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Passenger Appraises Air Peace’s London-Lagos Flight

A passenger and aviation enthusiast Jide Iyaniwura has shared his first-hand experience flying on Air Peace's inaugural flight from London Gatwick to Lagos on March 30, 2024. In the viral video Iyaniwura provided valuable insider perspectives on both the preparations and realities of the new carrier's debut long-haul route, suggesting that the UK authorities constituted a cog in the wheels

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Passenger Appraises Air Peace’s London-Lagos Flight

A passenger and aviation enthusiast Jide Iyaniwura has shared his first-hand experience flying on Air Peace's inaugural flight from London Gatwick to Lagos on March 30, 2024. In the viral video Iyaniwura provided valuable insider perspectives on both the preparations and realities of the new carrier's debut long-haul route, suggesting that the UK authorities constituted a cog in the wheels of Air Peace's progress. While Air Peace's communications and flight operations were well-executed, Iyaniwura noted some issues beyond their control. Specifically, he mentioned a lack of clear signage at Gatwick Airport directing passengers to the Air Peace check-in left travellers uncertain of procedures. Compounding this, the check-in area itself was tucked away and had non-functional baggage handling equipment. According to the operations specialist, "From when I arrived at the airport as about 7-7:30, I noticed that there was absolutely no sign that pointed you to the direction of where Air Peace was checking in, not whatsoever. That was wrong. That was the first alarm bell. Secondly, where they went and put Air Peace was unused. They took them to the back of the corner somewhere. Second alarm bell. The third thing, the check in desk that they put them, the belt, the belt that sort of moved the luggage from the checking operator to the baggage handlers was not working." These logistical challenges, which Iyaniwura attributed more to the airport authorities than Air Peace, risked giving off an initial impression of inefficiency. "As an outsider, if you stood there, what came to your mind was you were seeing Air Peace, not Gatwick operations," Iyaniwura said. He recalled standout moments with Air Peace staff whom he said demonstrated commitment to solving problems calmly and professionally. He said their considerate interactions boosted perceptions of the carrier's customer-centric values even under frustrations outside their control. Iyaniwura took a wider view that Air Peace faces systemic obstacles as a Nigerian operator on this lucrative London-Lagos route. He revealed that previous local carriers like Arik Air, Medview and Bellview failed to establish themselves, potentially due to obstacles beyond business factors alone. He urges understanding of the "government versus government fight" dynamics at play, requiring synergy between Nigerian aviation, foreign affairs and trade ministers to secure fair, long-term access to UK airspace. Onboard, Iyaniwura gave Air Peace's service and amenities high marks. According to him, attentive flight crew, ample and tasty meal options, spacious cabins and prompt assistance created a comfortable travel experience on par with major international carriers. Iyaneura sees Air Peace's London-Lagos operations off to a promising start despite pre-flight challenges mostly outside their control. He said continued community support through open communications with UK MPs could help address any discriminatory practices limiting airline competition. He urged the airline to maintain what he considered their strong in-flight product and service levels, for them to stand poised to succeed where others have faced barriers in the UK.  

Odoh Okenyodo By Odoh Okenyodo

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