Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has revealed the moment authorities of the United Kingdom risked the safety of passengers during the COVID-19 period.
Onyema made this known during a briefing with the National Assembly.
Onyema said during the outbreak, Air Peace flew to Heathrow Airport, carrying passengers for $600, below the £2000 foreign airlines charged passengers for same hours of flight.
He stated that the huge disparity in ticket price didn’t sit well with the foreign airlines, and in a bid to discourage Air Peace from operating more flights, dogs were sent after the firm’s aircraft.
The dogs were reportedly allowed to sniff Air Peace pilot, and every other person. He said the plane was also in danger because the aviation authority in UK didn’t allow Air Peace carry out a walk around.
Walk around is an exercise conducted by airplane operatives by assessing the body of an aircraft that just landed. Oneyama said aviation rule is against an aircraft taking off right after a trip without conducting a walk around.
Onyema said Air Peace was not allowed to conduct the walk around and this put the safety of the aircraft in danger which could lead to a crash if the body of the airplane had been compromised while in flight.
He revealed that it took the intervention of the Nigerian aviation authorities.
“Let’s take our minds back to the COVID time, COVID repatriation.” He said, “During the evacuation, fuel was not this much. We struggled, Air Peace struggled to help its own citizens to get landing permits into Heathrow, our tickets were sold out within two hours for a 364-seater aircraft, our triple seven, why because Air Peace understood the plight of Nigerians and gave a fare of less than N400,000, while another airline coming from there was taking about £2000 from Nigerians to do that.
“We did to and fro returns, less than $600 for Nigerians. Tickets were sold out within two hours, we went there, to discourage us, they sent dogs after our aircraft, sniffing our pilot, and everybody. At the end of the day, stopped Air Peace from doing its walk around on this aircraft, something that violates safety.
“Do they want that aircraft to crash or what?” He asked during the briefing, adding that, “The rule of aviation is that if you take off now, once you lift off the ground for just two minutes, if that plan comes to land, before that plane can take off again, you must do a walk around, because anything could have hit the plane in transit. We flew six hours into London, we were not allowed to go round an aircraft to know if that aircraft has been compromised or infringed.”