Business Hilights
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Aviation politics very dirty—Onyema, Air Peace boss

The Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema, has raised an issue of urgent importance, saying time has come massive support for the survival of indigenous players in the continental and domestic market.

Reacting to the recent Federal Government’s veiled romance with Ethiopian Airline as revealed by the latter’s Chief Executive officer, Mr Tewolde Gebremariam, he warned the Federal Government and aviation authorities to be aware that many of the foreign airlines operating into Nigeria are already jittery with Air Peace’s inroad to international market, and would stop at nothing to retain their dominance.

Recall that Gebremariam spoke to journalists in Abuja earlier in the week, hinting that he was in Nigeria in continuation of talks with government officials on a partnership that will lead to the floating of a private sector driven national carrier.

Business Hilights recalls that Ethiopian Airline, few years ago, struck similar deal with Togo to establish the Lome-based, Asky Airline that is today known as the nation’s carrier.

Whereas top aviation stakeholders saw what Ethiopia Airline did in Togo as a function of their size and market which cannot work here in Nigeria, Air Peace chief noted that “It is, however, up to our government and Nigerians as a whole to support their own airlines to be competitive. Not only Air Peace, we also have Med-View, and Arik Air that should be supported and patronised.” According to him, “The thing is that aviation politics is very dirty, but we all must be ready to say no to their antics.”

Only recently, Air Peace took international flights like a storm with its inaugural flight to Dubai and other choice destination in the future. This is coming few months after sealing aircraft supply deals with manufacturing giants for deepening its aircraft base.