By Lawani Mikairu
Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom Monday applauded Air Peace airline as it commenced commercial flights into Makurdi, Benue State.
With the inaugural flight, Air Peace is the only airline currently operating Lagos-Makurdi flights.
Governor Ortom was on ground to receive the inaugural flight which departed the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos by 7:00 a.m via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja to Makurdi.
The inaugural flight P47440 arrived Makurdi Airport at 9:15am to a ceremonial water salute by officials of the Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting unit of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Also on ground to receive the inaugural flight was a former governor of the state and Minister of Special Duties, Senator George Akume and the Airport Manager, Mrs. Comfort Ogbuagwu.
Speaking at the airport, Governor Ortom commended the airline’s management for the opportunity to have commercial air transport to Benue State, saying the development would boost the state’s economy.
He added that having a commercial flight to the state would open it up for foreign direct investment (FDI) as the fear of travelling to the state by road has been completely removed.
“I particularly thank the Air Peace Chairman for accepting this partnership and we are hopeful this would be fruitful. It will also ease the travel burden of our people,” he said.
Also, Senator George Akume who was aboard the return flight to Abuja noted that there have been several unsuccessful attempts in the past to ensure regular flights into Makurdi.
The flight would operate weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Ground Operations Manager of Air Peace, Mr. Ayodeji Adeyemi who represented the Chairman at the inaugural flight ceremony, described the flight as “a historic feat as no airline currently operates flights from Lagos and Abuja to Makurdi.
Adeyemi also said the decision to operate to Makurdi was “borne out of our persisting original vision to interconnect various cities across Nigeria, thereby fostering unity and promoting impactful economic relations.”