Mr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace, says the arrival of its fourth new E195-E2 Embraer aircraft will help reduce operational costs and improve the safety of the airline.
Onyema made this remark during the official delivery ceremony of the carrier’s fourth E195-E2 Embraer aircraft at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Thursday
Newsmen report that the new E195-E2 aircraft was welcomed from the Embraer facility in Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil with a water cannon salute at the airport.
Newsmen reports that the E195-E2, which was the fourth of the initial 13 aircraft Air Peace ordered from Embraer, was named Kingsley Chukwuma Onyema, with registration mark 5N-BYI.
Allen said that the aircraft was bought to further improve safety, save fuel, improve operational costs.
Onyema said: “From 2018, we made a commitment to acquire brand new aircraft to replace our fleet. I am not saying our aircraft is unsafe but because of the economics of the game.
“The Embraer will help save fuel and reduce operational cost. It’s not about age, it’s about maintenance but a brand new aircraft takes safety to a new level.
“The aircraft is configured for 148 passengers but we at Air Peace made it 124 to give passengers what they deserve; safety and comfort,” he said.
He also said the Embraer E195-E2 was a calculated buy because it was bigger than the Boeing 737 but had a technology so advanced it can land and take off on the shortest of runways like Warri airfield.
Also speaking, Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, commended the airline for its acquisition of brand new aircraft, asking others to follow suit as it would develop the industry.
Nuhu stressed that Air Peace is not just procuring new aircraft but appropriate aircraft for operations.
“It gladdens my heart that Nigerian airlines are not only getting new aircraft but are getting the right aircraft.
“The connectivity in Nigeria has improved and it’s getting better. These new aircraft have low maintenance and operational costs and are environmentally friendly.
“This is the way to go. I believe with time, Air Peace will change all its fleet to newer ones.
“Pre-COVID, 10 to 12 million passengers passed through the country’s airports, which amounts to 10 percent of the country’s population.
“Airlines need to connect different parts of the country for trade, thereby contributing to the country’s GDP.
“The airline industry is growing and those surviving are expanding their fleet,” he said.