Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, has commended the federal government for its prompt response in protecting Nigerian airlines.
Olajide said the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, recently introduced new policy to review the traffic rights given to other African carriers that in the past enjoyed fifth freedom rights into Nigeria.
She added that the federal government did this in order to stop the exploitation of Nigeria’s airspace and violation of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) the country signed with other countries, noting that this would encourage domestic airlines to compete effectively with other airlines in the region.
Olajide made this known while reacting to recent reports credited to the airline, where she was quoted as urging government to stop the multi-designation of foreign airlines and imposing multiple charges on domestic operators, saying the call was made a long time ago and the government responded by reviewing its policies to protect local carriers.
“We are stating categorically that the report was not a recent one. Mrs. Olajide granted interview on multiple designations almost two years ago. The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on assumption of office as the substantive Minister of Aviation, swung into action geared towards addressing all these complaints to the satisfaction of all the airlines in the overall interest of the nation. He called several meetings with the airlines’ Chief Executives in order to find a lasting solution to the issues,” the airline said.
Air Peace, therefore, condemned such report that tended to cast the airline in bad light against the federal government, saying it has praised the federal government’s efforts in addressing these issues.
“How could Air Peace be complaining about such issues when the airline has since commended the federal government for solving those problems to the satisfaction of the industry? We have, as an airline, in recent times, come under deliberate attacks from quarters that could no longer disguise their ugly intentions for an entity that is catering for over 3,000 workers, an entity that is moving the Nigerian economy positively. We see the publications as an attempt by some mischief-makers to put Air Peace at loggerheads with the government,” the airline said.
To buttress the effectiveness of government’s action, Olajide disclosed that recently in the principle of reciprocity, the Civil Aviation Authority of an African country stopped Air Peace from operating in and out of their country to another destination (fifth freedom rights), citing that Nigeria’s government also stopped their country’s airline from doing the same in Nigeria.
“Recently, Air Peace received a notice from the Civil Aviation Authority of one of the West Coast countries we fly into, stopping us from operating into and out on points beyond their country. Their reason was simple: the federal government of Nigeria has refused to grant a similar request to their airline.
“This is a testimonial that the Honourable Minister is continuously reviewing the challenges faced by the airlines with a view to mitigating these challenges to create an enabling environment for our indigenous carriers. Air Peace truly commends this great effort and will never undermine the laudable efforts of the minister and other regulatory bodies,” Olajide said.