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Why Air Fares Spiked Ahead Of Yuletide – Air Peace

Air Peace has provided clarifications on the dynamics of air fares, dismissing claims in some quarters that the airline was extorting South-Easterners with air fares.…

Air Peace has provided clarifications on the dynamics of air fares, dismissing claims in some quarters that the airline was extorting South-Easterners with air fares.

This is coming against the backdrop of reports of high fares ahead of the yuletide festivities.

This has triggered attacks on social media with netizens accusing the carrier and other airlines of taking advantage of passengers by imposing high fares.

But the airline in a statement on Monday described the allegations as misrepresentation and deliberate falsehood to whip up ethnic sentiment.

The airline said it observed several posts in social media in which the authors alleged that Air Peace was extorting Easterners with ‘high ticket fares’, adding that their intention was to whip up ethnic sentiments against Air Peace and its Chairman, Dr Allen Onyema, by insinuating that the airline has continued to favour northerners at the expense of the easterners in its ticket pricing.

It also said it observed baseless comparisons of its fares with those of other airlines without taking into cognisance how the airline fare system works and the interplay of market factors that determine pricing at any given time.

It added, “Hence, it has become abundantly crucial to not only educate the originators of these posts but to also debunk their ill-intentioned, ethnically slanted commentaries as they portray our chairman and Air Peace as ‘profiteerists’. It must be stressed that Air Peace does not and will never discriminate against the South-East or any geo-political zone for that matter.”

According to the carrier, the airline fare system is automated and configured in a unique way which ensures that as the aircraft seats are being sold, the fares go up.

It added, “This is not just applicable to domestic airline fare systems, even the international airline fare system follows the same principle.

“The Eastern routes’ increased demand for flight tickets/high passenger traffic this season automatically impacts the way the aircraft seats get sold. The seats get sold out faster than some routes with less traffic. Therefore, the airline booking engine reservation system displays the higher fares faster even though eventually, the higher fares will get displayed on the less traffic routes as the seats get fuller too.

“For instance, if you want to book a Lagos-Owerri flight for December 27, 2023, you will pay more than another customer who booked for the same flight in October because the flight has gotten fuller, and so higher fares are now showing on the booking platforms.”

The airline reiterated that the allegation of extorting Easterners was in bad taste, adding, “We believe it was orchestrated to spark off unhealthy ethnic conversations and pit the public against Air Peace and Dr Allen Onyema. Air Peace is not in the business of ethnic favouritism and it is outrageous to say our chairman is extorting Easterners.

“Again, how is Air Peace extorting Easterners? In actual fact, our ticket fares to the East are still cheaper than the ticket fares of our counterparts to the same Eastern region. Why is Air Peace being wrongly accused when it is evident that we are not the most expensive airline flying to the East this season? The facts are there for everyone to see.

“Despite all the efforts of the airline providing multiple frequencies and additional flight availability to cater for the increased passenger traffic to the Eastern region, even though it is common knowledge that 85 per cent of the flights will return empty for this initial phase of the festive season, it is, however, shocking and inhumane for anyone to feign ignorance of the facts and maliciously portray the airline in the worst form anyone could think of. What a shameful act!”

Air Peace explained further that since inception, its business practices had been responsible, fair and healthy. “We came on board with the vision of providing peaceful connectivity across cities, giving Nigerians more network options and helping to reduce the burden associated with air travel in the country,” it added.

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