From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
Three weeks after the reopening of Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, expectations that international flights will start at the airport in earnest is still a mirage.
Amidst the fact that the expanded runway to enhance flight landings by cargo carrying planes was completed and several surrounding structures destroyed to pave way for safe landings, no reason could be adduced why no international flight have landed or taken off from the airport, even as the airport was officially reopened and celebrated on Sunday August 30, by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadis Sirika, the South East governors, other political class and business gurus from the South East zone including business mogul, Prince Arthur Eze.
THE AUTHORITY investigation revealed that not even the Ethiopian airlines which was the only airline operating international flights from the airport prior to its closure have resumed operations.
The Ethiopian Airlines office within Akanu Ibiam International Airport was found under lock and key. When The AUTHORITY visited the airport before writing this report, it was gathered that even though the construction of the terminal at international wing is still on going, but the Ethiopian airlines had always used the terminal at the domestic wing of the airport successfully in its previous operations before the closure on April 30,2019.
In a brief chat with the AUTHORITY, FAAN corporate affairs director in charge of Akanu Ibiam international airport, Enugu, Mrs Josephine Aijawara, said it is only the minister of aviation who can aswer the question on commencement of international flights at Akanu Ibiam airport Enugu.
She opined that probably the Ethiopian airline is taking its time to arrange its priority ahead of reopening.
Meanwhile only two airlines have been on ground with operations in and out of Akanu Ibiam Airport. Mrs Aijawara mentioned the two airlines as Ibom air and Air Peace. Their usual routes are Enugu to Lagos and Enugu to Abuja and vice versa.