AIR PEACE today took delivery of the third of its brand new Embraer 195-E5 and has stated that before the end of 2022, it would have taken delivery of all the thirteen (13) firm orders made to the Brazilian plane manufacturer while it plans to activate payment for the additional 10 of the aircraft brand by the beginning of 2023, which would bring total arrivals to 23 aircraft.
Chairman/ Chief executive of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema made this known just before the aircraft touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international Airport from the Embraer Facility in Sao Jose Dos Campos.
According to him, two aircraft would join its fleet by August, and that by year’s end the airline would have taken delivery of eight of the aircraft type.
Onyema 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.
According to Onyema, the new additions would be deployed to new routes in local, regional and international scenes.
He said the aircraft would be deployed to strengthen the West Coast and open other African region with the inclusion of other routes like Douala (Cameroon), Kinshasa (Congo), Naimey (Niger), Dakar (Senegal) as well as Freetown (Sierra-Leone)
According to him, the acquisition of the 30 brand new airplanes would further create additional 17, 000 jobs for technical personnel in the country, while it presently has 10,000 workforce.
He 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 2023.
“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.
Onyema also lauded Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation 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, Director General of the Nigerian civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), captain Musa Nuhu who described the arrival of the brand new aircraft as a milestone said 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 delivery was not just that the aircraft is new but that it 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 buying the right size aircraft for the Nigerian market.
“The Embraer aircraft is the right aircraft, it breaks even with low passenger figures, you 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 entrepreneur as without such people all this will not be possible, without the entrepreneur the whole system is unraveled, we need entreprenuers like Onyema” Nuhu said.
Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, expressed delight at the changes Air Peace had brought into the sector in recent years.
She promised that the bank would continue to collaborate with the airline in its bid to enhance safety and changes in the sector.