The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Air Peace, Toyin Olajide, has refuted the false claims made by the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during his recent interview on Arise Television. In the interview, Sirika praised Ethiopian Airlines while alleging that Air Peace leased two Boeing 777 aircraft at a monthly fee of $250,000, resulting in significant losses and the need for engine and landing gear replacements.
Olajide responded strongly to these claims, stating that they were outright lies. She clarified that Air Peace actually owns three Boeing 777 aircraft, which were purchased outright and not leased. The airline never incurred the alleged losses or paid any rentals, as falsely claimed by Sirika. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority can confirm Air Peace’s ownership of these aircraft.
Addressing another claim made by Sirika, Olajide denied that Air Peace stopped its operations to Dubai due to a lack of capacity. She explained that the airline began its operations to the UAE in July 2019, but the UAE Government imposed a visa ban on Nigerians in October 2022. As a result of the non-issuance of visas and the accompanying inconveniences, Air Peace suspended its Dubai operations from November 22, 2022, until the present date. Emphasizing Sirika’s misrepresentation, Olajide highlighted Air Peace’s substantial fleet and its firm orders for new aircraft.
Olajide expressed disappointment with Sirika’s attempt to disparage Air Peace, a resilient airline that has overcome numerous challenges to serve the nation proudly. She questioned how an airline with a firm order for 13 brand new E2-195 aircraft and 15 Boeing 737 Max 8 & Max 10, along with an existing fleet of over 30 aircraft, could be accused of lacking capacity. Olajide also highlighted Air Peace’s commendable efforts during the Covid-19 outbreak, where the airline carried out rescue operations to evacuate Nigerians from various countries.
In conclusion, Olajide urged the public to disregard the false claims made by the former Minister of Aviation against Air Peace during the Arise Television interview. She emphasized the importance of accurate representation to prevent misconceptions about the airline’s brand.