Respite is on the way as the management of Air Peace Airlines is set to reabsorb some of the pilots it recently sacked as a result of shrunk operations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This follows an intervention meeting between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) at the instance of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
According to James OdaJUdu, Director, Public Affairs, ministry of aviation, said at a meeting on Tuesday, the management of Air Peace agreed to recall some of the pilots who lost their jobs.
According to Odadu, Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace, agreed to recall the maximum number of pilots that his company could accommodate in the light of the current situation as a result of the pandemic.
“In the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment, Chairman of Air Peace, Chief 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,” Odadu said in a statement.
“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.
“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 is 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.
“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 Chief 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.”