Corporate governance: How Air Peace is setting the pace

LAST week, Nigeria’s domestic airline, Air Peace once again made history by bringing some eminent Nigerians as directors on its board.

Among the eminent personalities brought on board to help move the airline forward include: the renowned lawyer, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), former Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, former acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Benedict Adeyileka.

The board members promised to work with the Chairman of the airline, Mr Allen Onyema and his wife, Mrs Alice Onyema, who coincidentally is the Vice Chairman of the airline to deliver the vision to use the airline to transform air travel and project a positive image for Nigeria in the global aviation community.

The airline which has presently been adjudged to be the most focused in Nigeria and one of the serious airlines in the region is always in the news bringing to the table fresh ideas that will make airline business more seamless and rewarding even when sister domestic airlines are gasping for survival breath.

With the latest development, Air Peace has continued to show its readiness to take domestic airline business to the next level with its resolve to go the extra length to embrace all available opportunities that will further position it at par with successful airlines in Africa and even outside the continent.

This brings to the fore the long clamour from stakeholders across the sector for the domestic airlines to imbibe the culture of corporate governance in their airlines for the sake of transparency.

It is based on this that the decision of Air Peace to bring the latest caliber of the Nigerians on its board will greatly help in repositioning the airline in line with corporate governance.

With the caliber of the board members and the long years of their experiences coupled with their financial strength, things could only get better for Air Peace.

The ability of the airline management to think outside the box and its preparedness to listen to the yearnings of stakeholders and play the game of airline business according to its rules, may be responsible for its positive performance.

Some airline operators had in the past ran aground their airlines owing to their failure to listen to professional advice from key players and allow professionalism to have a place in the management of the airlines.

Contrary to the past experience, the present leadership of the airline in the person of Mr Onyema has again showed his willingness to accommodate others professional expertise for the progress of the airline which many others have refused to embrace based on mere ego boosting which has given room to the ownership structural challenge bedeviling domestic airline business.

Prior to now, many key players at different fora had attributed the inability of the domestic airlines to remain in good business to the absence of corporate governance which they argued should serve as a check and balance on the day to day running of an airline and any company for that matter.

Therefore, with the status of the board members of Air Peace and the inherent benefits available in corporate governance, the latest effort of the airline will go a long way in increasing the accountability of the company and guide it against impending disasters that may rear its head.

With the strengthening of its board, Air Peace has once again indicated its preparedness towards competing favorably with international airlines around the world.

Furthermore, the airline which is set to commence international flights into  Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai with a promise to deliver a long-haul service to the traveling public will surely do the country proud giving a level playing field.

There is no doubt that Air Peace is a Nigerian airline destined to flag the flag of Nigeria higher but this will only be seamlessly achieved with the willingness of the federal government to play aero politics.