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Air Peace Boss Admits Frustrations From Foreign Airlines

‘We’re being deliberately frustrated,’ Air Peace chair raises alarm over conspiracy from foreign airlines

Allen Onyema, the chairman of Nigeria’s national carrier Air Peace, expressed alarm over a purported plot by foreign airlines that fly between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

According to him, these airlines are purposefully reducing the cost of travel on the route in an effort to force Air Peace to discontinue its global operations.

Allen Onyema claimed that foreign airlines have a “unspoken alliance” during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today program.

Foreign Airlines Starts Price Wars To Frustrate Air Peace

He claimed that in order to drive Air Peace off the Nigeria-London route, these airlines are using cheaper price tactics.

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“If they take out Air Peace prematurely, this country will pay dearly for it, 10 times over, billions will be lost, there will be another heavy strain on the naira. We are being deliberately frustrated in all ways,” he said, citing groundhandling and space allocation difficulties at Gatwick Airport in the last couple of days.

“It’s a very devilish conspiracy. All of a sudden, (foreign) airlines are underpricing, below the cost, it’s not up to one month, an airline was advertising $100, another one $305, $350. Fill up the entire aircraft and carry people on the wings, it’s not even enough to buy your fuel. So, why are they doing that? Their governments are supporting them because Nigeria has been a cashcow for everybody.

“Their governments are supporting them to do this and take Air Peace out. The idea is to take Air Peace out and the moment they succeed in taking Air Peace out, Nigerians will pay 20 times over again.”

The airline’s CEO extends an invitation to other Nigerian airlines to join the Nigeria-UK route in an effort to disrupt the foreign carriers’ monopoly that has previously protected flights into Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt.

“I invite other Nigerian airlines to join the fray, let them come, let all of us do international operations. Yes, international aeropolitics is very dirty but somebody must pay the price,” he said.

Onyema thanked Minister Keyamo and President Bola Tinubu for standing “solidly behind” Air Peace despite the political challenges the carrier faces when flying to London.

Recall that Air Peace started offering direct flights from Lagos to London’s Gatwick Airport on March 30, 2024.

Many industry experts, who saw the development as a positive step forward, have praised it.

Other regional airlines are receiving more and more encouragement to think about starting international flights to profitable routes as a result of Air Peace’s effort, which will increase opportunities and competition in the aviation sector.

Prior to then, the cost of an international ticket on the Lagos–London route might reach N3.5 million. But once Air Peace debuted a return economy class ticket for N1.2 million, international airlines like Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways had to drastically lower their costs to stay in the market.


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