Air Peace on Monday commenced flight operations to Kaduna International Airport (KIA), Kaduna from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos.
The airline’s inaugural flight landed at the KIA at 9:10 am amidst the ceremonial water salute by the fire-fighting personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on the Embraer 145 plane piloted by Capt. Matthew Ekeinde.
Also present was the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris represented by the Bardan Zazzau and District Head of Kudu, Alhaji Shehu Tijjani, joined other agencies at the airport to welcome the new airline into the state.
The inauguration of Kaduna route came barely six months after the local carrier commenced flight operations to Kano and Yola just as the airline has added more regional routes this year including Freetown, Sierra Leone; Dakar, Senegal; Banjul, the Gambia; and Moronvia, Liberia.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said the new flight is part of the airline’s strategy to expand its northern operations and connect other unserved and underserved cities of the country under the no-city-left-behind project.
Onyema who was represented by the Corporate Communications Manager of the airline, Chris Iwarah, also hinted about deploying bigger aircraft to the route to serve more passengers.
He said the airline was encouraged by the turnout of passengers, noting that as of Friday last week, the flight was almost fully booked. “This tells you the kind of reception accorded us by the people of Kaduna,” Onyema said.
With more northern routes being opened, Onyema also hinted about connecting the proposed international flights to London, China, among others, from Kaduna, Kano and Yola.
He said, “We assure you that the North of Nigeria will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the massive expansion of our route network and fleet capacity.
“There is no doubt that as the leading and biggest airline in Nigeria with a fleet size of 24 aircraft, we are now more positioned to transform air travel experience in Nigeria, the West Coast and beyond.
“But more importantly we are proud to use our flight services to build bridges of unity in Nigeria. We are not just achieving this by extending our flight operations across Nigeria without restriction, we are also doing so with our employment policy that does not discriminate on the grounds of religion, tribe and creed.
“We are coming into the Kaduna route with a reputation for on-time performance and uncompromising stand on matters of safety”.
The Emir of Zazzau said Kaduna passengers have had to contend with a lot of flight delays and cancellations and charged Air Peace to walk its talk by providing on-time and efficient services to the passengers.
He also charged the airline to consider connecting the North to the South-East states like Enugu, Owerri, among others, saying many passengers who want to connect the East would have to fly to Lagos or Abuja.
The Emirate representative said the entire Emirate and the people of Kaduna state are excited by the coming of Air Peace.