Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, got a rousing reception at the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following an inaugural flight to commence services to the Middle East nation.
The flight departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 10.15 p.m. on Friday and arrived at 9.10 a.m. on Saturday at the Sharjah-Dubai Airport.
The B777 aircraft was operated by the Chief Pilot of Air Peace, Capt. Victor Egonu.
Among the dignitaries on board the flight were the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, former Anambra Governor, Mr Peter Obi and the Rector of the International Aviation College, Ilorin, Mr Benjamin Adeyileka.
Others include Nigerian musician, Kingsley Okonkwo (Kcee) and Nollywood actress, Ibinabo Fibrerisima.
The inaugural flight was given a rousing reception by aviation authorities, members of the diplomatic corps, government officials and the business community at the Sharjah International Airport.
Speaking to reporters at the reception ceremony, Onyema said that the airline had acquired four B777 air planes for its long-haul operations with three of the planes already delivered.
According to him, the airline which started flights on Oct. 24, 2014 currently operates into Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Gambia and Sierra Leone.
“We have been designated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to operate flights into six international destinations, including Dubai.
“The launch of our flight operations into Dubai, UAE, will mark a major milestone in our vision to seamlessly connect the West coast of Africa to other parts of the world thereby contributing to the region’s economy.”
Onyema said that Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai would soon join the airline’s international route network.
He thanked Nigerians for their support to the airline, which he said, had made the company to become a major player in the West African sub-region.
Air Peace has scheduled to operate flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays to Dubai, while Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays would be for flights back to Lagos.
The airline is currently the only Nigerian carrier operating on the lucrative Lagos-Dubai route, following the suspension of flight services on the route by Medview Airlines in March last year.