Air peace driven by patriotism, says Obiano
...as airline starts Intercontinental flights
The Nigeria current biggest air carrier, Air Peace, has emerged as the most patriotic airline in Nigeria’s history, according to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
It was learnt that the airline is scheduled to start intercontinental operations on July 3, with a direct flight to Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
In a goodwill message to the company, Governor Obiano said in Awka, the Anambra state capital that the patriotic streak is reflected in all it has been doing from inception in 2014.’’
The airline charges less than N200, 000 for an economy seat and mere N650, 000 for the business class to fly for almost eight hours to the UAE.
This is no budget airline, as it will provide all international passengers with all the frills and entertainment available on the best international airlines.
The highly competitive fares couldn’t have come at a better time considering that we are in summer, which is a high season when air carriers even double their fares because of the high passenger volume.’’
Air Peace said it acquired brand new Boeing 777 planes for the long hauls, the only Nigerian carrier to acquire this state of the art equipment.
Obiano, a former top banking executive and accomplished accountant, observed, “it shows that the airline is competing with the greatest carriers in the world on both quality and price; the best business strategy anywhere.’’
The governor praised the carrier for deploying three planes on international routes, contrasting it with the earlier practice where indigenous airlines used only one plane for intercontinental operations.
The preceding indigenous carriers cannot compete effectively with their international rivals because anytime their lone long-haul machine runs into a problem, their passengers will be stranded,’’ Chief Obiano pointed out.
He also commended Air Peace for being the first airline to commence international operations from the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, Imo State.
This is in addition to operating flights from the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos’ the Aminu Kano International Airport and the Port Harcourt International Airport as well as the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
No foreign airline has this record of service to the Nigerian people, nor has any indigenous carrier.’’
According to Obiano what many Nigerians may not know is that commercial interest or profit making is not one of the factors to lead Mr Allen Onyema, lawyer and a worthy indigene of Anambra State, to register Air Peace in 2013, but ‘sheer patriotism.’
He was alarmed at the army of unemployed youths in the country and a lack of employment prospects for thousands of Nigerian graduates churned out of high schools, colleges of education, Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Universities annually, plus those who graduate from foreign institutions.
He was also appalled at the treatment that Nigerians were receiving at the hands of foreign airlines, including charging them exorbitantly for inadequate services.
It is a thing of pride that Air Peace now has no fewer than 3,000 Nigerians on its staff and no fewer than 8,000 others employed indirectly by it, even though it started operations only five years ago.’’
Air Peace operates not less than 100 flights daily with 27 aircraft. It made history on Sept. 14 when it signed an agreement with Boeing in the Lagos residence of the U.S., Consul-General to purchase 10 brand new planes from the world’s largest plane manufacturer.
It will later in the year start to fly to the UK, U.S, India, China and South Africa.