On May 28th, Lagos-based Air peace deployed its Boeing 777-300 aircraft to evacuate Chinese citizens from Nigeria to China. Registration number 5N-BWI flew 301 Chinese nationals that were in Nigeria home. The passengers had previously been stuck due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Air Peace 777 took off from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) at 22:05 and arrived at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) on Friday at 13:15 Nigerian time.
Air Peace evacuated Israeli citizens in March
Air Peace spokesman Stanley Olisa said in a statement released by the airline and carried by news site The Pulse that the Chinese government arranged the repatriation flight. Mr. Olisa was also keen to point out that the private Nigerian airline also evacuated Israeli citizens from Nigeria in late March as well as other nationalities.
“Air Peace on Thursday, May 28th, operated its second flight to China as we evacuated 301 Chinese nationals back to their country,” Olisa said in the report.
He added that the flight departed right on time and arrived in Guangdong province, in the southeast of China, without incident.
PUBLIC NOTICE (29-05-2020) pic.twitter.com/vFPMKXNHJd
— Air Peace (@flyairpeace) May 29, 2020
When speaking about the repatriation flight, the regional manager for South West, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, told reporters that the flight carried 301 Chinese evacuees and 24 Air peace crew members.
The service was operating as flight number P47807. The Nigerian Immigration Service, Port Health Services officials, and other government agencies were on the ground at LOS. They were there to ensure that there were no last-minute snags with the evacuation.
Air Peace is also set to perform more evacuation operations for other nationals living in Nigeria. This is as the carrier, and other domestic airlines prepare to resume scheduled flight operations soon. There are hints that services would return in early June, as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has started auditing operators in preparation for scheduled passenger services.
About Air Peace
Air Peace is a privately owned Nigerian airline that was founded by Nigerian businessman Allen Onyema in 2013.
Based in Lagos, the airline mainly operates flights within Africa. However, it does offer a service to Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) in the UAE three times per week. Air Peace had big expansion plans for 2020 that included direct flights to Israeli and India with a service to London penciled in for later in the year. All these big ideas were put on hold after the COVID-19 pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill.
Air Peace will resume flying with just 42 flights per day
Due to the coronavirus crisis, Air Peace was forced to ground its fleet on March 27th. It is now looking to start flying commercially again. However, it is still waiting for the green light from the Nigerian government.
According to the website The Afritraveller, it will not be business as usual, with the airline planning to deploy just ten aircraft on 42 flights per day rather than the 100 flights per day it flew before COVID-19.
Air peace also announced that for crew safety, the traditional in-flight meal service would be discontinued.
Have you have ever flown with Air Peace? If so, please let us know what you thought of the airline in the comments section.