- Airline alleges N400m loss so far
Air Peace has cried out over what it describes as lack of protection for its operations following a massive disruption of the airline’s operations into Owerri, the Imo state capital from Lagos and Abuja and vice-versa over a dispute unions had with the Governor of the State, Hope Uzodinma.
The airline in a statement signed by management alleged that it was targeted by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) officials as only its operations were halted at the Lagos, Abuja and Owerri Airports while another airline was allowed operations into Owerri alleging it was profiled and targeted for disruption.
The airline further stressed that this was not the first time unions would be disrupting Air Peace’s operations for issues that have no bearing on the airline stressing that it has lost over N400 million naira today, question who would bear the brunt?
The airline explained, “Today, May 3, 2023, the NLC and TUC officials stormed the Lagos Airport and took over our counter, disrupting all our operations because of an alleged misunderstanding they had with Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State. They had written to us yesterday, saying that no flight should be operated into Owerri today because, as alleged, Governor Uzodimma disrupted their May Day activities a few days ago.
“Air Peace has no affiliation whatsoever with the Imo State Government or Governor Uzodimma. Our duty and commitment are to the Nigerian flying public that have paid us. We have a contract with them to deliver. This morning, they carried out a selective attack on Air Peace, took over our counters and disrupted our operations.
“While they were doing this, another Nigerian airline was allowed to operate into and out of Owerri. They took over our counters in Owerri, Abuja and Lagos, disrupting over 110 flights of Air Peace. This particular illegal action of NLC and TUC will lead to over 400 million naira loss to the airline. It will equally lead to massive disruptions and cancellations of our flights across the country today, and that will snowball into the coming days, too.
“This is not the first time the NLC or unions will be attacking Air Peace for issues that have no bearing with the airline. There was a time they attacked Air Peace because they were protesting minimum wage with the Federal Government. While the minimum wage was 18,000 naira then, the minimum wage at Air Peace was even 50,000 naira.
“It is more worrisome that the security agencies are watching while an airline that is discharging its duties to the country is being harassed and hounded by miscreants at these airports, and this is not the first time. We do not understand why Air Peace and aviation should be selected for this kind of treatment. If they have a grouse against Governor Uzodimma, that should be taken to Imo State. Why are they not stopping road transport workers who are going to Imo State?
“Aviation borders on national security and we have been made a laughing stock in the world. Who is going to pay Air Peace over 400 million naira lost today and in the coming days?
“We use this opportunity to alert the Nigerian flying public that all our flights will be disrupted today and in the coming days because cancellations will follow. Any flight we fail to operate today due to this illegal occupation of our operations will lead to cancellations in most sunset airports. Who is going to take responsibility for this? We feel highly unprotected.