It’s not ‘419’: Ethiopian Airlines warms up for Enugu flights

Posted by News Express | 31 May 2013 | 5,425 times

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Claims by cynics that the recent foundation-laying ceremony for the international terminal of Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu in Nigeria’s South-East was a political gimmick have been rubbished by a leading international airlines which President Goodluck Jonathan said had indicated its intention to start operating from Enugu once the terminal is ready.

Jonathan had while opening the remodeled local wing of the airport and laying the foundation stone of the international wing on May 18 announced that Ethiopian Airlines would be the first international airline to land at the airport, saying he was hopeful this would happen from next month.

Confirming arrangements to soon start operating to and from Enugu, an official of the airlines told the travel website “Ethiopian Airlines has planned to open a new flight services to/from Enugu in the coming season but the flight will most likely not start next month.”  

The official, a PR officer, wrote by e-mail from the airlines’ head office in Addis Ababa in response to an enquiry from which the website said was informed by the skeptism expressed on Facebook by an influential Enugu online group the “Enugu Old School”, which said it regarded Jonathan’s move to make the airport international as a vote-catching trick ahead of the 2015 elections in which the Nigerian leader is expected to contest for a second term.

Scheduled to be completed in December 2014, the airport, according to President Jonathan, would lift about 500,000 international passengers each year as well as facilitate the export of farm produce from eastern Nigeria.

The project will correct the anomaly which saw south eastern Nigeria without an international airport despite boasting by far the largest population of traders in the country but who are forced to first travel to Abuja, Lagos or Port Harcourt before they can make their frequent foreign business trips.

•Photo: Sooner than later, Ethiopian Airlines shall be landing and taking off from Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

Source: News Express

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