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Foreign airlines using lower price to force Air Peace from Nigerian-London route–Onyema



Air Peace, Capitalism, and National Interest
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Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Nigerian indigenous carrier, Air Peace, has alleged that there is an “unspoken alliance” among foreign airlines to use lower pricing to eject Air Peace from the Nigeria-London route.

Speaking during an interview Channels Television’s Politics ‘Today programme’, also described the recent decision of foreign carriers operating the Nigeria-UK route to lower their prices and the way the UK government treats his airline as “devilish conspiracy”

He warned, “If they take out Air Peace prematurely, this country will pay dearly for it, 10 times over, billions will be lost, there will be another heavy strain on the naira.”

Air Peace recently reciprocated the lopsided Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and the United Kingdom when the local airline began direct flight operations from Lagos to Gatwick Airport in London on March 30.

Onboard of the inaugural Lagos-London flight by the airline were Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo and his counterpart at the Trade and Investment Ministry, Doris Uzoka-Anita.

Following the commencement of the London route by Air Peace, the price of international flight ticket on the Lagos-London route, which was as high as N3.5m for economy ticket went for N1.2m, forcing  foreign airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Qatar Airways to slash their prices to stay competitive.

READ ALSO: Between London route and Onyema’s patriotism: Celebrating an exhilarating dawn

However, speaking on Tuesday, the Air Peace boss said foreign airlines operating the route “are fighting back”, adding that his airline is being “deliberately frustrated in all ways”.

He cited ground handling and space allocation difficulties at Gatwick Airport in the last couple of days as a very devilish conspiracy against his airline.

“All of a sudden, (foreign) airlines are underpricing, below the cost, it’s not up to one month, an airline was advertising $100, another one $305, $350.


“Fill up the entire aircraft and carry people on the wings, it’s not even enough to buy your fuel. So, why are they doing that? Their governments are supporting them because Nigeria has been a cash cow for everybody.

“Their governments are supporting them to do this and take Air Peace out. The idea is to take Air Peace out and the moment they succeed in taking Air Peace out,” he said.

Onyema, then encouraged other Nigerian airlines to join the Nigeria-UK route to break the monopoly hitherto enjoyed by foreign carriers operating into the four major gateway airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

“I invite other Nigerian airlines to join the fray, let them come, let all of us do international operations. Yes, international aeropolitics is very dirty but somebody must pay the price,” he added.