The Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, lauded Air Peace for its launch of direct scheduled commercial flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on October 31, 2023. He acknowledged this significant achievement by a Nigerian airline and commended their efforts.
The inaugural flight, utilising one of Air Peace’s B777 aircraft, departed from Kano at 23:22 hrs. with 231 passengers on board. While the airline had previously operated charter flights to Saudi Arabia, primarily for Muslim pilgrims, this inaugural flight marked the official commencement of their scheduled operations into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Air Peace’s Chairman, Allen Onyema, celebrated the milestone, describing the entry into Jeddah as a noteworthy addition to Nigeria’s aviation history.
He pointed out that Jeddah becomes the airline’s sixth international destination in just nine years since the launch of its commercial flight operations. This expansion further solidifies Air Peace’s presence on the Asian continent.
He said, “This is huge, not just for Air Peace but for Nigeria. We are undoubtedly exemplifying our ambition of connecting Nigeria to the world with world-class flight services.
“Air Peace is on a mission to ease the air travel burden for Nigerians and plug the connectivity gaps that have hitherto existed.
“We are happy to be serving as a means of solidifying socio-economic ties between Nigeria and other countries of the world.”
Onyema stressed the importance of a harmonious coexistence of Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, underscoring the pivotal role of religious tourism in strengthening their relationship.
He expressed the airline’s aspiration to enhance these bilateral ties and promote economic growth and mutual development through the introduction of direct nonstop flights to Jeddah.
He added: “The Saudi Arabian airspace is not new to us. We have operated numerous Hajj flights to the country. Thus, we are very familiar with the terrain. Our Hajj operations this year were massive. Now, we are flying to Saudi Arabia not as a charter flight but as a regular scheduled operation.
“Air Peace is leaving no city behind, and this is beyond domestic operations. We are poised to continually create strategic connections that ease air travel and foster economic development in the markets where we operate. In line with this route expansion drive, we are also launching flight operations into London soon”.
The leader of Air Peace extended his gratitude to HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano. He hailed the Emir as a unifying figure and commended his significant contributions to the nation-building process, expressing the need for more such individuals in the country.
In response, the Emir conveyed his congratulations to Air Peace for its successful launch to Jeddah and commended the airline for its pioneering role in Nigeria’s aviation sector. He also lauded Onyema for the positive impact he is making in Nigeria through Air Peace.
Acknowledging the critical roles played by Saudi Arabian authorities, travel partners, and the Nigerian government in making the launch possible, Onyema emphasised Air Peace’s commitment to modernization and fleet expansion.
He highlighted the airline’s recent firm order for five new E175 aircraft in September, in addition to the existing orders for 15 Boeing MAX aircraft. These investments underscore Air Peace’s unwavering dedication to providing customers with an unparalleled onboard experience.