Nigerian airline Air Peace has placed a firm order for five E175 narrow-body aircraft from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.

The airline, which is widely considered the largest in the West African market, currently has a mixed fleet, including Embraer E195-E2 aircraft along with Airbus A320s.

The 88-seat E175 class planes will replace Air Peace’s ERJ145 fleet as it aims to both grow and modernise its aircraft offering.

Embraer said the order will be delivered in 2024 and is worth $288.3m. 

Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema said: “This is another important step in helping to realise our ambition to connect the whole of Nigeria with the entire African continent while also feeding passengers into long-haul flights from our Lagos hub.

“The acquisition enables us to continue delivering on our ‘no-city-left-behind’ initiative – connectivity is what our passengers and Africa demand. The deal also paves the way to establish local maintenance capabilities in Nigeria, with direct support from Embraer.”

Stephan Hannemann, Embraer’s vice-president of sales and marketing and head of Africa and Middle East region for commercial aviation, explained the new planes’ similarities to Air Peace’s existing fleet will ease the crew transition: “The commonality of the cockpits between the E1 and E2 fleets also simplifies aircrew costs and management.

“Acknowledging Air Peace’s significant investment in the acquisition of the Embraer fleet of aircraft, which has increased to 18 brand new firm aircraft to date, Embraer, in partnership with Air Peace, is committed to directly supporting the establishment of local maintenance capabilities in Nigeria.”