BY Sade Williams/Business a.m.
Air Peace, the largest airline in West and Central Africa by fleet size, opened a flyway into Niamey from Nigeria when it made its inaugural flight into the capital city of Niger Republic, March 11, using one of its Embraer 145 jets from its subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper.
Augustin Kamano, director, flight operations, led the Air Peace delegation, and he disclosed that Niamey had always been on the airline’s radar, especially as it was poised to expand its footprints across the West African coast and interconnect different cities in the sub-region.
Kamano stated that Niger Republic and Nigeria are good neighbours and the airline is excited that it is serving as a strategic means of fostering the already existing positive relations, and further cementing the ties between the two countries through air travel.
He asserted: “We are determined to reduce the air travel burden of Africans, and this will continue to propel our route expansion as well as fleet modernisation programme. Air Peace has accomplished so much in just seven years of operation, as we now have a network of twenty domestic routes, seven regional routes and two international destinations, including Johannesburg, which we launched in December 2020.
“Also planned for launch in the future are international routes, such as Houston-USA, Mumbai-India, Guangzhou-China and London. We’re constantly reviewing our route network in line with the travel needs of Africans,” Kamano further said.
Expressing gratitude to the Niger authorities and the Nigerian government who made the airline’s entry into Niamey possible, Kamano promised that Air Peace would work concertedly with all the relevant aviation stakeholders to ensure the new route is maximised for air travellers.
Aisha Kabiru, Nigeria’s deputy ambassador to Niger Republic, emphasised that Air Peace’s entry into Niger would boost socio-cultural and economic ties between both countries and ease the burden of air travel for Nigerians and Niger nationals who connect both destinations, especially for commercial purposes.
Kabiru, who thanked Air Peace for always coming to the rescue of Nigerians, citing the airline’s evacuation record, reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Embassy in Niger to supporting Air Peace operations in the country.
The airline in February announced plans to kick off three weekly flights into Niamey from Abuja and Kano. It is also working on flying into two other African destinations, namely Malabo in Equatorial Guinea, and Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.