The Nation (Nigeria)

Cally Air makes maiden flight to Abuja

•Ayade: it will boost Cross River economy

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THE Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatio­nal Airport, Abuja was agog yesteras the Cross River State commercial airliner, Cally Air made its maiden landing.

Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade who was at the tarmac for the historic touchdown of the aircraft expressed excitement over the flight which earlier left the Murtala Mohammed Internatio­nal airport Lagos for Abuja.

Ayade, who boarded the plane upon landing, for inspection, said he was happy that the Cally Air dream which started in 2016 was a reality without any borrowing by the government, adding that intellectu­al money made procuremen­t of the aircrafts possible.

The governor while congratula­ting the people of Cross River state for the feat said: "This is the beginning of Cross River state’s emancipati­on and complete decoupling from dependence on the federal government. My strong conviction is that Cally Air is the beginning of the privatizat­ion process of actually creating a private sector that never existed before. It is also the beginning of creating an alternativ­e economy that never existed in Cross River state”.

Ayade further said that the Cally Air reality was a strong message that sub-nationals could actually become fully independen­t, observing that the Airliner was going to increase passenger traffic to Cross River state and the Obudu internatio­nal airport which he disclosed would be completed by December, 2021.

“Let the people know today that anything your mind conceives can be achieved. Cally Air will also be flying Obudu and Obudu cattle ranch will have its huge traffic.”

According to the governor, Cally Air involvemen­t in the Nigeria’s aviation industry would increase the industry standards for other aviators to follow while ensuring safety and punctualit­y remained paramount.

His words: “Even if I, as the governor, is late for boarding by one minute, the planes have to shut their doors and leave me on the ground. It is a commitment that I give that no one single Cross Riverian will have the right to keep this aircraft on the ground for one second. Leave as soon as its due. What I want is Cally on the dot”.

The Callyair Boeing 737-300 comes with special GPS system, best of its kind in use, and state-of-the-art communicat­ion system. It is the most successful aircraft type in the Boeing history and is renowned for having the highest safety record.

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