…says airline positions for more feats
Posted by Sade Williams, in Johannesburg
West Africa largest carrier, Air Peace on Thursday, launched its inaugural flights to Johannesburg, South Africa from Lagos, Nigeria amidst hopes that such would further strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.
At a brief ceremony to launch the flight at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, Chief Operating Officer of the airline described the flight launch as one that shows the strength of Air Peace to venture into new routes even at a time when airlines globally, are grappling with the effects of COVID-19 on their operations.
According to her, Air Peace has shown that it is an airline to reckon with locally and globally.
“We are most delighted to launch this flight, it is an honour and it is another milestone for Air Peace, and at a time like this, it shows that we are here to stay, it shows strength, Air Peace is indeed, an airline to reckon with” , she said.
Speaking further on how the flight operations will strengthen the ties between Nigeria and South Africa, Olajide said such flight in and out of both countries means unity and strength of the people.
“Today for Air Peace, this means a huge achievement, a huge breakthrough, advancement and a huge step in the right direction. Because this is more than just going to South Africa, this is something that shows the relationship between the two countries, it’s going to deepen the relationship , this also shows the implementation of the bilateral agreement between Nigeria and South Africa, so it’s more than just Air Peace going to South Africa, this is Air Peace bringing two countries together and strengthening the unity and ties between the two countries and of course, expansion of our business.
“And in addition to that, it also involves creation of more employment opportunities because in Nigeria, we are going to have more manpower, we are going to have people that will be working for us in South Africa. It’s a big development in the right direction” , she added
According to her, Nigeria is bringing love to South Africans with the inauguration of this flight, adding that such attacks like Xenophobic should be seen as forbidden among the people of both nations.
“Now, what the South Africans will see is Love, that is what we are bringing to them. They will see that this is a Nigerian airline coming to South Africa to bring South Africans to Nigeria and Nigerians to South Africa , this is going to bring about more bonding, it will subdue all the tension and negativity, and for such like xenophobic attack, we dont want see more in the future, and we believe that with Air Peace going in there, this issue will be addressed” .
Apart from disclosing that the airline was already looking into partnering with some carriers as a way of having interline agreement with them to create seamless transfer, Olajide said Air Peace will start the route with two frequencies in a week but the management has carefully planned the frequency to also cater to passengers going beyond Johannesburg.
“Our frequency to South Africa is this: we are starting with two frequencies in a week, Thursday and Sunday but our intention is to increase it to daily flights but because of the current market situation, it is better to take one step at a time. As the market increases and people gain trust in air travel, we will continue to increase our frequency.
“We are already looking at partnership with other carriers within the region, we are talking to them so that we can have an interline arrangements with them, and so when we take passengers from here, especially for those whose final destination is Namibia or Cape Town or outside of Johannesburg, they can actually buy Air Peace tickets directly from here to their final destinations.
“Even with the timing that we have now for our flight out of South Africa, if you compare with other airlines, you will see that we actually did our home work properly such that people can leave their destinations outside of Johannesburg and they would arrive in Johannesburg and connect with Air Peace straight to Nigeria. Yes, we are looking in that direction of partnership, that is already considered, being the frequency we are doing and the timing we currently have now” , she added.