Africa: Making My Nigerian Aviation Fantasy A Reality…
Long time readers will know that I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have a slight obsession with quirky airline startups. Air Belgium was perhaps the perfect example of that, and I was lucky enough to be one of the (relatively) few passengers to ever fly on their scheduled flight between Charleroi and Hong Kong.
Air Peace: “When You Fly It, You Find Peace”
My current airline obsession is with Nigeria’s Air Peace, and I just can’t stop thinking about them. On July 5 Air Peace launched “long haul” operations between Lagos and Sharjah, and I think about it every day. Heck, I don’t just think about it every day, but there’s not a day that has gone by where I haven’t talked to Ford about Air Peace.
“Can you take this flight already so you can stop talking about it?”
Air Peace is flying former Emirates 777s that even have first class, and I need to take this flight so badly. What is the champagne like in first class? How is the service? And what about the food?
Now, I should probably note that sometimes my airline obsessions are a bit off base. For example, at one point TAAG Angola was my airline crush, and we saw how that ended…
Making my Air Peace fantasy come true
I have a few days in early August where I could potentially take this trip. I don’t really care whether I fly Air Peace from Sharjah to Lagos or the other way around, though perhaps I have a slight preference for flying out of Sharjah, so I can enjoy their award winning inflight service on a daytime flight.
I’m trying to figure out some of the logistics, though:
• I’m trying to avoid getting a Nigerian visa because my US passport is currently being renewed, so that would mess with my timeline
• I have some reliable people telling me that you can transit Lagos Airport without a visa as long as you have confirmed onward travel, but I don’t see this officially published anywhere (even in the IATA travel portal), so can anyone point me to something definitive in writing?
• My general plan is to fly Emirates’ new 777-200LR business class from Fort Lauderdale to Dubai, and Delta’s A330 business class from Lagos to New York, though that involves a really long layover in Lagos
• How bad is Lagos Airport/how much will I hate my life if I’m stuck there for almost an entire day?
Then there’s Air Tanzania
Air Peace is one of two African airlines I most want to fly — the other is Air Tanzania, with their single Boeing 787-8. They’re launching flights to Mumbai with this plane as of July 17, 2019, so it will be entering long haul service in just a couple of days (up until now the plane has essentially been used as a decorative piece at Dar es Salaam Airport).
I’m not sure if it’s realistic to fit that into a quick trip as well, since there aren’t any easy links between Dar es Salaam and Lagos, and/or between Mumbai and Lagos.
I suppose I could fly Air Mauritius A350 and A330-900neo business class from London to Johannesburg via Mauritius, then Air Tanzania’s A220 business class from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam, and then Air Tanzania’s 787 business class from Dar es Salaam to Mumbai.
Wait, I’m getting really sidetracked and that completely leaves out the Air Peace part of the trip.
So you guys tell me — where does an Air Peace review fall on the scale of “useless and dumb” to “useless and awesome?” Can anyone think of some epic itinerary here that I’m not thinking of?
I should clarify that I’m trying to be practical here. I love you guys to pieces, and especially how creative you get, but in this case “and then you should route via Kuala Lumpur on Air Mauritius, and then take Biman Bangladesh to Dhaka, and then fly Garuda Indonesia to Bali, and then fly Malindo Air to Kuala Lumpur, and then…” won’t be especially helpful in actually putting something together here.
BY BEN (LUCKY)