One of Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace has placed a record order for the purchase of 30 brand Embraer 195-E2 jets — including a firm order for 10 E195-E2 jets and purchase rights for a further 20. The deal was announced during the Embraer’s Africa Airline Business Seminar, in Port Louis, Mauritius. By signing the deal valued at $2.12 billion, Air Peace has also become the official launch customer of the E195-E2 aircraft in Africa.
“Embraer’s new E195-E2 presents us with a marvel of economic performance. It’s 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,” Air Peace Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Allen Onyema, said while speaking on the latest order.
This comes about six months after the carrier made an order for the purchase of 10 brand new B-737 MAX 8 aircraft from Boeing which increased its fleet size to 37 as at then. If the Nigerian carrier sees the Boeing deal through considering current issues suspected in 737 MAX 8 planes, the new deal with Embraer will take Air Peace’s fleet to 67 aircraft.
As part of its expansion plan, the carrier recently took delivery of the third of four wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft it acquired for its long-haul operations to Dubai, Sharjah, Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai. In October last year, it also received a total of five of the six Embaer 145 aircraft which would be used to relaunch local routes, Katsina and Sokoto.
According to Onyema, the E195-E2 aircraft 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. This drive is expected to boost connectivity within the continent and grow the economy by providing employment for skilled Nigerians.
The ‘no-city-left-behind project by Air Peace is targeted at providing air transportation to some airports and airstrips in Nigeria and West Africa that are often considered as economically not viable by airlines. In view of this project, Air Peace incorporated a subsidiary, known as Air Peace Hopper to manage the no-city-left-behind project.
Air Peace Hopper, started operating six ERJ145 last year on short thin routes. Embraer believes it is the carrier’s experience with Embraer’s products, and the undeniable economic benefits of right-sizing aircraft for the mission that made it select the E2.