May 19, 2024

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AMIDST COLD WAR!!!:
Air Peace Requests To Service Abuja-London Heathrow; Lagos-Houston Routes

7 min read

Barrister Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace was given a standing ovation by legislators in the House of Representatives after the evacuation of Nigerians from most parts of the world for gratis, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the turn of the federal government to reciprocate Air Peace’s Airline patriotic deeds- placing the nation first before profit

In addition to the encumbered Lagos- London Gatwick route, the management of Air Peace has dispatched a request to the federal government of Nigeria for permission to service the Abuja-London Heathrow Airport and Lagos-Houston routes.

Barrister Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace Airline disclosed in a television talk show and added that the airline was ready to deploy its niche service on the Abuja-London Heathrow, and Lagos-Houston routes as early as the federal government through the aviation ministry and the regulatory authority accede to his prayers.

As proof of his company’s readiness to take up the additional challenges in the light of the heated cold war from the London Gatwick airport management, and the league of all other alien airlines that service London from Nigeria, have heinously and stealthily unleashed on Air Peace, Allen Onyema said his order of 33 brand new aircraft will arrive before the year ends, Air Peace shall there and then be ready to take on Abuja London Heathrow airport, Lagos-Houston, and Abuja to New York routes immediately.

This astonishingly bold and brave disposition by the airline’s chairman is such a daring “can do” spirit that has propelled the airline to weather a lot of storms in its chequered history in the Nigerian aviation airspace.

Air Peace cabin crew at the maiden Lagos to London Gatwick Airport flight.

Onyema further disclosed that his team of engineers and commercial aviation experts are presently in the United States of America, USA, to arrange logistics and ensure prompt delivery of his order of 33 new aircraft.

The team in the US he added will explore the prospect of furthering the spread of Air Peace’s wings from Lagos, and Abuja to some US destinations such as Houston and New York routes. This venture is to serve Nigerians and other Africans in those areas in North America.

By now, it is widely known that the heat has since been turned on Air Peace even before the commencement of the maiden Lagos- London Gatwick flight on Saturday, 30th March 2024.

It is also in the public domain the herculean hurdles Air Peace was stealthily subjected to by the Nigerian government agencies and ministries before it finally got the nod to explore the British airspace via Gatwick airport- What a baptism of fire, fraught with malice, injustice, gross lack of equity and the rabid desire to stunt the airline’s growth or to out-rightly eliminate it.

Also unleashed on Air Peace- was the customs built intrigues by the various agencies of the British government. Ostensibly contending with hostility at home and abroad.

DOMESTIC HOSTILITY SURMOUNTED, VESTIGES REMAIN
It got so appalling that Nigerian government officials in the aviation subsector were holding a brief for the British government and its civil aviation authority, UKCAA.

Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos, just before the Air Peace inaugural flight. She frowned at the trade imbalance between Nigeria and Britain

Recall the recent past when the topmost official of the federal government in the aviation sector, whose salary was paid with tax-payers money also his personal emolument, yet, de-marketing the entire Nigerian registered airlines was a priority and shamelessly promoting an alien airline. That airline has just launched a debilitating airfare war for its Lagos London route at N679,375.00k; with a stopover in Addis Ababa.

Fallout from that uncanny mindset reflects in the quality, and lack of sincerity to grow the industry through robust regulations. Rather, the kind of regulation that emerged from that type of mindset was the one that would stifle the industry’s development, encumber the growth of existing airlines and allow for entry of foreign airlines to come in and plunder the entire prospects in the airline business.

Or how can one explain the reviewed regulation that stipulated the acquisition of 6 aircraft as part of conditionalities to satisfy before an applicant could be permitted to operate on the domestic terrain!!!?
Hence, it was in this hostility at the home front that Air Peace emerged and got designated to service some of the international routes it now plies including the Lagos London route.

The vestiges remaining can be deciphered by discerning stakeholders from the lucid narration given by Allen Onyema on the arrival of the maiden return flight from Lagos-London, and London to Lagos return leg.

It was a putrid account of how in the home country of Air Peace, the vestiges of the Cold War were remarkably pronounced in the scenario that transpired on the safe landing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, of the B777 that was deployed for that voyage.

HEADWIND GATWICK ASSAILS AIR PEACE MAY BE DESERVING TO RECIPROCATE
Exhibiting rabid self-centeredness, and being a trading partner without scruples, agents of the British government in charge of aviation overtly displayed their hostility to Nigeria’s Air Peace by ensuring no slot was given to it at Heathrow airport, contrary to the letters and spirit of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, a treaty in which the UK and Nigeria are signatories.

Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs

At the alternative airport offered which is Gatwick Airport, every material particular for a startup on that route to make an impact was denied Air Peace. Highly unconventional and humongous deposits were demanded by the airport management and by every concessionaire.

These were to snuff out oxygen from the new client because it’s black. (For want of better defence). What a reformation of apartheid. The few European airlines that debuted at Gatwick airport about the same time as Air Peace were given attention by the airport management in all its social media. Not a single mention of Air Peace in any official media bulletin of the airport. Not a water canon salute for Air Peace in its maiden flight.

THE ALIEN AIRLINES LAUNCH AIR FARE WAR, AIR PEACE DEEMED AS CANNON FODDER
Those alien airlines are pained by the demystification of their unarmed robbery of Nigeria and Nigerians through exorbitant airfares on the Lagos-London route. They are gradually coming up in arms with airfare as the canon, ostensibly aimed at Air Peace.

All of them who had enjoyed the pillaging of Nigeria and Nigerians through cutthroat airfares before the advent of Air Peace on the Lagos to London route are now up in arms with airfare as the gunpowder.

The alien airlines now in unison have resorted to airfare war targeted at no one else but Air Peace, for daring to offer Nigerians airfare that is very fair to their pockets thus ending the pillaging erstwhile entrenched on the Nigeria- London; London -Nigeria route.

Barrister Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation And Aerospace Development, at the MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos, before the Air Peace inaugural flight to London, Gatwick. He reiterated the resolve of the Nigerian government to strictly adhere to the letters and the spirit of BASA

There is an adage among the Yoruba nation that says, “The dog that has companions readily kills a monkey”. It is in this light that all the agencies of government concern must as a matter of urgency, and under patriotic fervour, should now rise on behalf of Nigeria’s economy and Air Peace, to neutralize diabolical antics by the alien airlines that have since exploited Nigerians without scruples.

Mr Festus Keyamo, Aviation and Aerospace Development Minister, should lead the interventionist team, comprising Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, and Ambassador Yusuf M. Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This team will have to remove the impediments that constitute the headwind placed on the “flight path” of Air Peace at Gatwick Airport. And if the perfidy persists, recourse to the principle of reciprocity should be invoked without any prior announcement in the media. Britain does her shenanigans swiftly. And no nation has the monopoly of “smooth operations”, as the Lijadu sisters’ sang in their award-winning song, Smooth Operator, in the mid-1970s. So, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and its Aviation counterpart should be very discreet when invoking the spirit and the letter of BASA on reciprocity in all its ramifications.

INTERVENTION THROUGH LOCAL PRODUCTION OF AVIATION FUELJET A1
The government and the privately owned refineries should ensure the regular local production of aviation fuel popularly known as JET A1. If the product is available in sufficient quantity, the pump price will be reasonable and would make for a low operational cost for all domestic airlines and will enable the flag carrier to put up effective resistance in the airfare battle-field.

Who says there cannot be differentials in the pump price of JET A1 for indigenous airlines and alien ones? This situation a former airline from Nigeria experienced in the United Arab Emirates, UAE. Particularly in Dubai. The records are there to verify.

Also, the national economy must be vibrant in such a way that it would no longer be the cause of pressure on forex, while the local currency, the Naira, should attain a near parity level with the USD.
This economic situation would enable Air Peace to operate at a cost that will make it very competitive. Also, such a position will strengthen Air Peace to contend with the airfare war to a large extent, all things being equal.

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1 thought on “AMIDST COLD WAR!!!:
Air Peace Requests To Service Abuja-London Heathrow; Lagos-Houston Routes

  1. All things being equal. The FG must invoke the spirit and the letter of BASA on reciprocity in all its ramifications against any country where the BASA agreement is not respected having ratified the treaty.

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