With the upswing of economic activities in Edo State on the back of the far-reaching reforms of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, two airlines, Max Air and Azman Air, have commenced operations on the Benin route, increasing the number of airlines operating in the state to five.
This is coming as Aero Contractors commenced operations on the route barely a month ago, citing heavy passenger traffic on the axis.
The Benin route has experienced increased passenger traffic in the wake of opening up of the business space by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, which has resulted in a lot of business and tourist visits to the state.
The state government also contributed to facility upgrade at the Benin Airport in partnership with the Federal Government, which led to the installation of Night Landing Equipment, among others.
The inaugural Max Air flight landed at the Benin Airport at about 5.05 pm on November 26, 2019. The aircraft was marked No. 5N-DNB, with 78 passengers on board.
A Protocol Officer of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), identified as Tonia, said Azman Airline will commence operations on December 1, after conclusion of modalities for smooth flight operation at the Airport.
She disclosed that Max Air, which has already commenced operations on the Benin-Abuja route, is scheduled to airlift passengers on Mondays and Thursday, noting that the two flights would be at about 3 pm.
The Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwengie-Ero said the Benin Airport is becoming busier as the state government is developing the business sector, which has led to the influx of tourists and investors.
According to him, “Governor Godwin Obaseki has invested a lot in the Benin Airport. It is one of the few airports that has night landing facility in the country. We are here to receive the inaugural flight of Max Air and by December 1, we are expecting another airline to commence operations in Benin, which will bring the number of airlines operating at the Benin Beni Airport to 5.”
He added, “Two weeks before the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), Aero Contractors came into Benin. Today, Max Air has resumed operations. The Governor is bringing more airlines to Benin not just only Abuja and Lagos.”
He said the state government is working towards having tourists and investors spending the night in Benin such that the last flight comes into Benin by 11.00 pm, while the first flight leaves by 6.00 am.
The Captain of the Max Air flight, Captain Kola Sawyerr, said it was a smooth and pleasant journey, noting that the Benin Airport is well equipped to handle more passengers.