Viewpoint

October 8, 2023

Air Peace: A decade flying Nigerian flag 

Air Peace

By Stanley Olisa

In just under a decade, Air Peace has soared from a modest beginning in 2014 with seven aircraft into the unrivalled aviation giant of West and Central Africa.

This journey epitomizes strength, reliability, and consistency, establishing Air Peace as a source of national pride for Nigerians.

Beyond local acclaim, Air Peace has placed Nigeria’s aviation industry firmly on the global map, showcasing the capabilities of a Nigerian airline across various fronts, notably excelling in maintaining an unparalleled safety culture.

The airline’s visionary goal is “to be ever dependable through the creation of seamless connections and network options” for its extensive domestic, regional, and international markets.

Strategic Fleet Modernization

The heartbeat of Air Peace’s success lies in its strategic approach to fleet modernization and route expansion.

In 2021, the airline achieved a milestone by becoming the launch customer for the groundbreaking 124-seater Embraer 195-E2 aircraft in Africa.

This marked the delivery of the first five units as part of a 2018 firm order for 13 E195s, with additional orders for Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 10 aircraft, signalling a phased transition from the existing Boeing 737 fleet.

Elevating its fleet modernization, Air Peace recently inked a significant deal-a firm order for five Embraer 175 aircraft, accompanied by plans for a local maintenance facility supported by Embraer.

This strategic move positions Air Peace not only as the airline of the future but also as the aspiring operator of the largest and youngest fleet in Africa.

This reinforces the commitment to bolstering domestic and regional network connectivity and opens avenues for further expansion.

The staggering USD 288.3m valuation of this firm order signifies Air Peace’s ambitious stride-culminating in a cumulative total of 28 aircraft on order, a feat unparalleled in Nigeria’s aviation history.

The airline has consistently broken records, paving the way in route and fleet expansion to meet the escalating travel demands of its markets.

Air Peace’s fleet diversity is a testament to its commitment to the ‘no-city-left-behind’ catchphrase, aiming to connect every corner of Nigeria.

The mixed fleet, including Boeing, Embraer, and Airbus, ensures the delivery of world-class flight services to Nigerians.

At the recent signing ceremony for the acquisition of five brand new 88-seater E175s, Air Peace Chairman, Chief Allen Onyema, emphasized the significance of connecting Nigeria with the entire African continent.

The deal aligns with the ‘no-city-left-behind’ initiative, meeting the connectivity demands of passengers and Africa as a whole. 

Furthermore, it lays the foundation for establishing local maintenance capabilities in Nigeria, supported directly by Embraer.

Consistent Growth

VP Sales & Marketing, Head of Africa & Middle East Region, Embraer Commercial Aviation, Stephan Hannemann, lauds Air Peace’s strategic approach, noting that the upgrade to the E175 aligns with their innovative journey, simplifying aircrew costs and management.

Having commenced commercial operations in 2014, Air Peace has demonstrated consistent and remarkable growth.

Currently boasting 20 domestic routes, 8 regional, and 5 international destinations, including recent launches in Mumbai and Israel, the airline is poised for further expansion with upcoming Jeddah operations from October 31, 2023.

An enticing promo fare of 699,000 naira for a return flight marks this milestone. 

In conclusion, Air Peace, under the insightful leadership of Onyema, stands as the airline of choice, redefining the aviation landscape not only in Nigeria but across the African continent.

•Olisa, a public affairs commentator, writes from  Lagos.