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Almost Long-Haul: Air Peace’s 6-Hour Embraer E195-E2 Flight

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Nigeria’s Air Peace is temporarily operating the Embraer 195-E2 between Lagos and Johannesburg. The large regional jet replaces the typically scheduled B777-300. It comes as Air Peace’s wet-leased A320s aren’t being used to South Africa despite being planned.

An almost long-haul E2 service

At 2,803miles (4,511km), Lagos to Johannesburg is just 197 miles (4,511km) short of the 3,000 miles (317km) customarily considered to be long-haul.

Of course, while the E2 and A220 have good range, it is unusual for them to be deployed on what is almost a long-haul route, but that is what Air Peace is temporarily doing with its five-strong fleet of 124-seat E195-E2s. These have two classes: 12 seats in business and 112 in economy.

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Here’s the routing of flight P47563 on June 16th. It used 5N-BYH, an E2 delivered in June last year. Image:
Flightradar24
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It normally uses the B777-300

Lagos-Johannesburg ordinarily uses Air Peace’s B777-300s (non-ERs), of which it has two registered d 5N-BWI (ex-Singapore Airlines) and 5N-BUU (ex-Emirates). However, while BUU is still active – it last flew from Dubai to Lagos on June 15th – BWI isn’t. Flightradar24 shows that it flew to Addis Ababa on May 19th and on June 2nd from Addis to Kuala Lumpur, where it remains.

While ch-aviation indicates the aircraft is stored, it might be undertaking maintenance. Either way, the African carrier is short of aircraft for Johannesburg. Its schedules show that it planned to use the A320, of which has two wet-leased from SmartLynx Malta. However, these haven’t been used to South Africa, presumably due to delays in approval from the South African CAA.

Hence, it is using the E2. The type was first used to Johannesburg on June 8th and had a flight time of 5h 58m. Aircraft 5N-BYG, delivered in March 2021, left Nigeria at 23:15 and arrived at 06:13 local time. As the E2 cruises slower than the B777-300, the flight time was 30-40 minutes longer than what it’d usually take. When the aircraft returned to Lagos, it continued to fly sub-one-hour routes typically.

This specific aircraft is currently in Malaysia and inactive. Photo: Aviation Mitch.

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Almost beyond the E2’s range

The airport pair is virtually beyond the realistic maximum range of the variant. According to Embraer, the limit with a full load of passengers in a single-class configuration is 2,992 miles (4,815km). However, that’s the theoretical and not the real-world range, which often sees 10-15% knocked off for wind, the specific routing, and so on. It also doesn’t include a lot of baggage that would be commonplace.

As Air Peace’s aircraft have only 124 seats, rather than the up 146 in a single class, they’ll be lighter and therefore burn less fuel and increase range. Still, it’ll have a payload restriction or perhaps simply lower-than-normal passenger loads when the E2 operates. Either way, the lower weight will extend the range. Even Embraer’s own range diagram from Lagos, shown below, doesn’t include Johannesburg.

This shows the possible range of the E2 for Air Peace. The longest shown is Tel Aviv (TLV) at 2,684 miles (4,319km). Image: Embraer.

By far the world’s longest

While Air Peace wouldn’t usually use the E2 on such a long route, and therefore isn’t a typical deployment, it is far longer than the world’s longest planned route. In June, that’s Binter Canarias from Gran Canaria to Venice, a distance of 1,942 miles (3,126km). Air Peace’s Johannesburg foray is therefore 44% longer.

Have you flown the E2 yet? If so, with which operator? Share your experiences by commenting.

This content was originally published here.

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