“I am very proud for what God has done. I thank the passengers. We are happy and I am short of words. We have got what many airlines in Nigeria and Africa could not get. It shows that God is with us. Government should begin to believe that we will get it right in Nigeria. With Air Peace, Nigeria will get it right this time. The year of airline falling apart after 10 years has passed. I run Air Peace like a passenger with phobia for flying. I want it to be so safe and we want top notch pilots, engineers and workers. We try to get everything right.”
This was the passionate statement made by the Chairman of Nigeria’s domestic airline, Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema when the airline was granted the global International Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Speaking before the presentation of the certificate, IATA Area Manager for West Africa, Dr Samson Fatokun, applauded Air Peace for its ability to pass all the tough process.
“Today, we are pleased to present the certificate to Air Peace, meaning that they have met the requirements. Air Peace has met up the safety standards of other airlines in advanced countries. I congratulate the organisation.”
It is no longer news that IATA which is responsible for granting IOSA certificates to worthy airlines around the world is the clearing house for big airlines of this world after such airlines must have been able to prove their worth in the areas of safety compliance.
Therefore, getting the IOSA certificate is not a joke.
Becoming a registered member of the IOSA, the airline now has equal rights with the big airlines like British Airways, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic Delta Airlines.
The award of the certificate to Air Peace is an icing on its cake of as its business partners across the world will have more confidence in transacting deals with it.
The timing for the issuance of the certificate is a sign of better things to come as the Federal Government has granted the airline rights to commence international flights to routes like China and the United States.
The certificate will make it seamless for Air Peace to codeshare or interline with foreign carriers within Nigeria and the mega carriers on the foreign routes it is designated to operate to.
The interesting part of the Air Peace certificate as attested to by the IATA representative is that the airline met all the rigorous requirements attached to the tough process within the two years of its existence thus making it one of the fastest to obtain the certificate as it takes some airlines five years to obtain the safety certificate.
Though Air Peace may not have been the first in Nigeria to have obtained the IOSA certificate as other domestic carriers like Medview, Arik, Overland are already there, but Air Peace as a Nigerian carrier to have met all the requirements within a short period despite the hardship confronting airline business in Nigeria showed that the airline has something to offer.
Prior to now, the airline as attested to by key players in the sector is a domestic airline that has proved that it really understood the rules of the game of doing airline business.
It started showing these feats right from the first day it commenced flight operations as it was able to operate fourteen flights uninterruptedly which was a far departure from the usual one or two flights that is synonymous with first flights.
One thing that is also working for the Air Peace which made it easy for the carrier to achieve so much within the two years of its existence is that the owner is allowing the professionals at the airline to run it in line with core professional standards.
Therefore, Air Peace is a Nigerian airline that has shown that if given the chance to operate under a more government friendly environment it can go places.