CHIEF Operating Officer, Air Peace, Oluwatoyin Olajide has said the airline’s commencement of direct flights to South Africa from Lagos has cut short the horrific experience of flying 24 hours instead of less than 6 hours and will fill a vacuum left on the route.
This is just as she said the airline did not just enter the route willy-nilly, as it painstakingly took its time to ensure it had the right resources and parameters to make the operations a success.
Olajide who spoke in an interview this morning on 702 Radio in Johannesburg said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the aviation industry, Air Peace was able to commence the operations because of rigorous planning as well as its vision of connecting Africa.
The COO also explained that its superior service as well as its compliance to safety protocols due to the ravaging COVID-19 Pandemic is part of what sets the airline apart.
She said,”On Air Peace on this South African route, the first thing you are gonna benefit is safety because this period, is a very delicate period . The airline is in compliance with the COVID-19 procedures, the cockpit crew, the cabin crew, they are all in compliance with the Covid-19 protocols. And before you can board our aircraft, you have to have a negative Covid-19 result from an approved laboratory. ”
“And in addition to that, we have a promo fare we are running , it is an amazing fare from Lagos to Johannesburg and from Johannesburg back to Lagos you’d just spend about 6000 Rands and that is unbelievable for a direct flight that is less than 6 hours compared to the horrific experience people have been having to travel via Kigali , via Addis, via Lome just to get to Lagos and you hear people spending more than 24hours just to get to Lagos, a journey less than six hours and we gave come here to actually take all that away.”
On its expansion despite the pandemic Olajide explained that apart from the airline being ready to commence the operations for over two years, people were now yearning for a direct flight to cut the rigors of traveling within Africa.
She said, “Let me first of all say that in the aviation industry, the pandemic has dealt with us, the aviation industry is one of the worst hit industries so it’s very understanding when people think, ‘how come, we are able to start the flight.’ This is one question people ask several times, people are just wondering, how are you able to do this at this time?’
“We have the vision to connect African countries we try to provide connectivity among the African people and for us to have been able to start during this period it wasn’t something we woke up and decided to do.
“Like I told you, we actually wanted to commence this flight two years ago, so the fact that we have it means we have been putting in place all the necessary resources; all the necessary parameters to ensure that we have the adequate number of equipment which are Boeing triple seven ( 777) aircraft to ensure we have the right personnel, the right resources and when we saw saw that we are ready to actually start this flight and they’ve been a lot of yearning, from people in Nigeria, some abroad and even some here in South Africa telling us look, Air Peace you just need to start this flight, we know you have the capability, we know you have the resources and you are able to do this.”
“So we looked in house, checked our parameters and our business plans and said this is the right time to go and so this is why we are here.”
On the airlines unique selling point she stated that, “For Air Peace, one thing that sets us apart is the superior service we provide to our customers. One thing for us is that our customers are king. They are the reason why we are in existence and we understand that much and we know that we have to listen to them, their varying ideals, so we will not joke with the services we provide to our customers.