The award winning Nigerian airline to expand regional network with new, more capable 737 jets. The airline and Boeing has signed a multi-million dollar agreement for the purchase of ten brand new B737 Max-8 aircraft.
Air Peace already operates Boeing 737s between major cities in Nigeria and West Africa. The airline, which recently added Boeing 777s to its fleet, is looking to soon expend its international flight operations.
Signing the agreement today, Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the United States Consulate in Lagos by the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema and Boeing Sales Director for West and Central Africa, Mr Larry Tolliver.
Speaking at the ceremony, Onyema said each of the Max B737 aircraft cost $113 million, but Boeing was gracious to reduce it to an undisclosed amount for Air Peace following series of negotiations.
He said the procurement of the aircraft, which is the latest by Boeing, was being financed by a local bank, Fidelity Bank and they would be deployed for Air Peace international operations.
According to him, the addition of the new planes, which will be delivered soon by Boeing, will increase Air Peace fleet to 37 aircraft in less than four years of operation.
Onyema, however, appealed to the government to find ways of establishing local refineries in order to reduce the high cost of aviation fuel which was affecting the operations of airlines in the country.
Also, the US Consul General, Mr John Bray, said the agreement between both companies would further deepen the relationship between Nigeria and the US.
Bray said it was a win-win situation for both countries because the deal would create about 3,000 jobs in Nigeria while about 5,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector would be created in the US.
On his part, Tolliver said the B373 Max aircraft was the fastest aircraft manufactured by Boeing and consumes about 40 per cent less fuel than other Boeing aircraft currently being used by Air Peace.
Speaking on the financing of the procurement, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, said Air Peace had proven its integrity in previous loans given to the airline by the bank.
He said: “We are proud to have Air Peace as a customer because the airline has integrity and has always paid ahead of time in previous aircraft purchases financed by Fidelity Bank. “I know some airlines have gone down in the past due to huge indebtedness to banks, but I can tell you that Air Peace is not owing anybody, and this is because of the prudence of the airline’s management.”
The Federal Government has granted approval to Air Peace to begin flights to six international destinations which are London, Dubai, Sharjah, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg in the next few months.
The 737 MAX 8 is part of a family of airplanes that offer 130 to 230 seats and the ability to fly up to 3,850 nautical miles (7,130 kilometers). With improvements such as the CFM International LEAP-1B engine and Advanced Technology winglets, the 737 MAX will help Air Peace save more than 20 percent on fuel costs compared to its current single-aisle airplanes.
The MAX 8, in particular, offers airlines 13 more seats than its closest competitor, seven percent lower costs for each of those seats, and 300 miles more range. The operating advantages, along with the popular Boeing Sky Interior, explain why carriers have been choosing to fly the MAX in Africa.
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,700 orders from 102 customers worldwide.
Sources: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/boeing-air-peace-announce-order-for-10-737-max-airplanes-300712184.html and https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2018/09/13/air-peace-signs-multi-million-dollar-agreement-with-boeing/