Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema
The Management of Air Peace and the leadership of National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) have toed the line of peaceful resolution under the auspices of the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika as the airline has agreed to recall the sacked pilots.
Sirika hosted an intervention meeting to resolve the recent sack of pilots in the airline. About 70 of the pilots were recently sacked by Air Peace following the hardship occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Airlines were one of the worst hit sectors of the economy because of the complete shut down by the governments of different countries of the world including Nigeria.
In a statement after the meeting, the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu disclosed that the resolution came after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment, where all parties aired their grievances and sought the amicable solution. In the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue, which held in the Minister’s office, Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.
In their presentation, NAAPE, led by its chairman, Galadima Abednego said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union and appealed to the Minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse. He said that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.
On his own, the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots, after everything done to make them comfortable on their jobs. He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
He however commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria. The Aviation Minister in his remarks called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.
He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed. He called on all stakeholders in the aviation industry to put all hands-on deck in ensuring a rapid recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recall, Air Peace confirmed the termination of no fewer than 70 pilots on August 3, 2020.