- As Air Peace enters Sharjah with over 80% load factor
FORMER Anambra State Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Mr. Peter has said that Air Peace’s flights to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates ( UAE) move would be of immense economic benefit to the country through massive employment, and earning of foreign exchange.
Obi made this known in Abuja before he joined the many that flew the airline’s inaugural service to Sharjah as he electrified both passengers and crew.
Mr. Obi who in his normal simple fashion joined the flight, moved from the First Class where he was seated to all the other Cabin to the cheer to many who took turns to take selfies with the gentleman.
Obi spoke to many passengers onboard extending hands of friendship who were elated, the passengers also commended Barrister Allen Onyema for taking the bull by the horn to provide the Lagos- Sharjah service.
The airline after the flight announced late yesterday said the 324 -seater aircraft airlifted an unprecedented 316 passengers to Sharjah of which actual paying passengers were 274 accounting for the impressive load factor.
Earlier Obi had spoken to newsmen in Abuja on the development, saying it was a major move towards economic resurgence of Nigeria.
Analysing the implication of this move, which he called “inaugural flight into the world”, Obi said: “the move would be of immense economic boost to the country through massive employment, and earning of foreign exchange as well as encourage competitive prizing and ready availability of flights.
On the imperative for support to the Airline by Nigerians, Obi, citing examples with the over 95% patronage the people of Rwanda, Ethiopia and most countries that have International Airlines give to their airlines, Obi said he was confident Nigerians would patronise the Airline and see it as their own.
His words: “Air Peace deserves every support from patriotism point of view and, most importantly, because they have proved their professionalism in service delivery and other aspects of airline management.”
Meanwhile, the airline’s CEO, Barrister Allen Onyema feels the airline will thrive better and continue to provide employment to the teeming Nigerian youth, if it is supported by government as airline’s in other climes are.
Onyema who responded to questions after Air Peace at a dinner organised for a successful flight explained that with its price revolution, some players through their constituted authorities may come after them and that is where they need government’s backing.
“Of course we need support of government, it’s a give . Without this support of government, they will come after us. In other places government’s protect its airline’s and until we learn that protection, no matter how you try, you’d need your country to support you and check mate them.”
On the load factor, Air Peace Chairman expects a rise while stating that the airlines’ frequency of operations will give it room to review its operations and do it better subsequently until it perfects the route.
Onyema also used the opportunity to thank Nigerians who believed in the airline and flew them stating that despite the fact that AirPeace cannot match its competitors experience or capacity but would go a long way because of Nigerians’ support.
” You may not know what you did yesterday( Friday), you showed solidarity to this entity called Air Peace. You don’t know how far your decision to join us yesterday has gone on to make our visions a reality. You don’t know how joining Air Peace has given hope to the thousands of Air Peace staff who have waded through animosity…you don’t know how you’ve touched the lives of over 3000 people whose livelihood depends the support you have given Air Peace,” he said.
A passenger,’Femi,’ who spoke to Nigerianflightdeck onboard the aircraft, commended the airline’s services and price range, stating that the pricing was competitive enough to get the Air Peace desired traffic on the route and the service, if consistent, enough to maintain the traffic.