April 17, 2024

Air Peace: Payback time

Air Peace

As a newspaper committed to a better life for the people, we have always strongly stood for the prioritisation and protection of domestic investments without compromising their foreign investor counterparts. A level playing field is central to harnessing a thriving economy.

Our experience in the telecom sector should always guide us to put our own firmly on the competitive stage in our greater national interest. When the telecom sector was released from government stranglehold, two myths were swiftly busted. The first was that telephone was not for the poor. The second was that “per second” billing was impossible.

Nigerians were still charged a full minute price for the briefest drop calls until the Olusegun Obasanjo government finally licenced Globacom. The Mike Adenuga-owned Glo introduced “per second” billing, and pronto, all the others followed suit. Even the SIM Cards that used to cost the earth soon became virtually free, thus bringing even the Nigerian grassroots into the new global village.

Following the collapse of the Nigerian Airways and the failure of subsequent experiments to float a strong national carrier, the emergence of Air Peace has followed in the footsteps beaten by Mike Adenuga’s Glo. The recent approval of Air Peace to ply the Lagos-London Gatwick Airport route was followed by the domestic airline’s crashing of the exorbitant prices of air tickets to the UK. Not only did Allen Onyema’s Air Peace bring down the cost of economy tickets from about N4m to N1.2m, it also permitted customers to pay in our national currency, the naira.

Predictably, the exploitative foreign airlines have since allegedly resorted to subterfuge and conspiracies to further crash the route’s prices to unsustainable low levels to shoulder Air Peace off the market in order to bite down again on our hapless travellers.

Some well-meaning Nigerians are campaigning in the social media for the continued patronage of Air Peace. This is well-placed because if the foreign conspirators succeed, it is our people that will suffer. They are baiting us with a poisoned morsel cleverly hidden under a deadly hook which, if we swallow, will harm us.

We commend the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Federal Government whose patriotic policy actions made way for Air Peace to start flying to the UK. This much is evident in the proactive postures of the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, towards the airline. The same gesture should be extended to any domestic airline that is able to toe Air Peace’s pro-Nigeria footsteps.

Supporting Air Peace is in the nation’s interest and those of individual travellers. We should also pay back the airline for offering to fly back Nigerians from troubled foreign spots such as South Africa, Sudan, Libya, Russia/Ukraine and others.

Let’s always support our own businesses.