Nigeria’s largest airline, Air Peace, on Thursday took delivery of its second brand new Embraer 195- E2 aircraft out of 13 it ordered for in 2019.
This comes two months after it acquired the same kind of aircraft amidst pomp and pageantry.
The second delivery arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, around 2pm on Thursday.
There was a ceremonial water canon by the firefighting officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) when the aircraft landed.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Mr. Allen Onyema, stated that with the arrival of more of the brand new aircraft, the airline would gradually phase out old planes in its fleet.
But he said the airline’s order for the 10 Boeing Max 737 planes is still intact, noting that the order would not be cancelled.
Onyema said, “With the arrival of more brand new aircraft, we might be phasing out any ageing Boeing Aircraft in our fleet but we are not phasing out Boeing. Don’t forget we have an order for 10 Boeing 737 Max. Our order is still intact. We are not cancelling it.
“Once all these E195-E2 aircraft arrive, it will provide over 8000 jobs beside energising our economy. We are happy to be a participant in boosting the GDP of our country. This is the mission of this airline. This airline was created to create jobs.”
He said the brand new aircraft would be deployed for its regional and domestic operations.
Onyema added, “What you are witnessing today is the power of a vision. When we started in 2014, we knew that by 2017, we would start acquiring the 777 jets. When the time came, we became the first airline in Nigeria to acquire the Boeing 777 and now, we have three of such jets.
“When it was time to service airports with low traffic like Minna, Akure, Makurdi, Jalingo and other places, we acquired eight 50-seater Embraer 145 jets. While we were doing it, we didn’t lose sight of the need to start planning for brand new jets. In September 13, 2018, we became the first airline in Sub-Saharan Africa, to pay for 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 and our order is still intact, we won’t cancel it.
“While the Max was having some issues, we decided to go for Embraer 195-E2 after meticulously studying it. We became the first in Africa to pay for 13 brand new planes and we would be acquiring 17 more to make it 30.
“These planes shall be deployed to domestic and regional routes. These jets are the best. By the time we get everything, we would be providing 8000 jobs to Nigerians. “