Air Peace to lose more revenue to on-ground aircraft damage

air peace

Air Peace, one of Nigeria’s local airlines has recorded on-ground damage to three of its aircraft which has affected its operations schedule for domestic air travel nationwide.

These incidents are expected to lead to severe losses for the airlines until they are repaired and certified for flying.

Two of the aircraft were grounded in Lagos when their wings collided at the Murtala Mohammad Airport (MMA) domestic terminal while being pulled out of the ramp while another one was hit by a truck belonging to the ground handling company, SAHCOL in Benin Airport.

This sparked some attacks on the staff of the airline from angry passengers who were affected by the disruption in operations in Lagos, Abuja, Calabar airports.

The airline called for patience, while urging the Federal Government to ban the sale of alcohol at various airport terminals.

It was also learnt that some Benin-bound passengers went irate at the weekend following the cancellation of their flight, and attacked the Air Peace officials at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja. While the duty manager was allegedly beaten and stripped naked, facilities of the airline were also destroyed at the weekend.

However, the airline explained that delays and flight cancellations were due to the loss of three aircraft within 24 hours.

Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Allen Onyema, said each of the grounded aircraft executes about eight flights per day and in total, the development means 24 flights disrupted every day.

Onyema said in the wake of the incident, Air Peace had to fix between 20 to 24 flights in its schedule, adding that no airline can do that without disruption of services, leading to delays and cancellations.

He said the development, however, should not warrant violent attacks on its staffers, citing that the development was beyond all parties concerned.

According to Onyema, the faulty aircraft would be grounded for at least 10 days affecting 240 flights. He estimated that the airline risk losing no fewer than N3 billion in the process.

Corporate Communications Manager of Air Peace, Chris Iwarah, expressed regrets that security agents failed to halt members of the public invasion of airport facilities to attack airline workers.

Iwarah said: “It is surprising all these attacks could take place at the nation’s airports, a high security environment, without any challenge whatsoever from security agents.

“The situation has, therefore, left us with no choice than to resort to our right of self-defence to prevent our staff from being killed. We can no longer tolerate unruly passengers maiming our staff simply because we have chosen to provide service in a very challenging environment.

“Security agencies must rise to the occasion before our staff, who are also people’s children and parents, are killed. This is the least the government can do to prevent unpatriotic citizens from bringing the few surviving airlines in the country down,” he said.

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