The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria has announced that the South African government had granted request for the Nigerian Designated Airline, Air Peace, to commence commercial flights to Johannesburg, South Africa.
While South African Airways operates flights to Nigeria as national carrier, Air Peace can now operate to South Africa as Nigeria’s designated carrier under the principle of reciprocity in international aviation.
The permission to Air Peace was granted in the process of ascertaining the level of implementation of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and South Africa at the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the 9th Session of the Nigeria/South Africa Bi-National Commission Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, on Friday, 27 September 2019.
The Executive Chairman of Air Peace Airlines, Allen Onyema, has also confirmed that the airline would commence operation as soon as possible to promote air travel between Nigeria and South Africa.
The airline operates to five regional locations in West Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Senegal) and had on 5 July 2019 begun flight operations to Sharjah- Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Air Peace, which is Nigerian and West African largest carrier, has also announced that Mumbai in India and Guangzhou, China, would soon come on board as part of the airline’s expansion on the international routes with its fleet of B777 aircraft.
Air Peace recently evacuated hundreds of Nigerians from South Africa over the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals living in the country. The free evacuation flights have given the airline good publicity in Nigeria where it has been praised for its exemplary corporate social responsibility.