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Friday, June 2, 2023

What then for Allen Onyema @59?

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The entrance of Air Peace into the airline sector no doubt became the game-changer in Nigeria’s aviation industry. It was Air Peace, more than any other airline that revolutionised the sector in terms of quality service, fare competitiveness, on-air-hospitality and especially safe of passengers.

It is therefore to the glory of only God Almighty that since it came on board eight years ago, there has never been any incident of air mishap associated with the brand, in spite of the fact that the airlines undertakes hundreds of flight across national and international routes every week.

From paying huge taxes to the Federal Government, carrying out corporate social responsibilities and standing up for country in times of national emergency, Air Peace has become one of Nigeria’s most responsible corporate citizens.

Again, to the glory of God alone, Air Peace, which no doubt has become a brand-of-pride for Nigeria, was founded in 2013, by Barrister Allen Onyema who once said that he set up the brand with the intention of using it as an engine to provide economic opportunities to Nigerian youths.

Seven years down the line, the company is unarguably, is currently now one of the most employment-giving firm in Nigeria, placing thousands of citizens and non-Nigerians on well-paid jobs within and outside the country, with a greater percentage of its workforce made up of young Nigerian men and women who are pilots, technicians, medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, journalists, air hosts and hostesses and cleaner, among many other professionals.

While Air Peace commenced operations in 2013 with Dornier 328 and Boeing 737 planes, it launched its first international routes in 2017 to Accra in Ghana.

After barely five years in the trenches, the brand by 2018, had the largest market share in the domestic airline market in Nigeria, took delivery of jumbo jets- Boeing 777 planes and commenced flights to Sharjah United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2019.

Before it marked the 7th anniversary of its operations in 2021, Air Peace had emerged the leading Airline in the West and East Africa Regions of the continent.

As part of its efforts to continuously stay ahead of others in the industry with the aim of giving air travelers the best service, Air Peace on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, took delivery of its 5th brand new Embraer 195 C2 Aircrafts, which is the latest invention in the world of aviation and one of the most sophisticated planes ever made

As promised by Chief Allen Onyema, while responding to questions from a journalist, Air Peace in 2022, took delivery of another set of 12 brand new Embraer 195 C2 making it 17, with the aim of acquiring a total of 30 of the supersonic planes to fly passengers across the world.

According to insider information, the management of Air Peace played significant roles in the realization of the International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri, Anambra State, and its plane was the first to land at the airport following the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authorities for flight operations to commence there.

As a solid testimony of its commitment to safety of its patronising travellers, Air Peace last year, received its fourth International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification, which signifies that the carrier was successful in the globally recognised and rigorous safety audit.

Apart from providing jobs for thousands of people in Nigeria and others from across the world, especially countries where it operates; ensuring that air travellers are flown with the healthiest planes and in line with international best practices, in terms of safety and courtesy, Air Peace management is neck deep into philanthropy as well as intervening for Nigeria, in times of emergency and other needs.

One cannot forget easily Air Peace’s unmatchable patriotism during an outbreak of xenophobic violence against foreign nationals in South Africa in September 2019 when the airline offered to evacuate Nigerian citizens from that country for free and actually took more than 300 persons taking advantage of the gesture to get to safety.

In September 2021, Air Peace flew the Nigerian Super Eagles to Cape Verde for their second fixture of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The encounter took place on September 7 in Mindelo.

Before the encounter, Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema challenged the Eagles to win the match with a promise to give them N20 million if they win. The Nigerian side won the match and Onyema fulfilled his promise.

It is no wonder therefore that Air Peace was one of the three Airlines that the Nigerian Government engaged in 2022 to bring Nigerians who were stranded in Ukraine due to the raging war between that country and Russia back home, a task that was successfully executed by the Airline.

Although at 58, Allen Onyema could be described as a successful man by all standards, his energetic physical looks and managerial acumen combine to present a man destined to achieve greater things.

Happy birthday Allen Onyema

Bonaventure Melah is a journalist and author of many books. He can be reached on 08036062975.

Email: Bonamelah123@gmail.com

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