Nigeria’s biggest carrier, Air Peace, on Wednesday, March 25; announced the suspension of all its flight service. This is in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
This was contained in a statement signed by its Chief Operating Officer, Toyin Olajide.
Air Peace said, “It is with a great sense of responsibility that we have decided, in the best interest of our nation; our passengers and workforce, to suspend scheduled flight operations for 23 days effective 23.00hrs on Friday (an hour before midnight on Friday) the 27th day of March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This difficult decision was reached in order to, not only; support the efforts of the Federal Government and other stakeholders in curbing the spread of this virus in our nation; but also to protect our teeming passengers and our staff from becoming victims of the pandemic.”
Air Peace further revealed that declining passenger traffic in the last three weeks played a major role in the decision.
“Continuation of flight operations in the present circumstances we find ourselves as airlines, could lead to the total collapse of any airline; hence the need to quickly stem the rising financial burden and costs of operations.
“While the suspension is on, we are, however, willing to do special flights both for the government and our people. Normal scheduled flight operations shall resume on April 20, 2020. We regret any inconvenience this decision may have caused our teeming passengers,” the airline also said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors has offered its aircraft both fixed-wing and helicopters to the federal government for airlift of relief materials; medical equipment; and also personnel; in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
This was disclosed by the CEO of the company; Captain Ado Sanusi, who said that it was the contribution of the airline in support of the government’s fight against the virus; as well as treatment of those already infected.
Sanusi said that the aircraft would henceforth be at the disposal of the Presidential Task Force; for the Control of Coronavirus in Nigeria; headed by the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The Aero CEO urged well-meaning individuals; corporate organisations; and others to support the government to overcome this pandemic, which is upsetting the world.