Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ethiopian airlines in talks with El-Rufai to continue flight to Kaduna

Ethiopian Airlines and Kaduna State Government are in talks for the airline to continue a separate flight to Kaduna International Airport after the reopening of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on April 19.

The Traffic and Sales Manager of the airline, Mrs Firiehiwot Mekonnen disclosed this in Abuja yesterday.

Mekonnen said that Governor Nasir El’Rufai of Kaduna State had begun discussion with the airline to that effect, adding that she met with the governor on Thursday.

According to her, "The Governor has requested that Ethiopian Airlines should continue separate flight to Kaduna even after the reopening of Abuja airport."

"The management is still considering the possibility and will come with its decision on that before the reopening of Abuja airport."

"If the option is good we will go ahead with our operation there. We met with the governor today at the Kaduna State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja and we discussed extensively."

She said the discussion is hinged on the possibility of the airline to continue separate flight to Kaduna even after Abuja airport is opened.
Gov. Nasir el-Rufai with Firiehiwot Mekonnen, Traffic and Sales Manager for Ethiopian airlines on Thursday in Abuja

Mekonnen also said that the airline had started operating full flight from Kaduna since the beginning of last week, recording 286 passengers daily.

She explained that the passengers had adjusted to the arrangement of flying out through Kaduna, adding that Ethiopian airlines had recorded great success in its Kaduna operation.

According to her, "We have been having full flights from Kaduna since last week and even for today, tomorrow and next, our flights are already fully booked,’’ she disclosed."

The Federal Government had on March 8, shut the Abuja airport for six weeks for rehabilitation of its failed runway and diverted all Abuja-bound flight to Kaduna airport.

It will be recalled that the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika had on Tuesday announced that the rehabilitation work was 96 per cent completed, assuring of the reopening of the airport on schedule.

However, many airlines, especially the international airlines that have refused to flight to Kaduna are already planning to return their operations to the airport from April 19.