Air Peace Chairman Decries Passengers’ Reaction to Flight Incidents

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Allen Onyema

Chinedu Eze

Consequent upon the depressurisation incident that happened on Lagos-Enugu flight on Friday, the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema Saturday condemned the overreaction of passengers when flight incidents involve Nigerian airlines.

Onyema condemned the public reaction to the incident during a telephone conversation with THISDAY, noting that some passengers described the incident as if it was a fatality.

He said such incidents as change in aircraft pressure “is envisaged to occur sometimes and that is why during passengers briefing before flight take off, they are instructed on what actions to take if such incident happened.

“It is sad and disheartening the manner and ways some Nigerians exaggerate situations that occur before, during or after flights. It is as if the country is praying for some extremely bad situations to occur in air travel but when this fails to happen, they resort to sensational falsehood and reports.

“Last month, our aircraft on a flight from Lagos to Owerri made an air return, a safety precaution encouraged in aviation worldwide, but before the aircraft could taxi to a stop after landing back in Lagos, a lady had sent out a screaming report on how she ‘survived air crash’

“Was she praying for accident to happen? Survival of a crash connotes that there would have been indeed a crash to which the author of that devilish falsehood came out alive. However, there was none and by God’s grace, there will never be any.

“The situation of that flight was nowhere near threatening but the ugly stories went viral while the authors went jubilating that they must have become some emergency celebrities on the platform of social media,” Onyema said.

He recalled that on Friday, Air Peace flight to Enugu had a change in cabin pressure, an incident, according to hind, is common worldwide, yet some passengers exaggerated the story as if a crash had taken place in the social media.

“Once there is a change in cabin pressure, all the pilot needs to do is descend to a comfortable altitude (height) where less pressure is needed. The aircraft could even go round the country as long as it’s fuel can carry it without problems.

“In the present case, the pilot brought it down to that level with oxygen masks fully deployed and they landed safely. The fact that the masks deployed once the change in cabin pressure occurred, was a testimony of the impressive airworthiness of our plane,” he said.

While the aircraft was landing, Onyeama said some passengers started filming the situation so as “to create videos. Of course, some people would definitely be scared out of their wits seeing the masks drop from the panels above their heads.

“Some, even during no incident at all, jolt from their seats even at the slightest turbulence or even at change in engine sound and resort to prayer. If the aircraft was crashing, God forbid, as they posted, how were they able to produce the videos? Nigerians get over excited and over dramatic at the slightest tickle.”

Onyema said if it were a foreign flight that such incident happened, no one would hear about it because the passengers would not complain because they believe more in foreign airlines and become terrified while flying locally.

He said, “The way we deploy everything in our arsenal to destroy our own in this country is devilish and ungodly, angry Onyema said. A woman published that the aircraft lost two engines and wondered how she was able to come out of the aircraft alive.

“The aircraft would have disintegrated into pieces if such happened. Why are we, by our actions, denying God the glory and honour due Him? Why would passengers be inventing worse situations that never happened when God, in fact, never allowed that to happen?

“Why should anyone on that flight publish that we lost two engines when God never allowed that to happen? If anyone is praying for a crash, by the special grace of God, no one will never ever get it from Air Peace, amen,” he said.