West Africa’s largest airline, Air Peace, has signed a deal with aircraft maker Embraer Aerospace Corporation, to acquire an additional 10 new aircraft, while also getting Embraer’s support to establish a maintenance facility in the country for Nigerian and international fleets.
This was revealed Thursday at the Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition, held in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
industry stakeholders from across the globe were present at the two-day event, including Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said, “In line with our Air Peace Fleet Modernisation Policy, we’ve just signed a further acquisition, a further order of 10 E175 with a firm order for 5 and (another) 5 on purchase rights. That’s what we’ve just signed.”
He continued, “Now, with this signature today, we’ve ordered 35 brand new Embraer planes. Remember, we had signed 30 before, which 5 of them have entered into the country.”
Onyema then said that Keyamo had given instructions that any Nigerian airline that wants to bring in brand new planes must also think of ability to mantain those planes within Nigeria.
He said Keyamo had made it compulsory that any airline going into acquisition of more than 20 planes must show evidence that the original equipment manufacturer will support the setting up of MROs for the fleet.
“Part of the things we signed today is that Embraer is going to help set up the maintenance center in Nigeria and it will be set up with immediate effect. So, this decision will help our national reserves and help conserve the forex of airlines in Africa when this comes to fruition.”
Confirming the maintenance deal, Embraer management said the transaction for five new E-175s is worth $300m while noting that delivery will begin in 2024.Hide original message
Embraer said, “Ever since we started this relationship in 2017, it has been smooth and great, and today it’s a momentous day.
“The airline needs to grow. As the business moves forward, we need to work together, and the maintenance will create jobs and drive investment. And we will move forward with Air Peace to drive this growth.”
Keyamo later weighed in saying, “I’m here today deliberately even though it is a private initiative, a private company in Nigeria but I’m here deliberately to show my support for the growth, sustenance, and survival of our local operators in Nigeria.
“I’m looking forward to any other private airline. If you reach any milestone and you are doing anything very important, invite me, I will also be there because I’m here for everyone.”
The minister then said he had set up Key Performance Indicators for himself, one of which is to support local operators and to see to their growth and survival. He then said, “Whilst we fight for them, whilst we support them, I will hold them to the highest standards. We cannot support you, fight for you without reciprocal responsibility to the Nigerian people.”
A representative of Embraer said that the first two aircraft will be delivered towards the back end of 2024.
In 2019, Air Peace announced the acquisition of 30 Embraer 195-E2 aircrafts, which consisted of 13 firm orders and 17 purchase orders. Of the 13 firm orders, 5 aircraft have been delivered to the airline, with the latest being delivered in 2021.