Nigeria’s biggest carrier, Air Peace, Tuesday said the flight delays emanate mostly on account of safety considerations which supersede every other thing.
While apologising for the delays that might have been experienced by passengers, the airline also reiterated that it was not in the interest of any airline to delay or cancel flights.
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Air Peace in a statement in response to a recent viral broadcast where a passenger whose flight was delayed described the airline as “a vicious operator”.
But the airline stated that it remains a responsible corporate organisation, stressing that flight delays do not bring any gain to any airline but “monumental loss.”
The airline explained that on the day the said passenger experienced the delay, it was caused by bad weather and sudden malfunctioning of one of the operating aircraft.
“We had flight delays in Sokoto, Akure, Ibadan and Kano occasioned by bad weather. These factors led to multiple delays and outright cancellations never wished by the Airline. It happens all over the world,” it said.
The airline stated that it would never endanger the lives of “our innocent passengers and our staff by flying an aircraft that suddenly develops snags nor fly when the weather is adjudged unsafe just to avoid deliberate negative publicity.”
“We would rather go out of business peacefully than to have blood in our hands. Yet, we are still sorry for every inconvenience caused any of our passengers as a result of delayed operations. Those delays are always borne out of safety considerations more than anything else,” the airline said.
The statement read: “We wish to firstly apologise, once again, to all our passengers, including this particular passenger, who may have experienced flight delays on the day in question and, indeed at every other time of our operations for any inconvenience they may have incurred as a result. We feel their pains when such occasions occur.
“Air Peace, as a responsible business concern, and in line with business ethics, would normally reach out to dissatisfied customers at any given time to placate them irrespective of whether we are at fault or not. This, we have done.
“The Customer, we believe, is king. Such gestures are never an admission of any wrongdoing but a recognition that one’s customers need to be happy. It is never done out of fear.
“No airline under the sun benefits from flight delays or cancellations. Flight delays emanate principally from safety considerations more than anything else.
“We wish to reiterate our resolve to zero tolerance to unsafe operations. Air Peace will never succumb to deliberate negative commentaries, intimidation or blackmail, to fly when it is unsafe to do so and neither shall we, out of fear of negative publicity from anyone or quarter, take to the skies in order to look good when it is absolutely unsafe to do so.
“Flights are delayed as a result of many factors beyond the control of the airline and this includes but not limited to bad weather, sudden aircraft malfunctioning, etc.
“It is pertinent to, however, point out that Air Peace is a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria and the world at large and has consistently demonstrated our love for our country and humanity in very unprecedented ways to be described as a ‘vicious operator’! We have given means of livelihood to over five thousand Nigerians while striving hard to interconnect cities across our nation as our contribution to the unity and progress of our country.
“How does flight delay that does not give any gain but rather monumental loss to an airline make the airline a ‘vicious operator’? Yet, the customer is king and is entitled to air his/her dissatisfaction.
“We equally wish to state without fear or favour, just as we have done earlier, that the regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is very alive to its regulatory duties and this is very evident in the almost ten years of accident free commercial scheduled operations in Nigeria.
“It is therefore very shocking that anyone could blame NCAA as failing in its regulatory duties because an airline or airlines observed best safety practices that led to flight delays. Yet, the customer is king.”