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Air Peace gets set for London, Houston this year

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Air Peace is set to commence flight operations to Houston, United States and London before the end of this year.

This is just as the airline over the weekend commenced flight to Lome, Togo and also eyeing operations to Cotonou, Benin Republic, Abidjan, Cote d’ ivoire, Congo, Kinshasa and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.

The start of Houston and London flights this October, 2023 was announced over the weekend by the Managing Director/CEO, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema at the Grand reception in honour of Nigeria’s 1976 Olympics Game and 1980 AFCON National Football teams in Lagos.

According to Onyema, the Ministry of Aviation recently contacted him on the Houston and London flights after a meeting held with government and officials of their Aviation authorities.

“And now London is beckoning before October or there about. Just recently the minister of Aviation contacted me on the Houston just about few days ago on the meeting they held in Houston and they are now calling on Air Peace to do that route, both America and wherever we are flying”.

“We have the capacity to do more legacy routes like Atlanta, New York when international aero politics permits. We are very ready and these routes are coming very soon”.

He also disclosed that, other African and international routes would follow subsequently as the airline has the capacity to fly to anywhere in the world.

Onyema listed the international routes they currently fly to include; Guangzhou China, Johannesburg, Mumbai India, Jeddah, Tell Aviv.

This perhaps is a breakthrough for Air Peace as over the years, Onyema had complained of the Nigeria’s government failure to play aero politics and support Nigerian airlines and also the attitude of foreign countries Nigeria signed Bi-lateral Air Services Agreement, BASA with.

It has always been a struggle for Nigerian carriers designated on international routes to get the cooperation in those countries like they get in Nigeria.

This attitude by most foreign countries was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic period when Air Peace meant with a brick in the United Kingdom attempting to evacuate stranded Nigerians in that country.

The UK Government denied Air Peace aircraft a landing permit. They were initially scheduled to depart Heathrow Airport, London, with about 584 passengers, until the UK’s withdrawal of diplomatic landing clearance, as confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About a fortnight earlier Air Peace airline had evacuated over 300 Nigerians from the UK and the reason for the change of heart till this day is unknown. 

The Air Peace boss who expressed sadness back then over the development after arrangements had been completed said, “only for the UK authorities to withdraw landing rights close to departure. That was despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government, including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.”

It could also be recalled during that same period that, the Canadian Government also displayed a similar attitude when it stopped the evacuation of 200 Nigerians because the Canadian Government had a preferred airline to do the job more expensive than was charged by Air Peace.

Thus the airline was denied the landing right permits and had to refund monies collected from the evacuees.

This recent announcement may be the opening of more doors to Nigerian carriers who have the capacity and wherewithal to reciprocate all Nigeria BASA routes.

The benefits are humongous as it will further open up the sector, create more jobs, seamless connectivity, help to cut down on foreign airlines trapped funds in Nigeria and restores Nigeria’s pride seeing a Nigeria carrying the Nigeria flag fly routes tagged Legacy routes.

The fares perhaps that may be charged will be pocket friendly, that is, not as high as what is being charged today by foreign airlines due to the dollar exchange rates.

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