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    Friday, July 5, 2024

    Air Peace’s Economy Class Seats to London are Fully Reserved Until August — COO

    All Economy Class seats on Air Peace flights to London are completely reserved until August, Nigerians are currently traveling from the United States to the United Kingdom in order to book flights with Air Peace to Lagos, as stated by the Chief Operating Officer.

    The chief operating officer of Air Peace, Toyin Olajide mentioned that Nigerians opt to fly from the US to the UK and then book Air Peace flights to Lagos in order to benefit from the cost-effective US-Europe routes.

    By choosing this route, they are able to save a significant amount of money that would have been spent on direct US-Nigeria flights. Additionally, Olajide highlighted that Chinese nationals residing in Nigeria, as well as Nigerians, also utilize Air Peace for their travels to London and then switch to China Southern Airline for their journey to China.

    This strategy allows them to reduce expenses that would have been incurred if they had chosen Nigeria to China flights via the Middle East or other connecting hubs.

    “We recently upgraded two passengers who traveled from the US to London and then on to Lagos using our flight. We decided to upgrade them from economy class to business class as a token of appreciation for their loyalty and support. They have been taking advantage of our affordable flights between Europe and the US, which has allowed them to save a significant amount of money," she stated.

    The COO also mentioned that Air Peace has become the preferred airline for Nigerians who accompany their elderly parents to the UK and the US. She revealed that on each flight to London, Air Peace may have between 30 to 40 wheelchair passengers, as it has become the airline of choice for Nigerians to bring their parents to the UK and also take them back to Nigeria

    “Our cabin crew, having adopted the African traditions of looking after the elderly, are the reason why many Nigerians opt for Air Peace to transport their elderly parents. We treat them with the same level of care and attention as we would our own parents. Our cabin crew go above and beyond to ensure their happiness and well-being. We make it a priority to cater to their needs. In fact, some Nigerians entrust their parents to us to travel unaccompanied,” stated the COO.

    Numerous Nigerians have recently expressed their appreciation for Air Peace’s initiative to launch flight operations to London three months ago.

    A significant number of individuals who have either flown with the airline to London or availed of its services for their family members have taken to social media to praise the airline for offering alternatives to the public, reducing the previously exorbitant airfares for the route, and breaking the monopoly of direct flights between Lagos and London.

    A Nigerian Individual, a woman in her online post, shared her experience of flying back to Nigeria with Air Peace from London and then choosing to bring her elderly parents to London with the same airline. She praised the in-flight service and punctuality.

    The Chief Operating Officer stated that despite the obstacles, Air Peace has offered Nigerians a reliable option and guaranteed that the airline will maintain its efficient and trustworthy service on the Lagos-London route.

    She added Air Peace Lagos-London flight economy class has been fully booked for the next 60 days and on the flight it operated on Sunday (June 30, 2024), the economy seats were fully booked and out of the 42 seats in the business class, 41 seats were occupied.

    “But our system did not advertise our first class seats, an error, which has been corrected. So, what it means is that we recorded a very high load factor, only 12 seats in the first class and one business class seat; that is, 13 seats were empty out of the 274 seats capacity aircraft. We thank Nigerians. We appreciate the fact that they are happy with the airline,” Olajide said.

    Additional Nigerians have shared their experiences and praised the Air Peace service on the Lagos-London route.

    Shalom Asuquo, the Founder and Managing Director of Travel Lab Nigeria Limited, highlighted the significant positive influence Air Peace has had on the route over the last three months, facilitating the transportation of Nigerians and enhancing market growth.

    “On March 30, 2024, Air Peace commenced operations with a Boeing 777-200ER, and since then, they have partnered with Norse Atlantic Airways to maintain daily flights on this route, using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The inaugural flight was a beautiful and nostalgic event, symbolizing a significant step forward for Nigerian aviation.

    “The entrance of Air Peace into this market has not only increased accessibility but also diversified the passenger base. Remarkably, the airline has attracted elderly passengers who previously couldn’t afford high ticket prices post-pandemic, as well as students returning home for family events and reunions. This influx has resulted in a five to fifteen per cent increase in passengers.

    “Air Peace’s operations have also played a crucial role in positively positioning Nigerian brands. Products like Farm Fresh yoghurt, Gratia chin flakes, Olu Olu chips, and local long-grain Nigerian rice have gained exposure and expanded their reach. This ripple effect has benefited small businesses and local farmers who supply produce like tomatoes, peppers, and spinach; contributing to an economic expansion of over NGN 2 billion,” Asuquo disclosed.

    She disclosed that travel agencies have been able to take advantage of Air Peace's favorable commission structure, which includes a nine percent commission and various incentives. This comes at a time when numerous airlines have decreased or completely removed commissions. She emphasized that this program, endorsed by the current president of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), is geared towards standardizing industry practices and backing travel agencies .

    “Despite the challenges on the route, Air Peace has continued to maintain high safety standards. Fostering strong relationships with regulatory bodies will be essential for sustaining and expanding its service on this route. Air Peace’s entry into the London route represents a significant development for Nigerian aviation, offering better service, more competitive pricing, and substantial economic benefits to the country. For us in the downstream aviation sector, Air Peace is a beacon of growth and progress. We hope they keep soaring to new heights, and we are on standby to support them all the way,” Asuquo said.

    Additionally, Bede Eziefule, the Programme Director at the Centre for the Right to Health in Nigeria, emphasized that Air Peace has provided relief to Nigerians by reducing the exorbitant fares for flights from Lagos to London offered by other airlines.

     “Before Air Peace joined the Lagos-London route, airfares were too high, but now the fares are relatively down. We are clamouring for dollars but the foreign airlines repatriate the foreign exchange after charging us outrageous fares. Now, Air Peace is helping us because we pay their low fares in Naira and by doing that they reduce the pressure on the Nigerian currency. You can now eat local delicacies on international flights to Europe, a rarity in the past.

    “The success recorded by Air Peace so far will encourage other Nigerian airlines to join international service; this will help us bring the fares down and also improve the service offered to Nigerians because this will sharpen competition and will discourage any gang-up by foreign airlines to rip us off,” he said.

    Aloysius Nnanna, similarly, expressed his thoughts,  the Deputy Zonal Commander, Advocacy and Sensitization at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), emphasized that Air Peace has played a crucial role in providing affordable travel options for Nigerians to the UK. This has particularly benefited middle-income earners, as previously, the absence of Nigerian carriers flying to Europe resulted in exorbitant fares.

    “It has also helped Nigerians in terms of competition because ticket prices started coming down when Air Peace started the London operation. What this means is that Nigerians will spend less on flight tickets if more Nigerian carriers are enabled to fly international routes. The Nigerian government should continue to support Air Peace and other Nigerian airlines, especially now that it has become intentional about protecting Nigerian carriers against other predatory businesses, including foreign airlines,” Nworisa said.

    Eziefule pointed out that Air Peace has enabled certain Nigerians to relocate and work in London, leading to the creation of additional employment opportunities. With ongoing government support, the airline is poised for continued success
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