Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Ahead of the ultimatum given to all international airlines by the management of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to relocate their operations to the new terminal on or before April 30, the British Airways recently relocated its operations.
With this, the 12 international airlines operating in the airport have effectively relocated their operations to the terminal that was inaugurated in December 2018.
THISDAY gathered that the airline relocated its operations to the new terminal on Tuesday when it landed its B777-300 at 4:40 a.m.
The flight had 220 passengers and crew on-board, comprising 207 passengers and 13 crew members as well as one infant.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the airline arrived, Regional General Manager, North-Central, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Sani Mahmud, said the relocation of BA to the terminal would lead to full utilisation of the facility.
According to Mahmud, “I’m fulfilled that the airline had finally joined others in the terminal. This would help the authorities to streamline its international operations.”
Mahmud, who also doubles as the Airport Manager for NAIA, stated that the management was ready to ensure that the facility is properly maintained and enhance sanity in the terminal.
He however, called on other foreign airlines to take advantage of the facility to extend their operations to the airport, adding that the terminal had the space for passengers’ comfort.
“The old international terminal would be renovated. The government would come up with a policy on this later.
“We are feeling fulfilled, we started with the commissioning of the airport by Mr president on the 20th of December 2018, and we prepared and started receiving flights immediately into the terminal with Asky.
“Today, all our 12 international airlines have moved in, the last being the British Airways. We are sincerely grateful to government for providing this edifice and you can see from the faces of the passengers that they are all happy to be in a new facility like this.”
Speaking further, he said: “And we want to assure Nigerians and the world that the team in Abuja airport are competent enough to maintain this facility.”