NIGERIA – Air Peace, one of Nigeria’s leading domestic carriers has launched direct flights from Lagos to the City of Warri, an oil hub located in Southern part of the country.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, said the move to extend operations to Warri was part of the airline’s ‘No city-left-behind’ project.

Onyema, who was represented by the carrier’s Ground Operations Manager, Mr Adeyemi Ayodeji, said Warri was the 16th city the airline was operating into in Nigeria.

“We want to assure our passengers that this is just the beginning. We have plans to introduce flights from Warri to Port Harcourt and from Warri to Abuja,” he said.

He further noted that the airline had five regional routes in West Africa and on July 5, 2019, began flight operations to Sharjah, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The airline’s chief also announced that the airline had plans to launch flights to Mumbai in India and Guangzhou, China in the near future.

These long-haul flights will be serviced by its fleet of B777 aircraft

Onyema added that the flight to Warri would be once daily and assured the airline’s passengers of on-time departure and safety which he said were important to the airline’s operations.

The move by Air Peace to expand its routes in Nigeria comes at a time when the country is liberalizing its aviation industry to make it attractive to both foreign and domestic airlines.

According to reports from the ministry of aviation, liberalization of Nigeria’s airspace has led to an annual traffic growth of eight per cent.

 “I am happy to inform you that Nigeria’s efforts on liberalization have led to significant increase in the operations of foreign and domestic airlines,” said Senator Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation.

The minister also said that liberalization had also increased airport utilization, resulting in an annual traffic growth of over eight per cent.

Mr. Sirika who was addressing delegates at the 40th assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization, in Montreal, Canada, said that goal of the liberalization was to make Nigeria the hub of West African sub-region.

With a population of over 200 million and vast land mass, Nigeria is able to achieve its goal of being a air transport hub for west Africa.

It would however, require a robust industry that would be safe, secure, efficient and environmentally friendly, with modern and adequate infrastructure to be able to achieve this goal.