The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja is to come alive tomorrow as airlines, ground handling, catering and other aviation industry allied logistic firms have announced the mobilisation of personnel and equipment for the resumption of commercial activities.
Daily Sun learnt that local and foreign airlines had commenced the sales of air tickets to passengers about two weeks ago ahead of the airport resumption on April 19. An industry official on Sunday confirmed to Daily Sun that airlines and ground handling companies like Nahco and Sahcol had begun the relocation of staff and equipment from the Kaduna Airport, which had served as the alternate to the NAIA for the past six weeks.
This comes even as some local airlines have announced flight resumption on Wednesday.
“Air Peace is pleased to announce resumption of all our flights into and out of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport with effect from Wednesday, April 19,” said the airline’s spokesman, Mr. Chris Iwarah.
“As Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, reopens on Wednesday to air traffic, Medview Airline is resuming with six daily flights to the nation’s capital,” the airline’s Chief Operating Officer/Accountable Manager (COO/AM), Mr. Lookman Animashaun, said.
“Besides the six daily flights, the flights to Yola, Kano, and Maiduguri will now be routed through Abuja, which has been the practice,” it added.
A top official of South African Airways, one of the foreign airlines that ply the Abuja route but refused to fly into the Kaduna airport, told Daily Sun that the airline would only announce its resumption of flights into Abuja Airport after the Easter holiday.
Meanwhile, the Aviation Round Table (ART) has lauded the Federal Government for the timely completion of the rehabilitation of the Abuja airport runway.
“We in ART salute the Minister of Aviation and his agencies for living true to its promise to deliver Abuja run way on schedule as we count down to 19 April,” said the ART President, Mr. Gabriel Olowo.
“It is our prayer that such purposeful actions is sustained in the sector as we demand that Aviation delivers one per cent of Nigeria GDP by 2020 as against the present meagre 0.4 per cent,” he added.
Recall that the Federal government had shut down the airport for six weeks _March 8 – April 19, 2017) to allow the rehabilitation of the runway which had been posing a threat to safe landing and take-off of aircraft for almost a year.