AM EDITORIAL: What Air Peace Lagos-London Flight Means

It is no longer news that Air Peace Limited, one of Nigeria’s airlines will commence flights between Lagos and London on March 30, 2024.

This development deserves applauds, especially since Nigeria will now have its own carrier operating direct flights into the United Kingdom, thereby pursuing some balance of trade that has been lacking for years.

The daily slot to Gatwick granted Air Peace, amounts to seven frequencies, as against the 21 frequencies that the legacy airlines have in their operation of 14 in Lagos and seven in Abuja.

Air Peace has said that the fares will be paid in Naira and therefore, the challenges of foreign exchange will be highly minimized. This is equally a patriotic decision being taken by Air Peace at a time when fluctuations in the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar, is seemingly beyond control.

This remarkable entry of Air Peace into the European market that is to be done, using modern Boeing 777 aircraft and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, is coming with special promo fares and attractive plans for travel agents, who will be given commissions.

Affordability of fares that has been announced by Air Peace is particularly significant because the cheapest economy class return ticket from Nigeria to London cost about N1.7 million and fares in the last two years have risen by over 400 percent as a result of passenger traffic on the route, naira depreciation and foreign airlines’ trapped funds in Nigeria. Nigerians can now travel to London via Air Peace, an indigenous airline and pay a fare much lower than N1.5 million. This is exciting.

There is even an offer of special fares to Nigerians studying in the UK on this Lagos-London flights which according to Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Dr Allen Onyema, is intended to make it easy and affordable for students to return to Nigeria during holidays and travel back at resumption so that parents can remain connected to their children and ensure they stick to Nigeria’s values and culture.

However, knowing that in the past, a few indigenous private airlines that emerged after the 2003 liquidation of Nigeria Airways were highly celebrated like this when they commenced flights to London but could not sustain the operations, we appeal to Air Peace leadership to take every measure required to ensure sustainability of this operation after it commences on March 30, 2024.

It is expected that Air Peace will in this Lagos-London operations, prove naysayers wrong by operating according to good corporate governance standards, appropriate safety requirements, compliance with terms of partnership agreements and other international standards of operation.

Once again, we congratulate Air Peace and wish the airline more wins as it leads the way to inspire some more Nigerian scheduled airlines towards to yearning for greater feat.AM

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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