Akwa Ibom Government has pledged its readiness to identify with Arik Airline in the aviation business as flight operations begin soon in Akwa Ibom International Airport, Okobo.
Governor Godswill Akpa-bio, who made the pledge yesterday when the Chair-man, Arik Airline, Sir Arumemi Johnson paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Uyo, assured that 80 per cent passengers from the state would patronise the airline.
Akpabio further stated that he had written to Mr. President to intervene in the construction of Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene-Uyo Federal road, expressing the hope that the road, when constructed, would boost more air passengers from Abia and other neighbouring states.
He congratulated the management of the airline for the verve it has brought to the aviation industry, saying, â€œbefore now, air flights in Nigeria used to be turbulent as you needed three days of fasting to avert plane crash and other attendant problems associated with the aviation industry.â€
â€œSince you came on board, things have really changed for the better in the aviation industry. As soon as you get clearance to begin normal flight operations in the state, we promise to give you free publicity of your flight schedules to enable many passengers patronize the airlineâ€, he assured.
The Governor prayed God to protect the airline from sabotage and air disasters, noting â€œLetâ€™s pray that no man would sabotage the airline, though you have the best safety engineers and aircraftsâ€.
Chief Akpabio thanked the airline for sending its newly acquired aircraft to the inaugural landing at the airport recently without collecting money, saying that it shows the height of respect and love the management has for the people and government of Akwa Ibom.
According to him, â€œWhen the history of the airport is written, it would be asked which airline landed its aircraft on the inaugural date. And it would be recorded that Arik Airline landed its brand new aircraft at Ibom International Airportâ€.
Earlier, the Chairman of Arik Airline, Sir Johnson said they were in the state to partner with the state government in the aviation industry and thanked the governor for the support so far given to the airline.
Johnson disclosed that the management has purchased a new aircraft to commence flight operations from Ibom International Airport to other airports in the Country.
While commending the state government for completing the airport started by the previous administration, he promised to utilize facilities in the airport to enable the state to maximally reap the benefits of its abundant investment.