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Air Peace’s economy class seats to London fully booked till August Air Peace’s economy class seats to London fully booked till August

The economy class ticket seats of Air Peace flight to London from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos are fully booked for the next 60 days, Mrs. Toyin Olajide, the airline’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) has said.

This is as Nigerian travellers on the Lagos-London route, including a travel agent company, have commended the airline for its decision to start flight services to European country over three months ago.

Speaking with  Daily Independent  in an interview in Lagos, Olajide observed that the airline had faced numerous challenges on the route, but expressed delight that the carrier had provided Nigerians with an alternative choice.

Olajide further assured that Air Peace would continue to provide travellers on the lucrative and competitive route. According to her, its Sunday’s flight of June 30, 2024, was fully booked in the economy class seats, while 41 seats in its business class of 42 were equally occupied.

She, however, regretted that its system did not advertise its first-class seats, an error that had been corrected by the management. Besides, she explained that Nigerians flying from the United States to the United Kingdom book Air Peace to Lagos, thereby taking advantage of the cheap US-Europe cheap flights.

She stated that by doing so, the travellers on the US-UK-Nigeria routes, save a lot of money, which they would have spent on direct US-Nigeria flight. She added that Chinese citizens residing in Nigeria, fly Air Peace to London and connect China Southern Airline to China in a bid to reduce airfares.

She said: “But our system did not advertise our first-class seats, an error, which has been corrected. So, what it means is that we recorded very high load factor, only the 12 seats in the first class and one business class seat; that is, 13 seats were empty out of the 274 seats capacity aircraft. We thank Nigerians. We appreciate the fact that they are happy with the airline.

“We recently upgraded two passengers who flew from US to London and used our flight to Lagos. We upgraded them from economy class to business class in appreciation of their commitment and desire to patronise us. But they also take advantage of the cheap flights between Europe and the US and our flights are also affordable; so, this enables them to save a lot of money.”

The COO also emphasised that Air Peace had become the choice airline for Nigerians who bring their aged parents to the UK and the US, disclosing that in every flight to London, Air Peace may have 30 to 40 wheelchair passengers.

Also, passengers on the Lagos-London route have lauded the airline’s performance on the route three months after commencing it.

Mrs. Shalom Asuquo, the Managing Director of Travel Lab Nigeria Limited, said that the airline has made a remarkable impact on the route, thereby contributing to the airlifting of Nigerians and expanding the market opportunities.

Asuquo further stated that travel agencies had benefited immensely from Air Peace’s generous commission structure, offering a 9 per cent commission and other incentives, at a time other had reduced or eliminated commissions.

She maintained that this initiative, supported by the current National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), aimed to regularise industry practices and support travel agencies.

“The entrance of Air Peace into this market has not only increased accessibility, but also diversified the passenger base. Remarkably, the airline has attracted elderly passengers who previously couldn’t afford high ticket prices post-pandemic, as well as students returning home for family events and reunions. This influx has resulted in a 5 per cent to 15 per cent increase in passengers.

“Air Peace’s operations have also played a crucial role in positively positioning Nigerian brands. Products like Farm Fresh yogurt, Gratia chin chin flakes, Olu Olu chips, and local long-grain Nigerian rice have gained exposure and expanded their reach.

“This ripple effect has benefited small businesses and local farmers who supply produce like tomatoes, peppers, and spinach; contributing to an economic expansion of over NGN 2 billion,” she said.

Also, Bede Eziefule, the Programme Director, Centre for the Right to Health, Nigeria, explained that Air Peace had brought succour to Nigerians on the European route by taming the high fares from Lagos to London on other airlines.

Eziefule noted that before the entrance of the airline to the route, airfares were on the high side, but the fares are relatively low at present.

He explained that its entrance had reduced the search for dollars by air travellers because it charges in Maira. He said: “The success recorded by Air Peace so far will encourage other Nigerian airlines to join international service; this will help us bring the fares down and also improve the service offered to Nigerians because this will sharpen competition and will discourage any gang-up by foreign airlines to rip us off.”

Besides, Dr. Aloysius Nworisa, the Deputy Zonal Commander, Advocacy and Sensitization, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), pointed out that Air Peace had helped Nigerians travelling to the UK with cheaper fares, while also making it possible for middle income earners to travel.

Source: independent.ng