Air Peace Set To Commence London Operations
Air Peace, West Africa’s largest carrier, has secured the Foreign Carrier Operator Permit (FCOP) to operate flights to London, marking its entry into the European airspace.
The private carrier, known for its continuous fleet expansion, will now operate direct flights to London using its luxury wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft.
This permit not only allows Air Peace to fly to Europe but also grants them the Third Country Operator Permit (TCO-UK) for operations in the United Kingdom.
The airline, founded in 2013, has expanded its global presence with this achievement.
Air Peace Chairman Allen Onyema noted the rigorous audit process and strict standards required to obtain these permits.
He mentioned that the airline received the approvals just last week.
He said, “We obtained these permits that qualify us to fly to the UK. Before you obtain these approvals, they will audit you very well. You have to go through stringent audit, which we passed. We obtained the permit last week.”
In addition to the European expansion, Air Peace has also initiated scheduled commercial flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, using its Boeing 777 aircraft.
This inaugural flight marked the commencement of its scheduled operations into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, further strengthening the airline’s presence in the Asian region.
The airline’s journey to securing these routes was not without challenges, including infrastructural gaps, government policies, and landing permits.
However, the achievement represents a significant step forward for Air Peace in its quest to establish itself as a major player in international aviation.
Notably, human rights activist Femi Falana called for the suspension of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flight operations into Nigeria until Air Peace is allowed to operate on the Lagos-London route, in accordance with the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) signed between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Despite the airline’s success, experts have cautioned that Air Peace may face challenges without government support.
The issue of outstanding debts from the federal government was also raised, with Air Peace highlighting its inability to access dollars, hindering its operations and maintenance activities. The airline called for a conducive environment and government support to allow Nigerian carriers to flourish.
Air Peace emphasized that Nigerian airlines possess the capacity for growth and are ordering brand new aircraft, showcasing their readiness to contribute to the nation’s aviation industry.
The airline has firm orders for 33 aircraft and purchase rights for 17 more, demonstrating its commitment to expanding and providing employment opportunities within the country.