Air Peace CEO Explains Reasons for Flight Delays as Airlines Record N15bn Losses

Air Peace CEO Explains Reasons for Flight Delays as Airlines Record N15bn Losses

  • The Chairman and CEO of Air Peace Limited has explained the reason for flight delays and cancellations in Nigeria
  • He said that the sector suffered an estimated N15 billion in losses because of customers' behaviour
  • Onyema encouraged travellers to reschedule in line with the airline's current schedule if their flights are cancelled journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

Allen Onyema, the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace Limited, has said that customer behaviour is the primary reason behind flight delays in Nigeria.

air Peace explains reasons for flight delay
Air Peace's CEO said airlines have suffered significant financial losses of N15bn yearly. Photo Credit: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER, Izabela Habur
Source: Getty Images

As a result, he said that airlines have suffered significant financial losses, estimated by the industry to be worth over N15 billion yearly.

Airlines play a minor role in delay

According to a Businessday report, Onyema cited the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), saying that airlines play a relatively minor role in flight delays.

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He said that in Nigeria, in addition to weather, VIP movement, and technology (Aircraft on Ground, or AOG), passenger behaviour significantly contributes to delays and cancelled flights.

He said this is because Nigerian travellers have not adopted the practice of rescheduling cancelled flights, which is in line with recommended international standards.

According to Onyema, airlines schedule the number of flights each aircraft must operate. However, when an earlier flight is cancelled, passengers' demands to be airlifted before the airline operates its regular schedule interfere with flight operations.

Onyema stressed that passengers whose flights are cancelled should reschedule by the current airline schedule.

He said this would help ensure that subsequent flights would not be disrupted or delayed and that cancellations would be drastically minimised as they operated in other parts of the world.

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He said:

“Each aircraft does about six to eight flights a day; so, it is not only one disruption; you are talking about massive eight flights disrupted for that day. I will give you an example: the other day, we were flying into Warri; we could not land because of the weather. The pilot hovered for about 15 minutes, but he diverted to Enugu for safety because Benin was also covered by bad weather.
“They stayed on the ground in Enugu for about an hour or two, and then the weather cleared. The aircraft was fueled. The weather cleared for them to take off to Warri, but the Warri airport was closed because it was a sunset airport.

According to Onyema, the pilot said the airport would close due to sunset, and the aircraft would return to its base in Abuja.

Following that declaration, pandemonium was everywhere as the passengers began demonstrating against the choice.

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In addition, he clarified that the plane, which was scheduled to carry out four additional flights, including ones to Kano and Port Harcourt, was prevented from taking off by passengers at the other airports where the passengers were waiting for the flight.

Recall that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in a report, said Air Peace delayed the most domestic flights in the first three months of 2023.

NCAA said of the 18,288 domestic flights in the first quarter of 2023, 10,128 flights were delayed, representing 55%, and 284 flights were cancelled, representing 1.55%.

The report said Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Azman Air, Dana, Air, Air Peace, Ibom Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Green Africa, Value Jet, and Overland Airways worked during the period under review.

Airlines risk NCAA sanctions over delays reported that Chris Najomo, the acting director-general of the NCAA, has read the riot act to domestic airline operators.

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This followed rising cases of flight delays and disruptions in the country. earlier spotlighted Nigerian airlines with the most flight delays in 2023.

Michael Achimugu, the NCAA spokesperson, said in a statement that the current record of flight disruptions, poor customer experience, and poor handling of passengers was of significant concern to the DG, who described it as unacceptable.


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