Nigeria’s biggest airline by fleet size, Air Peace, has taken delivery of its second Embraer E195-E2. This aircraft is among the 13 aircraft that the airline has bought.
The airline told AirInsight that the planes would be deployed to domestic and regional routes, describing them as the best in the segment. According to the airline, “The aircraft speaks to the pilot and the pilot speaks to it. By the time we get everything, we would be providing 8,000 jobs to Nigerians”.
The chairman of the airline, Mr. Allen Onyema explained why its capacity has declined for some time. He attributed it to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which he said has slowed maintenance work on many of the aircraft that are in countries that are still observing lockdowns from the pandemic.
He said however that before the end of July 2021, all the aircraft would be back in Nigeria. His words, “Air Peace is not the only airline that has been affected by the pandemic worldwide and Nigeria is not immune from those things that have tried to destroy aviation worldwide. As I speak to you, we have about 20 of our aircraft still in maintenance world-wide because of the effects of COVID19. Most of the countries where these planes were taken to are in various levels of lockdown and as a result, the pace of work on our planes has slowed down. This has depleted our capacity both within and outside Nigeria. We are not alone in this, all the older airlines are experiencing the same thing”.
The only airlines that may not be having these challenges, according to him are the very new airlines within and outside Nigeria because they are just starting. “But those above seven years are all doing C-checks. But before the end of July, all our planes that are in maintenance will be brought back”, he said.
Embraer’s President and CEO, Francisco Gomes Neto, described the new aircraft type acquired by Air Peace as really fantastic airplanes. “Your engineering people are going to love the technology. Your crews are going to love flying them. Your accountants are going to love the operating economics. And your passengers are going to love the stunning interior, especially those sitting in business class with the staggered seat layout. That innovation is an industry first, and we’re so pleased that Air Peace will showcase it to the world and, of course, that you’re the first airline in Africa to fly an E-195-E2”.
Many believe that the delivery of E195-E2 is a game-changing industry milestone and an outstanding achievement for the carrier.