Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, said it lost over N1.2 billion over the past year in the course of its flight operations into other West African countries.
The chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, stated yesterday that the loss came as a result of the hostilities the carrier faced in countries such as Togo, Cote D’ Ivoire, and South Africa.
Onyema disclosed this while speaking during the inauguration ceremony of some of the company’s board members in Lagos. He appealed to the Federal Government to approve policies that will protect indigenous carriers from some of the challenges other African countries pose, some of which includes the denial of approval to operate, prohibitive landing, and high airport charges.
On possible NSE Listing: Onyema stated that the airline has no immediate plans to prepare for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). This is because the sustainability of the carrier is more important than following the bandwagon by hurrying to the stock exchange; even when the financial health of the airline is not on a sound footing.
According to him, the stability of the airline; its growth and safety record were critical factors to look into before rushing to sell shares to interested parties.
Commenting on the airline’s fleet size, Mr Onyema said the company will not reverse its order of the Boeing 737–800 Max aircraft despite the controversies surrounding Boeing. He said the aircraft manufacturer invited Air Peace pilot for training on the problems of the aircraft type, which has since been addressed. Onyema said the order of the 10 Boeing 737-800 Max will be achieved in four years.
On New Routes: The chairman has also announced that the carrier will begin flight operations to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates next month.
He said Dubai, Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai would soon join the airline’s international route network while plans were also on to connect more cities within Nigeria.
Onyema also spoke on expanding flights along its local routes as well. He said: “We are planning flights to connect many cities both internationally, regionally and domestically. Very soon you will see Air Peace aircraft littering the South African and European skies.“We are looking at Miami – Lagos – Abuja; Lagos – Kano – Miami and other routes.