Forex Scarcity Hampering Airlines’ Operations – Onyema
Air Peace has said that it placed a firm order of Boeing 737 Max, which recently was recertified to resume operations.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Allen Onyema who said this in a statement titled ‘Air Peace reaffirms its order of Boeing 737MAX’ also said that foreign exchange scarcity was inhibiting the ability of the airlines to meet their business obligations.
He said the company’s order of the advanced Boeing 737 Max aircraft subsisted and the timeline for delivery would be announced soon.
Onyema in the statement issued on Sunday said that the airline planned to replace the older aircraft in its fleet, made largely of B737 classics with the Boeing 737 MAX and the Embraer E195-E2 in addition to the eight E145, which provides service to low passenger traffic airports.
Onyema said currently, about 20 Air Peace aircraft were in maintenance facilities overseas and some of them were expected to start coming back soon, adding that what delayed the delivery of the aircraft was because of the COVID-19 lockdown, which forced maintenance facilities to stay off work.
The airline CEO said foreign exchange had continued to affect the industry, noting, ‘everything we do is in dollars’.
He said, “We have not been able to discharge our obligations to foreign maintenance organisations because you need dollars to give them. We have the naira but to get dollars is difficult.
“The CBN has been trying for us and we understand the plight that it is not the fault of the government but we are pleading that we should be able to access forex more easily.”
Onyema said the planes undergoing maintenance abroad will be coming in by June.