An indigenous airline, Air Peace, has approved salary increase ranging from 10 to 100 per cent to different categories of staff.
The increment, according to the carrier, was coming despite the present harsh operating condition induced by COVID-19 with most of its aircraft stranded abroad.
Daily Trust reports that it was jubilation galore for workers of the airline when they got an increase in last month’s salaries.
The excited workers could not hide their joy as they embraced the Chairman and CEO of the airline, Allen Onyema, when he arrived at the domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Friday.
The workers said they could not believe the salary increase at a time most companies are even laying off staff.
The Cabin Services Manager, Florence Opiah, said the workers of the airline were excited because it was not expected.
She said, “The increase even came at a time when we are not operating many flights.
“We used to operate 135 flights a day but now we operate relatively fewer flights and he still gave us such increase across board, to everybody. It was shocking. We could not believe it.
“The raise will boost the morale of the workers to dedicate themselves more to the company.
“There were even some workers who were contemplating going for greener pastures. I am sure they will stay back now and more people from other airlines will be pushing to come in.
“I will like to really thank our Chairman. We have been praying for him. God will continue to protect him. He remains a pacesetter. We can never take his kindness for granted,” she said.
Speaking on what motivated him to approve the pay increase, the Chairman said this was borne out of his desire to make the workers happy and always proud working with the airline.
He said: “My motivation comes from God Almighty. I have told Nigerians and the world at large that I created Air Peace because of the love of my country, just to create jobs. I established Air Peace to create jobs and help my countrymen and women.
“The airline is not for me. I am looking forward to a Nigerian airline where the workers in generations to come will be able to say my great, great grandfather worked in Air Peace, my grandfather worked in Air Peace, my own father worked in Air Peace, here I am working for Air Peace.
“So, it is the legacy that matters to me. I looked at the hardship around and everything, and I decided that whatever little we have, let’s push it back to the staff.
“It is very difficult now, we have about almost 20 planes stranded abroad, depleting our capacity to do what we know how to do best.
“Before COVID-19, we were doing about 135 flights a day. Now we are doing about 40 to 45, yet I decided to recall every staff.
“Not only recalling every staff. Four months ago, I reinstated them to pre-COVID-19 salaries.
“And now I decided that we should double their wages ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.
“Some people got 100 per cent increase, some others 80 per cent, depending on where the person’s grade is.”