NIGERIAN domestic airline Air Peace has just concluded a deal with Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer to supply it with three E195-E2 aircraft as part of a programme to expand its fleet with new planes.
One of Nigeria’s fastest-growing domestic airlines, Air Peace prices itself on being very professional and even has an all-female crew on some of its flights. In July this year, Air Peace took the gigantic step of commencing international operations in the first step of an ambitious global plan designed to make it a model airline that can compete with all the major operators.
Under the first phase of the plan, the airline will fly to the UAE three times a week using one of its Boeing 777s and Air Peace intends to build on this with flights to Houston in the US, London in the UK, Mumbai in India and Guangzhou, in China. As part of its expansion plan, the airline has signed a contract for three additional E195-E2 aircraft.
With the signing which took place at the Dubai Airshow, Air Peace has made a total firm order of 13 E195-E2s with 17 purchase rights for planes of the same model, due begin arriving in May 2020. According to Air Peace, the new E195-E2s with a value of $212.6m, based on Embraer’s current list prices, would be included in the Brazilian conglomerate’s 2019 fourth-quarter backlog.
Air Peace said the new aircraft would have dual configurations with 12 business class seats and 102 economy class seats. These aircraft also come in single configurations of all economy class comprising of 144 seats.
Ejiroghene Eghagha, Air Peace’s chief of finance and administration, who signed the new deal on behalf of the airline, said that the E195-E2 was the perfect aircraft to expand the carrier’s domestic and regional operations. She added that the new order would gradually replace the airline’s existing fleet, which would make it the carrier with the youngest fleet in the world.
Mrs Eghagha said: “The new deliveries will ease our subsidiary fleet in the Air Peace Hopper to actualise our no-city-left-behind initiative which we shall continue to execute. We are receiving impressive data about the aircraft’s economics and we look forward to receiving our first aircraft, which will enhance connectivity in Nigeria and the African region.”
Earlier this year, Air Peace won applause when its chairman Allen Onyema dispatched a plane to South Africa to evacuate Nigerians caught up in xenophobic attacks there. As a result, a member of the Federal House of Representatives moved a motion for his colleagues in the National Assembly to choose Air Peace as their preferred airline when travelling.
A motion was subsequently moved by Hon Abulrasak Namdas of Adamawa State that Mr Onyema should be honoured with a higher national award and that members should make Air Peace their favourite airline. Mr Onyema told members of the House of Representatives that he paid a high price for airlifting Nigerians from South Africa as he just got landing rights in the country before the xenophobic crisis but damned the consequences to carry out the airlift.