‘We wanted to protect Emir from embarrassment’– Air Peace, as monarch drags airline before NCAA for refusing to delay Lagos-Kano flight


Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has received a petition from the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, against Air Peace over Friday’s incident at General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), when the airline refused to delay a Kano-bound flight for the monarch.

Air Peace

However, responding to the allegations made by the monarch over the incident, management of Air Peace, insisted that it did not disrespect the Emir of Kano by not deliberately delaying the Lagos-Kano flight for the traditional ruler, but instead wanted to ‘protect him from embarrassment.’

The petition against Air Peace was written by Isa Bayero, Chief Protocol Officer, to the Emir who doubles as his nephew, challenged the airline’s reasons for failing to delay the Kano flight when it had already done the same on its Banjul (The Gambia) flight into Lagos, where the monarch was arriving from.

Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano

The petition accused Air Peace of delaying their Banjul to Lagos flight by over one hour. Further, it claimed that the airline refused to allow them board their connecting flight to Kano because they arrived Lagos 30 minutes before departure time, even as it held that the original delay had been the fault of Air Peace.

“We, 10 of us, including His Highness Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero; Sarkin Kano and four other business class passengers; with additional other five economy class passengers all boarded our return Air Peace flight No. P47776 from Banjul to Lagos.

‘‘Our departure from Banjul was scheduled for 00:10hrs (local time) on 24th February, 2022. However, we departed Banjul at 01:19hrs and we landed at Lagos at 5:45am. Our connecting flight to Kano on the same Air Peace airline was for 6:15 hrs. This gave us only 30 minutes to make our flight to Kano,” the petition read in part.

In addition, Bayero disclosed that he personally called the chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, to inform him of the situation.

Thereafter, he had requested him to assist by delaying their departing flight to Kano, notably as a mark of respect to the Emir.

“I personally took this as an insult…A flagrant show of disrespect to his highness and the Kano people at large. Arriving international flights, departing aircrafts- local or international –  are often delayed to enable arriving passengers to join.

“Why should that be different with Air Peace Airline?

“Despite having to check into a hotel at personal cost, the airline also requested us to pay a “no-show” fee when they wanted to rebook the next available flight of the airline which was by 7pm.

“This is an extreme case of insensitivity and callousness.

“In view of the foregoing, I feel strongly aggrieved and demand your kind intervention for restitution and for appropriate measures to be taken to stop this unwholesome development from happening in the future,” the petition read.

Confirming receipt of the petition, NCAA Director General, Musa Nuhu, however, declined further comment.

“I can only say we received the letter. We are working on it but I cannot say anything on it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Management of Air Peace has denied claims that it disrespected the Emir of Kano, adding that the airline instead acted ‘in a manner to protect the Emir from embarrassment.’

A statement released, Friday evening, and signed by Air Peace’s Chief Operating Officer, Mrs Toyin Olajide, disclosed that ‘there would have been an uproar if the aircraft which was about to take off was delayed for an hour just for the monarch and his entourage to board.’