Ethiopian Airlines commences flight to Kaduna
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.