October 30, 2021

Awards, encomiums on Onyema as Air Peace turns 7

Onyema, Air Peace, Ubani

DR Allen Ifechukwu Onyema

By Lawani Mikairu

As Air Peace airline clocks seven years of coming into the Nigeria aviation industry, stakeholders and industry watchers have showered the Executive Chairman, Barrister Allen Onyema and the airline with encomiums and awards.

Recall that Air Peace started commercial flight operations in October, 2014.

Only last week, the airline was recognised with the Distinguished Safety Performance Award by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, in Kaduna.

The award presented by the Kaduna Airport Manager and Chairperson, Airport Safety Committee, Kaduna International Airport, Mrs Amina Ozi-Salami (DGM), “ is in recognition of Air Peace’s consistent commitment to safety with records of zero accident/serious incident”.  

It will be recalled that in August this year, Air Peace was also conferred with the Gold Standard Safety Award by the National Association of Aircraft and Pilots Engineers, NAAPE, for its “safety record and safety system performance as well as outstanding investment in brand new aircraft and equipment.”

Recently, the Anambra State government commended Air Peace airline and likened Onyema’s patriotism to late Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe’s.

The State government praised the airline for its “ no-city-left-behind strategy” which has seen it open operations in different parts of the country in the last few months with rapidity. The latest operations were opened in Gombe and Ibadan, Oyo State, within a space of three days.

In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, the Anambra State government commended “the carrier for an aggressive route development programme when airlines across the globe are managing to remain afloat as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic which dealt a serious blow to not just the aviation sector but also the entire tourism industry “.

“It is delightful that Air Peace has been purchasing a large number of brand new state-of-the-art equipment and deploying them on Nigerian domestic routes for the safety and comfort of our people. The use of Embraer 195, known for an excellent safety record, is most welcome.”

“What is more, we are delighted to hear from people like Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State that the Air Peace operation in Ibadan has resulted in the crash of air tarrifs in certain places, which is pleasant news to Nigerian travellers”.

“Chief Onyema’s commitment to national unity and economic integration is reminiscent of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe’s promotion of Nigeria’s unity as well as nationalism through journalism by establishing newspapers in places like Kano, Zaria, Lagos, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and others and forging solid friendships with individuals and by building enduring alliances with different groups throughout the nation”.

ALSO READ: Aviation: Lost opportunities and lessons of history

In keeping with his philanthropic spirit, Onyema agreed for Air Peace to sign a renewable sponsorship agreement with the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF.

The agreement makes Air Peace the official airline sponsor of the country’s national teams.

The sponsorship agreement which is for a four-year period, is renewable every year.

Stakeholders described the agreement as timely as it came ahead of Nigeria world cup qualifiers against Liberia, Cape Verde and the Central African Republic.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony in Lagos, the President of Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pennick said the “initial agreement” is worth N300m with additional benefits to the country’s national teams.

Pinnick who was accompanied to the signing ceremony by some Super Eagles stars like Alex Iwobi, Tyron Ebuehi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Joe Aribo said the partnership was timely as Nigerian players were to fly to the Cape Verde match onboard the airline’s brand new Embraer E195.

The NFF President said, “ We are happy because Air Peace epitomizes unity, Air Peace epitomizes warmness, Air Peace epitomizes humanity, Air Peace epitomizes nationality and Air Peace is all about 100% safety “.

“We have been approached by many international airlines but we believe in this brand that is now established.

“What we have signed and what we have we will protect it and we will manage it and our dream has always been to be fully independent and with these and other signings we will get there.

Responding, Air Peace Chairman, Barrister Allen Onyema said it has always been his aspiration to contribute and support national aspirations like the super Eagles and other national teams.

Onyeama said, “ We are investing so much in this sponsorship and partnership in these austere times because we want to restore hope to the country. We believe in Nigeria and the Nigeria project. People are losing hope in the country. But I believe in the greatness of the country”.

On October 24th, the Brazilian government and Embraer manufacturing company commended Air Peace as airline turns 7.

The Brazilian government, represented by the Head of Mission, Embassy of Brazil in Nigeria, Ambassador Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, and the country’s aerospace conglomerate, Embraer,  both celebrated the steady growth of Air Peace as the carrier marked its 7th Anniversary on October 24, 2021.

Ambassador Guerra de Araujo, at the 2021 Brazil-Nigeria Aviation and Defence Trade Forum 2021 organised by the Embassy on Monday, October 25, 2021, in Abuja, commended the visionary leadership of Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, and the entire management team for their tremendous efforts in taking the airline to the great heights it has attained within a period of seven years.

“Air Peace has made remarkable achievements, investing in brand new air planes and should be proud of itself for becoming a leader in Nigeria’s aviation “, the diplomat said.

General Manager, MEA, for Embraer, Hussein Dabbas, who felicitated with the airline for its consistent show of strength and vibrancy since commencing commercial operations in 2014, stressed that Embraer will continue to partner with Air Peace in its drive to interconnect Africa and beyond through the provision of peaceful connectivity with brand new air planes.

The airline’s crew have been alive to their responsibility. The crew recently received award for foiling an in-flight theft.

They were recognized for their outstanding customer service and extra-vigilance in ensuring protection of items on-board as well as customer safety.

It can be recalled that in June this year, Air Peace crew demonstrated commendable security alertness and vigilance as they prevented the trafficking of two babies by a couple.

Air Peace currently services 19 domestic routes, 6 regional routes and 2 international destinations, while it boasts of a varied fleet of 30 aircraft, the latest being four brand new 124-seat capacity Embraer 195-E2s.

Vanguard News Nigeria