BusinessDay

Air Peace takes delivery of third brand new Embraer 195-E2 aircraft

...to commence Lagos-London route soon

Air Peace on Thursday took delivery of its third brand new Embraer 195-E5, stating that before the end of 2022, it would have taken delivery of all the 13 firm orders made to the Brazilian plane manufacturer.

Allen Onyema, chief executive of Air Peace, made this known just before the aircraft touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja from the Embraer Facility in Sao Jose Dos Campos.

Onyema said, ”For our aircraft, we have paid for thirteen and we now have three with the arrival of the latest aircraft. There will be two coming in August to make it five and before the end of 2021 we will have eight.“

He disclosed that 13 out of the 30 Embraer 195-E2 aircraft it acquired from Embraer aircraft manufacturing company in Brazil would be delivered to the airline by the end of 2022.

The airline also said that it would activate payment for the additional 10 of the aircraft brand by the beginning of 2023, which would bring total arrivals to 23 aircraft.

According to the Air Peace CEO, these aircraft would hit the West Coast and African region as the airline will strengthen it further with the inclusion of other routes like Douala (Cameroon), Kinshasa (Congo), Naimey (Niger), Dakar (Senegal) as well as Freetown (Liberia).

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Onyema had in 2019, announced the acquisition of 30 Embraer 195-E2 aircraft, which included 13 firm orders and 17 purchase right orders from Embraer Aircraft Company.

According to him, the acquisition of the 30 brand new airplanes would further create an additional 17, 000 jobs for technical personnel in the country, while it presently has a 10,000 workforce.

“We have new routes that we want to deploy the aircraft to. We have new routes that we have just opened and more routes will still come in the coming months. We are opening Gombe very soon and our intention is to open up this country. We will also connect North East with North West and other routes. Owerri-Kaduna and other routes will be connected.

“We have been designated to so many international destinations by the government. We have over 20 destinations, which is very commendable.”

Besides, Onyema said that the airline was planning to commence the Lagos-London route, stressing that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was assisting the airline to fast-track the process.

Onyema specifically lauded Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation for driving the change in the sector, stressing that the minister had ensured deep changes in the industry since his appointment about six years ago.

Also speaking at before the arrival of the new aircraft, Musa Nuhu, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), who described the arrival of the brand new aircraft as a milestone said that what was happening in Nigeria’s air transport industry was a paradigm shift.

Nuhu commended the Air Peace chairman stressing that the beauty of the delivery was not just that the aircraft is new but that it airline picked the right aircraft suitable for the market.

“ Today is another milestone and a paradigm shift and this is something that I have not seen since my days at Nigerian Airways when they were purchasing the right aircraft for the right routes. Air Peace is not only buying aircraft but buying the right size aircraft for the Nigerian market.

“The Embraer aircraft is the right aircraft, it breaks even with low passenger figures, you maintenance cost is low, your operational cost is low,” he said.

Nuhu noted that another advantage is that the new aircraft is absolutely great for the environment, as it reduces environmental pollution.

“I am really proud that I am DG when this paradigm shift is happening. We are all here to work together to grow the industry and we have to give kudos to the entrepreneur as without such people all this will not be possible, without the entrepreneur the whole system is unravelled, we need entrepreneurs like Onyema” the DG said.

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