In line with its route expansion programme, West and Central Africa’s biggest airline, Air Peace, as yesterday, set what could become a continental record with a firm order for 10 brand new Embraer 195-E2 aircraft valued at $2.1 billion.

 

The deal, which was unveiled during Embraer Business Meeting with the Aviation World in Port Louis, Mauritius, makes Air Peace the first to order that brand of jets in the whole of Africa, thus becoming the official launch customer of Embraer  brand of aircraft in Africa.

Spokesman of Air Peace, Chris Iwarah, who made the disclosure said the order comprises purchase rights for additional 20 E195-E2 jets. Speaking on the features of the  aircraft, he explained, is a 124 seater jet in dual class and 146-seater jet in single class configurations respectively.

With all purchase rights exercised, the contract has a value of $2.12 billion based on current list prices.

“Before now, the carrier  had earlier  set a regional record in September 2018 when it ordered 10 brand new aircraft from Boeing, increasing its fleet size then to about 37 aircraft. With the new order, Air Peace’s fleet size has increased to 67 aircraft.

“Shortly before the firm order for 10 brand new aircraft from Boeing, Air Peace set a domestic record as the first Nigerian airline to acquire and register the Boeing 777 aircraft in the country. Three of the four wide-body aircraft it acquired for its long-haul operations to Dubai, Sharjah, Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai have already been delivered.

Iwarah speaking on behalf of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Allen Onyema, as saying: “Embraer’s new E195-E2 presents us with a marvel of economic performance. It is also great that we will be the first E2 operator on the African continent. We already have the ERJ145s in our fleet, so we understand the high standards of Embraer products.”

The E195-E2 aircraft, he said, would strengthen Air Peace’s drive to deploy the right kinds of aircraft to underserved and unserved domestic and regional routes under its no-city-left-behind project.

“Onyema thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for creating an enabling environment for the growth of aviation in Nigeria through waving Customs duties on commercial aircraft, engines and spares as well as granting value-added tax (VAT) waiver.

Also, Without these noble gestures from Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari),” he said, “Air Peace would not have been able to achieve this growth. Thank you very much, Mr. President.”