Some pilots recently disengaged by the management of a private aviation company, Air Peace, will soon heave a sigh of relief following the prompt intervention of Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika.
This was the fall-out of an intervention meeting convened by the minister between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, which held in his office, Abuja on Tuesday.
In the verbal agreement reached after a seamless deliberation, Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, heeded Sirika’s plea to for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.
In its submission, NAAPE, led by its chairman, Galadima Abednego said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union, adding however that the Minister had what it takes to resolve the impasse.
He noted that it was difficult to see members of the union lose their jobs even as he urged employers of labour, particularly in the aviation sector to see union members as partners rather than as foes.
On his part, Onyema expressed disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots, given his personal effort to make them live lives of comfort.
He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
He, however, commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in the country.
The Aviation Minister called for closer collaboration, saying the prevailing circumstances in the industry was not right for unnecessary bickering.
He further called on stakeholders in the aviation industry to put in their best in ensuring rapid recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air Peace recently relieved 69 pilots of their duties owing largely to the economic squeeze that engulfed the industry as a result of the coronavirus which culminated in the suspension of domestic and international flights until domestic operations resumed a fortnight ago.