Aviation: Onyema seeks bailout, says new charges’ll raise airfares

Aviation: Onyema seeks bailout, says new charges’ll raise airfares
Allen Onyema

The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has joined several stakeholders in the aviation sector to seek palliatives to keep airlines afloat.

Onyema, who spoke to our correspondent, stressed that palliatives would help airlines save staff jobs.

He said, “Palliatives, bailout, rollout, intervention funds or whatever we call it is necessary. All over the world, the government is giving palliatives, bailout funds to their airlines.

“Even the strongest of airlines all over the world asked for this. What bothers us more in Air Peace is the retention of the workforce.

“COVID-19 has brought about immense loss of jobs worldwide. We must begin to think of ways of curbing the losses in Nigeria.”

Onyema said sacking workers could lead to more crime in the society.

Onyema has also said that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s decision to increase the passenger service charges on flight tickets by 100 per cent would increase flight cost.

He made this known at the end of a flight simulation exercise ahead of the resumption of domestic flights in the country.

FAAN had last week announced its plan to increase passenger service charges on domestic flights from the current rate of N1,000 to N2,000 and from $50 to $100 on international flights.

In another development, members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 are comparing notes with agencies in the aviation sector after successfully completing a flight simulation exercise on Saturday.

It was gathered in Abuja on Sunday that the PTF team, which had senior officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Federal Ministry of Aviation, among others, as members, would give its final position on airports reopening this week.

The General Manager, Public Relations Department, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, told one of our correspondents that the next stage after the simulation was to compare notes before any announcement would follow.

The House of Representatives expressed satisfaction with the safety measures being put in place by the Federal Government and critical stakeholders for the resumption of flights.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnoli Nnaji, congratulated the PTF on COVID-19 and the Ministry of Aviation, among others, for the successful test flights ahead of the reopening of the airspace for domestic flights

Also, it was that Air Peace evacuated 317 Nigerians from London on Sunday.

The Boeing 777 aircraft departed Heathrow Airport London and arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 20:41hrs.

The returnees are to go on a 14-day quarantine.

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