…as Onyema says Int’l operations will end fare disparity for Nigerian travellers
Posted by Sade Williams
Air Peace, on Friday began flight services between Lagos and Dubai, via Sharjah as the airline recorded over 80% load factor on the route.
The airline, which opened its check-in counters to passengers at about 4.p.m, had a brief ceremony to mark the inaugural flight.
One of the passengers, Akinloye Layide, said he was happy to travel with a Nigerian airline to the United Arabs Emirates.
A first time traveller, he said that though, he had wanted to book another foreign carrier but changed his mind because of his ‘loyalty to Nigerian companies and products’
“I am travelling for the first time and I prefer to try things that are Nigerian, they also have lo fares too apart from some other incentives. So, I pray they continue with some of the attractions”, he said.
Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace at the event, expressed optimism that the airline’s foray into international operations will help end the short changing of Nigerians flying to Europe and other international destination.
Onyema empathised with Nigerian travellers stating that they pay far more for international flights than those who fly for three hours.
The airline which commenced its inaugural operations with over 70% load factor aims at maintaining its startup trajectory and according to its chairman aims at combating the price imbalance in the region.
“Let me tell Nigerians, what you pay to Europe for a 6hour flight , those that fly 9hours from Jo’ burg do not pay that; it’s time to stop the short-changing,” he said.
The AirPeace boss also said that competitors airlines would soon begin to crash their fares when they hear of and see the attractive offer Air Peace has in store but reminded them that these airlines refused to drop those fares initially until they came in.
” As we speak our fares are attractive, we have N180,000 to Dubai via Sharjah on Economy, and we have N650,000 for Business Class while our First Class is N850,000 you won’t get a better offer, in fact for First class ok you see from. N2million up. I’m sure some airlines will reduce their fares but this is just to ensnare you again and keep ripping you off.”
“I am sure that Air Peace will start and not close shop after some months , I have no doubt this will succeed, it’s not because we have the best pilots or the best aircraft or the best maintenance , it is because of God ,” he said.
Also speaking, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Shaibu Zakari pledged government’s support to Air Peace stating that government supports all Nigerian Airline and will support Air Peace.
The Permanent Secretary, represented by Engineer Hassan Musa, Director Air Traffic Management, also hinted that government has helped with its special window for making foreign exchange available as well as aircraft spare.