Air Peace yesterday received the third of its brand new Embraer 195-E5 aircraft at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and disclosed that it would receive all the 13 aircraft it ordered from the Brazilian plane marker before the end of 2022.
The airline said that it would create about 17,000 jobs with the total of all its aircraft fleet.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema made this known in a speech just before the aircraft touched down at the Abuja airport from the Embraer facility in Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil.
“We have paid for 13 aircraft and made purchase right of additional 17. We now have three with the arrival of the latest one. There will be two coming in August to make it five and before the end of 2021, we will have eight aircraft. We hope to have all the 13 aircraft we paid for in 2022.
“In addition to the firm orders of 13 aircraft, which we would have received before the end of 2022, we would make further commitment of 10 additional aircraft and by the time we have 30 aircraft we would employ about 17,000 personnel,” Onyema explained.
The Air Peace Chairman said that the airline would deploy the aircraft to international, regional and domestic destinations, as it has started opening new routes in Nigeria.
He said the new aircraft would hit the West Coast and African region as the domestic carrier extends its West Coast destinations to include Douala (Cameroon), Kinshasa (Congo), Niamey (Niger), Dakar (Senegal) as well as Monrovia (Liberia).
He also spoke about the new domestic destinations and commended the federal government, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the support they have been giving domestic airlines.
“We have new domestic 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 international destinations, which is very commendable.”
Onyema said that the airline was planning to commence Lagos-London route, stressing that NCAA was assisting the airline to fast track the process.
In his speech, the Director General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, described the arrival of the brand new aircraft as a milestone, noting that what was happening in Nigeria’s air transport industry was a paradigm shift.
He commended the Air Peace Chairman, stressing that the beauty of the aircraft delivery was not just that the aircraft is new but that the 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 also 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 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 entrepreneurs, as without such people all this will not be possible, without the entrepreneurs the whole system is unraveled, we need entrepreneurs like Onyema,” Nuhu said.
Also, the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe expressed delight at the changes Air Peace had brought into the aviation sector and promised that the bank would continue to collaborate with the airline in its bid to enhance safety and changes in the industry.
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