Nigeria’s largest airline is set to become the first African operator of the Embraer E-2 aircraft. Air Peace has signed a firm order for ten Pratt & Whitney PW1900G-powered E195-E2s with purchase rights for a further 20. The deal, worth USD$2.12 billion, was finalized at the Brazilian manufacturer’s Africa Airline Business Seminar in Port Louis, Mauritius.
The carrier establishes itself as the largest airline in West Africa and has rapidly grown since the commencement of their operations in 2014. The airline intends to address the untapped demand in the African market with the E195-E2.
Air Peace is an existing operator of Embraer aircraft. Currently, they operate six Embraer ERJ-145 on domestic flights and to nearby international destinations. Additionally, the carrier operates 13 Boeing 737 family aircraft and has ordered ten 737 MAX 8 in 2018, alongside with two Boeing 777 aircraft that are currently stored.
Why the Embraer E195-E2?
The E-195-E2 delivers Air Peace with a seat capacity of 146 in an all economy-class configuration and a range of 3,250 nmi (6,020 km). With more than 90% of domestic African flights departing with fewer than 150 passengers onboard, it makes the E195-E2 a great fit for the airline.
The airline’s chairman and CEO, Allen Onyema, said, “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.”
Arjan Meijer, chief commercial officer at Embraer, added, “Air Peace embodies the kind of pioneering spirit that Embraer loves. The airline was established to bring highly skilled work opportunities to the people of Nigeria and to boost connectivity, which in turn significantly contributed to the economy in the region. Air Peace has delivered successfully on both aims and has become a fast-growing, successful airline. It’s great to now have them onboard the E2 as well.”
Meijer continued, saying, “The market in Africa presents significant opportunities for airlines to deliver the connectivity that the whole continent needs. Aircraft however must be right-sized to develop those routes profitably; more than 90% of intra-African flights depart with fewer than 150 passengers onboard. And more than 70% of markets are served with less than one flight per day.”
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