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Lagos-London Flight: Ohanaeze congratulates Allen Onyema

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Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has congratulated the Chairman and Chief Executive of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema for commencing a direct flight from Lagos to London.

The Igbo group in a statement made by its spokesman, Dr Alex Ogbonnia on Friday, described Onyema as an exceptional philanthropist, robust and creative thinker, visionary entrepreneur and a jinx breaker.

Ogbonnia quoting the President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu expressed immense delight that the Air Peace can now connect passengers from Abuja, Asaba, Benin, Enugu, Owerri, Warri, and Port Harcourt to London.

The statement reads, “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide congratulates an Igbo quintessence, an exceptional philanthropist, Lawyer, robust and creative thinker, visionary entrepreneur, jinx breaker, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema for commencing a direct flight operations from Lagos to London.

“The resolution to commend Onyema was reached on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at the plenary of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide presided over by the President General, Chief Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, MFR; OFR; CFR; FNICE; FNSE; FNIST; KSG (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo). At the meeting, Chief Iwuanyanwu recapitulated the extra-ordinary contributions that Chief Onyema has rendered to Nigeria in the recent past; some of which include the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa as a result of Xenophobic attacks in September 2019; the evacuation of no fewer than 277 Nigerians, especially students, who were stranded in Sudan following the outbreak of war in the Central Sudan; the Air Peace Investiture Award to 1980 Nigerian Football Legends, amongst many others.

“Ohanaeze has however noted with great concern the orchestrated internal and external conspiracies, malicious aero-politics, imperialistic intrigues, airport discriminations including a heightened price war, all in an attempt to frustrate the Air Peace. Most unfortunately, the invidious collaborators fail to understand the transcendental Igbo mystique; tenacity, resourcefulness, ingenuity, audacity, resilience and capacity to transform adversities to opportunities. In other words, the more the challenges or obstacles against the Igbo, the stronger, more activated, vibrant and triumphant they become.

“The Igbo Leader expressed immense delight that the Air Peace can now connect passengers from Abuja, Asaba, Benin, Enugu, Owerri, Warri, and Port Harcourt to London.

“Ahaejiagamba also enthused that barely two weeks after the Air Peace commenced the Lagos-London route, all foreign carriers have reduced their fares on the route by over 50 percent. Chief Allen Onyema deserves a national applause because he has brought relief and succour to Nigerians.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo congratulates Chief Allen Onyema and urges him to remain undaunted. The Lord will continually renew your strength; you shall mount up with wings and soar high as the eagles and the fleet and routes of the Air Peace shall remain on the increase.

“We urge the Air Peace to remain steadfast in its characteristic commitment to upholding the airline’s reputation, delivering quality service to passengers and promoting the image of Nigeria at all times.”

NewsBand reported that Air Peace officially commenced flight from Lagos, Nigeria to London, United Kingdom on the 30th of March 2024.

The airline which operated a Boeing 777 for the maiden flight, held a brief ceremony at the Muhammed International Airport (New Terminal) to celebrate the occasion.

Some of the dignitaries present at the occasion were Festus Keyamo, the Minister of aviation and aerospace development, Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Chris Najomo, acting director, general, NCAA amongst others.

Speaking during the launch, Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment described the feat by Air Peace as the convergence of innovation, determination, and the unwavering commitment to excellence.

“Nigeria has needed a local airline flying directly to the UK for a number of years. Air Peace proudly wears the badge of ‘Made in Nigeria.’ It is a symbol of our collective effort to showcase our capabilities to the world. From the skilled hands that maintain the aircraft to the warm smiles of the cabin crew, every aspect of Air Peace reflects the spirit of our nation,” she said.

“Let us reflect on the economic impact of this flight. Air Peace’s presence in London is not merely about arrivals and departures; it is about trade, investment, and collaboration.

“By choosing Air Peace, you choose to invest in Nigeria. You choose to empower local businesses, create jobs, and strengthen our economy. In December 2023, the UK exported £185 million to Nigeria and imported £154 million, resulting in a negative trade balance of £30.8 million. This is a trend we wish to change in Nigeria’s favour and an additional trade route is a major step in the right direction.”

The Minister added that the choice of Nigerians to fly with Air Peace is a vote of confidence, adding that the airline has a commendable safety record, holding a 7 out of 7 safety rating according to Airline Ratings and has successfully undergone the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification four times, signifying its commitment to rigorous safety standards.

“So I entreat all potential passengers to trust them to carry you safely across continents, and remember that you are part of a movement—a movement that encourages Nigerians to patronize their own. Let us be ambassadors in the skies, sharing stories of our rich heritage, our vibrant culture, and the warmth that defines us”.

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