Nigerian airline, Air Peace, has reached a verbal agreement with the Federal Government to recall some of the dozens of pilots that it sacked last week.

The airline had explained last week that the decision was caused by the biting economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled the business since March.

However, the Ministry of Aviation announced on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 that as many as possible of those sacked will soon be recalled.

The ministry's spokesperson, James Odaudu, said the agreement was reached at a meeting between the airline's management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) on Tuesday.

The meeting was convened by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who appealed to Air Peace chairman, Allen Onyema, to recall a maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.

Last week's dismissals caused a clash of heads between Air Peace and NAAPE who issued a two-week ultimatum for a reversal and threatened to withdraw the services of its members.

NAAPE chairman, Galadima Abednego, said at Tuesday's meeting that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff.

He said it happened because the union was concerned about how a large number of its members were losing their jobs.

Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema, promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria [TheCable]
Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema, promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria [TheCable]

Onyema said he was disappointed over the ingratitude of some of the pilots who forget about the airline's track record of treating them well in the past.

Air Peace had said in last week's statement that the decision to cut down on its work force and slash salaries of others was of paramount importance to the airline's future.

Sirika called on all aviation stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring rapid recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Except for essential flights, Nigeria shut down its airspace completely from March till July when domestic flights were allowed to resume.

There is no known date yet for when international flights will be allowed to resume.