The workers who appreciated the gesture could not believe the salary alert and noticed that all the workers were given a raise by the management with some receiving 100 per cent increase, while the big earners got minimum of 10 per cent increase.
The Chairman and CEO of the airline, Allen Onyema was literally mobbed at the domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by the elated workers of the company who danced around him, thanking him for his benevolence, as some said that it was least expected at these hard times, when airlines all over the world are struggling to survive due to the devastation of Covid-19 pandemic.
Some jubilant workers who spoke to newsmen said that what was surprising about the increase was that it came when many companies are laying off staff, especially businesses that are aviation related due to the economic downturn occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cabin Services Manager, Florence Opia who spoke on the increase said the airline staff were over excited because it was not expected and it came at a time when some organisations are cutting the salary of their staff and others are laying off their workforce, describing the Chairman of the company as kind hearted and magnanimous, adding that he cares for the welfare of his workers.
“The increase even came at a time when we are not operating many flights. We used to operate 135 flights a day but now we operate relatively fewer flights and he still gave us such increase across board, to everybody. It was shocking. We could not believe it.
“The raise will boost the morale of the workers to dedicate themselves more to the company. There were even some workers who were contemplating going for greener pastures. I am sure they will stay back now and more people from other airlines will be pushing to come in. I will like to really thank our Chairman. We have been praying for him. God will continue to protect him. He remains a pacesetter. We can never take his kindness for granted,” she said.
When asked what motivated him to give everyone in the company a raise, the Chairman of Air Peace said, “My motivation comes from God Almighty. I have told Nigerians and the world at large that I created Air Peace because of the love of my country, just to create jobs. I established Air Peace to create jobs and help my countrymen and women. The airline is not for me. I am looking forward to a Nigerian airline where the workers in generations to come will be able to say my great, great grandfather worked in Air Peace, my grandfather worked in Air Peace, my own father worked in Air Peace, here I am working for Air Peace.
So it is the legacy that matters to me. I looked at the hardship around and everything and I decided that whatever little we have, let’s push it back to the staff. It is very difficult now, we have about almost 20 planes stranded abroad, depleting our capacity to do what we know how to do best. Before Covid-19, we were doing about 135 flights day. Now we are doing about 40 to 45, yet I decided to recall every staff. Not only recalling every staff, four months ago, I restated them to pre-Covid-19 salaries. And now I decided that we should double their wages ranging from 10 percent, to hundred percent. Some people got 100 percent increase, some others 80 per cent, depending on where the person’s grade is,” he said.