Recently, a piece of news from the stable of Air Peace Airline steered up joy in the minds of Nigerian flying public. Air Peace Airline announced its intention to resume its Dubai route via Sharjar city on 5th of February, 2021. This is coming when the airline is eagerly waiting to receive set of new planes out of 13 new jets it ordered from Embraer of Brazil. The return of Dubai route by the airline, will be a boost to the nation’s aviation industry, healing from the injury orchestrated by Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged (still ravaging) the world.
Dubai is not just any other international route but one of the busiest routes with huge passengers’ traffic, as long as trade and tourism are concerned. The return of Air Peace to this route, as West African biggest indigenous airline, is a huge relief to travelers whose businesses are tied to the United Arab Emirates. The resumption of long-haul flights in this business route by Air Peace will provide much-needed alternative cum options to travelers who have felt the airline’s absence in the route, after brief stoppage since it began plying it in July, 2019.
What this good development means is that Nigerian travelers will no longer be left at the mercy of some foreign airlines that not only exploit them but milk them dry with high air fares and poor services. Air Peace is not just coming back as another airline in business to make profit, but as an indigenous airline—with patriotic disposition, that is ready to protect the economic interests of Nigerians, via considerable fares, quality customer services, and generally ensuring that any Nigerian traveler on Dubai route gets real value for his money.
Outside profit making, patriotism has been the primary philosophy driving the management decisions of Air Peace. Putting Nigeria and Nigerians first have been the oxygen fueling the business ideology of the airline. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline, Chief Allen Ifechukwu Onyema, a known patriot and philanthropist has not hidden his passion to put Nigeria on the global aviation map. He drinks, eats and breaths Nigeria—that’s how patriotic he is. He detests how Nigerians are being shortchanged by foreign airlines without consequences.
In fact, through his business wit and grit, Chief Onyema has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that a company can be patriotic in its decisions and still soar to greater levels of accomplishments. Height of Air Peace’s patriotism was when it evacuated Nigerians stranded in South Africa at the heat of xenophobic attacks—free of charge. The airline also played a vital role with the support of federal government to repatriate Nigerians that were trapped abroad during coronavirus lockdowns.
Air Peace has metamorphosed into the nation’s de-facto national carrier that comes to the rescue of Nigerians whenever the need arises. So, categorically, I can say that when Air Peace gains; Nigeria and Nigerians gain. When the airline started its first international route—Dubai, in 2019, some aviation pundits conversant with antecedents of Nigerian airlines, expressed mixed feelings as a result of repeated failures of defunct indigenous airlines that could not penetrate international routes. International routes became the Achilles hill of Nigerian airlines until Air Peace emerged.
Air Peace, under the visionary leadership of Chief Allen Onyema has redefined standard—it has raised the bar of excellence cum ambition in the Nigeria’s aviation industry and beyond. Outside its Dubai-Sharjar route, it has connected two biggest commercial cities in Africa via its Lagos-Johannesburg route, that was launched last December. China and India routes, respectively, will be next. Air Peace fleet expansion drive is unparalleled in Nigeria’s aviation sector; one of the reasons its growth has been in geometric progression.
Chidiebere Nwobodo, Abuja