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Air Peace: Modernizing Fleet, Connecting Cities

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Air Peace Aircraft

By Stanley Olisa

From starting in 2014 with a record fleet of seven aircraft to earning the appellation of West and Central Africa’s largest carrier, Air Peace has continued to evince strength, reliability and consistency, becoming the aviation pride of Nigerians.

The airline has not only put Nigeria’s aviation industry on the map; it has also shown the world that a Nigerian airline is capable of globally acclaimed feats across all fronts, including a matchless safety culture.

Air Peace’s vision is ‘to be ever dependable through the creation of seamless connections and network options for its domestic, regional and international markets’. This has steered the airline’s fleet modernisation and route expansion drive. In 2021, the airline took delivery of 5 brand new 124-seater Embraer 195-E2 aircraft- the first of its kind in Africa.

The airline became Embraer’s launch customer for this aircraft model in the whole of Africa. These deliveries were part of the 2018 firm order for 13 E195s with purchase rights for seventeen of the same aircraft. Meanwhile, the airline also has existing orders for 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 5 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft in its bid to gradually phase out current Boeing 737 fleet.

Taking its fleet modernisation strategy a notch higher, Air Peace recently signed another milestone deal- a firm order for 5 brand new Embraer 175 aircraft and a planned maintenance facility with support from Embraer to service the aircraft locally.

The new acquisition does not only make Air Peace the airline of the future but it is also in line with its determination to become the operator of the largest and youngest fleet of aircraft in Africa. It reinforces its commitment to enhancing its domestic and regional network connectivity and paves way for further regional expansion.

This firm order is valued at USD288.3M. Cumulatively, this sums up to 28 aircraft on concrete order. In the history of Nigeria’s aviation, no airline has ever placed such an ambitious order.

Air Peace, dominating Nigeria’s aviation industry, has continued to set records that have remained unbroken, blazing the trail in route and fleet expansion to meet the increasing travel demand of its markets. The airline operates a mixed fleet of 13 Boeing 737s, 1 Dornier 328-300 Jet, 3 Boeing 777s, 8 Embraer 145s, 5 Embraer 195-E2s and 10 Airbus 320s.

The airline is reputed for its no-city-left-behind catchphrase and seeks to achieve this ambition through the acquisition of ultra-modern aircraft, offering Nigerians world-class flight services.

At the signing of the latest order for 5 brand new 88-seater E175s, the Chairman, Air Peace, Allen Onyema, stated: “This is another important step in helping to realize our ambition to connect the whole of Nigeria with the entire African continent, while also feeding passengers into long-haul flights from our Lagos hub. The acquisition enables us to continue delivering on our ‘no-city-left-behind’ initiative – connectivity is what our passengers, and Africa, demand. The deal also paves the way to establish local maintenance capabilities in Nigeria, with direct support from Embraer.”

Commenting on Air Peace’s new order, VP Sales & Marketing, Head of Africa & Middle East Region, Embraer Commercial Aviation, Stephan Hannemann, said: “Air Peace’s strategic and innovative approach continues to make them a powerhouse of aviation success in West Africa. Already an E2 operator, it now makes sense to upgrade their ERJ145 fleet, offering passengers more seats and comfort with the E175. The commonality of the cockpits between the E1 and E2 fleet also simplifies aircrew costs and management. Acknowledging Air Peace’s significant investment in the acquisition of the Embraer fleet of aircraft, which has increased to 18 brand new firm aircraft to date, Embraer, in partnership with Air Peace is committed to directly supporting the establishment of local maintenance capabilities in Nigeria”.

Air Peace, the airline of choice, commenced commercial operations in 2014, less than 10 years ago, but has steadily shown immense growth and now boasts of 20 domestic routes, 8 regional and 5 international destinations, including Mumbai and Israel launched earlier in 2023, and is gearing up for Jeddah operations from October 31, 2023, with a promo fare of 699,000 naira for a return flight.

Olisa, S. writes from Lagos.

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