The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has commended the Minister of Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, for the decision of the federal government to enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations in the country as it opens its airspace.
Onyema said this decision would elevate the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations and send a signal to international airlines that it is no more business as usual.
In a letter to the minister, the Air Peace boss wrote said, “You are causing a positive revolution in the aviation world. You have, by this action, brought so much respect to our people and our nation. Nigerians all over the world are walking tall with enormous pride since the last few hours when the news broke out. This is the beginning of the end of the stigmatisation of Nigeria and everything Nigerian. God bless you always. From my sincere heart, I have come to appreciate your nationalistic tendencies.”
Onyema said the Minister by his conduct and commitment, has ensured that the aviation industry is unencumbered, noting that Sirika facilitated the customs duty waiver on aircraft and spares and currently working on the unification of charges paid by domestic airlines.
Onyema also commended the Minister for his commitment to the aviation industry, from his efforts towards restoring infrastructure at the airports to his intervention in labour issues, adding that Sirika has done so much to protect domestic airlines by spearheading earlier the policy that only Nigerian carriers should engage in evacuation conducted by the federal government.
At last Thursday’s media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, Sirika said Nigeria will enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations in the country
What this policy means is that only airlines from countries that allow flights from Nigeria will be allowed to fly into and out of the country.
According to him, the country’s position is informed by the ban placed by some countries on flights from Nigeria, and that Nigeria’s decision was taken in the interest of its citizens.
Meanwhile, Air Peace has dispatched two of its Boeing 777 aircraft to China on national assignments.
The airline management said that the two aircraft were dispatched to the cities of Chengdu and Beijing respectively for important national assignments on behalf of the governments of Nigeria and China.
Air Peace said the two aircraft with registration numbers 5N-BVE and 5N-BWI, departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos Thursday night, just few minutes away from each other.
“We evacuated 313 Chinese nationals in one flight and will return with over 300 stranded Nigerians. The other aircraft will be returning with expatriates at the behest of the Federal Government. Air Peace commends the Federal Government of Nigeria for standing by Nigerian airlines,” the airline said.