• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Air Peace to commence London flight March 30, with special student fares

Air Peace to deepen competition on London route with special student fares

Air Peace airlines has disclosed that when it commences its London route, there would be special student fares which will be affordable for students traveling to study.

This was revealed by Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace on Thursday during the Airline’s travel agents forum for the London launch at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.

Onyema who called on travel agents to manage the special student fares so that it is not abused by passengers, said this fares will make it easy and affordable for students to travel during holidays and school resumption period.

“Several parents have been disconnected from their children. Many students have not been home for over two years because their parents cannot afford return fares to London. Parents will no longer suffer to raise money for fares for their children because the student fares will be affordable for all parents,” he assured.

“My children all schooled abroad and we insist that they return to Nigeria during their school breaks no matter how short. This is to enable us remain connected to our children and ensure they stick to our values and culture. I know this is also the desire of several other parents but this desire has been cut short because of high fares.

“This narrative will changed as soon as Air Peace resumes flights to London,” the chairman assured.

Onyema said the Air Peace London route was borne out of his love for Nigeria and to put an end to high fares from Nigeria to London and back.

“I am not interested in politics. This is not about going to London. It is about giving Nigerians the best option and yielding to the yearnings of Nigerians. I set up Air Peace to create jobs for Nigerians,” he said.

He also promised to make commissions for travel agents unified.

However, Onyema who did not reveal how much fares Air Peace will charge on London route, but assured that the fares will be cheaper than what legacy airlines are charging.

Checks by BusinessDay show that currently, the cheapest economy class return ticket from Nigeria to London cost about N1.6million naira.

Air fares in the last two years has risen by over 400 percent as a result of accumulating trapped funds of foreign airlines in Nigeria caused by the foreign exchange rate.

The CBN has directed banks to remove the cap on the investors and exporters’ (I&E) window of the fore market to allow for the free float of naira exchange rate.

Last year, Nigeria officially floated its naira currency after years of sticking with a hard peg that spooked investors and drained dollars from the economy.

Recalled that since two years now, airlines blocked low ticket inventories, leaving high inventories to be sold in naira only while the low ticket inventories on most airlines’ websites can only be bought with dollar cards only. This was in a bid to cushion the effect of their trapped funds in Nigeria.

Bankole Bernard, chairman of Airlines and Passengers’ Joint Committee (APJC) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) who also spoke at the event said Air Peace London flight is a welcome idea, especially as Nigeria would now have its own carrier creating balance of trade which is not tilted to one side.

“There will be a bit of balance. Air Peace has been given a daily slot to Gatwick which amounts to seven frequencies, compared to 21 frequencies that the legacy airlines have; 14 in Lagos and seven in Abuja. To an extend, we have something that will balance it up.

“Air Peace is not going to be faced with challenges of foreign exchange because the fares will be in naira. It is a welcome idea for travel agents and Nigeria as a whole. We appeal to Air Peace to try it’s best to sustain the London route. We are willing to give them all the support to ensure this is successful. With Air Peace, travel agents envisage a 50 percent fare reduction,” Bernard said.

Oluwatoyin Olajide, chief operating officer, Air Peace during her speech at the event said the London route means a lot to Air Peace for several reasons and a major one is that it marks its historic entry into the European continent.

Olajide said the service will be operated with the airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, one of the most modern and efficient aircraft in the skies.

She also said the airline will be launching with special promo fares and attractive plans for agents.

“Operating daily, this service will also offer several other benefits which give Air Peace an edge over the competition. It’s a direct flight without stop-overs and offers unbeatable fares. The specifics of these offers and other Unique Selling Points will be presented as this engagement progresses.

“We want you to know that Air Peace’s operational expansion and milestones are driven by our ambition to continually connect cities and ease the burden of air travel while fostering economic prosperity across nations,” she added.