BY ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos
Domestic carrier, Air Peace has explained that the Coronavirus lockdown and its other effects are the reasons why the airline experienced reduction of its flight frequencies.
According to the Chief Operating Officer of the airline, Mrs. Toyin Olajide, who spoke to LEADERSHIP, the coming of COVID-19 devastated airlines worldwide, Nigerian airlines included.
Mr. Olajide who emphasised that Air Peace is not immune to effects explained that the airline had several aircraft out on C-check maintenance abroad before COVID-19 and were caught up with the covid-19 lockdown globally, forcing the suspension of aircraft maintenance.
She noted that the aircraft ferried overseas for checks that time were supposed to have since returned but could not achieve that because of lockdown in those countries.
Olajide however, informed that the aircraft are now returning to full flight operations, assuring that Air Peace would connect all its domestic, regional and international destinations in coming days.
“In recent times, our teeming customers have been worried that our flight frequencies have been drastically reduced to about 30 per cent of our capacity before COVID-19. They are equally worried that their favorite airline has also suspended their flight operations into some destinations.
“The above scenario has created some worries of varying degrees in the minds of those who really care for us- our customers. We wish to state here and now that there is no cause for alarm. We still remain the airline to beat.
“COVID-19 affected airlines everywhere in different ways. In our own case, we had several aircraft out on C-check maintenance abroad before COVID-19. These aircraft were supposed to have since come back one after another but because of lockdown in those countries since February, the maintenance facilities shut down too. No maintenance took place. The Nigerian C-check regime is driven by a calendar, which implies that every aircraft has a time frame they must go for mandatory checks which is usually between 18months-24months,” the COO explained.
Mrs. Olajide further explained that it is pertinent to note that while those aircraft, sent out abroad at different times, became stranded as a result of the lockdown in those countries, the ones here also started getting due for C-check and other routine maintenance.
“Out of 25 aircraft in our fleet, several aircraft were out on one maintenance or another. This is the reason for our cutting down on our frequencies and the destinations we serve.
“However, the good news is that those planes will start coming back from next week and in top condition to continue flying and landing you safely at all times to the glory and honour of God Almighty. This is in addition to our taking delivery of our three brand new aircraft in December.
“We spare no effort in making sure that all our aircraft are well maintained in the best maintenance facilities worldwide.
“We are bouncing back. We shall compensate those suspended destinations like Uyo, Calabar, Kano, Yola, Akure and Sokoto with double flights while restoring multiple frequencies to the likes of Owerri, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Benin.
“Our regional and international flights shall commence this December into Accra, Banjul, Freetown, Dakar, Monrovia, Dubai, Johannesburg while doing an inaugural international flight to Jamaica.
“While we regret every inconvenience caused you by the above stated recent events, which were beyond our control as a result of Covid-19 and its effects, we promise to give you a new rejuvenated and stronger Air Peace that would surpass your expectations”, Olajide said.