By Adedapo Adesanya
Air Peace Airline has announced the launch of commercial flights to Makurdi, the Benue capital.
Speaking during a brief ceremony to mark the commencement of the flights today, the chairman of the airline, Mr Allen Onyeama, noted that the commencement of flights to the capital of the Food Basket of the Nation was part of the company’s original plan to connect cities within the country.
He said the company was thrilled to be the first airliner to operate commercial flights to Makurdi as the first flight to the state by the airline company took off from Abuja and arrived Makurdi at about 9:45 a.m.
Represented by the Ground Operations Manager, Mr Adeyemi Ayodeji, the Air Peace boss said Makurdi flights would be either be from Lagos or Abuja.
“For us at Air Peace, this is a historic feat as no airline currently operates commercial flights from Lagos or Abuja into Makurdi.
“The decision to extend our wings to Makurdi was borne out of our persisting original vision to interconnect various cities across Nigeria, thereby fostering unity and promoting impactful economic relations,” he said.
“Today, as we commence flights into Makurdi from Lagos and Abuja, we are promising that this new route will be optimally serviced, and Nigerians will benefit exceedingly.
“We also pledge to work very harmoniously with all the stakeholders domiciled in the state, the aviation regulator, the airport administrator and, of course, the state government to ensure maximum success, ” he added.
He said the airline would also provide employment for Benue citizens.
In his remarks, Governor Samuel Ortom said the commencement of flights to Makurdi would boost economic activities in the state, as well as create employment for residents.
“I believe that this will ease transport challenges to the state and it will further open up the state to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“This will also boost economic activities here in Benue State and will provide an opportunity for greater impact and participation of our people here,” Mr Ortom said.
Speaking to journalists as one of the first passengers, the Minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr George Akume, said it was a realization of a long dream.
Mr Akume commended Governor Ortom for initiating the partnership with Air Peace and facilitating its take off, admitting that several attempts were made in the past to ensure regular flights into Makurdi but were all futile.
Normalcy Restored at Lagos Airport as Aviation Workers Suspend Strike
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Normalcy was restored at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos on Monday afternoon after workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc disrupted flight operations this morning.
The aviation workers had embarked on an indefinite strike action to ask for a better welfare package from the management of the company.
Their action left many air passengers stranded on Monday morning, with operators suspending their flights in the process.
But the industrial action was later called off by the leaders of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, which promised to enter into talks with NAHCO, with a view to resolving the matter.
The aggrieved employees of NAHCO asked the management to increase their salaries after hike air fares by 100 per cent. They claimed that the company was being insensitive to their welfare.
NAHCO Workers’ Strike Paralyses Flight Operations At Lagos Airport
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Activities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, were paralysed on Monday after some employees of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc embarked on an industrial action.
The NAHCO workers protested the failure of the management of the company to heed their demands, including an increase in salaries and better welfare packages.
Air passengers who were at the Lagos airport were left frustrated today due to the demonstration by the aviation workers, with a few international flights disrupted.
It was gathered that most airline operators were caught unawares as they did not have prior notice that the NAHCO staff members were planning to down tools on the first working day of the week.
This led to the abrupt suspension of flight operations by most operators this morning while efforts were being made to resolve this issue in order to reduce the losses that could arise from the action of the workers.
Emirates Resumes Flights to Shanghai, Beijing After Border Reopening
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Ahead of the New Lunar Year in China and in response to strong travel demand in the country, Emirates is ramping up its operations and has resumed flights to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
Recall that this month, the Chinese authorities removed its stiff COVID-19-related entry restrictions and reopened its borders to international travellers.
Emirates said following this new development, it would resume passenger services to Shanghai starting with two weekly flights operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft from 20 January 2023, with EK302 departing from Dubai to Shanghai non-stop and EK303 making a short stop in Bangkok before returning to Dubai.
This service will ramp up in frequency to four weekly flights operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from 02 February 2023. During this period, Emirates’ flight EK302 will depart Dubai at 03:45hrs and arrive in Shanghai at 15:40hrs. The return flight EK303 will depart Shanghai at 17:40hrs and arrive in Bangkok at 21:45hrs before taking off from the Thai capital at 23:20hrs and arriving in Dubai at 03:20hrs the next day.
The airline operator said it would further boost its Dubai-Shanghai route from 1 March 2023 with a daily non-stop service. Its flight EK304 will depart Dubai at 09:15hrs and arrive in Shanghai at 21:05hrs. The return flight EK303 will leave Shanghai at 23:00hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:20hrs the next day.
Starting from 1 February 2023, Emirates will increase services between Dubai and Guangzhou with EK362/EK363 operating as daily non-stop flights with the flagship Emirates A380.
Its flight EK362 will leave Dubai at 10:45hrs and arrive in Guangzhou at 21:45hrs. The return flight EK363 will depart Guangzhou at 00:15hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:15hrs. Emirates currently operates a non-stop flight from Dubai to Guangzhou as EK362, and a return flight from Guangzhou to Dubai via Bangkok as EK363, four times a week.
Operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, Emirates’ flight EK308/ EK307 will return to China’s capital city Beijing with a daily non-stop service from Dubai, starting from 15 March 2023. Emirates’ flight EK308 will leave Dubai at 10:50hrs and arrive in Beijing at 22:20hrs. The return flight EK307 will depart Beijing at 00:40hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:00hrs.*
This will bring the airline’s operations in the market up to 21 weekly flights, providing increased choice and flexibility for both business and leisure travellers, and contributing to China’s tourism recovery.
Tickets can be booked on emirates.com, the Emirates App, or via travel agents. Travellers are also encouraged to check the latest entry requirements.
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