By Lawani Mikairu
Chairman and CEO of Air Peace airline, Barrister Allen Onyema has frowned at the behavior of some Nigerians who have been attacking the airline and “mischievously” creating the impression that the airline already had Boeing 737 MAX 800 in its fleet since the aircraft type was involved in two fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia respectively.
According to Onyema, it is true that Air Peace booked for10 Boeing 737MAX 8, after which the aircraft type was involved in two fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia respectively, but like other airlines that have also ordered the aircraft, Air Peace would wait for the outcome of investigations before taking a decision on the order.
He further revealed that all the airlines that had ordered the aircraft none has cancelled its order; rather, they are all waiting for the investigation and action that would be taken by Boeing, adding that Nigeria like many other countries of the world has banned the aircraft in its airspace.
While reiterating the fact that Air Peace does not have the aircraft in its fleet, he wondered why Nigerians were attacking the airline, while nobody had attacked the carriers that have the aircraft and are operating the equipment before the accidents, adding that instead of supporting their own they misinform the public in order to damage the image of the company.
Onyema said : “We are not saying we are cancelling neither are we saying we are not cancelling because no airline that ordered for the aircraft had said it is cancelling. Everybody is waiting for the outcome of the investigation. What airlines that have the aircraft have done now is to ground them until the result of the investigation comes out. And at the same time countries are banning them from flying in their airspace until the investigation comes out.
“But I still wonder that air accident happened in Ethiopia, Ethiopians have never taken their airline that had accident to the cleaners. Ethiopians have never, up to this moment, attacked Ethiopian Airlines that bought this aircraft. South West Airlines have so many of these planes, no country has ever attacked those who innocently purchased these planes and who are already using them”.
“ We have 400 of these planes in active service, none of these countries where these planes are operating had ever risen up against their airlines for buying these planes. Not even Ethiopia and Indonesia that had accidents with these planes, their citizens never attacked them. However, Air Peace that does not have the aircraft has been taken to the cleaners by Nigerians for what didn’t even concern us.”
“Before we ordered B737MAX it was not involved in any accident. In fact, that is the fastest selling plane under the sun. It was the most sought after plane in the world before the Ethiopia accident. It was the dream of every airline to have a 737 Max 8 or 9. So we joined other reputable airlines in the world to order.
When we made this 10 firm orders nobody applauded us. I didn’t see any excitement from Nigerians; that at last a Nigerian airline has started buying brand new planes, nobody did that, but when the aircraft was involved in accident, despite the fact that we don’t have the aircraft yet, some Nigerians started attacking us. What does that tell you?” he asked.