Nigeria’s airline, Air Peace, has suspended all flights from Friday, March 27, 2020.
The private airline founded in 2013 with its head office in Lagos State, Nigeria, announced the suspension of all its flight services, as part of efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus in the country, which has claimed one life from the 46 confirmed cases as at Wednesday, March 25.
“It is with a great sense of responsibility that we have decided, in the best interest of our nation, our passengers and workforce, to suspend scheduled flight operations for 23 days effective 23.00hrs (an hour before midnight) on Friday, March 27, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This difficult decision was reached in order to, not only, support the efforts of the Federal Government and other stakeholders in curbing the spread of this virus in our nation, but also to protect our teeming passengers and our staff from becoming victims of the pandemic,” the Chief Operating Officer, Toyin Olajide, stated.
The airline noted that passenger traffic in the last three weeks had slumped drastically as a result of the pandemic, adding that it was only wise to discontinue raking up avoidable costs it could not afford.
“Continuation of flight operations in the present circumstances we find ourselves as airlines could lead to the total collapse of any airline; hence the need to quickly stem the rising financial burden and cost of operations,” Olajide said.
On Tuesday, there was a COVID-19 scare that created panic on its Lagos/Kano flight, after passengers alleged there was a COVID-19 patient onboard.
It, however, refuted the allegation, explaining that a 13-year-old boy, who was accompanied by his parents but flying for the first time, suffered from flight phobia and vomited in the aircraft while it was airborne.
Air Peace also explained that when the incident happened, the captain of the flight informed air traffic control and Port Health about the development before the flight landed at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
“Unfortunately, some officials at the airport made a video of the aircraft when it arrived and shared it on the social media and misinformed the public that the aircraft had a COVID-19 suspect,” the airline stated.
It explained that the flight waited for about 50 minutes, so that officials from Port Health would attend to the boy.
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