A domestic airline, Air Peace, on Thursday signed a deal with a United States-based airline manufacturer, Boeing, for the purchase of 10 new aircraft.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, said the order would arrive very soon, adding that the airline’s fleet of aircraft had risen to 37.
At the signing ceremony for the sale of the 10 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at the US Consul General’s residence in Lagos, Onyema said Air Peace had achieved another first, describing the firm as “the first West African airline to own the latest Boeing innovation.”
“We have a firm order for 10 aircraft. By so doing, Air Peace has joined the big league, He stated.
We are doing this because we are interested in creating massive job opportunities; one Boeing 737 MAX aircraft can give jobs to over 500 people.
We are looking at the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria.
“When you are buying a brand new aircraft, it comes with some package to help the operator undertake the new entry into its operations.
Boeing has given us a lot of incentives.
Those incentives will come in the way of training, spares and some other support to help us achieve a smooth transition.”
Onyema, who declined to state the total amount being paid for the 10 aircraft while answering questions from journalists, said the price of each was around $130m.
He added, “We are not even paying anything near it ($130m).
The support we are getting from Boeing and the American government is very massive.
“As of today, we have 27 aircraft. There are some that we purchased that are not yet in the country.
So, if you add the new order, the number of our aircraft is 37.
Air Peace will be four years old operation-wise in October.”
According to him, the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will help reduce the fuel costs being incurred by the airline.
“The Classic we are using are rugged planes, very powerful and safe. However, the fuel consumption of the Classic is enormous, Onyema said.
Source: Punch Newspaper