From Suleiman ldris
The Nigeria aviation industry was thrown into jubilant mood over the weekend as news filtered in of the arrival of a Boeing 777 ordered by Air Peace in preparation for it international flight operations.
The country’s leading carrier had earlier this year made history as the first Nigerian carrier to acquire and take delivery of a Boeing 777-200 on February 23, 2018.
The new addition, the airline said has given impetus to it proposed inter-continental operations that would be announce soon.
Thee long-haul operations will see the Nigerian carrier fly to London, Houston, Dubai, Sharjah, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg.
The new aircraft, a 320-seater Boeing 777-300 named “Ojochide” and marked 5N-BUU, touched down the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos with Air Peace Chief Pilot, Capt. Victor Egonu and Senior First Officer Emmanuel Iwhiwhu in charge.
It recieved a rousing welcome by staff of the carrier, aviation workers and water salute staged by men of the Fire Service of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at about 1.36 p.m.
Speaking moments after the aircraft landed, Air Peace Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Allen Onyema assured that the airline was now ready to begin its international operations and fix the challenges of Nigerians, Africans and other travellers on the long-haul routes.
Onyema, who was represented by Air Peace Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, said the carrier’s international operations would boost Nigeria’s economy, create more jobs in the nation’s aviation and allied sectors and offer travellers an exceptional choice.
“We are very happy we’ve taken delivery of another of our Boeing 777 aircraft in preparation for our international operations and we are looking at commencing operations on one of the routes before the last quarter of the year.
“We believe that this will enable us create more employment opportunities for Nigerians because that is the reason we exist. We want to help curb the unemployment situation in the country,” Onyema said.
The Air Peace boss confirmed that the airline received its first Boeing 777-200 aircraft in February, adding that two more of the aircraft type were being expected before the end of the year to boost the airline’s international operations.
Onyema said Federal Government had designated Air Peace to operate flights to London, Houston, Dubai, Sharjah, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg.
He commended the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika and President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting Nigerian airlines with the removal of value added tax and granting of waivers on aircraft spares.
Also speaking, Air Peace Chief Pilot, Capt. Victor Egonu and Senior First Officer Emmanuel Iwhiwhu, who flew in the aircraft, said it was a state-of-the-art equipment with high performance capacity.
The B777-300 aircraft has 12 first class, 48 business class and 260 economy class seats.