NIGERIA– Air Peace, one of Nigeria’s leading domestic carrier has been designated by the Federal Government to operate flight services to Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, told journalists that the designation would help Nigeria to benefit from a Bilateral Air Service Agreement that has been in existence for several decades.

Onyema said the airline had also been given the right to fly to Mumbai, India, adding that the service would commence by March.

“We will start the Mumbai route by March 2020; and later in the year, we will commence direct flight to Tel Aviv in Israel,” Onyema said.

Onyema also stated that the Federal Government had begun to support indigenous carriers by addressing the multiple frequencies and destinations granted foreign airlines in Nigeria.

According to him, if the gesture is sustained, domestic carriers will become stronger.

He said, “The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has been addressing the proliferation of foreign airlines into Nigeria, especially multiple designations.”

The Chairman of Air Peace also noted that there was need to protect indigenous carriers as well as other businesses due to the role they play in creating employment opportunities for Nigerians.

According to him, any investment that is helping the country to reduce unemployment should be protected by the government as well as Nigerians.

Onyema said the Federal Government could protect the jobs, reduce crime and have a saner society by protecting indigenous enterprises.

Using Aero Contractors as an example, he said the firm had helped other indigenous carriers to save forex by carrying out aircraft maintenance that could cost millions of dollars.

He stated that with support from the government to expand Aero’s aircraft maintenance capacity, other airlines would save more forex and more jobs would be created for Nigerians.

Air Peace was founded in 2013 as private Nigerian airline which provides passenger and charter services.

The airline has about 23 aircrafts in services with 20 more having been ordered from Boeing and Embraer.

The airline serves the major cities of Nigeria and flies to several West African destinations including Banjul in Gambia, Accra in Ghana and Dakar in Senegal.

The flights to Mumbai and Telaviv will be an addition to the domestic carrier current international flight to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.