February 25, 2024

Air Peace London route: Why we accepted Gatwick Airport — Allen Onyema

We’re ready for Abuja-London route; Houston, New York in works — Onyema

Allen Onyeama

By Dickson Omobola

Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Dr Allen Onyema, on Sunday, said the choice of Southern Terminal, Gatwick Airport for the airline’s flight operations to London is because the United Kingdom, UK, refused to totally honour its bilateral aviation safety agreement, BASA, with Nigeria.

Speaking on The Morning Show, an Arise TV programme, Onyema said that when Air Peace applied for a terminal at Heathrow, UK’s primary airport, the airline was denied.

He said that although Gatwick was not his preferred choice, it has turned out to be even better than Heathrow due to the numerous options it provides for passengers.

His words: “The BASA we signed with the UK is this: You give me your primary airport, we give you ours.

“British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, both of them come into my country (Nigeria) using our primary airports – Lagos and Abuja.

“When we applied, they told us Heathrow was not available to us. They even suggested Stansted or Luton airports, which I found very insulting.

“They also suggested Gatwick, but I refused because I wanted to go to Heathrow, their primary airport.

“After some time, I saw that they wanted to frustrate us. So, I said let us go anywhere even if they wanted us to go to Scotland. We started to take Gatwick, which was not really our choice. In the long run, we saw some good in it.

“Most of our people are down the Southeastern part of London. At the same time, when you look at the traffic situation in Heathrow to the centre of London, it is very excruciating, but from Gatwick, they alloted the Southern Terminal to Air Peace.

“And when you get to the Southern Terminal, you get out of immigration, take your luggage and you get into the Gatwick express train within three minutes, which will take you to Victoria right into central London.

“There, you have access to tube, national rail and road transport. Gatwick has turned out to be even better at the end of the day for us.”