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Lagos-London: Aviation regulator must act immediately – Ezekwesili on Air Peace boss, Onyema’s allegation

Written by on April 10, 2024

A former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has described as troubling the alleged attempt to distort the healthy competition by dominant players on the Lagos-London route occasioned by the entry of Air Peace.

Ezekwesili said the market regulator in the aviation sector must immediately nip in the bud the predatory moves of those dominant airlines on Lagos-London route once it gets all the facts.

The former Minister buttressed that hostile pricing models in any competitive market is predatory and are usually ruled against and sanctioned by the market regulator.

Her statement comes on the heels of the alarm raised by the Chairman of Nigerian indigenous carrier Air Peace, Allen Onyema, that foreign carriers operating the Nigeria-UK route were allegedly conspiring to send Air Peace out of international operations by crashing airfares on the route.

Onyema alleged that there is an “unspoken alliance” among foreign airlines to use lower pricing to eject Air Peace from the Nigeria-London route.

“If they take out Air Peace prematurely, this country will pay dearly for it, 10 times over, billions will be lost, there will be another heavy strain on the naira,” he said.

Reacting to the development, Ezekwesili, in a post on her X handle on Wednesday, said she found the latest developments where dominant players on the Lagos-London route appear to be trying to distort the healthy competition occasioned by the entry of Air Peace into the market troubling.

She said: “As one who loves the market competition economic model, I followed the @flyairpeace Lagos-London route entry with profound interest and excitement at how happy it made Nigerians.

“Nothing beats consumer satisfaction in any product or service market. Nigerians may not all grasp how market principles and not government control have always served us best but they do enjoy it whenever it happens well- eg. in Telecommunications.

“Hostile pricing models in any competitive market is predatory and are usually ruled against and sanctioned by the Market Regulator. Predatory pricing is when the dominant airlines try to discourage entry of low-cost competitors or regional players.

“It is for this reason that I find the latest developments where dominant players on the Lagos-London route appear to be trying to distort the healthy competition occasioned by the entry of Air Peace into the market troubling.

“The moves of those dominant airlines on that route appear predatory and need to be nipped in the bud immediately, once the regulator gets all the facts.

“The unhealthy development is worthy of serious regulatory action- establish the facts and act.

“The market dynamics must be allowed to work according to the basic principles of competition and not predation that will ultimately harm the customers.”

Lagos-London: Aviation regulator must act immediately – Ezekwesili on Air Peace boss, Onyema’s allegation


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