Nigeria’s aviation industry is expected to receive a significant boost with the arrival of 40 new aircraft over the next 36 months. The new planes will be operated by Nigerian carriers, helping to increase capacity and meet the growing demand for air travel in the country. The airlines to welcome the new aircraft include Air Peace, Overland Airways, and Ibom Air.

The new aircraft will include a mix of narrow-body and wide-body planes, with several significant manufacturers expected to supply the aircraft, which will consist of major players such as Boeing and Airbus, as well as newer entrants like Bombardier and Embraer.

Nigerian new aircraft drive continues.

As reported by THISDAY, Nigerian Airlines will receive 40 new aircraft over the next three years. The first sets of aircraft will be delivered in early 2023. Air Peace made the highest order as they expect 10 Embraer E195-E2 this year, alongside an order for 10 Boeing 737 MAXs, consisting of both the -8 and -10 variants. Other airlines will receive the rest 20 aircraft; Ibom Air will receive 10 Airbus A220s, an order placed in November 2021; and Overland Airways will receive seven Embraer 175 aircraft.

Annie Essienette, Group Manager of Marketing, said to THISDAY;

“We are sure of one this year and two next year, but we will have all delivered between this year and 2025. We have staggered delivery of the aircraft. We are also expecting variants in the aircraft types that will be delivered to us. It will make us the second biggest operator in the country.”

Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, plane 5N-BQV, Boeing 737-33V sits on runway
Air Peace, 5N-BQV, Boeing 737-33V |© Wikimedia Commons

Infrastructure worries

In the last few months, Nigeria has faced several challenges in the aviation sector ranging from fuel price and transportation and storage, which has undoubtedly hindered the aviation industry in the country. While the delivery of the 40 new aircraft is a welcome boost, some have expressed worries about airport infrastructure.

According to Ikechi Ukoh, a travel expert, one problem could involve a lack of infrastructure at airports. He further claimed that the existing airport infrastructure could barely take care of the current capacity while urging airports across the country to upgrade their facilities. Ukoh said;

“40 brand new aircraft coming in the next 36 months will exacerbate the problems at the airports. There will be enough passengers that will fill the planes, but everybody has a problem loading the passengers into the planes. Facilities currently at the airports cannot carry that number of aircraft, so bringing new aircraft will compound the problems on the ground. There will be chaos at most of the airports, especially at Lagos and Abuja airports.”

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Entrance to the old terminal at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja|© Wikimedia Commons

What It Means For Nigerian Carriers

The addition of these new planes will not only help Nigerian carriers to expand their route networks and increase capacity on existing routes, but it will also help to boost economic growth in the country. The aviation industry is a significant contributor to Nigeria’s economy, and the arrival of these new planes will help to create jobs and stimulate economic activity.

The new aircraft will also help improve passengers’ overall travel experience. Airlines can offer more comfortable and modern cabins and a more comprehensive range of in-flight entertainment options with newer, more efficient planes.

With the new aircraft set to arrive in the coming years, Nigerian carriers are well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for air travel and help drive economic growth in the region.

Have you flown with Nigerian carriers? What do you think of this development? Let us know in the comments below!

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