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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

London Gatwick Will Work to Air Peace's Advantage - Onyema



The Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Barr Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace has said that the allocation of London Gatwick Airport to the airline by the Government of the United Kingdom will eventually work in favour of the airline and their passengers.


Onyema made this submission at the weekend while speaking on Arise TV. He explained that, after the initial hesitation, the airline decided to settle for Gatwick Airport for its Lagos-London flights because the United Kingdom authorities refused to give it slots at the coveted Heathrow Airport.


According to Onyema, who also complained about the inbalance in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between UK and Nigeria, Air Peace has come to the realisation that choosing Gatwick will favour their operations due to the fact that many Nigerians live in the southern part of London where Gatwick is located. Another reason is that it is easier to access Central London from Gatwick than from Heathrow.


“The BASA we signed with the UK is this: you give me your primary airport; we give you our primary airport. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways come to our country using our primary airports, Lagos and Abuja. When we applied, they told us Heathrow was not available to us and they were even suggesting London Stansted Airport or Luton. They also suggested Gatwick, I refused. I wanted to go to Heathrow, which is their primary airport.


“But after sometime we said okay, as Nigerians are groaning under the weight of high fares; we decided even if it is Scotland; we would go. So, we decided to take Gatwick. Gatwick was not really our choice but in the long run we decided to see some goods in choosing Gatwick.


“Many of our people live down South East part of London and there is heavy traffic into Central London from Heathrow, but at Gatwick, they allotted Southern terminal to Air Peace and when you get to south terminal, you get out of immigration, take your luggage, you walk into the Gatwick express train within three minutes and that will take you to Victoria, right into Central London. From the south terminal you have access to tube, you have access to national rail and you have access to road transport to other parts of UK. So, Gatwick has turned out to even be better for us. That’s why we took Gatwick,” Onyema said.


The Lagos-London service will commence on 30 March, 2024. The six-weekly direct service will operate between the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos and London Gatwick Airport. The service will be operated using a Boeing 777-200ER.


Air Peace is Nigeria’s largest airline. The airline is in the middle of aggressive network expansion. It recently launched flights to Abidjan and Cotonou. It currently flies to over 30 domestic, regional, and international destinations, including Mumbai, Guangzhou, and Johannesburg.

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Comments (25)

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Replying to

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