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LONDON MAIDEN FLIGHT: How We Fought Restriction of Air Peace Return Flight By Officials At Muritala Mohammed Airport – Onyema

• Says passengers would have spent hours getting to terminal building.

Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Dr Allen Onyema, yesterday, said when Air Peace returned from its maiden flight to London, some staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, tried to restrict its aircraft to landing at a rejected part of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Lagos, far from the port’s new terminal.

Onyema noted that such an action would have exposed passengers to difficulties, saying it would have taken them hours to get to the terminal building.

Speaking on The Morning Show, an Arise TV programme, he said despite the fact that C-23 at the new terminal was free for use, the officials chose to reserve it for a foreign carrier at the expense of an indigenous carrier.
His words: “When our aircraft landed, thank God I was there because this thing had happened before. Let me excuse the leadership of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku; and the Director of Air Operations, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood, both doing fantastically well.

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“The wickedness in the system is stinking. The only carrier doing international operations in Nigeria landed and it was kept somewhere in the bush, a disused side of the airport. They expect us to use rickety buses to take international passengers to the new terminal which the international airlines rejected when it was opened.
“For those on that plane which landed yesterday, it would have taken about six hours for people to exit the airport. They put us near Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO, which is very far. And nobody is using that end. No aircraft, not even foreign or local.

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Meanwhile, C-23 at the new terminal was opened.
“When my captain called, he said it was reserved for a foreign airline at the expense of a Nigerian airline. Our aircraft, coming from London, was to be packed in one bush about two kilometers to our terminal.

Can you imagine the time it would take us to take people from there to the terminal building? It would have taken about nine hours and Nigerians would have hated Air Peace because they wouldn’t know.

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“There are internal conspiracies within Nigeria. Some Nigerians are praying that we fail, but the good thing is that nobody is God.

Do you know what I did? I called my operations control Centre, who could reach the pilot. I told him to tell the pilot to block the taxiway. It was when British Airways landed that they started making moves to tell us to go to where we rightly belonged.”

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