International aero politics frustrating route expansion of Nigerian airlines – Air Peace boss
The Chairman of Air Peace Limited, Mr Allen Onyema, on Friday said plans by some Nigerian airlines to expand their foreign routes were being frustrated by international aero politics.
Onyema made the allegation during the formal presentation of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Membership Certificate to Air Peace by IATA’s Area Manager, South-West Africa, Dr Samson Fatokun, in Lagos.
He noted that it was unfortunate that some European and Western countries, whose airlines operate in Nigeria, had been putting in place stringent measures aimed at preventing Nigerian airlines from flying into their airports.
Onyema said: “Air Peace has not been stopped yet but I have seen others.
“A lot of foreign airlines do not want Nigerian airlines to succeed. It has to stop. If it continues I will go to court because they cannot be coming into our country and prevent us from flying into theirs.”
He said Air Peace and other Nigerian airlines, who had been certified by IATA having passed the required safety and security audits, should be accorded respect like their counterparts across the globe.
Onyema noted that the airline’s membership of IATA would broaden its space to continue to deliver exceptional flight services in Nigeria and energise its drive to connect more countries.
To this end, he said Air Peace, which currently has 24 aircraft in its fleet, would soon begin flight operations to nine West African countries having secured the necessary permits and also to London, Atlanta, Dubai, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg.
Onyema also thanked the staff of Air Peace and its customers for being behind the success recorded so far by the airline in its three years of operations.
Earlier, Fatokun commended Air Peace for the achievement, stressing that there were only 300 airlines in the IATA membership registry out of the thousands of airlines operating globally.
“We have requirements for any airline that wants to belong to the IATA brand and one of that requirement is that they must pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and this has kept most of them back.
“IATA comes with a requirement of quality and people expect the airline to operate with recommended standards of aviation globally,” he said.
According to him, with the certification, Air Peace has been given an impetus to become a global player in the aviation industry.
He said the benefits of IATA membership include discounted training for airlines, participation in multilateral interline and codeshare agreements with legacy airlines as well as inclusion in the Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) for airlines.
Fatokun urged the airline not to relent on its oars because the register was reviewed by IATA every two years, adding that they should work assiduously to remain in the register.