The story of Barrister Allen Onyema, Chairman and CEO, Air Peace, can be likened to the proverbial cat with nine lives. How? When he volunteered to bear the cost of repatriating hundreds of Nigerians who were stranded in South Africa in early September 2019, following a wave of xenophobic attacks, not a few were really impressed and even declared him a national hero.
No doubt, the altruistic move turned out to be very beneficial to his airline in terms of publicity. But two months after, November 2019 to be precise, the story changed for the billionaire when the United States government surprisingly accused him of fraud. For some inexplicable reason, he has since maintained his innocence, despite the allegations. And a lot of people seem to support this approach.
Despite the seeming roller coaster of events that almost tainted his image, Onyema started 2020 celebrating what could be said to be the most successful year in his company’s history. With air travels nearly shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines literally bled, as many announced layoffs or wage cuts. In the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic, the airline management has had to think out of the box to stay afloat. Indeed, Onyema has proved to everyone that the modern aviation industry is certainly not for the lily-livered, as he recently acquired more brand-new aircraft to shore up his airline’s operations.
Air Peace, it was gathered, recently took delivery of a brand new 50-seater Embraer 145 Jet. The ERJ-145 aircraft, with registration number 5N-BXF, flew into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in October, with the promise of receiving two more brand new jets. Onyema has proved that the future is bright for those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. It will be recalled that Onyema, a lawyer, had launched his airline worth over N45 billion in October 2014 with seven aircraft all named after his family members. He went a step further in ensuring safety by contracting one of the world’s best maintenance organisations, BT Aviation Maintenance Company in the United Kingdom.