In preparation for service resumption, Nigerian airline, Air Peace (P4) on 24 June 2020 conducted multiple shakedown flights for their fleet around Nigeria. The multi-fleet aircraft departed Lagos for Abuja then Port Harcourt before returning back to Lagos.
Air Peace operates a fleet of 25 aircraft comprising of 13 Boeing 737s, 3 Boeing 777s, 8 Embraer ERJ145 and a single Dornier Do-328. In a tweet by the airline, Air Peace did not confirm the number of aircraft that conducted the shakedown flights. “In a show of strength and readiness to resume operations, littered the Nigerian airspace with several of its fleets of aircraft in SHAKEDOWN flights,” read the tweet.
These flights were aimed at accessing the airworthiness of the aircraft. The bulk of Air Peace’s fleet have been grounded for almost three months due to the lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spreading of Covid19. During this period the airline’s fleet has been in storage and underwent a couple and extensive maintenance checks to keep them up to the required standards.
Air Peace’s representative Stanley Olisa said: “The shakedown flights are part of the measures that airline has developed to guarantee the safety of its passengers and crew.”
He added that: “Within this period of flight ban, we have ramped up technical maintenance of all our aircraft, scaled up cabin refresh and carried out thorough disinfection to ensure they remain fit for the skies when the authorities flag off operations. The aircraft are now being brought out of storage and the pilots have been testing them, stressing that all pilots and flight attendants have been retrained in line with NCAA directives.”
During the lockdown period, Air Peace operated a number of repatriation and cargo flights. Just recently the airline repatriated stranded Indian nations to Mumbai and the return flight reunited Nigerians with their families who have been stuck in India. This was in addition to flights to and from Israel and China.
In fighting the pandemic, the airline conducted medical cargo flights to Nigeria from China bringing in much needed medical equipment.
Olisa assured the public that Air Peace is ready to resume service: “We have been operating ‘special flights’ to local and international destinations, and we have more of such flights in the works. This accentuates our preparedness for operation restart as our pilots, cabin crew and engineers have been hands-on and are very current. So, we are hundred per cent ready to resume.”
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