Air Peace chairman commends Sirika on tit-for-tat int’l flight restart policy

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The chairman and chief executive officer of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema has applauded the minister of aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika for enforcing the federal government’s principle of reciprocity in granting permission to foreign airlines to resume operations into the country opens its airspace on August 29.

Recall that the government had stated that only airlines from countries that allow flights from Nigeria will be allowed to fly into and out of the country.

Nigeria declared that its position was informed by the ban placed by some countries on flights from Nigeria adding that its decision was taken in the interest of its citizens.

Reacting to the development, Onyema said in a commendation letter to the minister that the decision would elevate the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations and send signal to international airlines that it is no more business as usual.

“You are causing a positive revolution in the aviation world. You have, by this action, brought so much respect to our people and our nation.

“Nigerians all over the world are walking tall with enormous pride since the last few hours when the news broke out.

“This is the beginning of the end of the stigmatisation of Nigeria and everything Nigerian.

“God bless you always. From my sincere heart, I have come to appreciate your nationalistic tendencies,” he wrote.

Onyema said the minister by his conduct and commitment had ensured that the aviation industry is unencumbered.

He said Sirika facilitated the customs duty waiver on aircraft and spares and had been working on the unification of charges paid by domestic airlines.

Onyema also commended the minister for his overall commitment to the aviation industry, from efforts towards restoring infrastructure at the airports to intervention in labour issues.

Besides, he said the minister “has done so much to protect domestic airlines by spearheading earlier the policy that only Nigerian carriers should engage in evacuation conducted by the federal government.”

Meanwhile, the airline dispatched two of its Boeing 777 aircraft to China on national assignments.

The airline’s management said the two aircraft were flying to Chengdu and Beijing respectively “for important national assignments on behalf of the governments of Nigeria and China.”

It stated that the two aircraft marked 5N-BVE and 5N-BWI, departed from the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos Thursday night.

“We evacuated 313 Chinese nationals in one flight and will return with over 300 stranded Nigerians. The other aircraft will be returning with expatriates at the behest of the Federal Government. Air Peace commends the Federal Government of Nigeria for standing by Nigerian airlines,” it said.

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