By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Air Peace has denied allegations that it charges higher flight ticket fares for South East routes, saying that those making such allegations are ignorant of how ticket fare pricing is done.
Reacting to a video that went viral on social media, showing higher ticket fares for flights to the South East and lower ticket fares for flights to states like Kano, the airline said that the eastern routes, because of traffic, get sold out faster than others, thereby showing higher fares faster. But that the other destinations, though slower, will also pay the same higher fares as they get full and that is mischievous of anyone to accuse the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Allen Onyema and Air Peace of ethnic favouritism.
The airline’s statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the orchestrated attacks on the airline on social media. Those doing this are ignorant of how ticket fare pricing is done. Air Peace does not discriminate against the South East. It is the same fare that is loaded for all the routes all over Nigeria. Our fares start from N23, 000 and progresses to N60, 000 which is our highest economy class fare. For a 136-seat capacity aircraft (12 business and 124 economy), the fare is allocated thus: N23,000 – 10seats; N27,500 – 20 seats; N30,000 – 25seats; N33,000- 15seats, N35,000 – 15seats; N42,000 – 10 seats; N47,000- 5seats; N50,000 – 5seats, N55,000 – 5seats and N60,000 – 14seats.
“These fares are loaded into the system for all Air Peace destinations- North, East, South and West. There is no discrimination. If the first 10 seats of N23, 000 fare finish, the system will automatically start showing the next fare which is N27, 500. If the allocated seats on this are booked, it will migrate to the next until it gets to the last 14 seats pegged at N60, 000.
“As the aircraft gets full, the higher fares start showing up. The eastern routes, because of traffic, get sold out faster than some places thereby showing higher fares faster. But the other destinations, though slower, will also pay the same higher fares as they get fuller too. It is highly mischievous of anyone to be accusing Allen Onyema and Air Peace of ethnic favouritism.
“To feather their parochial interests, these propagandists say we favour the North. They published on social media a fare of N95,000 to Owerri and a fare of Kano showing N35,000 for the same date. Quite misleading. The N95,000 fare is not our economy fare but our business fare. It is deceptive for anyone to deliberately bring out our highest business fare for Owerri and juxtapose it against a Kano economy fare selling at the time, thereby making the unsuspecting reader think that the Owerri passenger is paying N95, 000 for the same class of ticket which the Kano person was paying N35, 000 for.
“Our fares are the cheapest in Nigeria for our type of aircraft. Even in the Christmas season, we do not increase fares. The N60, 000 Economy ticket is there all year. During Christmas, you fly empty planes back to Lagos from the South East, yet we keep to our all year round Economy fare of N60, 000.
“Air Peace came on board when there was a paucity of flights to the South East and provided several flights, making transportation easier for the easterners. The airline also has in its employ over 2000 South Easterners in an industry where they were not adequately represented before our entry. When mischief-makers think of running down Air Peace, they should consider these Nigerians and the impact the airline’s operations have had on the economy.”