With the pick-up of economic activities in Edo State following reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, Azman Air, has joined other commercial operators on the Benin route.
Representative of Azman Air, Dr. Muhammad Hadi Abdulmunaf, who was on board the maiden flight to Benin Airport, Air Boeing 737, 300 series from Abuja, said the airline is commencing operations with three weekly flights to Benin, while plans are on to increase the flights to five times a week.
He said, “Presently, we fly ten destinations. AZMAN is one of the fastest growing airlines. We are here in Benin to stay. We are here to compete.”
The pilot, who made the inaugural landing of the commercial airline, Captain Shaddad Tijani, said the Benin Airport has the instrument and the right capacity to accommodate AZMAN Air which promises innovations in the aviation industry.
Tijani noted, “Benin is strategic geographically and considering what is going on in this part of the country, Benin is the right place for AZMAN.
I tell you, starting with about three scheduled flights from Abuja, in good time we are going to make a daily schedule. It depends on how the people of Benin receive us.
“We are getting excellent responses and I believe we can make it a daily flight.”
Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Strategic Planning and Programme Management/Chairman, Programme Management Office, Uyi Malaka-Oduwa, said the Obaseki led-administration will continue to make the state more attractive to businessmen and tourists through reforms instituted in the different sectors of the economy.
She said the state government wants investors to visit the state to be part of its growth and development, noting, “If the investors are not coming, we are not going to be able to expand our economy.”
The governor’s aide noted that the number of flights landing at the Benin Airport daily showed that the Obaseki-led administration is putting the right framework to attract investors to the state, noting, “To put it in a very straight language, change is happening here big time; if you want to experience it with us, we are here waiting for you in Benin City.”
“It is an incredible thing that is happening in Edo. First, we received Aero, Max Air and now Azman is coming directly from Abuja today. I think that is telling a story. Something is happening in Benin. People who are still wondering if there is anything exciting, it is a different narrative here right now. If not, you won’t see such an influx; you won’t see big airlines such as AZMAN, Aero coming to Benin. We have said it a lot of times that we are open for business; Benin is ready,” she added.