Airline business across the world is generally regarded as glamorous and a high status enterprise because of its uniqueness vis a vis the almost mysterious components that make up the transportation of human beings from one part of the world to another through the use of man made big birds otherwise known as aircraft to achieve the purpose.
It is again no longer news that because aviation business around the world is the most regulated with the same standard rules and regulations guiding and guarding the games of conducting it and every other components including airline management, hence, whatever affects one country or region affects others.
In other words, the aviation rules and laws that are used in America, Europe, Asia amongst others are binding on Nigeria and other member states that are signatories to ICAO standards which do not exempt airlines including the Nigerian airlines as regards safety, incidents and accidents when the need arises.
This brings to the fore the recent crash of one of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the fleet of Ethiopian Airlines, the best airline from the continent that has been representing Africa well around the world.
It is no longer news how the aircraft which took off from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa enroute Nairobi, Kenya with 157 people onboard could not not reach its destination as the plane six minutes after take off crashed leaving no survivor to tell the story.
As expected, since the painful accident which came barely five months after a similar aircraft type belonging to Lions Air crashed in Indonesia, there have been torrents of reactions coming from the different aviation authorities, associations and even ordinary men on the streets.
Amidst the uproar, many countries including: European Union, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, China, South Africa, Morocco, and Ethiopia have since grounded the aircraft types operating in their countries pending when the cause of the latest accident is unravelled.
Nigeria is not left out of the confusion as the federal government though agreed that no airline in the country operates Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft type presently, nevertheless announced that no airline should operate such plane into Nigeria’s airspace until investigations into the cause of the accident is concluded.
While the government’s position was in order, the reactions coming from many Nigerians on the same matter has unfortunately portrayed many Nigerian commentators as having little or no knowledge on how things work in aviation sector as many people rather than wait for the outcome of the crash like citizens of other countries, have embarked on acts capable of rubbishing the entire system in view of the barrage of attacks being launched at the domestic airlines.
While Ethiopian citizens are commiserating and giving their airline moral support over the accident, reverse has been the case here as many Nigerians have chosen to declare war on the domestic airlines.
The level at which people with uncleared reasons rush to social media to run other people’s business down at any slightest provocation will only discourage genuine investors if such act is not nipped in the bud.
Mostly affected by the attacks is Nigeria’s Air Peace Airline whose offense was its attempt to order for ten of the aircraft type as a way of heeding the desire of Nigerians to see new generation aircraft operating in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that as at the time the airline ordered for the ten aircraft, the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane was the bride after many airlines’ heart in view of the super inbuilt technology and fuel efficiency capacity onboard.
Many of the Nigerians who praised the airline for placing an order for the new aircraft then have suddenly turned round to condemn it following the accident involving the Ethiopian airline aircraft.
Unknown to the critics, none of the aircraft type in question has been acquired by Air Peace as it has only placed an order which may not materialize until year 2024. In short, no Nigerian airline has taken delivery of the aircraft type in the country.
Therefore, if none of the ten Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft ordered for by Air Peace Airline will not join its fleet until 2024, why then use the accident that took place in Addis Ababa to run it and other domestic airlines down?
As the whole world commiserates with Ethiopian Airlines and the families of the victims while awaiting the conclusion of the investigations, the time has come for those behind the launch of these unguarded attacks on the Nigerian airlines to have a change of attitude for this unpatriotic act does not only de-market the airlines but also portray the country as an unfriendly environment for private business.o
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