The international Air Transport Association, IATA has formally presented its membership certificate to AirPeace airline for meeting international safety standards in its operations.
Presenting the certificate to the AirPeace Managing Director/CEO, Barr. Allen Onyema in Lagos, IATA’s representative in Nigeria, Dr. Samson Fatokun commended the airline for striving and working hard to meet IATA’ s requirements for the award of its membership.
Dr. Fatokun said with the membership, AirPeace now stands on the same platform with other international airlines in the world as they have demonstrated compliance to safety and standards, adding that the certificate is a new image for the airline.
“The airline is now exposed to the whole world, it is now a global player in the industry, we are pleased to welcome them into the family, they can interline, exchange tickets and passengers, they will also benefit fully from IATA training, the Billing Settlement Plan,BSP, they have IATA endorsement and we have confidence in AirPeace”, he added.
Responding, the MD/CEO, AirPeace, Barr. Allen Onyema assured IATA that the airline would continue to maintain the standards and stay on top and would do everything humanly possible to remain there.
“today marks the official presentation of that membership plague, we are happy, this presentation is not an ordinary one but a challenge for AirPeace to do more”.
He emphasized that as a “safety centric airline, we will not shortchange safety, we are obsessed with safety, we don’t cut corners or encourage it. We are Happy receiving this plague, I thank the staff of AirPeace who have been toiling day and night, AirPeace is a family business not Onyema family, in the space of three years AirPeace has gone global, I also thank our esteemed customers who make us thick”.
The Airpeace boss noted that with this membership, it is expected that other countries especially European should treat Nigerian airlines the way legacy airlines are treated.
He the impediment put in the way for Nigeria airlines not to succeed in flying into their countries should be removed.
“This membership comes with a lot of advantages, I would like the world at large to respect African countries, there shouldn’t have a different yardstick for measuring our safety, nigerian airlines are made to go through stringent measures to allow them fly into European, we are not oblivious of international aero- politics. They should allow us be, now that we are IATA members, they should allow us to interline, code share and to stop making it difficult for nigerian airlines to fly into their countries”.
Onyema disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to take delivery of more aircraft to fly its 9 intended regional and international routes in the coming few months as well as to code share with two international airlines.
He said as Nigeria’s flag carrier, AirPeace has been designated on Guangzhou, China, Dubai, South Africa, Mumbai, India, Huston, USA, London, and applications have been made to these countries and are receiving attention, adding that permits have been given to commence operations.
Other routes to start soon include Senegal,”they have permitted AirPeace to come, Cameroun after 2 and a half years has also agreed for us to come in, same for Sierra Leone, Liberia, though they gave us 60 days, Togo, the first people that stopped us wrote a letter of apology and has given us permit, Côte d’Ivoire. The other areas we are facing some challenges is charges’ our government is looking into it”.
” we started with 4 Boeing 737 aircraft and 3 donier jets and we later sold 3 of our donier jets, as I speak to you today, your favorite airline has 24 aircraft under a space of 2 and a half years, this would not have been possible if we are not financially disciplined, it is our integrity and God Almighty that has led us this far, we have enough equipment to do what ever we want to do. Eleven aircraft are coming in between now and December”.
On the current difficulty in sourcing fuel, Onyema added that, the airline is able to get fuel due to the “Integrity of the airline, we fulfill our promises to marketers, we don’t owe them, it takes financial discipline to do that, we don’t borrow out of limit, that is why AirPeace is successful, the banks are even running after us to take money, when we borrow, we pay back. In the next two years, the fleet we double, we are going to touch every continent next year with the support of government”.