Onyema: Air Peace Ready To Fly Abuja-London Route If Government Allows, Houston, New York in the Works

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace Airlines, Allen Onyema, has said that Nigeria’s leading airline is planning to begin flights to New York and Houston by the end of 2024, and is even in the process of purchasing more aircraft for this purpose.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, Onyema said that Air Peace is ready and prepared to take on more flights, revealing that there were seven Air Peace flights going into Gatwick Airport from Nigeria daily.

He said, “We are doing seven daily flights into Gatwick. Nigeria has a balance of about fourteen to do. We are ready, if the government gives us Abuja-London, I will do it, because we are expecting more aircraft into the country purchased by Air Peace. If we get it, we will do it.

“Like, we are planning to hit New York or Houston towards the end of the year, because we are bringing in more 777s. As I speak to you, my staff, they’re in California, the engineering technical services department, they’re in California inspecting some three 777s we want to acquire, we want to buy. So, if we could get them in the next two or three months, then of course, we are good to go anywhere.”

However, while celebrating the beginning of Air Peace’s direct flights from Lagos to London, Onyema also shared the struggles and sabotage faced by his airline in trying to achieve the long-awaited Lagos-London flights.

Explaining the struggles faced, the Air Peace CEO said, “You suffer what I call both internal and external conspiracies. It took us seven years. We got the designation I think about six and a half years ago to go into London. Since then, it has been Cat-and-Mouse game. 

“We actually procured our three 777s because of this route, not for any other route,… However, we were not allowed to go.

“Whether you like it or not, there is what is called international aero politics which is very dirty. We applied for the TCO. TCO means Technical Country Operators permit, you must get that one before you start going into any European country, UK inclusive. And the TCO organization from Europe wrote our Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority- Do you know Air Peace? Do you know about their designation? And we were denied. My own country denied us, so they threw it back.

“We went back to the NCAA, they said, oh, we didn’t tell them. Who designated us, the Federal Ministry of Aviation, whose duty it was and still is to do that. We said okay, we’re ready. They refused, they said until they allow us to apply. So, we got designation from the Federal government, and the NCAA, under the same Federal Government, was telling us that we should not make any application towards going into the UK.”

Onyema then said that Nigerian airlines need all the support they can get from the Federal Government, saying, “In our own country, what we are pleading – I like when you said support – the ease of doing business, let them even do that for the indigenous airlines and see us blossom, instead of badmouthing these airlines that pass through all manner of problems.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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