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Lagos-London Price War: Airpeace Adopts Survival Strategy — By Ikechukwu Onyia

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In a recent development that could be likened to a third world business war, Nigerian airline Air Peace has been caught in a fierce price battle on the Lagos-London route. Since the Nigerian indigenous carrier Air Peace recently broke the exclusivity hitherto enjoyed by foreign airlines on the Lagos-London route with its inaugural flight to London Gatwick Airport, on March 30, 2024. It has unknowingly rattled the cages of major foreign carriers, leading to drastic drops in airfare prices.

Originally, the cost of an international flight ticket for the Lagos-London journey soared to as high as N3.5m and more. However, following Air Peace’s decision to set the price for a return economy class seat at N1.2m, competitors such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways, Ethopia Airways etc have been compelled to reduce their prices significantly, even going below Air Peace’s rates, in a bid to remain in the competition.

The situation has escalated to the point where Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, has publicly accused foreign carriers on the Nigeria-UK route of conspiring against the Nigerian airline. Onyema’s concerns were voiced during his recent appearance on Channels Television’s program “Politics Today,” where he claimed there is an “unspoken alliance” among foreign airlines. He alleges their strategy involves lowering prices below the cost to unsustainable levels with the intent of eliminating Air Peace from the competitive equation on the Nigeria-London route.

According to Onyema, this aggressive pricing strategy not only threatens the survival of Air Peace on the international scene but could also have far-reaching negative impacts on Nigeria’s economy. He argued that the premature exit of Air Peace from this route could result in significant financial losses for the country, strain on the naira, and other difficulties, such as issues with ground handling and space allocation that the airline recently experienced at Gatwick Airport.

The pressing question remains: How long will international carriers be able to maintain these low prices, and can Air Peace navigate through this challenging period to stay afloat? The answers to these questions are crucial not just for Air Peace, but also for the broader implications on competition and consumer choice in Nigeria’s aviation sector.

While patriotic Nigerians are worried if Air Peace can survive the price war, the Nigerian indigenous Airline announce new survival strategy yesterday 16th April on their official Social media handles.

In response to the intense price war between Lagos and London routes, Air Peace has strategically implemented a survival strategy. To gain a competitive edge, Air Peace has expanded its services to include seven additional airports in Nigeria, providing passengers with the convenience of boarding Air Peace flights to London from Abuja, Asaba, Benin, Enugu, Owerri, Warri, or Port Harcourt. This unique advantage sets Air Peace apart from its competitors, offering seamless connections via Lagos for a truly enhanced travel experience.

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