NIGERIA’S fastest growing domestic airline Air Peace is stepping up its presence in the international aviation industry with ambitious plans to announce flights to eight new destinations next month.
As from December 2020, Air Peace will begin flying to Kingston in Jamaica as well as commence into Accra, Banjul, Freetown, Dakar, Monrovia, Dubai and Johannesburg. Not only is the airline increasing the number of destinations it is flying to but it is also expanding the size of its fleet.
Highly praised for its role during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when it successfully evacuated Nigerian citizens from around the world, Air Peace has been touted as a future national carrier. Although it is primarily a domestic airline, of late. Air Peace has begun to expand into the international market.
During the recent pandemic, Air Peace was denied the right to land at London’s Heathrow Airport where it had come to evacuate Nigerians. Many aviation industry watchers believe that the airline should react to the development by establishing itself as a true international player in the sector.
Last year, Air Peace concluded a deal with Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer to supply it with three E195-E2 aircraft as part of a programme to expand its fleet with new planes. Nigeria’s fastest-growing airline, Air Peace prices itself on being very professional and even has an all-female crew on some of its flights.
Toyin Olajide, Air Peace’s chief operating officer, said: “Covid-19 affected airlines everywhere in different ways. In our case, we had several aircraft out on C-check maintenance abroad before the pandemic.
“These aircraft were supposed to have since come back one after another but because of lockdown in those countries since February, the maintenance facilities shut down, too. The Nigerian C-check regime is driven by the calendar, which implies that every aircraft has a timeframe they must go for mandatory checks, usually between 18 and 24 months.”
She added that the serviced planes would be back next week, which will help with the planned new flights. Last year, Air Peace won applause when its chairman Allen Onyema dispatched a plane to South Africa to evacuate Nigerians caught up in xenophobic attacks there.