Air Peace has flagged off a direct flight to Israel, the first of such service to be launched by a Nigerian carrier.
The airline commenced scheduled operations to Tel Aviv on April 20, 2023 from Lagos and Abuja.
At the well-attended inaugural flight ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said history had been made in the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Israel through the flight operations from Lagos and Abuja to the city of Tel Aviv.
He said, “This is undoubtedly a big milestone because for the first time, a Nigerian airline is connecting both countries directly through scheduled commercial flights.”
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Onyema said the airline was delighted particularly because the new route would provide huge respite to Nigerian travelers, who henceforth do not have to travel to Israel through other countries, spending over 20 hours in stopovers whereas a direct flight is less than six hours.
“Our entry into Israel today will open up more layers of opportunities and possibilities, socially and economically, and advance the implementation of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and Israel. The connectivity will boost ‘religious tourism’, especially factoring the numerous Nigerians who embark on pilgrimage trips to Israel,” he said.
He stressed that the airline was familiar with Israeli airspace as it operated evacuation flights to the country in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Isreali ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, expressed joy over the new connectivity, stressing that it would help deepen bilateral ties between both countries and promote mutually beneficial economic engagements.