Group seeks tax holiday for Air Peace amidst price war

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The National Civil Society Council of Nigeria (NCSCN) has urged the Federal Government to consider granting tax waiver to Air Peace amidst ongoing price competition among foreign airline operators in Nigeria.

Executive Director of NCSCN, Blessing Akinlosotu, in a statement on Wednesday said the pricing war was orchestrated by the entry of Air Peace into the Lagos-London Route.

Akinlosotu said the recent launch of Lagos-London flight by the airline at a highly reduced rate had shockingly exposed the long years of exploitations of Nigerian travelers by foreign operators and bigger players.

This, according to him, has triggered a pricing war to outwit each other.

He recalled that foreign operators had for decades, monopolised the high traffic and profitable Lagos -London route, taking undue advantage of Nigerian travelers who paid costliest fares in Africa, while other countries paid much lower rates for same destination.

According to him, an operator such as Turkish airlines charges for the economy class ticket for the Lagos-Istanbul route rose up to N874,661 while the business class ticket jumped to N1,980,876.

“Nigerian travelers experienced same with other foreign operators such as British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, KLM/Air France, Air Maroc and Ethiopian Airlines.

“Before the foreign operators conspired to increase fares, the economy class tickets on the Nigeria-UK route was between N400,000 and N650,000, depending on the booking period while business class was between N800,000 and N1.2 million,” he said.

Akinlosotu said the commencement of Air Peace flights to London had further exposed the exploitation, adding that the foreign carriers, out of fears of losing their Nigerian passengers to Air Peace, had engaged in price wars for survival.

According to him, NCSCN discovered that majority of the foreign operators on the Lagos/London destination have now drastically slashed fares to the point of charging lower than the Air Peace.

This, according to the CSO, is just to run the patriotic indigenous operator out of business, and thereafter return to the price hike regime.

Akinlosotu called on the Federal Government and all Nigerians to see the actions of the foreign carriers as a national challenge and save the most patriotic and progressive indigenous operator, the Air Peace from the international Aero-politics by foreign airlines.

The airlines, according to him, are seriously threatened by the rising profile and business strategies of a Nigerian operator with impressive global records of flight operations between Nigeria and other countries like China, UAE, Israel Brazil and South Africa during the pandemic seamlessly.

“Air Peace has really exposed the foreign operators, just like GLO Nigeria did to the foreign Telecom Providers.

“Who would have imagined the possibility of all foreign operators to come down so low in pricing if not for the entrance and intervention of the Air Peace.

“Air Peace must be protected, rewarded, and honoured for this patriotic gesture and we urge all Nigerians to patronise Air Peace as this will save our Naira and further grow our National Economy,” he said.

According to him, all the foreign operators repatriate their profits and funds to home countries but Air Peace is indigenous and reinvents profits here in Nigeria to the advantage of the Naira.

“We, therefore, appeal passionately to President Bola Tinubu, as an accomplished businessman himself, to help the airline by granting a waiver of One Year Tax Holiday.

“This will go a very long way in keeping this patriotic indigenous operator afloat, against the foreign unsought.

“The foreign conspiracy must not be allowed to prevail over Nigeria.

“We have already mapped out plans and actionable strategies to mobilise Nigerians and other well-meaning nationale in favour of Air Peace in the ongoing pricing warfare, within this month of April,” he said. (NAN)

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