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Air Peace resumes Asaba flight operations, promises best experience to travellers

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Asaba International Airport in the heart of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta State on Tuesday recorded the landing of Air Peace’s aircraft as number two commercial flight since the resumption of flight operations in the airport this week.

The airline, which resumed its Lagos-Asaba-Lagos and Abuja-Asaba-Abuja flight operations, on arrival at the airport pledged to deliver the best flight experience to the travelling public on the routes.

The Air Peace Boeing 737 with registration No. 5N–BUJ arrived Asaba five months after the closure of the airport due to COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The aircraft which touched down at the airport at 8.50am was celebrated with a water canon salute.

Pilot of the aircraft, Omar Al-Talib, said the carrier was delighted to have returned to Asaba after its flight operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He commended the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Delta State government for their efforts at reopening the airport, assuring that the airline will scale up its operations at the Asaba airport.

Funkekeme Solomon, senior political adviser to the governor; Fred Latimore, executive assistant to the governor on communications, and Emmanuel Egbabor, chairman, Isoko North Local Government Council, were among dignitaries on the Air Peace flight from Lagos.

Solomon, while speaking to newsmen, said the investments at the airport were yielding adequate results and urged the airport authorities to ensure excellence in its operations.

“The investments in this airport has paid off with the upgrading of standards of the airport with a very high approval rating from the regulatory authorities.

“We had a very smooth flight on board Air Peace from Lagos and we thank His Excellency the Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, for all he has done to ensure the reopening of this airport.

“We know that this COVID-19 has altered our lifestyle but by the grace of God it will go very soon, but for now we have to adapt to the new normal. I appeal to the airport authorities to ensure excellence in their operations so that more people will continue to patronise the airport,” he said.

Latimore, on his part, said the Air Peace flight from Lagos to Asaba was a 50-minute flight.

“We had a very smooth flight experience. The COVID-19 protocol was in order and everything went well. Deltans and Nigerians are happy that the Asaba Airport has re-opened because travellers to Delta from South East and other neighbouring states will now begin to enjoy flight experience from Lagos and Abuja to the Asaba International Airport,” Latimore said.

Austine Ayemidejor, special project director, Asaba Airport, assured that the facility has complied with all COVID-19 safety protocol, assuring air travellers of the best flying experience from the airport.

“You know that Air Peace has been operating here on daily basis before the pandemic and now that they have come back, they have assured us of daily flight operations here in Asaba.

“So far we have six airlines, Air Peace, Aero Contractors, Azman, Arik, Ibom Air among others already indicated interest to return to Asaba Airport. My advice to air travellers from the airport is to always ensure they adhere strictly to safety protocols already put in place to ensure smooth operations of the Airport,” he said.

George Okafor, vice chairman of opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, who was among dignitaries on the return flight to Abuja, commended Governor Okowa for his efforts at ensuring prompt reopening of the airport.

“The return of flight operations at the Asaba Airport is a very big relief to us especially those of us that often go to meetings in Abuja. We thank the governor and the state government and everybody that is here today to ensure the successful reopening of the airport,” he stated.