Nigeria’s Air Peace Operates Chinese Repatriation Flight

On May 28, Lagos-based Air peace deployed its two Boeing 777-300s to evacuate Chinese citizens from Nigeria to…

Nigeria’s Air Peace Operates Chinese Repatriation Flight

On May 28, Lagos-based Air peace deployed its two Boeing 777-300s to evacuate Chinese citizens from Nigeria to China. The aircraft used for the repatriation flight registration number 5N-BWI flew 301 Chinese nationals that had been stuck in Nigeria due to the coronavirus home.

Several of the Chinese repatriated from Nigeria were doctors. Photo: Boeing

The Air Peace triple seven took off from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) at 22:05 and arrived at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) on Friday at 13:15 Nigerian time.

Air Peace evacuated Israeli citizens in March

Air Peace spokesman Stanley Olisa said in a statement released by the airline and carried by news site The Pulse that the Chinese government arranged the repatriation flight. Mr. Olisa was also keen to point out that the private Nigerian airline also evacuated Israeli citizens from Nigeria in late March as well as other nationalities.

 “Air Peace on Thursday, May 28, operated its second flight to China as we evacuated 301 Chinese nationals back to their country,” he said.

He added that the flight departed right on time and arrived in Guangdong province, in the southeast of China, without incident.

When speaking about the coronavirus flight, the regional manager for South West, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, told reporters the flight carried 301 Chinese evacuees and 24 Air peace crew members.

Air Peace cabin crew.Photo: Air Peace

Operating as flight number P47807, the Nigerian Immigration Service, Port Health Services officials, and other government agencies were on the ground at LOS to ensure there were no last-minute snags with the evacuation.

 “Air Peace is slated to carry out more evacuation operations for other nationals living in Nigeria, as the airline and other domestic operators gear up to resume scheduled flight operations soon.

“There are indications that commercial flight operations would resume early June, as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has started auditing airlines in preparation for scheduled passenger service,” she said.

About Air Peace

Air Peace is a privately owned Nigerian airline that was founded by Nigerian businessman Allen Onyema in 2013.

Based in Lagos, the airline mainly operates flights within Africa but does offer a service to Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) in the UAE three times per week. Air Peace had big expansion plans for 2020 that included direct flights to Israeli and India with a flight to London penciled in for later in the year. All these big ideas were put on hold after the COVID-19 pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill.

Air Peace will resume flying with just 42 flights per day

Due to the coronavirus crisis Air Peace was forced to ground its fleet on March 27 and is now looking to start flying commercially again as soon as it gets the green light from the Nigerian government.

air peace
Air Peace will only operate 42 flights per day when it resumes flying. Photo:
Anna Zvereva via Flickr

According to the website The Afritraveller, it will not be business as usual, though with the airline planning to deploy just ten aircraft on 42 flights per day rather than the 100 flights per day it flew before COVID-19.

Air peace also announced that for crew safety, the traditional in-flight meal service would be discontinued.

Have you have ever flown with Air Peace? If so, please let us know what you thought of the airline in the comments section.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Lufthansa Board Approves Giving Up Slots For A Bailout

Additional details surrounding Lufthansa’s economic relief package have emerged in the last few days with the Lufthansa Executive…

Lufthansa Board Approves Giving Up Slots For A Bailout

Additional details surrounding Lufthansa’s economic relief package have emerged in the last few days with the Lufthansa Executive Board approving to surrender vital slots at Frankfurt and Munich airports. Yesterday, the Board agreed for the airline to release 24 take-off and landing slots at both airports to competitors. The Supervisory Board is yet to accept the decision.

Lufthansa will be forced to give up 24 slots to competitors at Frankfurt and Munich. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

State aid comes with conditions

It’s been a turbulent week for Lufthansa after it reached an agreement with the Germany government on a bailout. On 25th May, the airline agreed to a $9.88bn economic recovery package under the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF). However, the package was anything but free help.

While it had initially been thought that Lufthansa would be required to surrender 20% of its stake to the government, it was later discovered that the carrier would also need to surrender slots. At the time, only six of Lufthansa’s 300 Frankfurt and Munich slots were thought to be in jeopardy. It is now apparent that the EU commission is requesting 24 slots to be released.

Lufthansa executive board
The decision from Lufthansa’s Executive Board means that the airline should soon receive its state bailout. Photo: Lufthansa

Despite that, in a statement on 29th May, Lufthansa announced that its Executive Board had approved the condition. It said,

“At its meeting today, the Lufthansa Executive Board decided to accept the commitments offered by Germany to the EU Commission for the stabilization package negotiated with the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany…Lufthansa will, therefore, be obliged to transfer to one competitor each at the Frankfurt and Munich airports up to 24 take-off and landing rights (slots).”

Who will take the slots?

Under the condition, a competitor at both Frankfurt and Munich will station up to four aircraft at either airport. The airline could, therefore, claim three take-off and three landing slots per day. The slots will be auctioned in due course, pending the approval of Lufthansa’s Supervisory Board and stakeholders.

Lufthansa sunset
Ryanair fears that the bailout will only strengthen Lufthansa’s hold on the German market further. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

One airline, in particular, has been rather vocal about Lufthansa’s bailout. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary suggested earlier this week that Chancellor Angela Merkel scrap the “illegal State Aid scheme” for “ungrateful Lufthansa.” In a statement, the airline went on to say that the deal would put airlines like Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet at a disadvantage since Lufthansa would be allowed to rule the German market.

The slots on offer represent under 10% of Lufthansa’s holding in Frankfurt and Munich. However, their sale will level out the playing field for other competitors. For one and a half years, the slots will be open for new airlines at these airports. If no airline claims ownership, existing competitors will be allowed to bid on the slots.

Will the Supervisory Board approve?

Lufthansa’s developments in the last few days have demonstrated a change of tune. While Lufthansa had at first rejected the historical bailout deal, it has now made a turnaround.

Chancellor Angela Merkel with Lufthansa model aircraft
The approval also means that the German government is that much closer to owning its 20% stake in the airline. Photo: Getty Images

Surrendering some of its slots and other commitments in the deal, including state stakeholder involvement, shows how much Lufthansa values financial assistance right now. The decision won’t be one that was taken lightly, given the sacrifice. However, having had a few days to mull over the package, it’s more than likely that the Supervisory Board will accept.

The decision will then be shared in an Extraordinary General Meeting with stakeholders before it is finalized.

Who do you think will take Lufthansa’s slots? Let us know your views in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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