Air Peace Detractors Are Often Pointless

Air Peace Detractors Are Often Pointless

4 weeks ago
4 mins read

In the past couple of years, Air Peace, as a forward going Nigerian airline, has faced troubles from detractors. And, all this time, a lot of evidence has been adduced to address what is a clear attempt to get at Air Peace without justifiable cause. The last time an attempt was made to smear the image of Air Peace earlier in the year, a journalist called it a hatchet job.

Last week, another diatribe against Air Peace appeared as an article that complained about a hydraulic issue on one of the aircraft of Air Peace. The article appeared with the headline: “Air Peace Exposed! How Nigeria Airline Operates with Unserviceable Hydraulic System” It was dated May 25, 2024.

In fact, the article was a 2021 incident, which was unfortunately reported as if it happened yesterday. The article cited the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) as having “released final reports on the Serious Incident involving an Embraer EMB-145LR belonging to Air Peace airline.” The misinformation also noted: “The aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-BVD operated by Air Peace was involved in the serious incident at Kaduna Airport, Kaduna on 14th January 2021.”

This kind of jumbled reporting makes it hard to know which incident was attached to the date mentioned since neither the full date of the release of the report and the names of the officials connected with it were reported.

Even the Readers Are Noticing the Mischief

One reader asked the purpose of the long-time article at a time Air Peace was making gallant strides in air transport amidst stiff competition, and attempts by rival airlines to fight dirty. Trust passengers who have benefitted marvelously from the daringness of Air Peace. Two passengers had the following comments after the article:

  1. Tell me one airline in the world that has not experienced an incident. Please leave Air Peace alone to handle the over-bearing foreign competitors and local saboteurs with vigor. No amount of propaganda can change my state of mind on the drop in fare brought about by AIR PEACE. Nigeria’s economy welcomes such stimulus so detractors should stay on their lane or else – —.
  2. My brother tells the enemy of Nigeria flyers. Even might[y] Emirates nearly crash[ed] with one another sometime ago in Dubai and nobody used it to judge them. This attack on Air Peace everywhere is the voice of Jacob but hands of Esau.

One other comment pointed to errors from the Air Peace crew as contained in the article, but one can see clearly that passengers have become even more critical. They also see through the hatchet job. But who might this be, and why threaten the peace of air transport that has relatively held on since 2006.

 

READ ALSO: Air Peace: Media Reports Of Safety Violation In UK, False 

Yes, Airlines Have Troubles

Indeed, airlines and aircraft builders experience troubles such as the safety fears that have enveloped Boeing since 2018, and which climaxed with an incident in which part of the fuselage of a Boeing 737 MAX operated by Alaska Airlines blew off mid-flight January 5, 2024. Boeing has had a great safety record, and this was the backbone of the understanding and patience of every stakeholder as they waited for the outcome of investigations by the US Department of Justice. The conduct of investigations and the responses of air passengers have mainly been different from the uproar in some quarters whenever Air Peace is involved.

Recently, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) contacted Air Peace on April 7, 2024 for clarifications on its use of Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs). Air Peace promptly supplied information, which immediately doused concerns. However, Air Peace was still forced to make clarifications on its receipt of approval for EFBs from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which certified all its aircraft to operate with EFBs. This was to debunk baseless media reports, including a ridiculous allegation that the B777 belonging to Air Peace lacked iPad mounts and charging ports in the cockpit. The airline emphasized that all its B777 aircraft had both charging ports in the cockpit and iPad mounts.

The UK CAA also gladly found that in terms of the cockpit library on the B777 aircraft, Air Peace stores books under the jumpseat, which was common among airlines, although the airline had to adopt the option of storing behind the captain, as required by UK CAA. Yet, some media went agog with reports that alleged that Air Peace was breaching safety protocol in its UK operations.

Reporters Are Expected to Report Dangers, but…

The airline operations of any operator should be under great scrutiny due to the quantum of dangers involved in air disasters. However, previous safety records should guide anyone delving into aviation reporting, rather than blind criticisms. The safety record of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic planes clearly eclipsed what should have been sharp rebukes in early April when the two planes collided at Heathrow Airport.

In fact, the British media called it a ‘minor collision,’ leaving many to wonder what the report would have been if rival airlines had been involved. A lot of image-cleaning reports followed to douse what could pass as a reckless aviation incident to some. Even if it were, does the incident give anyone the right to order the closure of the airlines or to inspire fear and panic the way the Nigerian media do with Nigerian airlines?

Nigerians should read the reports of the Heathrow incident in various global media to see how the media, the Heathrow authorities, the MET Police, emergency services, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, and even the British government all became public relations departments of the two airlines in an attempt to inspire confidence, not fear. The Nigerian Aviation Authority can conduct trainings from time to time to upgrade the reportorial habits of aviation beat reporters.

Trade Unions, passengers, the media, internet fraudsters, and ethnic jingoists have caused unnecessary headache for Air Peace. In December 2023, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress beat security lines to disrupt the flight operations of the Air Peace in Lagos. Mr Allen Onyeama, CEO of Air Peace, duly reminded the two labour bodies of their misplaced aggression on an airline that had expended millions of naira to rescue Nigerians from the war front in Sudan and from xenophobia in South Africa. Recall that the NLC’s and TUC’s melodrama came on the same day over 280 Nigerians, hitherto stranded in war-torn Sudan, touched down in Abuja courtesy of Air Peace, which also displayed such rare courage and patriotism when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. With its Lagos-London flight, Air Peace immediately brought competition to bear on that international route, causing a plunge in flight costs from four million naira to 1.2 million naira. This can attract the ire of rivals, but let it be constructive, not destructive, baseless attacks.

 

Dr Mbamalu, a Jefferson Fellow and Member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), is a Publisher and Communications/Media Consultant. His extensive research works on Renewable Energy and Health Communication are published in several international journals, including SAGE.
SMS/Whatsapp: 08094000017
Follow on X: @marcelmbamalu

Dr. Marcel Mbamalu is a communication scholar, journalist and entrepreneur. He holds a Ph.D in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and is the Chief Executive Officer Newstide Publications, the publishers of Prime Business Africa.

A seasoned journalist, he horned his journalism skills at The Guardian Newspaper, rising to the position of News Editor at the flagship of the Nigerian press. He has garnered multidisciplinary experience in marketing communication, public relations and media research, helping clients to deliver bespoke campaigns within Nigeria and across Africa.

He has built an expansive network in the media and has served as a media trainer for World Health Organisation (WHO) at various times in Northeast Nigeria. He has attended numerous media trainings, including the Bloomberg Financial Journalism Training and Reuters/AfDB training on Effective Coverage of Infrastructural Development of Africa.

A versatile media expert, he won the Jefferson Fellowship in 2023 as the sole Africa representative on the program. Dr Mbamalu was part of a global media team that covered the 2020 United State’s Presidential election. As Africa's sole representative in the 2023 Jefferson Fellowships, Dr Mbamalu was selected to tour the United States and Asia (Japan and Hong Kong) as part of a 12-man global team of journalists on a travel grant to report on inclusion, income gaps and migration issues between the US and Asia.

Dr. Marcel Mbamalu is a communication scholar, journalist and entrepreneur. He holds a Ph.D in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and is the Chief Executive Officer Newstide Publications, the publishers of Prime Business Africa.

A seasoned journalist, he horned his journalism skills at The Guardian Newspaper, rising to the position of News Editor at the flagship of the Nigerian press. He has garnered multidisciplinary experience in marketing communication, public relations and media research, helping clients to deliver bespoke campaigns within Nigeria and across Africa.

He has built an expansive network in the media and has served as a media trainer for World Health Organisation (WHO) at various times in Northeast Nigeria. He has attended numerous media trainings, including the Bloomberg Financial Journalism Training and Reuters/AfDB training on Effective Coverage of Infrastructural Development of Africa.

A versatile media expert, he won the Jefferson Fellowship in 2023 as the sole Africa representative on the program. Dr Mbamalu was part of a global media team that covered the 2020 United State’s Presidential election. As Africa's sole representative in the 2023 Jefferson Fellowships, Dr Mbamalu was selected to tour the United States and Asia (Japan and Hong Kong) as part of a 12-man global team of journalists on a travel grant to report on inclusion, income gaps and migration issues between the US and Asia.

2 Comments

  1. Excellent observation! Last week also, someone was trying to pick on the airline with no reasonable points. I understand these negativity happens when there’s unicorn rising but its just too much and too visible.

  2. Everyone loves it when individuals get together and share thoughts. Great website, continue the good work!

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