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PHOTOS: Air Peace commences Lagos-London flight services

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Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier, commenced its Lagos-London flight services on Saturday.

The airline announced the development on its X page on Saturday, expressing delight for the milestone.

“London service has commenced and we’re delighted to have achieved yet another feat in our drive to continually provide peaceful connectivity across cities,” Air Peace posted.

“A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this launch.”

 

Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development; and Doris Uzoka-Anita, minister of industry, trade and investment, were present as the airline marked its inaugural flight to London.

The London trip comes a month after the Nigerian flag carrier said it would commence direct flight operations from Lagos to Gatwick Airport in London.

 

In November 2023, Air Peace had secured a foreign carrier operator permit (FCOP) to fly into the United Kingdom (UK.)

 

However, the airline could not kick off operations on the route due to challenges with slot allocation at the destination airport.

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Prior to this, Keyamo had engaged the UK government to actualise direct flights from Lagos to London.

 

The minister had also held a meeting with the management of NORSE Atlantic Airways, led by Ben Boiling, its chief executive officer (CEO), in London in late January.

The meeting was to facilitate a partnership between Air Peace and NORSE Atlantic for the operations of the Lagos-London flights.

Below are a few photos from the event:

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Naira appreciates to N1,100/$ in parallel market

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The naira appreciated further on Monday in the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market.

 

At the Lagos street market, currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the naira at N1,100 to the greenback.

 

The traders put the buying price of the dollar at N1,070 and the selling price at N1,100 — leaving a profit margin of N30.

 

The figure represents an appreciation of N50 or 4.34 percent from the N1,150/$ it traded on April 12.

 

At the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees official foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, the local currency rose by 5.72 percent or N69.02 to N1,136.04/$ on Monday — from N1,205.06/$ on April 12.

 

On April 11, the presidency said President Bola Tinubu’s multi-faceted approach to eliminating foreign exchange (FX) racketeering is strengthening the naira against global currencies.

 

In a statement on Wednesday, Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media, said the country’s financial position will improve, leading to the possibility of Nigerians experiencing a stronger naira and a decrease in the prices of goods.

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“The President has been very consistent in his view that the labour pains felt by our people and the incredible sacrifices made by our people over the past 10 months would be rewarded across the board,” Ngelale said.

 

On April 12, Goldman Sachs Group said the naira could extend gains to trade below N1,000 to the dollar.

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Naira strengthens, trades at N1,150/$ in parallel market

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The naira, on Friday, appreciated to N1,150 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market.

Currency traders in Lagos, also known as bureau de change (BDCs) operators, quoted the buying rate of the greenback at N1,110 and the selling price at N1,150 — leaving a profit margin of N40.

 

The naira appreciated by 0.86 percent from the N1,160 recorded on April 11.

 

“The dollar is falling and it is not my fault. It is how the FX market is now,” Lawal, a BDC operator, said.

 

Also, FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees official foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, said the naira rose by 7.16 percent or N88.23 to N1,142.38/$ on Friday — from N1,230.61/$ on Monday.

 

The appreciation of the naira is coming a few days after the CBN opened the third tranche of sales to BDC operations.

 

The apex bank began the sale of foreign exchange to BDC operators at the rate of N1,101/$ on April 8.

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Also, on the same day, the CBN directed all banks to stop the use of foreign currency-denominated collaterals for naira loans.

 

The financial regulator is intensifying its efforts to boost liquidity and strengthen the naira.

 

Meanwhile, earlier today, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the naira could extend gains to trade below N1,000 to the dollar.

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Air Peace: Patronise local airlines on int’l routes, Keyamo urges Nigerians

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The minister of aviation and aerospace development, Festus Keyamo, has asked Nigerians to fully patronise Air Peace and other local airlines flying international routes.

 

This, Keyamo said, is the only way local airlines can survive stiff competition from foreign carriers.

 

On March 30, Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier, commenced its Lagos-London flight services — a landmark achievement celebrated by many Nigerians.

 

Following the milestone, Allen Onyema, chief executive officer (CEO) of Air Peace, on April 9, said some airlines are conspiring to take his company out of business by underpricing the flight tickets for the Lagos-London route.

According to the entrepreneur, the foreign airlines’ governments are supporting them to do this and take Air Peace out.

Speaking to TheCable on Thursday, Keyamo said while he cannot currently make a policy statement on what the Nigerian government will do to support Air Peace, President Bola Tinubu’s administration would continue to assist local entrepreneurs.

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“The first thing is for Nigerians to fully patronise not only Air Peace but all indigenous airlines on international routes. Before the federal government does anything, let Nigerians patronise him and know that this is our indigenous airline,” he said.

 

“As for government, I cannot make any policy statement for the government now because I am a minister. Whatever we can do, we will discuss that behind the scenes. But it’s wrong for me to make a policy statement now.

“As I have said earlier, one of my main goals in office is to help Nigeria’s domestic airlines grow and improve, supporting President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda”.

Keyamo added that the federal government would continue to protect Air Peace and other Nigerian carriers that may seek to operate international service.

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