Air Peace Explains Choice Of Gatwick For London Operations

Chairman of Air Peace Limited, Dr Allen Onyema at the weekend, explained that the airline chose Gatwick Airport for its Lagos-London flights because the United Kingdom authorities refused to give it Heathrow Airport. The airline had concluded all arrangements to commence the Lagos-London flight on March 30, 2024.

Dr. Onyema, who spoke on Arise TV, said that the airline has, however, realized inherent benefits in choosing Gatwick airport, which includes the fact that many Nigerians live in that part of London and there is less traffic in getting to Central London from Gatwick than from Heathrow.

He also said that following the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), signed between the UK and Nigeria, Air Peace was supposed to be offered the UK’s primary airport, which is Heathrow, just as Nigeria offered its primary airports in Lagos and Abuja to British airlines: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

But since the UK authorities refused to do that, Air Peace chose Gatwick and realized it could be beneficial to the airline’s operation, noting that it would be easier for the airline’s Nigerian passengers to get to their destinations from the airport and also to connect to other parts of the UK.

“The BASA we signed with the UK is this: you give me your primary airport; we give you our primary airport. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways come to our country using our primary airports, Lagos and Abuja. When we applied, they told us Heathrow was not available to us and they were even suggesting London Stansted Airport or Luton. They also suggested Gatwick, but I refused. I wanted to go to Heathrow, which is their primary airport.”

“But after some time we said okay, as Nigerians are groaning under the weight of high fares; we decided even if it is Scotland; we would go. So, we decided to take Gatwick. Gatwick was not our choice but in the long run, we decided to see some good in choosing Gatwick.”

“Many of our people live down the South-East part of London and there is heavy traffic into Central London from Heathrow, but at Gatwick, they allotted Southern terminal to Air Peace and when you get to the south terminal, you get out of immigration, take your luggage, you walk into the Gatwick express train within three minutes and that will take you to Victoria, right into Central London. From the south terminal, you have access to the tube, you have access to national rail and you have access to road transport to other parts of the UK. So, Gatwick has turned out to even be better for us. That’s why we took Gatwick,” Dr Onyema said

Source: The Will

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