Flifht Postponement: Passengers’ persistent punch up on air peace’s penurious put off by Bala Ibrahim

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Flifht Postponement: Passengers’ persistent punch up on air peace’s penurious put off by Bala Ibrahim

By Bala Ibrahim

As an airline, Air Peace is in conflict with it’s literal meaning.

By definition, it suppose to act in conformity with the exact words in the text of it’s name-PEACE.

Passenger peace in the air, passenger peace on the ground and passenger peace on transit.

Since establishment in 2013, Air peace has become a name that is closely associated with controversies, starting from the issue of it’s authentic owner.

Officially, Air peace is said to be owned by Allen Ifechukwu Onyema, a Nigerian lawyer and entrepreneur, that was born in Warri, Delta state in 1964. But the unofficial story in town is different, because the 58-year-old Allen is disputed as the CEO of the airline.

The rumour in town is that the airline is owned by the former first lady of Nigeria, Madam Patience Jonathan, and that he (Allen) is only fronting.

Those holding this believe are hinging their argument on the name of the airline, because Patience Jonathan is often referred to as Mama Peace. Hence, Air Peace is assumed as a cover up for Mama Peace.

This controversy is among the many issues that anger Allen, who is always eager to voice out his bitterness to whoever cares to listen.

But if that is a big issue of concern to him, the reputation of the airline now is fast becoming a bigger and more worrisome issue.

I carried out a simple research on the opinions of passengers about the airline. For the purpose of this article, I would limit the number to the opinions of only a few passengers, including the anger of an Emir, that is now the subject of another controversy.

According to one Eddy, as published by TripAdvisor, one of the leading online marketplaces for tours and other activities related to the tourism industry, “Air Peace is a good airline (At least compared to some other West African airline). Their check-in was OK, but they only allow 20KG baggage for economy passengers. Our flight departed on time and even ahead of schedule which I really appreciate. The cabin crew were very nice. Although, they could work a little on their cabin and legroom and the tray table of a particular seat was broken. Nevertheless, Air Peace is still one of the best Nigerian airlines out there. I recommend it for you”.

However, Edwin has a different tale to tell from that of Eddy. “I’m just so disappointed, as such, I would never use air peace again, they are the worst ever and will be happy to cancel your flight for no good reason but won’t understand your 5 minutes delay to check you in”.

On the scale of random users’ assessment, the two opinions above have succeeded in giving a balance on what may be called a sample of passengers’ opinion. But that is at the ordinary level.

The reputation of Air peace is now under persistent punch up, since it’s failure to put off, or delay the Lagos-Kano scheduled flight last week, after the airline had delayed the same carrier on a flight from Banjul, Gambia, to Lagos.

This resulted in the Emir of Kano, His Highness, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero to miss the trip to Kano from Lagos on that faithful day.

Last Thursday, the cousin to the Emir, who was on the same flight with the Emir, and a popular member of the aviation industry, Isa Sanusi Bayero, otherwise called Isa Pilot, wrote a letter of complaint to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), seeking punitive actions against Air Peace Airline, over what he called “disrespect to the Emir and the people of Kano State”.

He said the airline delayed their Banjul to Lagos flight by over one hour and refused to allow them board their connecting flight to Kano because they arrived in Lagos 30 minutes before the departure time.

“Since we left Banjul an hour behind schedule, the airline should know they have 10 passengers transiting to Kano and should know the right thing is to reschedule the flight because the delay we had was never our fault. I called severally. They refused to pick, but later picked and told us it was not possible. Courtesy demands the management should make necessary arrangement for the VIP because I had called the airline while in Banjul to make provision for vehicle that would transit the emir from international wing to domestic. That they disrespected the emir was the reason why they refused to delay the flight. It is totally wrong and unacceptable because if they truly respect the Emir, they should understand the aircraft was not complete without 10 passengers, including the VIP. For delaying us from Banjul, which caused our arriving late to Lagos, Air Peace has the moral duty to accommodate or take care of us” Isa Pilot.

Although Air Peace had denied the allegation, saying it took the action to protect the emir’s image, the failure to effect that particular flight put off, is adding to the passenger punch up against it.

While the issue of the Emir of Kano is yet to be resolved, a former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, has taken the CEO of the same Air Peace to the cleaners, demanding an apology for allegedly disrespecting him through similar maltreatment.

This is another adversity that would add in the controversy for demarketing the airline, reduce the entire demand for passenger patronage, and certainly bring no peace to the proper owners of Air peace.

Flifht Postponement: Passengers’ persistent punch up on air peace’s penurious put off by Bala Ibrahim

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