By FIDELIS UGBOMEH, Lagos
Facts have merged on alleged disruption and delaying of Air Peace aircraft 5N-BQR from Enugu to Lagos 7:15 am flight last Friday.
According to investigation, the purported debt paid was N2 million out of the N7 million debt which has not reflected in the finance of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as at yesterday being Sunday.
It was learnt that it was the reason why the aircraft which was scheduled to take off 7:15 am took off 7:58 am from Enugu.
Further investigation also revealed that the aircraft was only delayed for forty three minutes and not two hours as alleged by the airline’s Chairman in some reports during the week.
It was also discovered that the airline has not paid the N5 million remittal it claimed to have made to reduce its debt, while another pile up has started running from May 2017 till date.
According to sources, Air Peace got last demand notice May 26, 2017 from the authorities, after previous two notices from FAAN to settle its debt of N5 million; while another N3 million has also been accumulated.
Commenting on the development, Secretary General of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu who said he has been following the development, said the Airport Manager, Orjiakor Mgbemena should be commended for his brave actions in a bid to ensure that airlines paid their debts.
Comrade Saidu explained that it has been the character of these airlines to be running personal business at the expense of the government “Why must this airline be accumulating debts, to the extent they accumulated Passengers Services Charge. The debts that Belleview, Chanchangi and others owed before they went under, who has paid them”
Saidu noted that it was as a result of accumulation of debts that made former Aviation Minister Fidelia Njeze introduce ‘pay as you ago’ to recover airlines debts.
The ANAP scribe declared, “You must have to pay for the services rendered if you are in business. Actions and steps taken by the airport manager, Enugu is quite supportive, quite commendable and we welcome it. Let Air Peace go and settle its debts fully”