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African countries frustrate Air Peace with high charges – Onyema

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At the 48th Annual General Meeting and exhibition of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies in Lagos, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, accused several African countries of employing exorbitant airport charges to impede his airline’s operations in their territories.

Onyema recounted how Air Peace has faced hindrances from African nations, excluding Ghana, where the airline operates.

He highlighted the disparity between the treatment of Nigerian carriers and African airlines in foreign countries, alleging discrimination against Air Peace.

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He stated, “It took us four years to get approval to fly into a West African country, but their airline has been coming into Nigeria for many years. When we eventually started flying, they wanted to chase us away with exorbitant airport charges.”

Onyema expressed frustration over the reluctance of some African nations to allow Air Peace to operate freely, even after legal challenges. He revealed instances where Air Peace was slapped with hefty bills without clear justifications, leading to prolonged legal battles and financial strain.

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“Some countries we fly into send us bills running into millions of euros. When we ask them how we incurred the bill, they won’t respond. We made payment, and after making payment, they told us the account we paid into no longer exists,” Onyema lamented.

Highlighting Air Peace’s unique advantage, Onyema emphasized the airline’s commitment to offering affordable travel options for Nigerians.

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He mentioned Air Peace’s operations that connect passengers from various Nigerian states to London via Lagos, saving travelers significant costs.

In response, Hassan Tai Ejibunu, representing the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, underscored the importance of enhancing intra-Africa trade and investment, aligning with the theme of the AGM.

He acknowledged the pivotal role of associations like NANTA in facilitating the movement of people and goods across the continent.

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