By Yunus Yusuf
Ikeja, May 31, 2020
Leading Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, has commended Israel, China and India for contracting the airline to evacuate their citizens to their countries due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyeama, gave the commendation in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the airline on Sunday evacuated 312 Indian citizens from Nigeria to their country in a 10-hour non-stop flight.
The flight, which departed on Sunday from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, was operated with a B777 aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI. The flight, operated by 15 crew members, is expected to arrive Cochin International Airport in Kerala.
NAN reports that Air Peace had also evacuated about 210 Israelis from Nigeria to Tel-Aviv on March 29, evacuated about 301 Chinese from Lagos airport to Guangzhou, China, on May 28, and also evacuated 286 Indians to Kochi from Lagos last Sunday.
Onyema said that the airline was grateful to the three countries for the confidence they reposed in it, which in no small measure portrayed their support for the development of Nigerian airlines.
He said: “Israel blazed the trail when it approved the evacuation of its citizens from Lagos and Abuja to Tel-Aviv, followed by China and India.
“For these three countries to engage Air Peace to carry out the evacuation exercise speaks volumes about the level of confidence they have on the airline and its safety standards.
“This feat has been attested to by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification of our airline.
“What the three countries have done will help in creating and sustaining jobs for Nigerians and by identifying with a Nigerian carrier at this time shows that they love our country and their support has challenged us to do more by improving on our achievements.
“Air Peace is grateful to the government of these countries. Their support means a lot to us. It shows that they truly have the interest of Nigeria at heart.”
Onyema noted that the gesture shown by Israel, China and India would not go unnoticed by the Nigerian public, which over the years have yearned for viable Nigerian carriers.
According to him, this could be flying them to different parts of the world, as it is known that Nigerians are great travellers.