Ethiopian Air­lines com­mences flight to Kaduna

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From An­drew Agbese, Kaduna & Chris Agabi

Ethiopian Air­lines has launched its 5th des­ti­na­tion in Nige­ria and 55th African des­ti­na­tion in Kaduna.

This feat makes Nige­ria one of two coun­tries the air­line has five des­ti­na­tions, the first be­ing China.

The Ethiopia Air­lines in­au­gu­ral flight on B737-800 with reg­is­tra­tion num­ber ET-EQN touched down at Kaduna In­ter­na­tional Air­port yes­ter­day at about 12noon with 17 pas­sen­gers on­board and was treated to a wa­ter canon cer­e­mony by the Fed­eral Air­ports Au­thor­ity of Nige­ria (FAAN) Fire Ser­vice depart­ment.

Re­call Ethiopia Air­lines was the only for­eign air­line which op­er­ated flights in Kaduna when the Nnamdi Azikiwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port Abuja run­way was shut for re­pairs that lasted six weeks. Kaduna State gov­er­nor, Malam Nasir el-Ru­fai, had opened talks with Ethiopian Air­lines to main­tain the route per­ma­nently.

Speak­ing at the route launch yes­ter­day, Mr. Samia Zakaria Gutu, Ethiopian Am­bas­sador to Nige­ria, said Kaduna trav­ellers can now con­nect to over 100 des­ti­na­tions all over the world.

He said the air­line is com­mit­ted to Nige­ria and also com­mit­ted to con­nect­ing Africa as the largest air­line in Africa.

Gov­er­nor el-Ru­fai as­sured the air­line that the state gov­ern­ment will sup­port it to make the route prof­itable.

To demon­strate that com­mit­ment, he an­nounced that the state gov­ern­ment has di­rected all its of­fi­cials to use only Ethiopia Air­lines for for­eign trips ex­cept to des­ti­na­tions not cov­ered by the air­line.

He also said the state gov­ern­ment will help ad­ver­tise the route as part of the part­ner­ship.

He com­mended the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment for clos­ing the Abuja air­port as that opened Kaduna up for op­por­tu­ni­ties.

FAAN MD/CEO, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, said “this flight op­er­a­tion is very im­por­tant be­cause you can­not in­vest in an air­port like this and al­low it to lie fal­low. Traf­fic means a lot to any air­port au­thor­ity and to FAAN, Kaduna air­port is key be­cause this would open the ways for the de­vel­op­ment of the state,” he said.

“It is the in­ten­tion of Kaduna State to make sure that de­vel­op­ment comes to it and you know most in­vestors do not come by road, they don’t come by train but they want to fly. So, the in­ter­na­tional flight is start­ing to­day (yes­ter­day).

“So, this in­ter­na­tional flight start­ing to­day will make any busi­ness man to come to Kaduna and also any busi­ness­man can link the rest of the world from Kaduna.

“As far as FAAN is con­cerned, you know our rev­enue gen­er­a­tion de­pends on flights, es­pe­cially in­ter­na­tional flights. So as far as we are con­cerned, this is an opener for us to gen­er­ate more rev­enue to main­tain old fa­cil­i­ties and in­vest­ment made in this air­port and we are very happy,” he noted

The Min­is­ter of State Avi­a­tion, Sen. Hadi Sirika, promised that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will pro­vide the en­abling en­vi­ron­ment to make Ethiopia Air­lines suc­ceed.

He said gov­ern­ment sup­port to the air­line is in the spirit of the open skies agree­ment among African coun­tries.

Pas­sen­gers dis­em­bark on Ethiopian Air­lines dur­ing its anugu­ral flight at the Kaduna In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Kaduna yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.