Captain Mathew Ekeinde works with Air Peace. Before joining Air Peace, he had worked with Aero Contractors, AIC Airlines, Air Nigeria, Arik Air, Bellview, Bristow Helicopters and Sosoliso. Recently, the celebrity pilot flew a 50-seater Embraer 145 aircraft for Air Peace inaugural flight from Lagos to Kaduna. In this interview with ANTHONY AWUNOR, the pilot explained why the aircraft type is the best on the route.
Why the choice of Embraer 145 for Lagos-Kaduna?
This is because it is a new route; we have to build that route first. It is a 50-seater plane; very fast and faster than the Boeing aircraft. The cooling as you must have noticed is perfect. We want to use this to start the route and once we have built the capacity, then we will now change to the Boeing.
Any possibility of changing the aircraft with time?
No, because this is the size we need because the seating capacity of this aircraft is good for our route. Like Lagos-Ilorin, Lagos-Akure, Lagos-Gombe and all the small airports where the Boeing can’t fly in and out. So this air plane is actually ideal for the route.
What has been your experience in Air Peace since you joined?
I joined Air peace on February 5, 2018, when I started flying with them. I am one of the training captains they have in this fleet; so I am here to train a lot of pilots. Like other airlines, they pay on time. It is a growing airline and they have a lot of experienced and beautiful people working with them. Air Peace is a company that is growing. And I will like to add my own quota to the development of the company. So I am quite pleased with the airline.
What is Air Peace unique selling point?
For now, Air Peace is the most unique airline when compared to the others. As you can see, other airlines are struggling. Now Air peace has a lot of patronage from our customers. So the airline is positioned to take the number one spot in Nigeria and if possible in Africa.
You are a very busy person, how do you relax when not flying?
For now, it has been very difficult since I started training here. We have only two training captains on this fleet and the fleet has 40 airplanes with about 40 pilots. A lot of them needs to be trained. Right now, it has been very busy. But when I am home, I relax and sometimes, we go filming. Occasionally, we go to a restaurant to eat and just relax. But it has been challenging because of the workload I have.
As a pilot with a wealth of experience, how did Air Peace convince you to join them?
Well, of course, they have to pay me the right money. The offer was good and I decided to come over. I am quite pleased.