The Senator representing Anambra South and National Leader of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, on Thursday maintained his call on the Nigerian Government to always champion policies and programmes that will always promote and protect the interests of the nation’s indigenous airlines.
The Senator made the call during the unveiling of a brand new Embraer 195-E2 aircraft by Air Peace Airline at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
According to him, without adequate government support, indigenous airlines might be forced into extinction as present policies are more favorable to foreign airlines that also enjoy multiple routes within the country. He further reassured Air Peace and other Nigerian indigenous airlines that he will always use the instruments of his office to promote their interests.
You will recall that on Wednesday July 10, 2019, the Anambra South Senator, who is now the state’s only Gubernatorial aspirant on YPP’s platform, moved a motion on the urgent need to protect Nigeria’s indigenous airlines from extinction due to multiple designations and frequencies being enjoyed by foreign airlines in the country.
Moving the Motion, Senator Ubah said that the call was aimed at strengthening and repositioning indigenous airlines, and Air Peace in particular, in line with his determination to revamp the South East and Nigerian economy.
In his remarks, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, said that the purchase of brand new aircraft by the carrier will alter the narrative about the safety of airplanes flown in Nigeria with the economic benefits, consideration for the environment as well as ambience of the cabin.
Chief Onyema also said that with the new delivery, the airline shall before the end of 2022, take delivery of 13 Embraer 195 E2 aircraft it placed firm orders for from the Brazilian plane manufacturer.
Describing the feat as unusual for Nigerian carriers, Onyema said operators were increasingly realising the need to have brand new aircraft in their fleet, which is gaining traction among indigenous carriers.
He further commended the Federal Government for creating a conducive atmosphere for operators to latch on the use of brand new airplanes, which is not only appropriate for the market size, but would boost profitability for indigenous carriers which are bogged down by costs associated with maintenance of older airplanes.
Also speaking, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, described the arrival of the brand new aircraft as a milestone and said that what was happening in Nigeria’s air transport industry was a paradigm shift.
He further commended the Air Peace Chairman stressing that the beauty of the delivery was not just that the aircraft is new but that the airline picked the right aircraft suitable for the market.