Nigerian carrier, Air Peace Limited, says it’s planned foray into the international market is being sabotaged by regulatory agencies of the countries where they had been granted the operating licences to fly into as flag carrier on behalf of the Nigerian government.
Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, while making this allegations lamented the lack of cooperation by some of foreign countries in granting requisite permits for the Nigerian carrier to launch operations into their airports in line with the terms of the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) they signed with the Nigerian government.
Said Olajide, “the authorities of most of the international destinations Air Peace had been designated to operate were either deliberately foot-dragging in processing our application or imposing frustrating conditions to discourage the airline from flying into their domains.
“Some of the destination countries, responded to the airline’s application only after about two years and where the destination countries reluctantly approved the airline’s application to fly into their domains, impossible charges were imposed to frustrate and discourage it from acting on such approval,” Olajide added.
The high charges imposed on Nigerian airlines by foreign nations, Olajide said, were unfortunately not reciprocated back home by the Nigerian government whom she said “was rather pampering foreign airlines in Nigeria and giving them approval to operate to multiple destinations.”
Olajide who spoke at an Aviation Stakeholders forum held in Abuja at the weekend listed the routes routes to include, London (United Kingdom); Dubai (United Arab Emirates); Guangzhou-China; Houston (USA); Mumbai (India); Johannesburg (South Africa); and Sharjah (UAE).
Olajide dismissed claims that domestic airlines lacked the capacity to take advantage of the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) signed between Nigeria and the different countries. In demonstration of its capacity, she said, Air Peace is at the moment consistently operating into 14 domestic and five West African destinations, including Accra, Banjul, Dakar, Freetown and Monrovia.
Olajide maintained that Air Peace had the capacity to operate into all destinations approved for it, announcing that the airline was concluding arrangements to launch its Dubai and Sharjah services before the end of the year.
She also identified the inability of airlines to operate into most of the nation’s airports once it was sunset as a great disservice to the operational capacity of the carriers.
Speaking on the suspended national carrier project, the Air Peace boss criticised it as being out of fashion and a drain on public resources.