In a bid to dispel misconceptions and address circulating accusations, Nigerian carrier Air Peace steps forward to clarify its stance on ticket fares and emphasize its commitment to fostering peace and unity among Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups.
The airline, known for its dedication to harmony, finds it imperative to rectify misrepresentations and unfounded claims regarding its business model that have gained traction on social media.
According to a press release by the management of the airline, the social media have been agog with narratives that the carrier is extorting the people of the South East in the country, charging exorbitant tickets.
Air Peace said: ‘Lately, we have observed several posts on social media in which the authors are purporting that Air Peace is extorting Easterners with ‘high ticket fares’. Their intention is to whip up ethnic sentiments against Air Peace and the Chairman, Dr. Allen Onyema, by insinuating that the airline has continued to favour Northerners at the expense of the Easterners in its ticket pricing.
‘We have also observed baseless comparisons of our fares with those of other airlines without taking into cognisance how airline fare system works and the interplay of market factors that determine pricing at any given time. We also noticed that some of these comparisons are flawed: Juxtaposing a Business Class fare for an Eastern route with an Economy Class fare for a Northern route, and giving the impression that both are Economy Class fares. It is common knowledge that Business Class ticket fares are higher than Economy Class fares yet these authors are spreading all these allegations in bad faith.
‘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.
‘The airline fare system is automated and configured in a unique way:
As an aircraft seat gets fuller, the higher fares automatically get displayed. This is not just applicable to domestic airline fare system but even the international airline fare system follows the same principle.
‘The Eastern routes’ increased demand for flight tickets/high passenger traffic this season automatically impact 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 that 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 information being circulated in these posts by our Eastern brothers is in bad taste and 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? When 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% 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!
‘Since inception, our business practices have 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. This has been our ambition and we are doing well in this regard and will do more.
‘We, therefore, implore members of the public to disregard these malicious posts on social media as they are baseless and a calculated attempt to besmirch the Air Peace brand and the hard-earned reputation of Dr Onyema.’