……..accuse Togo and Côte d’Ivoire governments of being high-handed
…..call on government to protect them too
AirPeace airline, Nigerian fastest growing domestic airline has accused some west African countries of denying them the right to fly into their countries despite Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA.
At a news conference in Lagos, Chairman/CEO of AirPeace, Barrister Allen Onyema who expressed sadness at the development said all their efforts have yielded no results even after meeting all requirements for a smooth and safe flight operations in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO standards.
He identified, Cameroun, Togo, cote d’ivoire and Senegal as among the countries refusing Nigerian airlines from reciprocating their BASA’s.
Onyema noted that all emails sent were not answered and even when they visited these countries to ascertain what the problems were, nothing was said but they kept on promising to get in touch till date.
He explained, “Nigeria has us right to fly into African countries but we are only doing Ghana presently. Those other countries never wanted to answer our emails. We had to send people there. We want to them pleading, they see Air Peace as a threat. Senegal has not been here since two years to come and see our facilities to approve us to come. I have written them but they have refused. A have provided everything”.
The AirPeace boss specifically identified Côte d’Ivoire and Togo shutting out Nigerian airlines to protect their airlines, Air Côte d’Ivoire and ASKY, adding that to discourage them, Côte d’Ivoire requested that for every landing, the airline must pay $4,000 and other stringent measures.
“Cote d’ivoire did it to us because they wanted to protect Air Cote d’ivoire. I wanted to take them to court when they sent for us but have us only one grand handling service requesting that we pay $4,000 per landing. Meanwhile Air Côte d’Ivoire flies about three frequencies into Nigeria. We want government to protect us from foreign airlines as they are not allowing us to come into their country. If they are doing this to us, let us do same to their airlines and let us see if they will survive. We have gone to Douala, but they also did not accept us, it was only Ghana that answered us. We are ready to go into other African countries, we have the facilities but they have refused to allow us. In a bid to protect Asky airline, they have also refused us going into Togo, meanwhile they come to Nigeria and fly Lagos-Abuja routes and even pouch out pilots. African countries set up their airlines with Nigeria as a target”.