By Chinedu Eze
Based on the agreement it signed with the federal government a few months ago, Emirates Airline has commenced operations to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) Kano.
The Dubai-based airline announced that it was poised to enhance its operations to more destinations in the country by launching scheduled daily passenger flights from August this year.
The Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, said the airline confirmed its plans to begin operations to the aforementioned destinations in a letter addressed to the minister and signed by the Senior Vice-President, Aero-political and Industry Affairs, Salem Obaidalla.
Obi said the airline expressed gratitude to the federal government for the continued support and assistance extended to it throughout the period it had been operating in Nigeria.
The senior vice-president disclosed that the flights to Kano and Abuja would be operated ''in accordance with the existing UAE-Nigeria agreement on air services, with four weekly flights routed through Dubai-Abuja-Kano-Dubai and three weekly flights routed through Dubai-Kano-Abuja-Dubai, without carriage of domestic traffic (cabotage) between Abuja and Kano.''
He further assured the government that Emirates Airline ''remains fully committed to the Nigerian market and to provide Nigerian travellers the best possible service.''
Commenting on the development, Obi said the minister, Ms. Stella Oduah, expressed joy that passengers from Abuja, Kano and other parts of the North who patronise Emirates would have the airline's services brought to their doorsteps, and pledged to continue to partner Emirates and other airlines to deliver the best possible service to air travellers in the country.
“I am particularly delighted with this development,” she said.