The Governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu says the state has decided to partner AirPeace airline to link the state to the world through air travel because of its reliability and commitment to safety and quality service delivery.
During the inaugural flight from Lagos to the Akure airport, the governor in an interview with aviation reporters said the air link means a lot to the Ondo people as it would help boost the socio economic development of the state.
Mr. Akeredolu said investors want to come to the state and do business but unfortunately getting there seamlessly had been a big challenge as getting there by road was not safe due to the deplorable state of the road and incidences of armed robbery, kidnapping among others.
He said, “No doubt, We have an air link to Ondo from Lagos, it means a lot to Ondo State people. Our drive is for investment and a lot of our investors want to come in . We have had problems with them since I came into the office. They have always complaining about long time they use to travel from Lagos and the hazards on the road. The roads are not too good in terms of physical state of the roads. Then in terms of other hazards like: armed robbery and Kidnapping. So they are so worried and we do not want to . we have found out that a number of people are coming, when they return, they never come back. This is a route that is so important to us. We have had two or three cases of our civil servants kidnapped. We have told them that, now we have provided a means to fly over kidnappers. If our people will need to do anything for us in Lagos, they should go with Air Peace to avoid the hazards of the road”.
On the choice of AirPeace, the Ondo state Governor noted that among the airlines discussed with in terms of partnership, only AirPeace was willing to give them what they wanted.
“We discussed with many airlines, but those involve in the negotiation were able to report to me that Air Peace gave us the best in terms of their offer. The offer appears better than other airlines. And again, it is a growing airline. They have even promised us to deploy one of the expected new aircraft to this route”.
He added, “We are starting with Lagos-Akure and Akure back to Lagos. We already have an airline running Akure-Abuja but it would not stop Air Peace if they find out that they can also do combined flight. It will be in our interest but what we have now is Lagos-Akure, Akure-Lagos with Air Peace. And no doubt as expected of us, we have given something into this”.
On arrival at the Akure airport, a mammoth crowd was on hand to receive the AirPeace Boing aircraft as it was ceremonially bathed with water by men of the rescue and fire service of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
There after, music and dancing by the elated indigenes commenced as the governor addressed them and explained the benefits of the partnership between AirPeace and the state
Chairman of AirPeace, Mr. Allen Onyema who was happy at the development said, the airline would continue to contribute its own quota through arrangements like this to the development of the country.
He noted that the airfare of N10,000 was to encourage more people to travel by air “Is part of AirPeace drive to contribute to the unity and development of this country, you can see N10,000 for one-way trip, it has never happen before, the least fare in this country should be about N35,000 but we are doing N10,000 to Akure same amount they use in doing Lagos to Akure by road or even more, we decided to do that in order to help Ondo to develop, we believe there is a lot in Ondo state, there is human and mineral resources, so we want to help investors go into Ondo and Ekiti states”.
The AirPeace boss also noted that fee months from now, more aircraft would be acquired to service more routes to be opened by the airline
“We have coming into the country in the next one month six embraer CRJ jets that will take fifty passengers only, we will develop the route with these ones and later move in the Boeing jet because we believe that we shall get to a point when this one will be too small”.
“I set up the airline to give jobs to the indigents to encourage massive employment of people and the only way we can do that is to encourage the economy development that is the only way, we can ensure and assure the security of lives in this country”.