ENUGU’S Akanu Ibiam International Airport has been another big boost in its quest to become a major travel hub after the United Nigeria Airlines became the seventh career to start flying to the facility.
Nigeria’s aviation industry is struggling to keep up with the rise in passenger volumes and several states are upgrading their airports, bringing them up to international standards. At the moment, the Lagos, Abuja and Kano airports are the major international exit and entry points into the country but several others are trying to catch up.
Port Harcourt, Calabar and Enugu airports in particular are seeking to bring their facilities up to scratch and are desperately wooing airlines. Cecilia Oguama, the manager of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, said that attracting this latest airline will boost activities within and outside the airport.
Ms Oguama said: “We are glad for the increase of flight operations and the increase of passengers too. It will affect our revenue positively because with this flight now, we have seven domestic airlines.
“Passengers will have more choice as they are starting with Lagos and Abuja and I know very soon, they will expand to other routes. My expectation is that they will bring excellence on board, they will bring timeliness on board and they will improve generally on the system.”
Victor Egbo, the head of the airport’s commercial department, added: “This is a whole gamut of revenue source for us, as we had just about two airlines operating from Enugu. Today, having an additional airline, we have at least an additional 10% of our annual revenue and aeronautic revenue.
“It is a very big thing for us and also for Enugu and the people of the southeast, as this will bring a general improvement in the economy. This airport will also be hosting this airline as its home base, we have not had anything like that in the recent past.”