“We have been following our business plan since 2014 meticulously. Everything we said we would do then, by the grace of God, we have been able to achieve. We believe that we can do more with strategic planning. So, the era of saying that Nigerian airlines are pushover is gone forever. All we need is the enabling environment to perform and I assure you that we will perform far more than your expectations,” Onyema said.
Air Peace had earlier demonstrated its capacity on the South African route when it repatriated over 600 Nigerians for free, during the 2019 xenophobic crisis.
The commercial flight, which departed Lagos at 2 a.m. Thursday, had a fairly large turnout of passengers. It arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, at 8:30 am to the traditional water salute.
“It is not just Air Peace coming to South Africa, but our airline uniting the two countries, deepening trade relations and creating new jobs. To do this, Air Peace needed more manpower both in Nigeria and South Africa. Those are new jobs that we have just created. The more we expand, the greater the opportunities for service providers.
“So, coming to South Africa is a big development in the right direction. South Africans can see Nigerian indigenous carriers bring much love to them, as nationals travel both ways. That can only mean more unity between the two countries,” Olajide said.