Air Peace is to become the first African operator of Embraer E-2 family aircraft. The airline, Nigeria’s largest, has signed a firm order for ten Pratt & Whitney PW1900G-powered E195-E2s with purchase rights for a further 20. The deal, worth up to $2.12bn, was signed at the Brazilian manufacturer’s Africa Airline Business Seminar presently taking place in Port Louis, Mauritius.
The carrier has grown rapidly since it started services in 2014, establishing itself as the biggest airline in West Africa. It intends to use the new aircraft to capitalise on untapped demand in the African market.
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 Commercial Aviation, 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: “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.”
Its regional subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, began operations with a fleet of six 50-seat ERJ145s in 2017. It is not presently known whether the E2 jets will replace or supplement these aircraft.