Nigerian carrier Air Peace has placed a firm order for ten Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The airline expects the planes to be expected “very soon”. The order will bring Air Peace’s fleet to 37 aircraft.
“We have a firm order for 10 aircraft. By so doing, Air Peace has joined the big league. 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,” said Allen Onyema, Chairman and CEO of Air Peace. “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.”
New 737 MAX planes can help Air Peace in multiple ways. Most notably, the plane will reduce fuel costs at a time when prices around the world are steadily rising.
“We are excited to add the 737 MAX to our fleet as we expand our network to offer more destinations and serve more passengers,” said Onyema. “The fuel efficiency and superior operating economics of the 737 MAX will ensure that the aircraft will play a major role in growing our business in the years to come.”
The unit costs of a single Boeing 737 MAX is $113 million. As is standard in the aviation industry, Boeing granted Air Peace discounts on their order.
John Bray, Nigeria’s US Counsul General, said that the agreement can deepen the relationship between the US and Nigeria. Bray said that the new plays could create 3,000 jobs in Nigeria and support 5,000 manufacturing jobs in the US.
Air Peace is the first West African airline to add the 737 MAX to its fleet. Air Peace currently operates a fleet of Boeing 737s and Embraer E145s on both domestic and regional routes. The carrier is looking to launch its first long-haul operations, and it recently ordered the Boeing 777 for its fleet to support that goal.
Over the past few years, a number of efforts have been made to build a secure aviation industry in Nigeria. Companies like Boeing and Airbus have committed to providing aircraft to Nigerian airlines, and the Nigerian government has invested in airlines across the country. A new Nigerian national carrier was announced at Farnborough International Airshow. Air Peace specifically has received funding from Fidelity Bank, which played a major role in making this recent order possible.
Featured image by Boeing