- Apologizes again for delays and cancellations
The Air Peace boss made this known last Thursday as the airline took delivery of the fourth of its 13 Embraer E195-E2 Kingsley Chukwuma Onyema with registration marks 5N-BYI which arrived from the Embraer facility in Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil.
Onyema explained that the new aircraft was new technology and would help save funds in terms of maintenance as it is cheaper to maintain a newer aircraft than an aging one but stressed that airlines world over were flying aircraft fleet as old as 40 years.
He said,”A lot of people do not give the Nigerian airlines the respect they deserve. Nigerian airlines are very safe. In 2018, we decided that as part of our business plans we would start operating new aircraft. Its not because old planes are not safe its because of the economics of the game. newer planes will save you fuel and maintenance but the older ones are equally very safe, top-notch. READ MORE: Fourth Embraer E195
“No one goes into the air except it is top notch. An aircraft can fly even if its 50 years old. Nigeria aviation,people criticize us and say oh,old planes. No. Nigeria planes we have one of the youngest fleet in the world because of the 22 year cap.
“In America you can fly up yo 50 years. Some of those planes are older than many of us here, but they are still flying the oldest plane you can find in Nigeria can be only 30 years but its not about the age but its about the maintenance. However, the brand new airplanes take safety to another level but the most important thing is the economics of the game and comfort.
Relatively speaking airlines in the country have begun modernizing their fleet and bringing in young aircraft as either purchase or lease Ibom Air leased to Airbus A220s from Egypt Air less than two year old each while Green Africa uses a fleet of ATR72-600 that are averagely 7.5 years old
According to Onyema, before the end of 2020, Air peace will be bringing in additional three (3) new aircraft to bring the number to 7.
He spoke on flight cancellations and delays, apologizing but stressed that no airline would want to do a flight if safety maybe compromised.
“Of recent the flying public must have been experiencing flight delays,flight cancellations. No airline wants to delay or cancel flights it is more expensive to do that. No airline want to delay flights its not in their best interest, but as a result of safety flights may be cancelled or rescheduled. It is for the safety of the passenger and equipment
“In Nigeria no airline compromises safety anymore. Maybe it happened some 20 years or 30 years ago but the present NCAA does not take any compromises,the current oversight function on airlines is something that everyone has to be confident of because they make sure the right things are done.
“Airlines do not intentionally delay on cancel flights but this is as a result of COVID-19 has affected the way things are done. we have 21 planes lying fallow out of the country,I mean Air Peace alone in maintenance facilities world wide.
“It is not because of lack of money hat they are not yet back but it is because those countries experienced lock down and didn’t have the capacity to re-deliver these planes when they are needed. So flight cancellations are not deliberately been done by the airlines but its orchestrated by incidents of covid-19