Air Peace is not only ours, it offers good services, writes Folorunso Fatai Adisa

That boy calls you father. Do not bear a hand in his death.”

 Flying with Air Peace from London to Lagos on April 8th, 2024, was more than just a journey; it was a poignant reminder of the power of supporting homegrown initiatives. When Air Peace coined the pay-off “your peace, our goal,” they meant every word in that statement on all fronts. To fly Air Peace is to feel peaceful in the skies.

Aside from being an unrepentant Nigerian, I am a fan of homegrown organizations. My love for the aforementioned was further strengthened by how Scottish people, whom I live amongst, have always adored anything Scottish. I recall an old woman who was crying because someone mishandled a tartan—a Scottish symbol. I started flying on airplanes late; however, I had flown a handful. For African Airlines, I have flown Egyptian Air, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian, which happens to be my most beloved. I flew Ethiopian to the United Kingdom—my first international journey. Since I got to the UK, I have flown Easyjet, Ryan Air, and Wizz Air. I had once done British Airways from Glasgow to London too. By the time I would be visiting Nigeria for Sallah, Air Peace had launched its Lagos-London route. Thus, instinctively, I had to fly the airline.

As I settled into my seat, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of pride knowing that I was contributing to Nigeria’s economy by choosing a Nigerian airline. With each mile traveled, I felt a profound sense of belonging and ownership, as if I was not just a passenger, but a steward of my nation’s prosperity. In that moment, I realized that our choices as individuals hold immense power.

Flying with Air Peace has erased my experiences with other airlines I had flown. From the hitch-free check-in to the inflight experience laden with relatable dishes and courteous and amiable staffers, Air Peace’s service is unparalleled. Air Peace staffers are amiable in a disarming way—especially Simeon, who would later become the darling of almost everyone onboard. The first spotlight on Air Peace’s service was on the cheap ticket it offered its customers, which first opened the eyes of Nigerians to how we had been cruelly milked by BA, Virgin Atlantic, and so on. If I had not flown the aforementioned in a longer distance, I had flown Ethiopian, and I can confidently submit that Air Peace offers better service at lesser charges. Should that be the case, it simply means all these international airlines have been cruelly cashing out on Nigerians.

This speaks to the benefits that are inherent in indigenous organizations and how massively such organizations need our support to prosper. It is only when we have things that belong to us and patronize them that we can grow economically and liberate ourselves from undue extortion and embarrassment. The incursion of Air Peace into the LON-LOS route created a disruption that forced other airlines to review their prices. It’s even more heartening that Air Peace would patronize homegrown companies such as Dangote for fuel,

Aquadana for bottled water, and Nigerian caterers for inflight foods. That is a beautiful synergy where our actions ripple beyond ourselves, creating opportunities and livelihoods for countless others— a remittance of funds into the system.

It is only an ingrate child who doesn’t want their home to prosper while foreign countries reap them blind. Should Nigerians want to be respected in the aviation sector, it is high time we supported and patronized Air Peace while encouraging other wealthy Nigerians to explore the same path for us to have more airlines plying different routes around the globe at reasonable and affordable prices. I encountered four middle-aged females on their way to Nigeria to celebrate their friend’s mom’s funeral. They narrated that it would have been impossible for them to achieve such a feat if not for Air Peace’s affordable prices. At a point in time, they made videos and prayed for Nigeria’s prosperity. I was not only moved, I almost shed tears as it ministered to me that numerous Nigerians truly and heartily love Nigeria; they are only looking for a means to express it.

Even though Air Peace is a one-man operation, it represents Nigeria in the world of international aviation. There have been several unsuccessful attempts by Nigerian Airlines to operate the London-Lagos route. Failures included Bellview, ARIK, Medview, and so forth. The federal government may support Air Peace by providing it with the necessary backing, based on the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, through the Ministries of Trade and Investment, Aviation, and so forth. This would encourage more Nigerian investors into the aviation sector, which would boost our economy and make travel abroad easier without foreign airlines taking advantage of Nigerians.

Above all, Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” emerges as a timeless masterpiece, resonating across generations with its profound impact. With sales surpassing 15 to 20 million copies and translations into over 60 languages, the novel’s universal appeal captivates readers worldwide. For many, it serves as a captivating window into Igbo culture, offering rich insights into traditions and values. Yet, for those of Igbo descent, the novel holds deeper significance, instilling pride in their heritage and validating their identity on a global stage. Through Achebe’s masterful storytelling, “Things Fall Apart” not only celebrates the resilience and complexities of the Igbo people but also underscores the enduring legacy of Achebe’s literary genius. AIR PEACE shares similarities with “Things Fall Apart” but represents Nigeria more. Consequently, I am borrowing my opening quote from Chinua Achebe’s classic where I would rephrase, “Air Peace calls you brother/sister. Do not bear a hand in its death.” Don’t be carried away by the current underpricing by BA, Virgin Atlantic, and all who are trying to force Air Peace out of the market and later return to their previous pathetic pricing.

 Adisa, a Media and Communication specialists, writes via folorunsofatai03@gmail.com ·         

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