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Air Peace airline and the Emir’s Cousin

Air Peace has released an official statement to deny the claims by Isa Bayero that the airline disrespected the Emir by refusing to delay a flight for him. (Photo credit: Punch)

Sense of entitlement is a big thing in our society and we have to find a whole month to dedicate to a fight against it, it’s that serious and my piece today borders around it, you too see!

I remember the last time I traveled to Abuja, it was a 7am flight on Air Peace but we didn’t leave Lagos until some few minutes before 9am, almost two hours delay and when we were going to eventually take off, it was discovered that the flight was delayed for a certain Lagos senator…

This information is to confirm to you that airlines in this part of the world legit delay flights for certain “eminent personalities”, they waste people’s time because of these individuals and we don’t talk about it enough, the spat in the media between the Emir of Kano’s team and Air Peace finally brings the chicken home to roost.

You may have heard of the incident between the royal head of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and Air Peace airline over the latter’s refusal to delay a flight for the former and his entourage, prompting the Emir’s cousin to call on the people of Kano to cancel the airline and the governing body to sanction them.

Let me summarize the incident in case you missed it and from a balanced view as well. The Emir and his entourage of nine men in total flew in from Banjul, The Gambia few minutes before 6am and were due to connect another Air Peace flight to Kano same morning, the flight was for 6:15am.

It’s been widely reported that the flight to Lagos from The Gambia was delayed by at least an hour, which affected the landing time. On arrival, Isa Bayero (Emir’s cousin and protocol officer) rang Chief Onyema, the chairman of Air Peace Airline, asking him to use his good office to delay the 6:15am flight for as long as it takes for the Emir to make it through the door.

The communication from the Emir’s camp says the Airline boss refused the request flatly but the airline refuted the claims, saying their chairman immediately called the airport to find out the status of the flight and at that time, the aircraft was fully boarded, chocks off and it was taxiing out.

Air Peace maintained that they couldn’t have done anything at that point and the only option was to put the Emir and his team on a flight to Abuja by 7am and then connect them to Kano without a cost on arrival at Abuja, Isa Bayero wasn’t going to have this and instead, he took it as an insult to the revered head and there must be consequences.

Air Peace said they decided not to reroute the already taxiing aircraft because they didn’t want to subject the Emir to social media ridicule, and in truth you have to imagine what would happen if folks realize it was the Emir that kept them waiting for about an hour when they’re already in taxi, just imagine twitter rants.

For me, the four foolscap sheet Air Peace used to explain themselves on Twitter was pointless, the “shalaye” was way too much for something they shouldn’t expend energy on, it’s actually Isa Bayero’s guts for me to be very honest.

A lot of people have berated Isa Bayero for inciting the people against the airline after the incident and rightly so, how do you want a fledging business taken down simply because they didn’t concede to your ridiculous demands? Who does that?

I intentionally threw in the delay in The Gambia as that’s Isa Bayero’s excuse but from the whole information available, it’s clear that it’s a norm for such request to be made and to be granted, if the dynamics this time doesn’t favor the royal head, can’t they consider plan B?

I won’t be the one to ask the Emir to get a private jet if he wants easy-peasy moves but why not get a chartered flight? At least they can afford it, so why crying foul on social media? Is it so hard? And doesn’t this rank under gross sense of entitlement?

Isa Bayero is screaming that the Emir was insulted by the airline for not grounding the aircraft for the Emir to arrive, is that itself not a disrespect to every single soul onboard? Or because they’re not Emirs they can be disrespected? Does it even make sense?

Someone is asking if the flight won’t be delayed if the request was from Obi of Onitsha, meaning it’s already on the border lines of tribal war, that’s the last thing we want right now but my answer to that would be the same, let the Obi charter a flight, simple.

It will be barbaric for AMCON to punish Air Peace for not delaying a flight for anyone at all, it’s a stupid request from a spoilt brat and should be treated as such, Isa Bayero’s request that the people of Kano stop patronizing Air Peace should be publicly retracted and the Emirate should make a statement to dissociate themselves from such idiocy.

As far as I know, the Emir’s office is classy and his person is full of grace, I refuse to believe he’s aware or even in support of the gross indiscretions of Isa Bayero.

However, the delays from Banjul should be investigated, if there’s a case to be made out of it, by all means please but not enough to waste people’s time on the Lagos to Kano flight. It is only ill-informed sense of entitlement that will make anyone cry over denial of such request, what do you think? I hope you leave your name while dropping your comments too

Air Peace explains Isa Bayero’s demand

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