One of Africa’s fastest growing airlines Air Peace on Thursday took delivery of its third brand new Embraer 195-E2 aircraft.
The airline revealed that it will take delivery of all 13 Embraer 195-E2 aircraft it placed firm order for from Embraer Aircraft Manufacturing Company in Brazil by the end of 2022.
The airline also said it will activate payment for additional 10 aircraft type immediately the delivery is completed, which will bring total arrivals to 23 aircraft.
Making the disclosure Thursday during the delivery ceremony of the third E195-E2 aircraft at the Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the chairman of Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema said that additional two aircraft would join the fleet by August, adding that no fewer than eight of the aircraft type would be delivered to it before the end of the year.
Air Peace 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.
Onyema said: “By next year, we hope to receive all the 13 airplanes we already made firm orders for and by the end of 2023, we intend to activate payment for another 10 of the aircraft brand, which will bring it to 23.
“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 destinations by the government. We have over 20 destinations, which is very commendable.”
He also revealed that the airline was planning to commence Lagos-London route, adding that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was assisting the airline to fast-track the process.
The Air Peace boss used the event to commend the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika 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 the delivery ceremony, Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, described the arrival of the brand new aircraft as a milestone, adding that what was happening in Nigeria’s air transport industry “was a paradigm shift.”
Nuhu said: “ 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, your maintenance cost is low, your operational cost is low.
“Another factor is that the new aircraft is absolutely great for the environment, it does less pollution. I am really proud that I am Director General of NCAA 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, Allen Onyema, as without such people all this will not be possible. We need entreprenuers like Onyema,” the NCAA Director General said.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mrs Nneka Onyeali – Ikpe who was also present at the event commended Onyema for ” being faithful with the agreement signed with the bank. He has been very meticulous in repayment agreement reached.
”We are prepared to assist the airline bring in any number of aircraft they want,“ she said.