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Why We Must Embrace Air Peace On International Flights-Onyeama  .



Allen Onyema 234 1

Excerpts from interview with Allen Onyeama, proprietor, Air Peace Airlines in Saturday Vanguard, March 16, 2024

“How Nigerians suffered to fly to London Nigerians were going to Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt even South Africa to go to London. To save money, they would fly down to South Africa (six hours) to get to London. No one can blame them. Like I always say, it is only indigenous investments that can protect this country. Foreign investments are good, but you also have to encourage indigenous investments to stabilize and succeed. Indigenous investments provide the real jobs and when the chips are down, they are the ones to save the country. When I talked, nobody wanted to listen to me, but I beat my chest and I am happy today. I am absolutely happy for what I have done for this nation in the last few days.

“Do you know the millions of dollars or billions of Naira Air Peace has single- handedly saved for this country by what we did? From N17 million, we brought a Business class flight to London down to N4 million. From N6 million we brought economy class flight down to N1.2 million and even afforded our students a further 15 per cent of the N1.2 million.

“What happened? Pandemonium in the aviation world. All the foreign airlines started scrambling for safety. They started scrambling for cover. Within 24 hours of Air Peace releasing its fares, those airlines brought their fares from N15 million to N5 million. As I speak to you, the fares are coming down. They are advertising and begging people on social media to fly with them.

“I have said this overtime but because some people suffer from colonial mentality, slave mentality, they think everything foreign is okay. Do you know how much Nigeria is saving now because too much strain was put on the Naira? Within 24 hours, Air Peace brought foreign airlines to their knees. Air Peace and other Nigerian airlines deserve to be supported.

Nigerians unfair to Tinubu
Frankly, we are being unfair to President Tinubu by blaming every woe in the country on him. As a citizen, you have to play your part.
Allen Onyema has played his part. I have shown that with patriotic acts, we can move this country forward. If you are patriotic, you can’t engage in corruption. If you are patriotic, you will engender the ease of doing business in your country and encourage businesses to grow. If you are patriotic, you won’t stifle businesses out of wickedness. If you are patriotic, you will drive a positive narrative for your country. One doesn’t need to be president or governor to bring about social change. When I brought about social change in the Niger Delta, I wasn’t a councillor. If every citizen is contributing his or her quota, the country will move forward.
One thing I will say is the present government owes it a duty to support Air Peace, not only on the London route but also other routes. It also owes it a duty to support other Nigerian airlines because we have done something for this government that has cleaned its image.

“Most Nigerians travelling abroad blame all their woes on Tinubu, saying it is because of him that fares escalated. The foreign airlines cashed in on the (exchange) situation to escalate their bills to N15 million. Internal, international conspiracies against Nigeria’s economy

“Now, a Nigerian airline has come out to prove that the problem was not President Tinubu but both internal and external conspiracies. Some Nigerians were making sure that the London route didn’t happen, they didn’t want the London thing to happen and they collaborated with outsiders. God has made it possible for us to surmount all that and you can see it. If at the time we wanted to roll out our fares last week, I decided to make business class N10 million, Nigerians would be happy. If we made the economy ticket N3 million, Nigerians would also be happy. In Air Peace, however, we decided that we could make a difference and help the nation.