Local airline bids for N74.4 billion worth of aircraft
The bid, which was submitted at the Dubai Air show, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), was a spinoff of an earlier deal between the plane manufacturer and Air Peace airlines.
The carrier has to date made a total firm order of 13 E195-E2s with 17 purchase rights for the same model, which delivery would begin in May next year.
The earlier signing made the carrier the first customer of the new brand of e-jets in Africa and launch customer of the brand of business class configuration for its ordered airplanes worldwide.
The E195-E2s will have dual configurations with 12-seater business class and 102-seater in the economy class. The aircraft also comes in a single configuration of all economy class of 144 seats.
Air Peace Chief of Finance and Administration, Ejiroghene Eghagha, while signing the new deal said the aircraft brand was the perfect aircraft to expand Air Peace’s domestic and regional operations and the new deliveries would ease the subsidiary fleet in the Air Peace Hopper to actualise the no-city-left-behind initiative.
“We are receiving impressive data about the aircraft’s economics when in revenue service, and this was a driver to place this new firm order with Embraer. We look forward to receiving our first aircraft, which will enhance connectivity in Nigeria and the African region. The new order will gradually replace our existing fleet, which will make us the airline with the youngest fleet in the world.
“It is our plan to connect the whole Nigerian cities that have airports and burst the triangular routes by connecting flights to direct destinations. Air Peace is looking forward to serving Nigerians with these brand new airplanes and adding more routes to the existing ones for the overall development of our country,” Eghagha said.
The airline also disclosed that with the delivery of the new jets, it would connect more cities in its domestic operations by developing new routes and connecting people to business hubs in different parts of the country.
“We will like to develop new routes to enhance the nation’s economy. We will like to connect Owerri to Kano, Benin to Port Harcourt, Ibadan to some destinations in the northern part of the country. We will also like to connect Sokoto to Maiduguri, Lagos to Gombe. We would connect these cities without stops in Lagos or Abuja.
“We will use our 50-seater Embraer ERJ 145 jets, which we acquired for this purpose. We have just added two of the brand to our existing six, making it eight aircraft. As the new deliveries arrive we utilise the 50-seater jets to connect every city in the country,” she said.
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