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Air Peace lied about sold out tickets

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Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, has described as “white lie”, the claims by Air Peace saying they have sold out until September all their Lagos-London tickets.

In a statement shared on Omokri’s verified X page on Thursday, the former presidential aide noted that “if that were true, then Air Peace would not be bothered about a price war for ticket prices in April-May. They would have sold those tickets.”

Omokri’s statement comes on the heels of the ‘price war for tickets’ between Air Peace and other foreign airlines flying the Lagos to London air route.

To placate the price war between the airlines in the country, Omokri urged the federal government to “fine and take to court” “if they can prove that these foreign airlines have been exploiting Nigerians beyond the usual prices that the laws of demand and supply could have supported.”

He also called for a tax holiday for Air Peace, mentioning that “this will help Air Peace reduce their prices further by passing on the reduced taxes to their customers.”

Omokri’s statement reads, “Air Peace may have told a little white lie when they said their tickets for the Lagos-London route were already sold out until September of 2024. Because if that were true, then Air Peace would not be bothered by a price war for ticket prices in April and May. They would have sold those tickets.

“There are steps that the Federal Ministries of Aviation and Justice can take against price wars and fixing. If they can prove that these foreign airlines have been exploiting Nigerians beyond the usual prices that the laws of demand and supply could have supported, they can fine them and take them to court.

“The US did the same with multiple industries, including the pharmaceutical and oil industries. Ghana also did the same with MTN and even defeated them in court last year.

“The Nigerian government can reduce taxes for Air Peace alone, being that it is a Nigerian-registered airline. This will help Air Peace reduce their prices further by passing on the reduced taxes to their customers.

“There is precedent for this. Britain gave bailout funds to British Airways during the COVID pandemic but denied the same to Virgin because, unlike BA, much of the Virgin businesses are registered in the British Virgin Islands for tax reasons. Nigeria should also take this approach.

“The biggest client for airlines in Nigeria is the government. The National Assembly should step in here and make a law penalising any government agency that buys a foreign airline ticket on a route that Air Peace or any other Nigerian airline flies.

“If they refuse to do this, then President Tinubu, in keeping with #GrowNairaBuyNaija, should issue an executive order to that effect.

“This will ensure that Air Peace can better prosecute this ongoing price war, because if the foreign airlines win, they will jack up their prices after running Air Peace aground. May God forbid!”

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