbai, Atlanta, London and other long-haul routes.
He said the airline, which had added a Friday evening flight to its daily Lagos-Accra-Lagos route, would make Enugu the base of its Gwangzhou-China operations.
Air Peace, he said, had distinguished itself in the Nigerian aviation industry with its unrivalled on-time performance, safety and maintenance record.
Responding to a question on the ownership of the airline, the Air Peace boss dismissed insinuations that a former First Lady fondly referred to as “Mama Peace” had an interest in the carrier.
Onyema, who was represented by the airline’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Chris Iwarah, said Air Peace symbolised the effort of his organisation, the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) to promote peace in the country through the creation of gainful employment for thousands of converted militant agitators and other jobless Nigerians.
He insisted that efforts to set up the airline predated Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. Onyema explained that he was advised to set up an airline because of its capacity to create massive job opportunities for members of the society.
The Air Peace boss expressed gratitude to the organisers of the award for recognising his efforts to transform air travel experience in Nigeria and beyond, pledging to support the group in its programmes.
Also speaking, organiser of Port Harcourt Bantaba, Mr. Ikechi Uko said Onyema was chosen as the “Aviation Man of the Year 2016” for positioning Air Peace as Nigeria’s preferred airline and for expanding to Accra, Ghana.