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Gatwick Airport acknowledges Air Peace after backlash from Nigerians

Gatwick Airport, London, has finally announced the commencement of flights by Nigeria’s Air Peace. Air Peace had commenced a direct Lagos-London flight to London Gatwick…

Gatwick Airport, London, has finally announced the commencement of flights by Nigeria’s Air Peace.

Air Peace had commenced a direct Lagos-London flight to London Gatwick on March 30, 2024, amidst fanfare.

But the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom failed follow its tradition of announcing inaugural flights

Daily Trust reports that the airport did not also accord Air Peace the ceremonial water cannon salute to welcome the inaugural flight of a new airline.

Nigerians had bombarded the airport on its social media channels over its failure to  acknowledge the indigenous airline.

Checks by our correspondent revealed that the Airport on its verified X handle @Gatwick_Airport on Wednesday April 3, 2024 announced the inaugural flight of Swiss Airline, days after Air Peace commenced flight.

“Yesterday we celebrated the inaugural flight of @flySWISS from London Gatwick! Swiss International Air Lines will be flying six times a week to Zürich! Serving as the main hub of the airline, Zürich Airport is a gateway to Swiss’ vast network of global destinations,” the airport had announced on its X handle.

But after sustained pressure from Nigerian social media users, the airport announced Air Peace’s presence 11 days after the airline flagged off its flights to the airport.

“Exciting news! We recently welcomed Nigerian carrier @flyairpeace to the London Gatwick family, flying daily to Lagos 🇳🇬 Perfect for reconnecting with friends and loved ones or for business travellers, embark on your next journey from London Gatwick to Lagos with Air Peace. Book your flights today: gatwk.uk/3Jb1Slu And doesn’t the livery look great on the aircraft as it came under our Pier 6 bridge on its first arrival?! Big thank you to lgw.luke on Instagram for this fantastic video,” the airport wrote on its X handle.

Dissatisfied with the delay, some Nigerians still demanded explanations from the airport.

An X user identified as Stanley wrote, “After how many days of the maiden flight, you have to do better. Protecting this airline should be your top priority given that part of ur ownership is from Nigeria. Note that we will fight tooth and nail to protect this airline, so “don’t play or you will learn”

Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema, had cried out over attempt to frustrate the airline, narrating how it was allocated a small space within Southern terminal at Gatwick.

In an interview on Tuesday, Onyeama also shared some unpleasant experiences.

“What is happening is scary. On the inaugural flight out of London, they (Gatwick) moved us to another checking area. The place they gave us, things were not working. When you are checking people, you need to manually carry the load to go 50 metres and drop it. This was just to delay. No other airline faced that. We were denied a lot. Festus Keyamo had to travel to London with us to warn them. He told them if they continue the foolish act, the Nigerian government would retaliate,” he had said.

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