UPDATE - Disputation trails Air Peace’s treatment of Emir of Kano
A Nigerian air carrier, Air Peace, has said that it did not disrespect the Emir of Kano as alleged in apetition written against it.
Air Peace made this known Friday night in its response to a letter of complaint written by a cousin to the Emir, Isa Bayero.
The emir’s cousin had asked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to take punitive actions against Air Peace over what he termed “disrespect” to the emir and people of Kano.
In the petition to the NCAA, Mr Bayero, popularly known as Isa Pilot, said the airline delayed their Banjul to Lagos flight by over one hour and refused to allow them board their connecting flight to Kano because they arrived in Lagos 30 minutes before departure time.
The petition claimed that Mr Bayero called the Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, to inform him of the need to delay the airline’s morning flight to Kano because of the Banjul incident.
“He flatly refused and avowed that he will not do that. I personally took this as an insult and a flagrant show of disrespect to his highness and the Kano people at large,” Mr Bayero wrote of Mr Onyema in the petition.
But in its response Friday, Air Peace described the allegations as ‘deliberate falsehood’ peddled against the airline.
The airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Toyin Olajide, argued that Air Peace holds the Emir of Kano in the highest regards and contrary to the insinuation that the emir was disrespected, the airline indeed protected the image of the traditional ruler “by not succumbing to what Isa Bayero wanted us to do.”
The statement said: “If we had agreed to stop and delay an aircraft, already set to take-off, for another one hour only for the doors to be opened and the Emir to walk in, there would have been a very serious uproar in the media nationwide against both the airline and the Emir. This we pleaded with Isa Bayero to understand but he refused to accept.
"How could Isa Bayero want the Management of Air Peace to stop and delay a fully boarded plane with doors already shut and aircraft already moving while our respected Emir and eight others in his entourage, including Isa Bayero, were still at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos after arriving from Banjul?”
Air Peace explained that from the telephone log evidence on the phone of Mr Onyema, its Chairman/CEO, Mr Bayero called at about 5.52am, a time the CEO was still sleeping.
From the log, the airline said, it could be seen that Mr Bayero called him again at 5.59am which obviously woke him up.
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