Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Air Peace To Reabsorb Some Sacked Pilots After FG Intervention

 The management of Air Peace Airlines is set to reabsorb some of the pilots it recently sacked as a result of shrunk operations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respite came the way of the heartbroken pilots after an intervention meeting between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) at the instance of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

In the verbal agreement reached at the Minister’s office after the dialogue on Tuesday, the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without sinking.

In their presentation, NAAPE, led by its Chairman, Galadima Abednego, said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union and appealed to the Minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse.

According to him, it was hurtful for the union to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.

In his remarks, the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema expressed sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots, after everything that was done to make them comfortable on their jobs.

He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.

He however commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.

The Aviation Minister in his remarks called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.

He commended Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry, but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operators agreed.

He called on all stakeholders in the aviation industry to put all hands on deck in ensuring a rapid recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air Peace, penultimate week, sacked over 70 pilots in a major purge that reflected the devastating blow the pestilence dealt on its operations.

Shortly after, Bristow Helicopters also disengaged about 100 of its pilots, citing the COVID-19 as the reason.

It said it would leverage the opportunities provided by the disease to restructure all aspects of its business.

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