Air Peace to recall sacked pilots

Air Peace has rescinded the sack of over 70 pilots it recently sacked following the intervention of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

The pilots had lost their jobs last week following disagreement with the management of the airline over pay cut they considered ‘wicked and ‘insensitive’.

The decision to recall many of the pilots was a fall-out of an intervention meeting called by Sirika between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) held in his office on Tuesday.

Director of Media for the Ministry of Aviation, Dr. James Odaudu in a statement today said in the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment,

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 going under.

 

 

 

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.

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He said that as a union it was a painful thing 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.

On his own, the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots, after everything 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.

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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 operator 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.

It would be recalled that carrier while sacking the pilots said it was a painful decision it had to take in the face of COVID-19 pandemic that has had negative effect on not only aviation in Nigeria but global aviation sector.

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According to the airline, “The management of Air Peace wishes to state that it has taken a very painful but rightful decision, in the circumstances the airline has found itself as a result of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health, to terminate the employment of some of its pilots.

“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce, the affected pilots inclusive. The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfill its financial obligations to its staff, external vendors, aviation agencies, maintenance organisations, insurance companies, banks and other creditors hence the decision to restructure its entire  operations with a view to surviving the times”.

Wole Shadare