Private Nigerian airline Air Peace has recently expanded its network from its capital of Abuja to Dubai and Johannesburg. 

The flights will operate the new route from the capital’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. 

West Africa to the UAE 

Air Peace is the largest airline in Nigeria and West Africa. It has operated to the United Arab Emirates in the past, from July 2019, with a route to Sharjah, the third-most-populous city in the UAE after Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In March of this year, the Sharjah route was replaced with a route from Nigeria’s largest city Lagos to Dubai. 

The Lagos – Dubai route began on 1 March. Outbound services will run every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, with inbound services occurring every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The airline’s flagship Boeing 777-300 aircraft operates the route.

By adding another route to Dubai from one of Nigeria’s most populous cities, Air Peace must have noticed positive trends regarding the demand for flights to the highly popular and luxurious city of Dubai. 

However, Air Peace will face some hardened competition in the form of major airline Emirates. The UAE airline, which is one of two flag carriers alongside Etihad Airways, currently operates four weekly flights from Dubai to the capital Abuja. Interestingly, Emirates flights to Abuja will increase to five from 1 May, and then to a staggering daily offering of flights from 1 September. To make matters even more competitive, Emirates has plans to increase flights to Lagos from seven to eleven from 1 July.  

Emirates
Emirates operates to more than 150 cities in 80 countries across 6 continents. Accredited by providing a luxurious experience, they are often in competition with other airlines. | © Karol Ciesluk / Shutterstock.com

Air Peace flights to Dubai will run from Abuja to Dubai and back once a week. The Johannesburg route shall run twice a week. 

The airline is planning for further international expansion at the back of this announcement, according to Air Peace spokesperson Stanley Olisa:

Air Peace will  “continue to expand its route network strategically, adding more connections, and consistently modernising its fleet to ease the burden of travel for its clients.”

When announcing the launch of the new Lagos to Dubai service in March, the airline shed further light on the potential locations that will make up its international expansion:

“We’re consistently reviewing our route network in line with the needs of the flying public. We also have other international routes in the works, such as Houston, Mumbai, Guangzhou, and London.” 

The Abuja – Johannesburg route 

The new service will run twice a week as a direct, one-stop flight that will depart Abuja every Wednesday and Saturday. 

The return flight from Johannesburg back to Abuja will depart every Thursday and Sunday from O.R Tambo International Airport. 

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport exterior
O.R Tambo Internation serves as the primary airport for domestic and interview travel from South Africa. Since 2020, it is Africa’s busiest airport. | © aecom.com

Air Peace has spotted a gap in the market with this particular route, whereby no competition will benefit from the demand for the service. This is because no other airline currently flies directly between Abuja and Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa. 

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