Air Peace Lagos-London Flights Will Ease Pressure On Naira – Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has said the commencement of the Lagos-London flight services by Air Peace will help to reduce the pressure on the Naira as against the Dollar.

Keyamo stated this on Friday night during Air Peace’s inaugural flight ceremony held at Terminal 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.

The minister said that the Bola Tinubu-led government is going to ensure that they support local operators in accessing aircraft lease arrangements like what Air Peace is doing.

Keyamo also noted that with Air Peace on the London route, there will be no problem with trapped funds to help the airline continue its flight services.

He added that the aviation company is a local company and that the government does not have to repatriate the sale of tickets to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

By doing so, the minister stated that under such a situation, Nigeria would be liquid enough in terms of foreign exchange to repatriate those funds.

He said: “All the airlines that come into Nigeria, what they experience is massive repatriation of funds that puts pressure on the Naira because they have to seek for dollars, both the commercial banks and CBN. This new development eases the pressure on Naira because this is a Nigerian company that deals in naira and buys in naira. The only problem is that they still have to go abroad whenever they want to service their aircraft.

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“So one of my major objectives is to bring the MRO into Nigeria. That is very important. The key to unlocking this industry is to ensure that MRO comes into the country as quickly as possible. The Chinese, Arabs, and Americans are talking to us. They all want to come and do something. For now, we have a choice because everybody wants to come in and invest in Nigeria because of the new approach of governance to investors.”

On why airlines that operated the London route previously did not survive, the minister said, “The reason why previous airlines on the London Route did not survive is not because of the politics of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). It is about access to aircraft on favourable terms.

“We are going to pray for Air Peace and pray for Allen that he can sustain this. This is because he is doing this at great expense, even at marginal profit or loss to challenge and it is going to get better.”

Keyamo pointed out that Nigeria had been on the blacklist when it comes to dry lease arrangements because of the previous experiences of the lessors.

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