Air Peace to partner on Johannesburg, Mumbai routes
Air Peace airline has hinted on plans to partner other carriers on the Johannesburg and Mumbai routes. The partnership is to deepen and sustain the two international operations that are also scheduled for launch soon.Air Peace last weekend opened its international account with the Lagos-Sharjah/Dubai route. The destination is one of the six the Federal Government approved in 2018.
Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, said the airline has the permit to commence air services into South Africa and India, but was still working to perfect pacts with airlines to widen the routes beyond point-to-point operations. Onyema said the Johannesburg operations would start by August after Air Peace must have signed an agreement with a local carrier that would take passengers beyond Johannesburg to places like Cape Town, and beyond.
He said the airline would in September commence Indian operations, given the high demand for services on that route. ”We may be doing Jo’burg and India almost at the same time, or at most in September (for India). The Indians are calling for us to come and we have already started fulfilling their requirements. The Federal Government has also written to the Indian government to give us support.
”We are looking forward to discussions with Air India, which is key to flying our passengers beyond India,” he said. Air Peace, according to the chairman, would also be entering China through Guangzhou by November. He added that the multiple international destinations explained Air Peace’s acquisition of six Boeing 777 aircraft, which was outrageous to many industry watchers that had watched some of the assets sat idle for a year.
”When we started acquiring aircraft, we were unjustly criticised, without the critics understanding our plans. If you do not have at least three long-haul aircraft, or at least three aircraft of these specifications, the Chinese will not give you the permit.”Our Ambassador in Beijing gave us all the supports to make this come to fruition and make it easy for Air Peace. But before they give you that permit, you have to show them your aircraft, with its tail sign or its lease documentation.”
Onyema, however, called on government to do what the Americans did to stop unfair competition, describing it as the bane of local airlines in the international market.
”Government must stop unfair competition, if we are to survive. They must end proliferation of routes and giving out multiple designations to foreign carriers. How can an airline fly into almost every Nigerian city, or still fly from Abuja to Port Harcourt to pick passengers? If you want our airlines to survive and sustain jobs it creates, you will not give multiple entries to foreign airlines.
“Air Peace will never be able to combat international aeropolitics without the support of the government. We can only combat it if our government supports us. It is a shame that several Nigerian airlines have come to Dubai and they were pushed out, either through unfair competition or some arm-twisting tactics. It is very unfair,” he said.
He, however, observed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had given support to the growth of indigenous investment and businesses, adding that without government’s support the airline would not have scaled up its fleet size for international operations.
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